Cablegate: Media Reaction: Us Relief Efforts in Haiti; 01/21-22/10;
DE RUEHBU #0054/01 0221422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 221421Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0351
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000054
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
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: US RELIEF EFFORTS IN HAITI; 01/21-22/10;
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US RELIEF EFFORTS IN HAITI; 01/21-22/10;
1. In contrast to January 20 headlines, which highlighted the U.S.
military deployment, Argentine dailies on January 21-22 focused
primarily on the January 20 aftershock and early signs of recovery.
The Charge d'Affaires' January 20 interviews with public news
agency Telam, the country's most popular radio station (Radio 10),
and top two newspapers (La Nacion and Clarin), stressing the
humanitarian nature of U.S. relief efforts, received wide coverage.
Criticism of the U.S. role was limited to a few articles, with
Argentine journalists on the ground in Port-au-Prince reporting on
the positive impact of relief efforts. End summary.
CHARGE D'AFFAIRES STRESSES
U.S. HUMANITARIAN MISSION
2. Charge d' Affaires Tom Kelly granted press interviews to
state-owned Telam news agency, Radio 10, daily-of-record La Nacion,
and leading circulation newspaper Clarin, resulting in positive
coverage from most local media. Saying the U.S. government was
trying to downplay accusations that it was planning to occupy
Haiti, center-right La Nation quoted the CDA's remarks that the
U.S. intentions are "honest" and that the U.S. is coordinating
relief efforts with other nations.
3. Argentina's largest circulation daily, Clarin, headlined an
article with a quote from the CDA that Haiti "is a good example why
we have the Fourth Fleet," highlighting the CDA's remarks stressing
the humanitarian nature of the mission. Clarin also reported his
remarks that the U.S. presence came at the request of the Haitian
government, and that U.S. efforts resulted in the rescue of 42 out
of the 122 survivors. The article also reported the CDA's remarks
that accusations of a military deployment were "unfounded."
4. Under the headline "U.S. praises Argentina," financial paper El
Cronista quotes the CDA as saying "Argentine support in Haiti has
been very important." The paper highlights that the U.S. praised
the Argentine Mobile Hospital's endeavors in Haiti, featuring
Kelly's remarks that it was "the only medical facility that
provided permanent medical care throughout the crisis."
5. Right-leaning Infobae picked up the CDA's interview with Radio
10, stressing the "heroic" work of the Argentine hospital which
"saved many lives." It also quotes the CDA as saying that "armed
forces are not only used for combat, but they provide logistical
capabilities and are very flexible." The article quotes Kelly as
saying that "there is no alternative but sending troops to
Haiti...; without that logistical support it would be difficult to
alleviate the crisis."
6. State-run news agency Telam cited the CDA's remarks that "there
was no other alternative for the U.S. It was either doing it this
way or letting Haitians die." The interview also mentions that the
U.S. coordinated efforts with the U.N. The CDA stressed,
"Multilateral efforts are very important... Obviously, in an
operation this size there will be misunderstandings, but I would
say that the response from the international community has been a
great success." http://www.telam.com.ar/vernota.php?tipo=N
7. An editorial published in La Nation on January 22 strongly
echoed the CDA's remarks, with a subheadline reading: "The rapid
determination of the United States to assist the Caribbean country
in numerous ways made it possible to save many lives." The article
notes that the U.S. decision to deploy troops was based on the need
to establish order and provide urgent medical assistance after the
chaos caused by the earthquake -- joining the efforts of the
international community. The author also calls criticisms by
Chavez and others "inopportune and unacceptable."
... BUT SOME CRITICISM OF
U.S. TROOP DEPLOYMENT CONTINUES
8. Telam and Ambito Financiero on January 22 expressed concerns
about Deputy PermRep Wolff's remarks that U.S. troops would need to
remain in Haiti for the "long-term." However, Telam also quoted
Wolff as saying that security remained under the control of the
Haitian authorities and that cooperation efforts were being led by
9. An article published in pro-government Buenos Aires Economico
on January 21 accused the U.S. of "having manipulated Haitian
politicians and governments since the '70s." The author concluded
that this history explains why Haitians fear what is ahead and
repudiate such military presence, regardless of the fact that a
Nobel Peace Laureate ordered it." Meanwhile, left-leaning
independent paper Critica headlined "Marines disturb the Bolivarian
Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)," quoting critical comments made
by Venezuelan President Chavez, Nicaraguan Daniel Ortega and
Bolivian Evo Morales about the U.S. military deployment in Haiti.
ENVOYS DESCRIBE IMPROVING SITUATION
10. On January 21, La Nacion's journalist on the ground described a
deteriorating situation in Haiti, claiming that U.S. relief efforts
had failed to reach many Haitians. On January 22, however, the
headline read "First signs of rebirth in Haiti."
11. Clarin's reporter in Haiti underscored January 21 that U.S.
relief efforts are aimed at "supporting the normalization" of the
country. She also noted that Haiti asked Washington to take charge
of the injured and asked the U.S. Federal Reserve to print all the
money that will be necessary to rebuild the country. Under the
January 22 headline "Aid starts to arrive in Haiti," she reports
that the security in the country has begun to improve thanks to the
efforts of the UN and the U.S. military.
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
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