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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Falklands, Oas, U.S.-Latin American

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0226/01 0542052
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 232050Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0616
INFO RHMCSUU/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000226

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 IR BR FK
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, FALKLANDS, OAS, U.S.-LATIN AMERICAN
POLICY; 2/23/10; BUENOS AIRES

SUMMARY

-------

1. Regional issues were the dominating theme on 2/23, including
Brazil-Iran relations, the Falkland Islands, the OAS, and an
introspective look at Latin American politics. One opinion article
criticized Brazil for rolling out the "red carpet" for Iran, while
another highlighted differences between Britain's current rhetoric
regarding the Falkland Islands and its policy in the 1960s
regarding Diego Garcia. Reporting from the Grupo Rio summit in
Mexico, La Nacion's correspondent quoted U.S. Ambassador Shannon
and Assistant Secretary Valenzuela downplaying concerns about
replacing the OAS. Additionally, Latin America's resurgence of
past politics of coups, disasters, and neo-liberalism was the topic
of another opinion article, which also criticized U.S. policies in
Honduras and Haiti. End summary.

WHY IS BRAZIL COURTING IRAN?

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

2. Brazil's friendship with the "ever more isolated" Iran "leaves
perplexed" the international community, according to an opinion
article by Miami Herald's Andres Oppenheimer picked up by
second-largest daily La Nacion. Oppenheimer questions Brazil's
motives for rolling out "the red carpet" in Brasilia for Iranian
President Ahmadinejad and "risking its reputation as a good
international citizen." Stating that Brazil has "grandiose dreams
and diplomatic fantasies," Oppenheimer comments that Brazil's
economic success and its grouping with China and India "has gone to
[Brazilian President] Lula's head," and there would be no better
performance for Brazil currently other than "performing a role in
the greatest international conflict."

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 236196

BRITISH INCONSISTENCY IN FALKLAND ISLANDS

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

3. Britain's claim of "self-determination" by the residents of
the Falkland Islands is not consistent with British history, opines
Lucio Garcia del Solar, former Argentine Ambassador to the UN. His
opinion article in La Nacion recounts the British handover to the
U.S. of control of Diego Garcia in 1967, along with the American
demand that the island be "fully vacated" of its residents. This
led to Britain displacing around 400 families and moving them to
neighboring countries, where they currently live "uprooted and with
scarce resources." Garcia del Solar ponders why Britain "dedicates
several million pounds" to defend the Falklands, but yet left Diego
Garcia "cleared of its original inhabitants."

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 236128

U.S. LATIN AMERICAN POLICY

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

4. La Nacion's Cancun correspondent quoted U.S. Ambassador to
Brazil Tom Shannon and Assistant Secretary of State Arturo
Valenzuela commenting on the Grupo Rio's desire to create a new
Latin American organization without the U.S. or Canada, and its
impact on the current OAS. While Brazilian President Lula created
the idea to "equilibrate the weight of the U.S. in the region," the
article quotes Shannon believing that the new organization will not
be an "OAS B" and instead, "reflect a moment of deepening dialog
and integration." Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary Valenzuela was
quoted saying that this new organization "will not be a problem for
the U.S." and he does not believe "many countries wish" to replace
the OAS.

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1 236285


5. In an opinion article in right-leaning Buenos Aires Economico,
Ricardo Forster laments about the lack of political cohesiveness in
Latin America, including a political cartoon showing South America
reflected in a broken mirror. Forster opined that man-made
tragedies, such as coups like the one in Honduras, bring Latin
America to "ghosts of the past," that have been "activated with
complicity" by the U.S. Additionally, Forster also implicitly
criticizes the U.S. actions in Haiti, claiming that events like the
1/12 earthquake bring along "exploitation by the powerful," whose
"altruism" acts as a "shameless veil...hiding its responsibilities
in the country's destruction."

http://www.elargentino.com/nota-79026-El-es
-pe-jo-la-ti-noa-me-ri-ca-no.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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