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Cablegate: New Brazilian Deputy Fm Sees Need to Step Up

VZCZCXRO4628
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1342/01 3241948
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 201948Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5402
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 0052
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0026
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0007
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0002
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 0001
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0006
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0016
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0163
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0121
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 0049
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0093
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001342

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR D, P, WHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/20/2019
TAGS: PREL EFIN SENV BR
SUBJECT: NEW BRAZILIAN DEPUTY FM SEES NEED TO STEP UP
BILATERAL RELATIONS

REF: BRASILIA 1341

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

1. (C) The CDA paid a courtesy call November 18 on Brazilian
Ministry of External Relations (MRE or Itamaraty)
Secretary-General (Deputy Minister) Antonio Patriota.
Patriota has just taken up his duties following three years
as Brazil,s ambassador to Washington. Patriota said he sees
great potential for U.S.-Brazil relations to develop, but
stressed the need for high-level USG visits and a
comprehensive strategic bilateral mechanism in order to avoid
the appearance of neglect and to minimize the negative
affects on U.S.-Latin America relations of the Honduras
situation and the U.S.-Colombia bases agreement. Patriota
raised concerns about a pending Tropical Forests Conservation
Act agreement and defended Brazil,s invitation to Iranian
President Ahmadinejad (reftel). Unlike his anti-American and
obstructionist predecessor, Patriota is eager to engage the
United States. But he will do so on the basis of a
traditional Itamaraty nationalist perspective that remains
cautious and often suspicious regarding U.S. actions and
motives. End summary.

- - - High-Level Visits, Dialogue, Thinking Needed in
Relationship - - -

2. (C) Patriota began by saying -- and repeated twice more
over the course of the conversation -- how important it is
for U/S Bill Burns to visit Brazil before the end of the
year, so that Brazil can receive Secretary Clinton and
President Lula early in 2010. He noted that President Lula
will be traveling a great deal in the first semester of 2010,
and that the second semester will be out of the question in
light of Brazil,s October elections. Patriota said the
high-level visits are important for the tone of the
relationship with Latin America as a whole, and Brazil in
particular. They will allow our differences to be seen
within a larger, and overall, positive context. Although he
has been the first to stress quality of contact over
quantity, he said there is a growing sense of neglect, which
is made worse by disagreements over Honduras and the
U.S.-Colombia base agreement. "We need new developments," he
said.

3. (C) The CDA asked Patriota,s views on the prospects for
the relationship. Patriota said he thought the relationship
could "go very far," but that it will require new, creative
thinking on both sides. He identified trilateral cooperation
in Africa, defense, the Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial
Discrimination, UN Security Council matters (in particular,
peacekeeping and post-conflict situations), and the Middle
East as areas where U.S.-Brazil cooperation could grow. The
relationship needs to be more strategic, he said, which is
why it is so important to create a "comprehensive mechanism"
to provide our various bilateral dialogues with "strategic
direction from policymakers."

4. (C) Patriota said that Brazil will not "privilege one
relationship to the detriment of others." But he said he has
great admiration for President Obama as he addresses the
recession and the healthcare in the United States, and that
our countries should "work more on what Obama represents to
the world: an effort to unite people, rather than separate
the world into 'good guys and bad guys'."

- - - Concerns about TFCA - - -

5. (C) In addition to raising the upcoming visit of Iranian
President Ahmadinejad (septel), the CDA asked about prospects
for concluding a TFCA agreement by Treasury's deadline of
November 30. (Note: The TFCA agreement has been in
negotiation for over two years, and had sat for months on the
desk of Patriota,s predecessor. End note.) Patriota said

BRASILIA 00001342 002 OF 002


that MRE had no problems with the agreement, but "other
agencies" had concerns about the agreement. For example, the
GOB did not want funds going to projects in the Amazon, and
wanted only Brazilian NGOs and agencies to have access to the
funds. He said that Brazil would present a
"counter-proposal" within a week. (Comment: Post has since
received and sent to Treasury a non-paper outlining generally
the concerns. It is not yet clear whether these can be
addressed before the deadline. End comment.)

- - - Honduras, Colombia Bases Not Positive for U.S.
Relations - - -

6. (C) The CDA asked how Patriota saw the situation in
Honduras shaping up. Patriota said that the situation was
"not positive for relations between the United States and
Latin America." Some sort of "fig-leaf" was required to
allow Zelaya,s reinstatement prior to elections by a
sufficient margin for all to "save face." For example, the
elections could be moved back, allowing Zelaya to resume
office for "at least a couple of weeks" before they occur.
Without such a solution, Brazil would be unable to recognize
the elections. Patriota said that the GOB does not want this
issue to create difficulties between the United States and
Latin America, and was heartened that WHA A/S Valenzuela had
agreed in their meeting the previous week with Brazil,s view
that the Micheletti regime was not fulfilling the deal struck
with Zelaya.

7. (C) The CDA raised the U.S.-Colombia bases agreement,
saying we the text of that agreement made clear, and we had
reiterated to the GOB on many occasions, that our bilateral
work with Colombia to fight terrorism and drug trafficking
was only within Colombia. Patriota responded that the issue
has more to do with Colombia than the United States. It is
Colombia that needs to convince its neighbors of its peaceful
intentions, and Colombia should agree to a South America-wide
agreement against military activity, as transparency on this
issue would benefit Colombia as well as others. Furthermore,
Colombia needs to reach out to Brazil, in particular, as its
inability to manage relations with Brazil is making other
countries wary of its intentions. He noted as a positive
sign that President Uribe had agreed to attend a regional
summit in Manaus that Brazil had called to discuss the
Amazon, and that this would provide an opportunity to discuss
the bases issue, as well.

8. (C) Comment: Patriota is a definite improvement over his
predecessor, the anti-American and obstructionist Samuel
Pinheiro Guimaraes, who was made Minister of Strategic
Planning when he hit mandatory retirement age for the
diplomatic corps this month. Nonetheless, although Patriota
knows the United States well and is ready to engage us, he
will do so not from a pro-American perspective, but on the
basis of a traditional Itamaraty nationalist perspective, in
line with the views of FM Amorim, that remains cautious and
often suspicious regarding U.S. actions and motives. Even in
this brief courtesy call, Patriota made clear that, as Brazil
seeks engagement with the United States, it will do so on its
own terms.
KUBISKE

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