A/S SILVERBERG’S VISIT TO LIMA, DECEMBER 2-6

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
05LIMA5430 27 December 2005 Confidencial Embassy Lima

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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LIMA 005430

SIPDIS

IO FOR A/S SILVERBERG, KFRASER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/01/2014
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, ETRD, PE
SUBJECT: A/S SILVERBERG’S VISIT TO LIMA, DECEMBER 2-6

REF: LIMA 5192

Classified By: Polcouns Alexander Margulies. Reason: 1.4(b/d).


Summary:


1. (C) A/S Silverberg, in meeting with Foreign Ministry
counterparts, opinion leaders and the Chair of the
Congressional Foreign Relations Committee, delivered a strong
message about U.S. priorities for UN reform during her
December 2-6 visit to Lima. The Foreign Ministry said that
Peru shares the USG’s views on current UN Security Council
issues. The Peruvians agree in principle on UN reform,
although Peru may differ from the U.S. on certain details.
Opinion leaders touched on anti-Americanism and the pending
presidential election. Current Foreign Relations Committee
Chair Gustavo Pacheco argued that Peru must become more
integrated with the United States. End Summary.


The Foreign Ministry


2. (U) Assistant Secretary Silverberg met with the Director
of the Foreign Ministry’s Office of Multilateral Affairs,
Julio Garro, Deputy Director for UN Affairs Miguel Barreto,
Director of the Office of North American Affairs Nestor
Popolizzio and Head of the Office of Human Rights Carlos
Romero, at the Foreign Ministry on 12/5. Polcouns, Poloff
and I/O special assistant Katrin Fraser were also present.

3. (C) A/S Silverberg congratulated the Peruvians on their
election to the Security Council. She then laid out U.S.
priorities for the coming session, which included:

— Management Reform: Quickly implementing fundamental
management reforms, including improving ethics rules,
improving the budget process to ensure that all UN funds are
spent to their highest use, and implementing personnel
flexibility.

— Peacebuilding Commission: Establishing a Peacebuilding
Commission to serve as a coordinating mechanism and to ensure
that peacekeeping operations move from establishing order to
promoting development.

— Human Rights Commission: Replacing the Human Rights
Commission with a new Human Rights Council that excludes the
worst offenders so as to restore credibility to UN human
rights efforts.

— Syria: supporting continued investigations into Syria’s
role in the assassination of Lebanon’s Prime Minister and
sending a clear message from the international community that
the Syrian government,s support for Palestinian terrorists
and terrorists in Iraq and repression of its own people is
unacceptable.

— Iran: thwarting Iran,s nuclear weapons ambitions and its
18-year history of misleading the international community in
its atomic energy program.

— Sudan: Bolstering security in Darfur, possibly by
"blue-hatting" the African Union Mission in Sudan, which
would require a Security Council resolution.

— Haiti: Ensuring that the so-far successful Latin American
peacekeeping mission to Haiti, which includes a sizable
Peruvian contingent, succeeds in facilitating elections and
the creation of a stable, functioning government.

4. (C) Peruvian reps agreed in principle with the U.S.
positions on these issues, with some minor variations on UN
reform. They said that Peru is committed to the creation of
a Peacebuilding Commission and wants to prioritize review of
peacekeeping operations in which their citizens participate.
They further noted that the Foreign Ministry has convinced
the Peruvian Military of the value of participating in such
operations. Nonetheless, they mentioned that the present
system of delayed reimbursement for deployment costs makes it
financially difficult for Peru to sign on to peacekeeping
missions. They urged us to consider a different method of
finance.

5. (C) The Peruvians also agreed on the need for a Human
Rights Council, which would emphasize greater selectivity of
membership. The Peruvians noted, however, that Peru favors a
larger Council membership than the U.S. does, but
acknowledged that this could be negotiated.

6. (C) Garro stated that Peru is committed to UN reform,
including reform of the Security Council (Peru favors
Brazil’s bid for a permanent seat), the General Assembly, and
ECOSOC. A/S Silverberg noted that both Peru and the U.S.
agree on UN Security Council reform, but that the U.S. favors
careful, criteria-based expansion. In any case, regional
difficulties and bilateral rivalries (China-Japan) make
imminent expansion problematic.

7. (C) The Peruvians asked A/S Silverberg about the USG’s
ideas on selection of the next Secretary General (SYG). A/S
Silverberg replied that the UN bureaucracy and its missions
had expanded to such a degree that the next SYG had to be
someone with a strong managerial background. She noted that
Asian countries thought it was their turn to assume the SYG
position, while the East Europeans were arguing that the
position should go to one of their number, as no East
European had occupied the post. The U.S., Silverberg added,
wants the best candidate, regardless of his/her geographical
region. The Peruvians commented that they were committed to
regional rotation and that this favored an Asian country.


A/S Meets with Peruvian Opinion Leaders


8. (C) A/S Silverberg met with a select group of Peruvian
opinion leaders on 12/6 over lunch at the Ambassador’s
Residence. The group in included journalists Gustavo
Gorritti ("La Republica"), Carlos Espa ("Expreso"), Francisco
Huanacune (the magazine "Generaccion"), and Lucien Chauvin
("The Economist"). Also present were former Interior
Minister Fernando Rospigliosi and former Interior Vice
Minister Ricardo Valdez, both now with the Human Social
Capital (CHS) consultancy as well as Horacio Gago, an
economist working for the UNDP. The discussion revolved
around three major themes: Hugo Chavez and Anti-Americanism,
U.S. reactions to the possible election of extremist
presidential candidates in Bolivia and Peru, and the ongoing
presidential campaign.

9. (C) A/S Silverberg asked about feelings toward Hugo
Chavez among Peruvians and attitudes toward the U.S.
Respondents said that while anti-Americanism exists in Peru,
particularly among intellectuals of the "caviar left," most
Peruvians who might admire Chavez or express support for
extremists like Ollanta Humala do so not out of anger at the
U.S., but because they are enraged by the local political
class, which they see as "frivolous." Peruvians know that
the country has undergone several years of economic growth,
yet the majority (52 percent) remains mired in poverty. They
feel "left out at the table," in the words of one
participant. As such, a large fraction of the electorate is
looking for an anti-system candidate to express its ire. In
this atmosphere, issues like Iraq do not resonate among the
populace at large.

10. (C) Factors that compound the discontent and may add an
anti-US edge to criticism of the U.S. are the anger of coca
growers and the fears of some farmers facing increased
competition as a result of the recently concluded U.S.-Peru
Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Even so, as one participant
noted, radical candidate Ollanta Humala is still "more
anti-Chilean than anti-American." Economist Horacio Gago,
who works in municipal titling programs inspired by the ideas
of Hernando de Soto, added that the position of many
Peruvians is ambiguous. He described a vast, economically
informal urban sector of small property owners who, he said,
well understand how markets work and are potentially
conservative and pro-FTA, but they may lack access to secure
property titles or sufficient FTA information to act on those
inclinations. Another potentially pro-US and
pro-globalization constituency in Peru, participants noted,
is the substantial number of Peruvians who receive
remittances from abroad.

11. (C) Participants asked how the U.S. would react if
candidates like Evo Morales won the Presidency in Bolivia or
if Ollanta Humala won in Peru. The Ambassador replied that
the U.S. would respect the result of democratic elections;
but that the defense of democracy does not end the day the
polls close. Elected leaders themselves have to show their
respect for democracy, minority rights, free speech, etc.
through their actions. The Ambassador added that the U.S.
would continue its vigilance of human rights and democratic
freedoms in the wake of elections, no matter who was the
winner.

12. (C) In response, one participant in the lunch, "La
Republica" co-editor Gustavo Gorritti, complimented the
reaction of the Peruvian press to Humala’s candidacy, saying
that the press has "operated very responsibly" in
investigating this rapidly rising figure. (Note: As reported
reftel, the Peruvian political class as well as the press
appeared to suddenly awake to the danger of Humala two weeks
ago with the publication of two polls that suggested Humala
had become a serious presidential contender. End Note.)

13. (C) Participants noted that National Unity (UN)
candidate Lourdes Flores is the undoubted front-runner and
that, in the words of one, "She seems to be taking her script
from (Colombian President Alvaro) Uribe." Several added that
her key weakness was the lack of a firm party structure. Her
own Popular Christian Party (PPC) is small and Lima-based,
and Flores Nano has too little control over the coalition
that backs her. As such, her front-runner status can hardly
be considered unassailable.

14. (C) Gustavo Gorritti suggested that the recent burst of
support for Humala likely came from Fujimori’s followers.
While both candidates ostensibly hate each other, they appeal
to the same hyper-marginalized sectors, particularly among
the rural peasantry. Gorritti believed that once the
Chileans threw a monkey wrench into Fujimori’s planned
"blitzkrieg" dive into the presidential race by detaining the
former Peruvian President, much of the latter’s support
drifted "by osmosis" to Humala. Other observers refused to
discount the idea that still another outsider, perhaps a
candidate like Jaime Salinas or Peru’s former OAS Ambassador
Alberto Borrea, might yet come from the back of the pack and
challenge the leaders the way that Fujimori and Toledo did in
1990 and 2000.


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Silverberg Meets Chair of Foreign Relations Committee


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15. (C) Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Congressman
from Peru’s Independent Moralizing Front (FIM) Gustavo
Pacheco personally met with A/S Silverberg on December 6.
Pacheco stressed the need for Peru to become more integrated
with the United States at all levels. As part of this, he
reaffirmed his own support for the FTA. (Note: Pacheco is
from Puno, a region where small farmer opposition to the FTA
runs strong. End Note.)

16. (U) A/S Silverberg did interviews with the Peruvian
daily "Expreso" (right-leaning daily, circulation
10,000-20,000) and the monthly magazine "Generaccion"
(appeals to socially conscious professionals, circulation
10,000) during her visit. The Generaccion article will be
published next month. Post is faxing a copy of A/S
Silverberg’s interview with "Expreso" to the desk.

17. This cable was reviewed by A/S Silverberg.
STRUBLE