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Cablegate: Ibero-American Summit Dominated by Honduras Dispute

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7999
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
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RUEHPD/AMCONSUL PONTA DELGADA 0643
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UNCLAS LISBON 000608

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TAGS: ECON ECIN EFIN PREL AN XM CU DR SP PO
SUBJECT: IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT DOMINATED BY HONDURAS DISPUTE

1. (U) Delegations from twenty-two Iberian and Latin
American nations attended the nineteenth Ibero-American
Summit in Estoril, Portugal November 29-December 1. The
summit's theme was "Innovation and Knowledge" and featured
discussions on technology and innovation collaboration,
social development and regional cooperation. Delegations
from Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, and
Spain were led by their heads of state, with the remaining
nine attending delegations led by lower level officials.
Leftist Latin American regimes presented lower profiles at
this year's summit, as Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, RauQ
Castro, and Evo Morales were all absent.

2. (U) Despite the theme, the summit was dominated by
efforts to develop a consensus statement about the ongoing
Honduran leadership crisis and the November 29 elections.
Strong delegation positions either supporting or condemning
the elections made for a contentious debate that threatened
to extend the summit, but attendees ultimately released a
"special statement" which was mute about the elections but
condemned the June 28 coup and called for ousted President
Zelaya's reinstatement.

3. (U) The "Lisbon Declaration" released on December 1
delineated the results of the summit, including thirty-three
"agreements" and fourteen "special communications." The
agreements touched on numeQs issues, including support for
technological collaboration, expanded investment in broadband
and informationQchnology infrastructure, national
responsibilities to fight global climate change, and active
involvement in financial reforms to counter harmful effects
of the global financial crisis. The "special communications"
included statements calling for an end to the U.S. embargo of
Cuba (including the Helms-Burton Act), reiterating support
for the Alliance of Civilizations (led by former President of
Portugal Jorge Sampaio), supporting Portugal and other
Ibero-American nations as members of the UN Security Council,
continuing the fight against corruption, and condemning
terrorism.

4. (SBU) Comment: Although the Lisbon Declaration lists an
impressive array of issues, the prolonged debate about
Honduras was obviously a disappointment to most of the summit
delegations. Brazilian President Lula da Silva, for example,
said publicly that he would not have attended had he known
Honduras would dominate the program. The attendance of ten
Latin American heads of state at the summit, however, can be
viewed as a modest success for Portugal, more than making up
for the minimal substantive progress.


For more reporting from Embassy Lisbon and information about Portugal,
please see our Intelink site:

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/portal:port ugal
BALLARD

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