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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Dalai Lama, Iran, Haiti, and U.S. Latin

VZCZCXYZ0019
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0194/01 0491924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 181923Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0558
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000194

SIPDIS
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 AR HA IR CO CH
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: DALAI LAMA, IRAN, HAITI, AND U.S. LATIN
AMERICAN POLICY; 2/18/10; BUENOS AIRES

SUMMARY

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1. Although Europe's financial troubles continue to dominate
international news sections, several U.S. topics also made
headlines. Articles characterized China's disapproval of the Dalai
Lama's visit to the U.S. as a sign that China "wants to be heard"
on key international issues. In addition, a pro-government
newspaper ran reports about eight of the 10 Americans being
released from Haiti, as well as a story about the U.S. not giving
Colombian torture victims justice. Two opinion articles criticized
U.S. foreign policy, calling it a "double-standard" in regards to
Iran's nuclear program, and nearly non-existent in Latin America.
End summary.

DALAI LAMA IN WASHINGTON

------------------------

2. China's growing influence on U.S. policy was the focus of
largest-circulation daily Clarin's coverage of the Dalai Lama's
visit. Washington correspondent Ana Baron points out that while it
is a "ritual" for China to complain every time the Dalai Lama
visits the U.S., China now "wants to be heard" and that China's
growth in power is "proportional to the decline of the power of the
U.S." However, Baron writes that the U.S. "needs China more than
vice versa" when it comes to issues such as Iran, North Korea, and
financing "the enormous fiscal deficit" the U.S. "suffers" from.

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http://www.clarin.com/diario/2010/02/18/elmun do/i-02142446.htm

3. Centrist Critica's Washington correspondent, Silvia Ayuso,
reported on President Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama on 2/18.
Although meeting the Dalai Lama is a "White House tradition," Ayuso
highlights "explicit warnings" from China that the meeting
threatens U.S-China relations regarding Iran and the world economy,
both "key" issues for the U.S. The article also quoted a
Washington Post opinion article by Carl Gershman ("National
Foundation for Democracy") supporting the meeting, as the Dalai
Lama is someone who "shares the most profound values" with the
U.S., such as democracy and human rights.

http://criticadigital.com/impresa/index.php?s ecc=nota

&nid=38712

U.S. vs. IRAN

-------------

4. Juan Gelman, columnist for left-leaning Pagina 12, opines that
the U.S. is being too harsh on Iran and that it holds a "double
standard" between Iran's nuclear program and that of its allies.
Gelman questions why the U.S. is putting so much pressure on Iran
when "none of the 16 U.S. spy services" estimate Iran has the
capability to build a nuclear bomb right now. This is especially
true since Germany is the country with the most "nuclear armory"
and "thanks to the work of the Pentagon," there are several
European countries with "undeclared nuclear arsenals." However,
neither of these facts "will stop Berlin from supporting sanctions
against Tehran."

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/contratapa/ index-2010-02-18.html

AMERICANS RELEASED FROM HAITIAN JAIL

------------------------------------

5. The eight Americans released from jail in Haiti received a
small mention in Pagina 12. The article notes that Haitian


officials still are interrogating two Americans who were in Haiti
prior to the earthquake on January 12. Pagina 12 gives a summary
of the case so far, noting that it began when the Americans tried
bringing 33 orphans into the Dominican Republican, but
"suspiciously, they could not demonstrate" that the children were
indeed orphans.

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/sociedad/3- 140517-2010-02-18.html


U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN LATIN AMERICA

------------------------------------

6. Conservative Buenos Aires Economico covered a speech critical
of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America given by Georgetown
University Professor Michael Shifter at the University of Palermo,
Buenos Aires. Although he is a "supporter of the President,"
Shifter observed that Latin America fell to "sixth or seventh
place" on the President's agenda, and that "neither Obama nor
Secretary Clinton has visited South America." As for Argentina,
Shifter notes that Argentina's positions against terrorism and
Iran's nuclear program "help avoid deterioration in relations," but
that there is also "much uncertainty."

7. An investigative article about Colombian paramilitants being
extradited to the U.S. appeared in Pagina 12. The article, based
on a human rights report from the University of California
Berkeley, says that since the paramilitants were extradited in May
2008, "without advising anyone," there has been no information
given to the victims about their cases. This is despite the
promises of U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield, who had promised
victims, lawyers, and Colombian judges information in order to
"advance justice against human rights violations."

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elmundo/4-1 40496-2010-02-18.html

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our classified website
at:

http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires
MARTINEZ

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