BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR’S 14 MARCH MEETING WITH FM AMORIM

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
05BRASILIA715 15 March 2005 Secreto Embassy Brasilia

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

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 000715

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2015
TAGS: PREL, BR, ETRD, MARR, FTAA, Bilateral Relations with the US
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: AMBASSADOR’S 14 MARCH MEETING WITH FM
AMORIM

REF: A. (A) DANILOVICH-NORIEGA TELCON 14 MARCH 05
B. (B) DEPARTMENT WHA/BSC — EMBASSY E-MAILS 14
MARCH 05
C. (C) STATE 43965
D. (D) BRASILIA 574
E. (E) BRASILIA 660

Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN J. DANILOVICH. REASONS: 1.4
(B)(D).

1. (C) Introduction. Ambassador was called for a one-on-one
meeting with Foreign Minister Amorim on the afternoon of 14
March. Amorim focused initially on reiterating his strong
interest in meeting soon with Secretary Rice, in spite of
unsuccessful efforts to schedule a Washington meeting in late
March or mid April. (Amorim said he may cancel his April trip
to Washington in light of the Secretary’s unavailability on
18-19 April, when Amorim had considered combining a call on
her with participation at a World Bank meeting on Haiti.)
Amorim said that he and President Lula da Silva believe it
would be important and highly positive for bilateral
relations if the Secretary could visit Brazil soon, and he
expressed the hope that she could stop here en route to or
from the Community of Democracies summit in Chile in late
April. Amorim then noted Ambassador’s recent meetings with
Deputy Foreign Minister Guimaraes (ref E) and Amorim’s chief
of Staff Patriota (ref D), and reviewed key issues from those
discussions with Ambassador (per below). End introduction

VENEZUELA

2. (S) Ambassador outlined points (refs A-C) on the USG’s
growing concern about Chavez’s rhetoric and actions, and
stressed that the USG increasingly sees Chavez as a threat to
the region. Per refs, he asked that FM Amorim consider
institutionalizing a more intensive political engagement
between the USG and GOB on Chavez, and standing up a
dedicated intelligence-sharing arrangement. FM Amorim was
clear in his response: "We do not see Chavez as a threat."
Amorim said that Chavez has been democratically elected (in a
general election that was reaffirmed by a referendum), enjoys
substantial domestic support, is a popular figure on the
international left and is leader of a major power on the
continent. For those reasons, "we have to work with him and
do not want to do anything that would jeopardize our
relationship with him," Amorim affirmed.

3. (S) Amorim said the GOB would welcome intensifying its
political dialogue with the U.S. on Chavez, but has no
interest in intelligence sharing (although Amorim allowed
that the GOB would be willing to look at any intelligence we
wished to provide unilaterally). Describing Brazil’s
relationship with Venezuela as "sensitive," Amorim said the
GOB needed to take care not to take steps (e.g., intelligence
activity with the USG) that could undermine its credibility
with Chavez and undercut the GOB’s ability to influence him
in a more positive direction. Amorim said that he did not
want to exaggerate the importance of Brazil’s role in curbing
Chavez’s more extreme behaviors, but in example Amorim noted
Brazil’s work with the Friends Group (where he said Brazil
weathered criticism from various sides to produce a balanced
outcome), Lula’s recent suggestion to Chavez in a meeting in
Uruguay that he tone down his rhetoric, and also told a story
of how Lula had personally persuaded Chavez not to go
swimming at a Chilean beach where Chavez intended to proclaim
to gathered press that he was bathing in a spot which should
be Bolivia’s coastline on the Pacific. Amorim also noted
that the meeting between Presidents Lula, Chavez, Uribe and
Zapatero scheduled for 29 March may occur in the Brazilian
Amazon frontier town of Santa Helena for a discussion of
economic integration (Note: This does not track with
information from Lula’s foreign affairs staff, who recently
told PolCouns that the meeting would focus on
counternarcotics and border security issues. End note.)

BOLIVIA

4. (S) Segueing into a discussion of Bolivia, Amorim said
that Lula had been in direct contact with opposition leader
Evo Morales in recent days. Lula and the GOB are trying to
persuade Morales that he needs to act in a democratic
fashion, Amorim said, noting that, as with Chavez, it must be
understood that Morales has "political legitimacy," with
popular support among a significant percentage of Bolivia’s
population. The USG, Brazil and others need to "take a
steady and balanced approach" in supporting democracy in
Bolivia in the next crucial weeks, Amorim added.
The economic exposure of Brazilian companies in Bolivia,
along with the threat posed to regional stability by unrest
there, make developments in Bolivia of vital interest to
Brazil, Amorim said.

HAITI

5. (SBU) Affirming the USG’s support and gratitude for
Brazil’s leadership in the Haiti mission, Ambassador provided
ref A invitation for Brazil to meet with the U.S. and Canada
at the assistant secretary level, along with UN senior
representative Valdes in Port-au-Prince in coming weeks to
discuss cooperation in assistance projects and enhancing
political dialogue. Amorim immediately agreed, and said he
would designate a representative asap (Note: On the margins
of the meeting with Amorim PolCouns spoke briefly with
Ambassador Eduardo Felicio, the ministry’s lead officer on
political issues in the Haiti mission. Felicio indicated
that either he or a senior GOB development official would
likely represent Brazil at the proposed meeting. End note.)
Amorim took the opportunity to affirm to Ambassador in strong
terms that the GOB "has no intention of downgrading its
commitment to Haiti; on the contrary, we plan to bolster our
presence."

SOUTH AMERICA-ARAB SUMMIT

6. (C) Amorim told Ambassador that the GOB intended to do all
it could to produce a balanced summit statement that would
use language of existing UNSC resolutions for any passages
dealing with political issues. Amorim also noted that in his
meetings with Syria’s foreign minister and President Assad in
Damascus, Amorim had urged Syrian compliance with UNSCR 1559
(even though Brazil abstained on that vote). Amorim claimed
that, even before Syria publicly announced its pull-back in
Lebanon, Assad had told Amorim in their meeting that he
intended to withdraw Syrian forces from Lebanon, although
Amorim said he did not claim to take credit for Assad’s
decision. Ambassador chided Amorim for Brazil’s abstention on
1559 and post facto commitment to Lebanese democracy, at
which Amorim smiled. Amorim reiterated that his recent
Middle East trip had been focused on providing invitations to
Arab participants in the summit, that he had no intention of
slighting Israel and would be visiting Israel in June.

FTAA

7. (SBU) Ambassador expressed disappointment that Brazil had
canceled a March meeting of the FTAA co-chairs, but Amorim
emphasized that the GOB had sought only a postponement to
early April, so that Amorim would have the opportunity to
consult with Brazil’s negotiator Bahadian and also with
Mercosul partners in advance of the co-chairs meeting. He
reiterated that Brazil "wants to remain within the Miami
framework," even though Brazil sees some recent USG actions
as inconsistent with that goal (e.g., the U.S. approach to
IPR and possible cross retaliation). Musing that Brazil is
"happy enough to say that the negotiations are under an FTAA
umbrella," Amorim opined that what is actually happening now
is a Mercosul -U.S. bilateral trade negotiation, since the
U.S. "has already executed bilateral agreements with everyone
else."

INSS/ATLANTA CONSULATE

8. (SBU) Amorim understood the two issues: property sales and
INSS payments should be delinked. However, he added that if
the U.S. can provide general language in an agreement that
reflects a U.S. intention to pay past USG debts to Brazil’s
social security system or some other acknowledgment that
accomplishes that purpose, a solution can be reached. He
said "it is in your interest for Brazil to have a consulate
in Atlanta," reflecting his understanding that the USG is
using delay of approval for the new consulate as leverage to
press for a solution on the USG property problem. Ambassador
noted that this has been a long-standing issue that was an
administrative and financial impediment to our diplomatic
mission in Brazil, and that the time has come to solve this
matter. Amorim seemed good natured and optimistic about
resolving the question with some type of appropriate
agreement regarding the USG "intention" to deal with its INSS
obligations.
TSA/Alcantara

SIPDIS

9. (SBU) Amorim also said that the GOB is close to being
ready to engage with the USG on revision of the 2000
bilateral Technology Safeguards Agreement for participation
of U.S. firms in commercial space launches at the Alcantara
facility in northern Brazil. Amorim noted two specific
issues — language referring to safeguard agreements of other
countries working at Alcantara and USG requirements on
prohibiting launches by states accused of supporting
terrorism - as areas where the GOB and USG may need to find
new common language for the text.

10. (S) Comment: Amorim made it very clear that the GOB is
not buying into our categorization of Chavez as a significant
threat to the region, to be treated accordingly. The GOB
sees him as a legitimate, democratically- elected figure (as
is also Evo Morales, in the GOB’s view) and Brazil is
committed to working closely with Chavez, ostensibly to
ameliorate his more extreme behavior by involving him in
interdependent economic and political relationships. Brazil
seems to believe that is the best route to enhancing regional
stability. Amorim’s flat rejection of intelligence sharing
was balanced by his willingness to engage more intensely with
us on a political level in approaching Venezuela, and we
should look for ways to exploit that opening in making our
case that Chavez represents a danger. Providing the GOB with
more detailed information on human rights violations and
repressive actions within Venezuela, as well as any
information we can share about Chavez-backed mischief in
other countries (even if that means offering intelligence
unilaterally) can be part of the political engagement. On a
more positive note, Amorim was forward-leaning on the two key
bilateral issues discussed — INSS/U.S. property and the
Alcantara TSA — and seems committed to working on
resolutions in the near future.

Danilovich