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06BUENOSAIRES1966 2006-08-31 14:39:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Buenos Aires
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1. (C) Charge, accompanied by PolCouns, paid a courtesy call
August 29 on the new Director General of the MFA Office of
International Organizations, Ambassador Raul Ricardes. In
the course of the conversation, Ricardes (please protect)
opined that it would be very difficult for either Venezuela
or Guatemala to obtain the required two-thirds majority to
gain the Security Council seat being vacated by Argentina.
In this case, Ricardes said the two most likely compromise
candidates were Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Chile
and Panama were also possibilities but less likely. He said
the negative reaction to Chavez' recent visits to Iran and
Belarus had damaged Venezuelan prospects. Ricardes stressed
this was his own personal assessment of the situation. He
said official GoA support of Venezuela's candidacy was
unchanged and still firm.

2. (C) Ricardes also spoke about the GoA's participation in
the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana. He
denied that the GoA's presence at the Summit as an "invitee"
represented a policy change by the GoA toward the NAM.
(Note: Argentina withdrew from the NAM during the Memem
administration and has not participated in NAM meetings since
then.) Ricardes pointed out that an "invitee" (as opposed to
an "observer") did not have any official status within the
NAM. He said one of the main reasons for attending the NAM
Summit was to not be left out of expected discussions on UN
Security Council reform. He noted that Italy, South Korea
and others from United for Consensus would also be attending
the Summit.

2. (SBU) Bio notes: Ricardes, whose most recent assignment
was as ambassador to Greece, has a doctorate in law from the
University of Buenos Aires. His doctoral thesis was on the
non-aligned movement. From 1974-75, he studied at the
Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton under an Albert Parvin
Fellowship. Ricardes served as the Argentine permrep to the
OAS from 2001-02. Ricardes speaks excellent English. He is
accessible and favorably disposed to the U.S. He will be a
member of the Argentine delegation to the upcoming UNGA.