Viewing cable 09LISBON36
Title: PORTUGAL WELCOMES ENGAGEMENT ON LATIN AMERICA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09LISBON362009-01-16 16:49:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXRO2521
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #0036/01 0161649
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 161649Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7297
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0348
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0375
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0034
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0093
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0041
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0135
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0072
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0523
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0331
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0126
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0053
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LISBON 000036 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/2019 
TAGS: PREL ETRD PO XM
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL WELCOMES ENGAGEMENT ON LATIN AMERICA 
DURING WHA A/S SHANNON VISIT 
 
LISBON 00000036  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Dana M Brown, Pol-Econ Officer, Embassy Lisbon, 
Reason 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) On January 7, WHA A/S Thomas A. Shannon visited Lisbon 
as part of a series of visits to international partners 
engaged in Latin America.  Shannon met with Portuguese 
officials in the Prime Minister's office, the Foreign 
Ministry, and with Ambassadors from European and Latin 
American partners to discuss the Bush Administration's 
accomplishments in Latin America and encourage Portugal to 
remain engaged going forward.  In particular, he outlined 
successes in trade promotion, reinforcement of democracy, and 
law enforcement in several nations.  He discussed long-term 
challenges including narcotics trafficking and crime in 
Mexico and Guatemala, as well as Cuba's transition to 
democracy.  Portuguese officials responded that the GOP would 
remain active by hosting the November 2009 Ibero-American 
summit and with a high-level visit to Mexico to promote 
trade.  The Prime Minister's Diplomatic Advisor reiterated 
Portugal's willingness to serve as an intermediary between 
the United States and Cuba or Venezuela as needed. 
 
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A Positive Agenda and New Outreach 
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¶2. (C) WHA A/S Tom Shannon visited Portugal and Spain in 
early January in order to meet with international partners 
with interests in Latin America.  As he met with Portuguese 
officials in the Prime Minister's office, the Portuguese 
Foreign Ministry, and members of Lisbon's diplomatic corps, 
he outlined the accomplishments of the Bush Administration 
and offered an overview of the US cooperation in the region. 
In a meeting with Portuguese MFA Deputy DG for Foreign Policy 
Jorge Cabral, A/S Shannon said Latin America was establishing 
ties outside the region for trade and development projects. 
As a result, the United States has established regular 
meetings with China, South Korea, and Japan to ensure we 
cooperate with international partners as much as possible. 
Russia is also expressing growing interest in the region and 
Russian officials told A/S Shannon that they were hoping to 
work with the USG to combat transnational crime and narcotics 
trafficking destined for Russia. 
 
¶3. (C) A/S Shannon likewise encouraged Portugal to remain 
engaged on Latin American issues, both bilaterally and 
through the European Union.  He praised Portugal's engagement 
in establishing the first EU-Brazil summit in July 2007, 
saying this had strengthened Brazil's position as an 
international player.  Portuguese Diplomatic Advisor to the 
Prime Minister Jorge Roza de Oliveira agreed and said he was 
pleased the EU-Brazil meetings were now part of the EU's 
annual consultations, in line with the other BRIC nations. 
MFA official Cabral noted that Portugal would also remain 
involved by hosting the Ibero-American Summit meeting in 
November 2009. 
 
¶4. (U) Shannon underscored the US's decision to focus on 
positive engagement rather than get involved in negative 
agendas with some Latin American nations.  He offered an 
overview of the unprecedented cooperation with Mexico, 
Colombia, Peru, and Chile on a range of economic, political, 
and law enforcement initiatives.  Oliveira said Portugal was 
also looking to expand bilateral trade ties with Mexico in 
2009 by way of a high-level visit by Prime Minister Socrates. 
 
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The Latin Naysayers 
------------------- 
 
¶5. (C) In response to questions about the US's relationships 
with Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia, A/S Shannon stressed that 
the U.S. stands ready to support a productive agenda if and 
when those nations show interest.  He mentioned the example 
of Cuba's unwillingness to accept humanitarian assistance 
from the USG in the wake of the 2008 hurricanes as an 
 
LISBON 00000036  002 OF 002 
 
 
illustration of Cuba's not being ready to engage productively 
with the United States.  The Cuban government is making 
changes, A/S Shannon said, but Raul Castro is not taking the 
critical steps of releasing political prisoners and beginning 
a national dialogue with the Cuban people about Cuba,s 
future.  Oliveira reiterated his suggestion that the US end 
the embargo against Cuba as a way to move forward but 
conceded that the political prisoners remained a central 
barrier.  On Venezuela, Oliveira reiterated that Chavez "is a 
crazy man" but offered Portugal as an intermediary for 
dialogue with Venezuela, as needed. 
 
¶6. (C) A/S Shannon voiced concerns that Bolivia's decision to 
expel Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials would lead to 
increased cocaine trafficking to Europe and Africa.  He 
explained that DEA officials were working closely with 
neighboring nations (Brazil, Peru, ParagufQ|-OKs}&en and cooperation with the United States and seemed 
somewhat surprised by the level of US-Asian coordination. 
While the GOP supports our democracy and human rights 
promotion agenda and welcomed the update, Portugal is clearly 
more comfortable voicing political concerns through the EU 
and sticking with trade promotion in bilateral discussions. 
End comment. 
 
¶9. (U) This message has been cleared by Assistant Secretary 
Shannon. 
STEPHENSON