INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: North Korea and the Us; Miami Herald Editor;

Published: Fri 6 Oct 2006 07:44 PM
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL MEDIA REACTION
SUBJECT: NORTH KOREA AND THE US; MIAMI HERALD EDITOR;
LATINO-COALITION SEMINAR IN THE US; IAPA REPORT ON ARGENTINE PRESS
FREEDOM; LULA; US-URUGUAYAN TALKS; ARGENTINE CREDITORS IN THE US;
SECRET CIA PRISONS; 10/04/06;BUENOS AIRES
SIPDIS
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Today's key international stories include North Korea's announcement
that it will test its nuclear technology for military purposes and
the USG's reaction to this announcement; the resignation of The
Miami Herald editor due to Cuban Americans' pressure; a
Latino-Coalition seminar, which was called 'Venezuela and Argentina
- the new problematic axis in the hemisphere;' a tough IAPA report
on Argentine press freedom; the implications of the outcome of
Brazilian elections; the US-Uruguayan trade talks and the visit of
DUSTR Everett Eissenstat to Uruguay; Argentine creditors' judicial
procedures in the US; and the allegedly secret CIA prisons
overseas.
2. OPINION PIECES
- "The White House, far from 2003 war atmosphere"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," comments (10/04) "In January 2002,
North Korea was included in the infamous 'axis of evil' along with
Iran and Iraq, which was defined as such by US President Bush in his
first State-of-the-Union address following the September 11
attacks.
"Four and a half years later, the scenario has changed for worse.
North Korea and Iran continue challenging the international
community and the US in particular, and their war nuclear
aspirations are taken for granted or at last suspected.
"... While Iraq and Iran hit newspapers' headlines during recent
years, the Pyongyang regime has gradually become the most serious
threat for security in East Asia and perhaps the US.
"Isolated and impoverished, the risk posed by North Korea would
reach its climax if it is confirmed as a nuclear power. Why? On the
one hand, because it has already carried out tests of mid- and
long-range missiles that could even reach the coasts of Alaska. On
the other hand, it could well encourage an arms race in the region,
with China, Japan and South Korea getting ready for scenarios of
confrontation, eventual pre-emptive attacks and nuclear
proliferation.
"Nonetheless, the Republican administration now bets on multilateral
dialogue, far from the war atmosphere following the September 11
attacks. When Bush coined the 'axis of evil' phrase, Bush had a
support of over 80% among Americans. Now, he has obtained nearly 37
percent for months.
"Such a popularity rating can only be compared with that obtained by
Richard Nixon before having to resign...
"And, also, now, upcoming legislative elections could serve to label
him 'a lame duck.' Even Rumsfeld, one of the hawks of this
administration, said yesterday that 'talks among the six nations is
the only proper method to deal with North Korea,' with the US
Department of State, not the US Pentagon, taking the lead on behalf
of Washington.
"Obviously enough, North Korea and Iraq are very different
realities... However, the Communist regime has just announced to the
world that it will test its nuclear technology for military
purposes.
"The White House's response is quite different in both cases. It
invaded Iraq in 2003, but with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il,
it seeks to either reach a multilateral deal involving Japan, South
Korea, China and Russia, or have the UN Security Council approve
sanctions against it.
"However, challenges are big - the regime believes that Bush will do
his best to overthrow it, and the US suspects that North Korea will
violate the deal just like it did 12 years ago."
- "Miami Herald editor resigns due to pressure of the Cuban
community"
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes (10/04) "The crisis unleashed at The New Herald, the Miami
Herald's Spanish version, by the finding that some of its
journalists had collected money for contributions made for
anti-Castro regime Radio and TV Marti ended up with the resignation
of the editor of the two newspapers, Jesus Diaz.
"Two reporters and one contributor of The New Herald... were fired
last September after it was known that they had collected money from
Radio and TV Marti...
"... Pressured by the Cuban-American community, which decided to
boycott the two papers by causing the cancellation of thousands of
subscriptions, Diaz not only had to resign but The New Herald again
hired the three journalists that had been fired by Diaz.
"The whole incident is a new sign of the Cuban Americans' power in
Miami. Radio and TV Marti are USG-funded media that air programs for
Cuba.
"As a matter of fact, the confirmation of the nomination of the
future US Ambassador to Argentina, Earl Anthony Wayne, had to go
through several postponements due to the fact that when Wayne used
to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs at the US
Department of State, he opposed a fund increase for Radio and TV
Marti. Echoing the Cuban American community in Miami, Senator Mel
Martinez was compelled to object to (Wayne's) nomination, which was
finally confirmed because the US Department of State had to unblock
it."
- "Strong criticism of the (Argentine) President in the US"
Daily-of-record "La Nacion" reports (10/04) "The USG official in
charge of Latin America until 2005, Roger Noriega, said President
Kirchner is 'ungrateful' for having repudiated the Bush
administration when he no longer needed its help.
"During a conference organized by Latino Coalition..., Noriega said
'I would not like to use that word but I believe that President
Kirchner has good ties (with someone) only when that someone serves
him well.'
"Noriega said that 'one should not speak in private morning meetings
as a friend and afterwards publicly speak against that friend in the
afternoon. But we reached this point.' 'I believe Kirchner has
undermined the good willingness and confidence between the two of
us. This has been his down decision. However, the US has attempted
to maintain a positive relationship with him, although, frankly
speaking, it is hard for us to do it.'
"The seminar was called 'Venezuela and Argentina - the new
problematic axis in the hemisphere.'"
- "Harsh IAPA report on Argentine press freedom"
Leading "Clarin" reports (10/04) "In its most critic report on
President Nestor Kirchner since he took over in 2003, the Inter
American Press Association (IAPA) denounced yesterday that Argentina
'conditions' press freedom, and journalists are threatened in the
country, which has not 'completely dismissed authoritarianism.'
"The report was approved in Mexico by the 62nd IAPA General
Assembly, led by the editor of The Washington Post, Diane Daniels,
following the death threats suffered by journalists Joaquin Morales
Sola, from 'La Nacion,' and Jorge Fontevecchia, from 'Perfil.'
"The IAPA said 'more than three years after taking over, President
Nestor Kirchner has demonstrated that he has not been able yet to
adapt himself to the functioning of independent media. Differing
views and versions that differ from the official version usually end
up in confrontations.'"
- "A choice between the FTAA and Mercosur"
Business-financial "El Cronista" reports (10/04) "Brazilian Minister
of Institutional Relations and spokesperson of the Lula
administration, Tarso Genro, said yesterday that 'Argentina's
concern about the possible triumph in runoff elections of opposing
candidate Geraldo Alckmin is right' because, in his opinion, the
Social-Democrat candidate represents the interests of the FTAA, not
those of Mercosur.
"Genro added that Alckmin's view 'is subject to interests that are
far from those of Mercosur.'
"After a press conference at the Planalto Palace, Genro spoke about
Lula's relationship with President Nestor Kirchner. 'It is important
that Argentines support Lula, because Lula is Mercosur and,
therefore, he has an important relationship with President Kirchner
and with the Argentine people.'"
- "US envoy arrives in Uruguay and already holds trade talks"
Business-financial "Ambito Financiero" reports (10/04) "Yesterday,
Uruguay and the US formally kicked off negotiations for a new trade
deal, far from an FTA and close to a preferential tariff system, as
President Tabare Vazquez said last week.
"In concrete, the structure on which the two countries will hold
discussions will be unusual in Mercosur and will be based on a Trade
Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
"This implies that there will only be a broadening of an ongoing
deal for investment protection, which would now authorize the entry
of some products to both markets without having to pay tariffs. What
this new deal will not include is some progress on two key sectors
for Mercosur - IPR and governmental purchases, and a deal to import
cars, capital goods and electronic articles of any kind without
having to pay tariffs. Such a deal would have implied Uruguay's
abandonment of Mercosur. Vazquez avoided this decision by choosing a
minor deal, which would also be supported by Argentina and Brazil in
the upcoming Brasilia Mercosur summit in December.
"The start of negotiations between the US and Uruguay was announced
by Uruguayan Presidential Secretary Gonzalo Fernandez after his
first meeting with DUSTR Everett Eissenstat...
"Meanwhile, Eissenstat underscored the importance of recent
meetings, which make up 'a continuous process,' and he called them
'very important' for the US, given the 'economic opportunities open
for the two parties.' 'I am confident that we can conclude
negotiations to reach a Trade Investment Framework Agreement.'"
- "New statement by bondholders in the US"
Hugo Alconada Mon, Washington-based correspondent for
daily-of-record "La Nacion," writes (10/04) "According to NML
capital and EM Limited, the two main vulture funds that seek to
collect (Argentine) sovereign bonds still in default since 2001, the
Argentine Central Bank is an organ lacking independence, which
absolutely obeys the Argentine Government. This is why its reserves
belong to the government, and therefore, can be embargoed.
"The purpose of the two funds is collecting part of the debts owed
to them with 105 million dollars the Argentine Central Bank has in
the New York Federal Reserve, and they also seek to hinder Argentine
Government's international financial operations until the government
finds compelled to submit a more profitable debt swap offer than
that of 2005.
"... However, the Argentine Government insists that it will neither
negotiate with creditors nor make a second restructuring offer."
3. EDITORIALS
- "The CIA secret prisons"
An editorial in daily-of-record "La Nacion"reads (10/04) "As
expected, US President George W. Bush's confirmation about the CIA
secret prisons outside of the US has sparked strong controversy in
SIPDIS
the EU countries, which claim for the location of those centers of
detention of alleged terrorists.
"... The European Council has warned that the US President's
acknowledgement is in line with the research made by The Washington
Post about CIA secret prisons in European and Asian countries...
Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said that those
secret prisons 'are not compatible with the Rule of Law,' and that
SIPDIS
the 'fight on terrorism can only be carried out based on the
principles of the rule of law and democracy.'
"Having resorted to secret prisons overseas to avoid investigating
suspects according to US institutions and legal systems seems to
have damaged the noteworthy US democratic tradition.
"War on terrorism should be implacable but it cannot justify
procedures that violate fundamental human rights. This must be so
even when terrorists themselves will never honor those same
rights."
- "The unexpected Brazilian vote"
Leading "Clarin" editorializes (10/04) "The outcome of Brazilian
elections has revealed the malaise of some part of voters due to a
corruption scandal and Lula's attitude about it. However, it is also
related to the ways of doing politics and the performance of the
economy.
"The last-minute reversal of the election trend, which promised a
sure victory of Lula, can basically be explained by two elements.
The main one, the revelation, shortly before elections, of an
official maneuver to impair opposed leader Jose Serra. The other
element was Lula's decision not to attend a TV debate with his
adversary Geraldo Alckmin, which was taken as a gesture of
arrogance...
"Also, the outcome of elections may be explained by Brazil's
economic evolution... During the four years of his government, the
growth of the Brazilian economy has been modest in average and it
has allowed for a revaluation of the real currency that impaired
industries...
"Uncertainty hovers over runoff elections because, on the one hand,
Lula will perhaps obtain the votes from the left wing that he did
not get in the first round, but he will probably be impaired by the
investigation about the folders that were purchased to damage the
opposition."
To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires
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