Cablegate: Media Reaction: Us Military Deployment in Haiti; Buenos
DE RUEHBU #0046/01 0211325
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 211324Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0344
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000046
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC, WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO KMDR PREL HA AR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: US MILITARY DEPLOYMENT IN HAITI; BUENOS
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US MILITARY DEPLOYMENT IN HAITI; 01/20/10;
1. The crisis in Haiti did not make the front pages on January 21,
with Argentine dailies focusing instead on domestic political
disputes. However, Haiti continued to dominate the international
sections, with headlines dramatizing the U.S. military deployment.
While reporting generally did not criticize the U.S. explicitly,
many articles depicted U.S. relief efforts in a negative light
through their choice of words and quoted comments from the local
population. In addition, several opinion articles accused the U.S.
of a massive militarization and failure in its humanitarian goals.
DRAMATIZING THE US MILITARY DEPLOYMENT
2. Although Haiti was not front page news on January 20, it
continued to dominate the international sections of Argentine
dailies, with headlines such as top circulation Clarin's "Airport
filled with marines and machine guns" and La Prensa's "U.S. troops
occupy presidential palace in Haiti" dramatizing the U.S. military
deployment. English daily The Buenos Aires Herald picked up a
Reuters newswire with the headline "GIs land at presidential
palace," detailing how U.S. troops have secured Haiti's General
Hospital, adding that the U.S. was handing out supplies as part of
the international relief operations.
3. Three newspapers (La Nacion, Clarin and Critica) and one radio
station (Radio Nacional) have reporters on the ground. Although
their correspondents were not explicitly critical of the U.S.,
their articles used terms such as "invasion," "military bastion,"
and "marines armed to the teeth" to describe U.S. troop
deployments. Furthermore, several report concerns of the Haitian
population about the deployments, with La Nacion claiming that,
"Many Haitians doubt the US real intentions. Many believe it is a
veiled occupation." La Nacion also picked up a news wire from DPA
German news agency describing a history of U.S. intervention in
Haiti. (Note: CDA Kelly conducted interviews with both La Nacion
and Clarin on January 20 to counter misperceptions about the U.S.
troop deployments. End note.)
4. Surprisingly, pro-government paper "Pagina 12" was quite minimal
in its negative reporting, citing concerns by French officials that
the U.S. was monopolizing relief actions. "Pagina 12" also reported
that the U.S. was throwing food from airplanes, against U.N.
OPINION PIECES MORE CRITICAL
5. Several opinion pieces adopted a more critical position,
accusing the U.S. of failing in its humanitarian goal. Centrist
Critica said U.S. troops refused to perform security and police
operations in Haiti, accusing the U.S. of monopolizing humanitarian
aid and quoting complaints from other governments.
6. Daily Buenos Aires Economico (pro-government) blasted U.S.
efforts and accused the U.S. of occupying Haiti. In an opinion
piece entitled "The humanitarian invasion," it reported a "massive
militarization" of the island, claiming the "military component" of
the mission is prevailing over the actions of the State Department
and USAID and hindering civil actions. The article also criticized
the use of the 82nd Airborne Division, which it claimed is
specialized in countering riots. It adds that "the experience of
U.S. humanitarian aid cannot lead to positive prospects" in Haiti.
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at: