Cablegate: Brazil: Ambassador's Demarches to Mre U/S Pedrosa

Published: Fri 19 Mar 2004 08:08 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/19/2014
REF: A. A. STATE 56282 B. B. STATE 56666 C. C. STATE 41252 AND 44603 D. D. BRASILIA 616 Classified By: AMBASSADOR HRINAK. REASONS: 1.5 (b) (d)
1. (C) Summary. On 19 March Ambassdor, accompanied by PolCouns, met with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary for Political Affairs Vera Pedrosa to deliver demarches requesting immediate contributions to the Hait MIF (ref B), and soliciting Brazil's support for USG plans and goals for building a democratic and prosperous Iraq (ref A). Ambassador also took the opportunity to discuss cooperation with Brazil in the UN Committee on Human Rights (refs C and D). On Haiti, Pedrosa responded that operational and budgetary challenges, the need for congressional approval and GOB concerns about operations under a Chapter 7 mandate all make an immediate Brazilian deployment unlikely. Longer term, the issue of a Chapter 7 v. Chapter 6 mandate for the follow-on stabilization force would need to be considered, but may be "manageable" so long as there continues to be strong GOB political will to participate, she said. Pedrosa said Brazil has not offered, and is not encouraging a request, for provision in Brazil of asylum to Aristide. On Iraq, Brazil is considering reopening its embassy, but still evaluating the security environment. In the UNCHR, Pedrosa said she hoped the U.S. and Brazil will find issues for cooperation, but noted that Brazil's delegation has already been instructed to abstain on any Cuba resolution. Key points follow below. End summary.
2. (C) In the absence of Foreign Minister Amorim (on his way to China) Ambassador provided Pedrosa with a Portuguese language paper containing ref B points, and explained there is an urgent need for additional forces now if the MIF is to secure and stabilize areas of the country beyond the capital. Ambassador also welcomed the arrival in Haiti on 19 March of a Brazilian military fact-finding mission, encouraged deployment of a Brazilian liaison officer to the U.S. Southern Command as soon as possible, and reiterated SOUTHCOM's willingness to try to provide as much operational support as possible for Brazil's deployment to Haiti, especially if that could facilitate a positive GOB response to ref B request.
3. (C) Pedrosa responded that Brazil continues to plan for participation in a stabilization mission following the 90-day MIF period established by UNSCR 1529. However, she expressed doubts that Brazil could move sooner in making an immediate deployment because (1) Brazil's congress must approve any deployment of forces, (2) the operational planning and budgetary issues confronting the GOB are challenging and will take time to work through. She noted particularly that the GOB formula for reimbursing its soldiers for PKO missions is extremely expensive for the national government, hence extensive consultations are necessary with the planning ministry, as well as congress, before moving ahead with a large-scale deployment of forces.
4. (C) PolCouns asked Pedrosa and MRE North America Division Chief Washington Pereira (also present in the meeting) whether the MIF's current mandate under Chapter 7 (as opposed to Chapter 6) would be a problem for an immediate Brazilian deployment now, and whether it would continue to be a problem if the UN maintains a Chapter 7 mandate in Haiti for the follow-on force. Pedrosa said the GOB has traditionally interpreted Brazil's constitution as permitting Brazilian forces to participate only in Chapter 6 peace-keeping (as opposed to Chapter 7 peace-enforcement) missions. Hence for both an immediate deployment and for participation in the follow-on mission, this would be a serious issue for the GOB (and potentially its congress) to deliberate. However, Pedrosa and Washington Pereira did note that there is strong GOB interest in participating in Haiti, hence a Chapter 6-7 dilemma, should one arise in the context of the follow-on deployment, may be "manageable," so long as there continues to be GOB political will to support participation.
5. (C) Ambassador asked whether Pedrosa could comment on some reports that Aristide may seek asylum in Brazil. Pedrosa responded that Brazil had neither offered nor received a request in this regard, and she opined that the GOB would be unlikely to view the idea "with enthusiasm" should a request be made.
6. (SBU) Ambassador provided ref A paper, with a Portuguese summary, to Pedrosa, and indicated the USG is seeking general support for reftel plans and goals, as opposed to specific actions. She noted that she understood Brazil is considering reopening its embassy in Iraq, and that there are many Brazilian companies with long experience and strong interest in Iraq.
7. (SBU) Pedrosa indicated she would study ref A paper carefully, and confirmed that the GOB is considering reopening its mission in Iraq, but continues to study carefully the security situation on the ground. UNCHR Issues
8. (C) Turning to UNCHR issues, Ambassador provided Pedrosa with papers containing a number of points on USG perspectives on CHR cooperation with GRULAC and on a range of other issues, noting the points had been provided by the Embassy in earlier demarches to the MRE human rights division, and that we looked forward to further reactions (refs C and D). She also asked whether Pedrosa wished to outline some of the GOB's priorities for the UNCHR. Pedrosa expressed the hope that the USG and GOB could work together on issues where their perspectives are similar, though some divergence would be inevitable.
9. (C) On the issue of Cuba, Pedrosa indicated that the GOB delegation to the CHR had already been instructed to abstain on any single-country resolution, based on "our customary reasons." She said that a quiet dialogue on human rights with Castro is Brazil's preferred method to try to effect improvements.
10. (C) Ambassador responded that, at a minimum, it would be helpful if the GOB could encourage Cuba to accept a UN special rapporteur mission, and she asked whether the GOB believed its quiet diplomacy is producing results. Pedrosa said the decision to accept UN rapporteurs should be made by national governments for their own reasons, as Brazil had done. Neither she nor Washington Pereira could offer examples of positive developments on human rights in Cuba, but Pedrosa noted that a new generation of Cubans -- both in Cuba and in Miami -- offer hope for a peaceful evolution on the island.
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