UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002784
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: US TIES WITH CUBA AND VENEZUELA; RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN;
IRAN AND THE HOLOCAUST; 12/15/06; BUENOS AIRES
Â¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's main international stories include the US relations with
Cuba and Venezuela; the public image of Russian President Putin in
the aftermath of the murder of former spy Litvinenko; and Iran's
move to promote a "historical revision" of the Holocaust.
All local newspapers reported on a reception for Argentine
journalists offered yesterday by US Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne
and on the US Ambassador's meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister
Jorge Taiana, during which GSP extension was discussed.
Â¶2. OPINION PIECES
- "The US will attempt to improve ties with Cuba and Venezuela"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (12/15) "According to State
Department officials and Congressional representatives, the US
political establishment will try 'to build new bridges' with Cuba
and Venezuela, its greatest opponents in Latin America, in an
attempt to improve ties with both countries and 'strengthen
democratic harmony' in the rest of the hemisphere.
"Republicans, both inside and outside the Bush administration, and
Democratic legislators have said that they will seek to improve ties
with President Hugo Chavez, although they acknowledge there is
disagreement on the possibility of an eventual dialogue with the
Cuban regime even after Raul Castro expressed his will to smooth
US-Cuban bilateral ties...
"US Assistant Secretary of State Tom Shannon said yesterday: 'We
believe that, with so many new governments in the region, 2007 will
be a year to establish a dialogue with them, while reaffirming our
ties with countries that have not had elections.' Shannon also said
that there will be a dialogue 'without conditions' with Venezuela.
"US Ambassador to Caracas William Brownsfield met yesterday with FM
Nicolas Maduro, a move Shannon termed 'an important step forward' in
the (USG) relationship with the Chavez administration."
- "Concern over Putin's Russia"
An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (12/15) "The
international community's concern over increased authoritarianism,
unsolved murders, repeated abuse of power and general deterioration
in the rule of law in the Russian Federation has relentlessly
mounted since Vladimir Putin took over the presidency of the country
"The recent murder in London of former Russian spy Alexander
Litvinenko only deepens such concern.
"... It is imperative that the Russian Federation cooperate with
Interpol and German and British police forces in actively
investigating the murder of Litvinenko...
"... The clarification of the murder of former spy Litvinenko is
crucial bearing in mind the extended suspicion about the Putin
- "The manipulation of history"
An editorial in leading "Clarin" reads (12/15) "The Iranian
government's decision to organize an international seminar to
'revise the Holocaust' means taking the Middle East conflict to the
field of historic and academic debate.
"The historic veracity of the Holocaust... has been entirely and
"... It is the first time a government fosters an international
activity inviting to revise and downplay the Holocaust and question
the State of Israel's historic legitimacy. Both purposes deserve the
most emphatic disapproval."
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