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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04SAOPAULO493
2004-03-26 12:12:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Sao Paulo
Cable title:  

SPECIAL ENVOY REICH'S MEETING WITH JOSE DIRCEU

Tags:  PGOV PREL CO BL CU VE BR UNHCR US 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 SAO PAULO 000493 

SIPDIS

NSC FOR MDEMPSEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/23/2014
TAGS: PGOV PREL CO BL CU VE BR UNHCR US
SUBJECT: SPECIAL ENVOY REICH'S MEETING WITH JOSE DIRCEU

REF: BRASILIA 676

Classified By: CG PATRICK DUDDY for reasons 1.5(B) and (D).



1. (C) SUMMARY. White House Special Envoy for the Western
Hemisphere Otto Reich met with President Luis Inacio Lula da
Silva's Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu on Sunday, March 21 at a
private residence in Sao Paulo. During the course of the
relaxed and open 90-minute conversation, the two touched on
current events in Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Cuba, Haiti
and Argentina, and expressed their intent to maintain an open
channel of communication. Dirceu said that the Brazilian
government is deeply concerned about the situation in
Venezuela and in Cuba, and that the GOB would abstain (as it
has in the past) on the UNHRC motion on Cuba. Dirceu
indicated that he hoped to visit the United States in the
near future, perhaps as soon as Easter week, or shortly
thereafter. Reich was accompanied by Special Advisor to the
Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs William
Perry and Consul General Patrick Duddy. Dirceu was
accompanied by Andre Araujo. End Summary.



2. (C) Following the exchange of opening pleasantries, Amb.
Reich raised Venezuela, noting that the United States is
deeply concerned with the deteriorating situation there.
Dirceu stated that Brazil is also concerned with the
situation in Venezuela. He noted that Presidential Foreign
Policy Advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia was recently in
Venezuela, and had prepared a report for President Lula on
his visit. Dirceu said he had seen it, but had not yet had
the opportunity to read the report in detail. He said he
expected Lula and other senior advisors would discuss
Venezuela early in the week of March 22. When asked what he
thought the U.S. and Brazil could do together on Venezuela,
Dirceu was non-comittal, reiterating that the GOB would
discuss the Venezuelan situation in the coming week.
However, Dirceu's comments about Chavez's behavior during the
G-15 meeting in Caracas were quite critical, and he said Lula
left the meeting early because he "was uncomfortable." He
added that Lula had not returned any of Chavez's calls since
then, but that he would probably do so soon in order to keep
the communication open, as unpleasannt as it may be.



3. (C) On Bolivia, Reich stressed that the U.S. and Brazil
have shared interests in that country, and a common interest
in assisting Bolivia to maintain political stability. Reich
noted his concern about the March 18 statement by a Foreign
Ministry spokesman that Brazil had not attended the most
recent meeting of the Bolivia Support Group in Washington
because the GOB considered the meeting a "waste of time."
Dirceu appeared to be surprised at hearing about the
spokesman's statement, and took notes on Reich's points. He
said he would talk to FM Amorim about it.



4. (SBU) Reich thanked the GOB for its willingness to help
in Haiti, and to contribute peacekeeping forces. He asked
Dirceu for clarification that the GOB would only participate
in a UN Chapter 6 (peacekeeping), rather than a Chapter 7
(peace enforcement), mission in Haiti. Dirceu confirmed that
that was correct. In response to Reich's question on whether
the Brazilian deployment in Haiti could be moved forward,
Dirceu was non-committal, noting only that the GOB had had
financial concerns about the deployment which were being
resolved. Dirceu noted that he also expected to speak to the
President about Haiti during the coming week, and suggested
that he might get back in touch on the issue.



5. (C) Reich raised the USG's continuing concern with the
Cuban government's harsh repression of dissidents. Dirceu
said that the GOB is also concerned about the situation in
Cuba. He said, however, that the GOB would not "change its
vote" on the Cuba motion in the upcoming UNHRC session; he
said the GOB would abstain on the motion, as it has in past
years. Dirceu noted that Cuba is a difficult issue for the
Lula government, and a very difficult issue for him
personally. (NOTE: Dirceu spent much of six years (1969-75)
in exile in Cuba, after being expelled from Brazil by the
military dictatorship. End Note.) Dirceu acknowledged that
the Cuban government has not been receptive to private GOB
overtures on treatment of detainees. He said the newly
arrived Cuban Ambassador in Brasilia had refused to entertain
any discussion of the issue, even in relation to a Brazilian
citizen who had been arrested in Cuba for complicity in alien
smuggling. Dirceu added that Lula had received the mother of
the Brazilian detained in Cuba. Asked whether the Lula
government would consider having Lula receive the mothers of
detained Cuban dissidents as a gesture of concern, Dirceu
said he would discuss the idea with others in the GOB,
including the President. (COMMENT: No modalities were
discussed. End Comment.)



6. (SBU) On Colombia, Dirceu noted that the GOB has a good
relationship with Colombia. He said that Brazil was
committed to stepped up military and police presence along
Brazil's northern border, and mentioned the SIVAM Amazon
surveillance system. Reich pointed out several indicators of
progress in the GOC's efforts to ensure security in the
country, including regaining control of all the towns
previously controlled by rebel groups, significant numbers of
surrenders by paramilitary members, and resumed economic
growth of 4 percent in the last year. Dirceu indicated that
he was aware of the improvements in the security situation in
Colombia.



7. (C) Turning to Argentina, Dirceu commented that part of
the problem is that it is not clear that the Kirchner
government has a clear or comprehensive plan for extricating
the country from its economic woes. Consequently, the
government is in the position of having to "slay a lion"
every week to stay out in front of impending crises.



8. (SBU) Dirceu said that he was planning to make a trip to
the United States in the near future, possibly as soon as the
week after Easter. He indicated interest in identifying an
appropriate venue for making a speech or other public
statement while there, as well as in meetings with USG
officials.



9. (C) Comment. The cordial but frank exchange of views
between Reich and Dirceu advanced the USG effort to maintain
a robust and cooperative relationship with the GOB. While no
immediate action items resulted from the meeting, Minister
Dirceu said he would consult and get back in touch with
Ambassador Reich on issues of mutual concern, including
Venezuela, Cuba and possibly Haiti. Dirceu's comments on
Haiti and Brazil's vote on the Cuba motion at the UNHRC track
closely with Foreign Ministry UnderSecretary Vera Pedrosa's
comments to Ambassador Hrinak on March 19, reported reftel.
End Comment.



10. (U) This message was coordinated with Embassy Brasilia
and cleared by Ambassador Reich.
DUDDY