Viewing cable 06BUENOSAIRES2828
Title: US-LATIN AMERICAN TIES; AMIA-RIO TERCERO BLAST; ARGENTINA'S

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06BUENOSAIRES28282006-12-28 11:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Buenos Aires
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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #2828/01 3621104
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281104Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6857
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 002828 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC, 
WHA/EPSC 
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: US-LATIN AMERICAN TIES; AMIA-RIO TERCERO BLAST; ARGENTINA'S 
DEBT WITH THE PARIS CLUB; 12/27/06; BUENOS AIRES 
 
 
¶1. SUMMARY STATEMENT 
 
Today's most important international stories include US Senator 
Joseph Biden's statement that, once the US Congress is controlled by 
the Democratic Party, it will pay "much more attention" to Latin 
American issues; an interview with Brazilian sociologist Helio 
Jaguaribe, who speaks about US-Latin American ties and Venezuelan 
President Hugo Chavez; Argentine Defense Minister Nilda Garre's 
"outrageous Christmas Day remark that the (Rio Tercero) explosion 
was the 'most hideous' event of its decade, worse even than the 
terrorist bomb destruction of the AMIA Jewish community center;" and 
Argentina's proposal to restructure its defaulted debt with the 
so-called Paris Club. 
 
Leading "Clarin" (12/27) publishes an opinion piece in which US 
Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne points out that the U.S. people 
believe that international education "enriches our nation" and 
welcome students wishing to study in the U.S.  Also highlighted is 
that the U.S. granted 590,000 student visas in 2006. 
 
¶2. OPINION PIECES 
 
- "The US will pay more attention to the region" 
 
Business-financial, center-right "InfoBae" (12/27) reports "Joseph 
Biden, who will preside over the US Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee as of January, asserted yesterday that the US Congress, 
the two Houses of which will be controlled by the Democratic Party, 
will pay 'much more attention' to Latin American issues than 
Republicans have done in the past. 
 
"According to Biden, such issues include the US anti-drug policy on 
Andean countries; the role of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela; 
multiple bilateral issues in Mexico; and other specific regional 
problems. 
 
"Regarding US President George W. Bush's policy during the last six 
years, Biden said: 'Latin America has been basically ignored.' 'We 
cannot speak the same language without a clear policy.' 
 
"Biden believes that 'the topics of interest (between the US and 
Latin America) are not only related to the anti-drug struggle but 
also to immigration, oil, democracy, ...'" 
 
- "'Brazil and Argentina should not isolate President Chavez'" 
 
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" front-pages an interview with Brazilian 
sociologist Helio Jaguaribe (12/27) "According to Brazilian lawyer 
and sociologist Helio Jaguaribe, 'Argentina and Brazil should not 
isolate President Hugo Chavez but try and come to terms with him.' 
 
"He added: 'What South America, and particularly Argentina and 
Brazil should do is tell him:'Look, Mr. Chavez, you may either 
become the 'caudillo' (leader) of a small part of Latin America and 
create a tiny leadership or join us (that is, Kirchner and Lula) to 
create a big Latin American leadership.' Chavez would not say no.' 
 
"Far from criticizing him, Jaguaribe said that Chavez, who recently 
was reelected, does not run a dictatorship but a 'plebiscite-driven 
authoritarianism.' In a realistic rather than optimistic way, 
Jaguaribe said that Kirchner's administration strategy based on 
confrontation with Uruguay over paper mills is senseless. 
 
"... Asked whether the US has lost importance in the region, 
Jaguaribe said: 'The conditions are simply not set for the US to 
have unilateral hegemony. Under the current complex world scenario, 
hegemony should be grounded on common interest projects. There is no 
room for a country to impose its sovereign will on the others 
without having to pay too high a cost for the attempt'. 
 
"Regarding the FTAA, Jaguaribe said: 'It is very negative. The US 
has been in an unfavorable moment when it comes to international 
ties, but I think it would be common sense to make a distinction 
between the great people of the U.S. and Bush's regretable 
leadership. Bush, as the president on duty, is very negative and 
incompetent. It is important to see beyond Bush.'" 
 
¶3. EDITORIALS 
 
- "Defense to prosecute" 
 
An editorial in liberal, English-language "Buenos Aires Herald" 
reads (12/27): "While this newspaper backs Defense Minister Nilda 
Garr's efforts to keep the investigation of the 1995 Rio Tercero 
munitions plant blast alive, we are not always convinced by her 
methods - least of all when they take the form of her outrageous 
Christmas Day remark that the explosion was the 'most monstrous' 
 
event of its decade, worse even than the terrorist bomb destruction 
of the AMIA Jewish community center in the previous year. We can 
only hope that Garr is being deliberately provocative in a frantic 
bid to bring attention to this military scandal rather than actually 
believing her own logic that presumption of a more active state role 
in the Rio Tercero blast makes it more reprehensible than the AMIA 
atrocity despite a far lower death toll... - if Garr really 
believes that Rio Tercero was worse than AMIA, then she is as much 
politically misguided as ethically flawed... 
 
"... Garr clearly believes that the Ro Tercero blast was 
engineered to destroy the evidence of gunrunning to Croatia and 
Ecuador between 1991 and 1995 but the two episodes may be less 
interlinked than widely assumed - there are reasons to believe that 
the arms sales to Croatia were a surrogate activity to save the 
George Bush Senior administration a new Irangate (not that stopping 
Slobodan Milosevic in the Balkans was an entirely evil cause) while 
the smuggling to Ecuador was an opportunistic follow-up by a rogue 
group of officers." 
 
- "The (Argentine) debt with the Paris Club" 
 
An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion" reads (2/27) "The 
Argentine Government has submitted a proposal to restructure its 
defaulted debt with the so-called Paris Club; thereby attempting to 
normalize its financial commitments with the official entities of 
several of the government members of this forum. If Argentina's 
proposal succeeds and an agreement is reached, it would be a further 
step towards normalization of its financial ties to the rest of the 
world. 
 
"... The normalization of (Argentina's) ties with the Paris Club is 
necessary. It is not merely a political or diplomatic issue but 
there are also practical issues involved. As long as the situation 
is not normalized, multinational lending agencies will not agree to 
grant loans or safeguards to finance the sale of capital goods to 
Argentina. This could significantly slow the attraction of large 
investment to the infrastructure and industry sectors..." 
 
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our 
classified website at: 
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires 
 
WAYNE