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Cablegate: Brazil: Uribe Allays Lula's Concerns Over U.S.-Colombia Dca

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DE RUEHBR #1264/01 2992053
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 262053Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5287
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0015
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0049
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8316
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0007
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001264

SIPDIS

WHA FOR BSC, AND

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/26/2019
TAGS: PREL MARR BR CO
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: URIBE ALLAYS LULA'S CONCERNS OVER U.S.-COLOMBIA DCA

REF: A. BRASILIA 01041
B. BRASILIA 01084
C. BRASILIA 01076

BRASILIA 00001264 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: Charge d' Affaires, a.i. Lisa Kubiske, reason: 1.4 (b) a nd (d)

1. (C) Summary: Brazilian President Lula is now comfortable with the U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA), following a successful meeting and visit to Sao Paulo by Colombian President Uribe on October 19, according to Colombian Ambassador in Brasilia Tony Jozame. On October 21 Jozame told PolOff that Lula took a pragmatic stance on the agreement and explained that Brazil initially reacted negatively to the DCA because it was "rejected by the region." Though Lula requested an additional statement in the agreement further clarifying that operations from the bases under the DCA could only be conducted in Colombia, Uribe explained to Lula,s apparent satisfaction that the agreement already sufficiently covered the issue. According to Jozame, a Brazilian congressional delegation will visit Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador in November and, at the GOC,s invitation, will stop in some of the bases covered by the DCA. End summary.

-------------------------------------- LULA PRAGMATICALLY ACCEPTS DCA --------------------------------------

2. (C) Ambassador Jozame told PolOff on October 21 that Colombian President Uribe successfully quelled Brazilian President Lula,s concerns over the U.S.-Colombia DCA during his October 19 visit to Sao Paulo. Jozame described the GOB,s initial reaction to the DCA, particularly from its Ministry of Foreign Relations (MRE), as negative and kneejerk, at times joining instead of moderating the chorus created by Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador (Ref A and B). While WHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Christopher McMullen,s visit to Brazil in late August helped clear the air on the intent and specifics behind the DCA, some senior GOB officials, including FM Amorim and Presidential Advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia, continued to openly question and criticize the agreement (Ref C). According to Jozame, Lula is pragmatic and his acceptance of the DCA suggests it will no longer be an issue in Brazil.

3. (C) Jozame said that during Uribe,s visit, Lula took a very expected and pragmatic stance on the U.S.-Colombia DCA. Lula is now "tranquilo" (calm) about the accord, Jozame explained. Brazilian newspapers quoted Lula as saying, "I trust in the words of Presidents Uribe and Obama" and "Brazil has no reason to be troubled" by the DCA following his meeting with Uribe. According to Jozame, Lula explained to Uribe that because the announcement of the DCA was a surprise and the reaction in the region was so negative, Brazil could not fully or immediately accept the agreement itself. Jozame said that when Uribe explained that the motivation for the DCA and partnership with the United States was to combat terrorists in Colombia and protect its borders, Lula responded by saying that Brazil also wants to fortify security along its own borders.

4. (C) According to Jozame, Lula did ask that a short statement be included in the agreement stating that operations out of the bases under the DCA could only be conducted within Colombian borders. Uribe explained to Lula that such language was already in the document and understood because Colombia cannot sign an agreement that would infringe on any other country,s sovereignty. According to Jozame, Lula appeared to be satisfied with Uribe,s response and guarantee.

5. (C) Jozame said Uribe,s visit with Lula went very well. In addition to the successful discussions over the DCA, Uribe also had two useful meetings in which members of the Colombian and Brazilian business sectors met; one of the meetings was public and the other private. One of the visible results of the meeting included a display of over 100 Colombian paintings in the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo State (FIESP) for the next two months.

-------------------------------------- COLOMBIA MISSION IN BRASILIA CONTINUES TO CLEAR THE AIR ON DCA --------------------------------------

BRASILIA 00001264 002.2 OF 002

6. (C) Jozame explained that he continues to inform the GOB and Latin American missions in Brasilia about the U.S.-Colombia DCA, in an attempt to combat the misinformation campaign led by Chavez and the other more left-leaning neighbors in the region. In meetings in August Jozame told PolOff he had already met with several Brazilian members of Congress and the leadership of the Latin American missions in Brasilia (Ref A). Jozame said that he had recently held a meeting at the Colombian Embassy with about 35 military attaches from embassies in Brasilia so that he and his staff could again clarify the details of the U.S.-Colombia DCA. Jozame also mentioned that a Brazilian congressional delegation will be traveling to Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador in November. According to Jozame, their goal in Colombia is to see for themselves the bases included in the DCA. Jozame said he is happy the Brazilians have finally taken the Colombians up on the invitation to visit the bases because all they will see at the bases are "some buildings and a landing strip."

7. (C) Jozame shared his personal views as to why the Brazilians had such a negative initial reaction to the DCA, claiming that most of the problem came from the MRE which is "leftist" and "anti-Yankee" and "jealous" of any other country,s leadership in the region. Jozame said that the leadership in the MRE is very leftist and because of that they did not support greater cooperation between Colombia and the United States. Also, he believes Brazil is jealous because it does not like to have any issues negotiated or discussed without Brazil serving in a leadership role.

8. (C) Comment: Lula,s open approval of the U.S.-Colombia DCA will make it hard for the GOB to support criticism of the agreement by others in the region against the agreement. However, as Lula admitted and several GOB officials have told us privately, Brazil,s initial reaction was driven by the reaction of others in the region "principally Venezuela" and by a perceived need to maintain "balance" and the ability to mediate between the two sides. This dynamic is likely to hold sway in the future, as well, regarding issues of sovereignty and the sanctity of borders. KUBISKE

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