Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08BRASILIA5
2008-01-03 11:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Brasilia
Cable title:  

A/S SHANNON'S MEETING WITH ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO

Tags:  PREL ETRD IT BR XM XR VE UNSC 
pdf how-to read a cable
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RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000005 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2017
TAGS: PREL ETRD IT BR XM XR VE UNSC
SUBJECT: A/S SHANNON'S MEETING WITH ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO
BRAZIL

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Phillip Chicola, reasons 1.4 b and d.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000005

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/18/2017
TAGS: PREL ETRD IT BR XM XR VE UNSC
SUBJECT: A/S SHANNON'S MEETING WITH ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO
BRAZIL

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Phillip Chicola, reasons 1.4 b and d.


1. (C) Summary. Michele Varensise, Italian Ambassador to
Brazil, told WHA A/S Thomas Shannon on December 13 that
Brazil is the centerpiece of Italy's South American strategy.
Italy sees Brazil playing an increasingly larger role in
maintaining stability, economic growth, and integration. He
praised President Lula's performance, calling him "a
compromiser, not a maximizer." He said Brazil's aspiration
for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council is divisive
within the region, and the G-4 line may be losing support.
Varensise said the Senate's rejection the previous day of an
extension of the tax on financial transactions was a "slap in
the face of remarkable proportions" for President Lula, and
compared the "normal, more mature" Brazilian reaction to the
"completely different" Venezuelan reaction after losing the
constitutional referendum. He said he did not note much
change in the last few years in outlook or receptivity to
foreign overtures within Itamaraty, the Ministry of External
Relations, saying they are good professionals and wait
patiently. While administrations come and go, Itamaraty
remains. End summary.

Brazil is Italy's South American Centerpiece
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2. (C) Michele Varensise, Italian Ambassador to Brazil, told
A/S Shannon, accompanied by EEB A/S Daniel Sullivan,
Ambassador, and poloff (notetaker),that Italy has a
"beautiful" relationship with Brazil, there are 30 million
Brazilians of Italian origin, and the Italian government
feels it can be frank with Brazilians. While Chavez sees
himself as the alternate regional leader, Varensise said,
Brazil will emerge as the region's leader, and Italy looks to
Brazil to play an increasing role in maintaining stability
and fostering economic growth and integration. Brazil is the
centerpiece of Italy's South American strategy, along with
Chile and Argentina, he said. Varensise said bilateral trade
between the two countries has increased, and Brazilian trade

with Italy has grown more than with any other EU member.

Brazilian UNSC Aspirations
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3. (C) According to Varensise, the GOI has told Brazil that
it does not share Brazil's view on UNSC reform. The chief
problem with the Brazilian approach is that it does not
propose changes in the overall structure or
representativeness of the Council. Italy is negotiating
openly with Brazil in New York on reform, and the Italian
concept is that it would be better to promote regional
consciousness. Brazil's proposal, its "self-nomination as
one of 18," to represent Latin America is divisive, since
countries such as Argentina and Mexico could arguably make a
claim to represent the region, Varensise said. While Brazil
is undoubtedly an important part of the area, it creates many
problems for itself, he noted. Varensise concluded that
there is a "creeping process of disaffection" in which the
G-4 line is losing popularity.

CPMF Defeat: Brazil Compared with Venezuela
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4. (C) Varensise said the Senate's rejection the previous
day of an extension of the tax on financial transactions
(CPMF) was a "slap in the face of remarkable proportions" and
a "political earthquake" for President Lula. He compared the
"more mature" Brazilian reaction with the Venezuelan reaction
after losing the constitutional referendum: even though the
Brazilian government was beaten, Varensise said, the reaction
here was "completely different," "more normal," as
demonstrated by the government's immediate response that it
would simply try again. He praised President Lula's
performance, calling him "a compromiser, not a maximizer."
Lula has always sought balanced solutions, and that is a
virtue in regional terms, he concluded.

BRASILIA 00000005 002 OF 002



Itamaraty's Patience
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5. (C) Asked whether he had noted any change in Itamaraty's
receptivity or support for foreign overtures during his three
years as ambassador in Brasilia, Varensise said he had not.
He observed that Itamaraty gives the Presidential Palace a
great deal of leeway in the conduct of policy within Latin
America while it concerns itself with other areas, "so long
as the nothing bad happens," and takes this approach out of a
conviction that eventually the government, unlike Itamaraty,
will change, allowing the diplomats to ensure continuity.

Mercosul
- - - - -


6. (C) Varensise noted that the discussion of accession to
Mercosul has changed: whereas in the past people used to
admire the EU's detailed accession rules and want the same
for Mercosul, no one talks about strict accession criteria
any more. (Comment: This probably reflects the Lula
government's view that it is more important to "anchor"
Venezuela in Mercosul than to demand strict compliance with
Mercosul accession conditions. End comment.)

Chicola