Viewing cable 05BRASILIA1578, BRAZIL: SENIOR GOB OFFICIALS DISCUSS HAITI WITH AMBASSADOR AND WHA DAS FISK
|05BRASILIA1578||2005-06-10 21:09||2011-01-14 00:12||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Brasilia|
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 BRASILIA 001578 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/09/2015 TAGS: PREL BR SUBJECT: BRAZIL: SENIOR GOB OFFICIALS DISCUSS HAITI WITH AMBASSADOR AND WHA DAS FISK REF: A. PORT AU PRINCE 1543 AND 1497 Â¶B. BRASILIA 1479 Â¶C. STATE 104247 Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN DANILOVICH. REASONS: 1.4(B)(D). 1.(C) Summary. In separate meetings with President Lula da Silva's international affairs advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia on 8 June (Ambassador and PolCouns with Garcia and his deputy, Marcel Biato) and new foreign ministry (MRE) Under Secretary for Political Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Ambassador, visiting WHA DAS Fisk and PolCouns with Patriota and MRE UN division chief Glivania Oliveira), mission made ref c demarche on USG concerns regarding the situation in Haiti. In the discussions, the GOB officials made clear continued Brazilian resolve to keep Aristide from returning to the country or exerting political influence, and reiterated Brazil's strategy that security, assistance and political dialogue should move in tandem as priorities in the international effort. The GOB officials registered USG points on the need to curb spiraling violence and reinforce MINUSTAH credibility vice the gangs, but did not clearly share the same degree of urgency on this point. They noted that public criticisms of MINUSTAH's performance serve to further undermine its standing, and said clear signals of resolve are needed in the form of decisions asap from the UN on both a mandate extension and the naming of a new MINUSTAH commander (the Brazilian candidate, General Tella Amaral, is available, and current Brazilian MINUSTAH commander Heleno can remain in Haiti through the course of the June technical rollover.) End summary. LULA FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADVISOR MARCO AURELIO GARCIA Â¶2. (C) Using ref c guidance, Ambassador and PolCouns indicated USG appreciation for Brazil's leadership role in MINUSTAH, but stressed that the USG is increasingly concerned about a major deterioration in security, especially in Port au Prince. Referring candidly to information provided in refs a, Ambassador and PolCouns recounted U.S. concerns about expansion of gang incursions in the city center and port area, the wave of kidnappings, and increasingly audacious attacks that are creating a climate of fear and instability. They noted the meeting between Secretary Rice and FM Amorim in Florida on the margins of the OAS General Assembly in which the Secretary cited the need for firm MINUSTAH action and the possibility that the U.S. may be asked to send troops at some point (to which FM Amorim reportedly replied U.S. forces would be welcome under UN authorities). Ambassador and PolCouns also stressed continued USG insistence that all efforts must be made to keep Aristide from returning to Haiti or influencing the political process, and asked whether the GOB also remains firm on that point. Â¶3. (C) Garcia visited Haiti for several days in October 2004, and reiterated some views he had gleaned from that visit: i.e., that security is a critical component, but must move in tandem with assistance efforts that create immediate and visible benefits for Haitians, and with an inclusive political process. He said that the GOB still believes some elements of Lavalas are willing to become involved in a constructive dialogue and should be encouraged, but said the GOB remains firm in the view that Aristide "does not fit in with a democratic political future" in Haiti. Garcia seemed somewhat surprised by USG views on the critical level of violence, and also seemed cautious on the issue of introduction of U.S. forces, but would not be drawn into discussion. However, his deputy, Marcel Biato, followed up with a number of specific questions regarding USG assessments of flashpoints and the potential for a broader outbreak of violence in the next few weeks. PolCouns and Biato undertook to stay in contact on developments. Â¶4. (C) PolCouns asked Garcia whether the GOB is concerned that Brazilian casualties could spark popular reaction in Brazil that would affect the GOB's ability to maintain forces in Haiti. Garcia replied that Brazil's mission in Haiti "has no shortage of critics" in Brazil, and "even one Brazilian casualty" killed in violence (as opposed to accident or health problems) could cause turbulence. Garcia said that the situation is not unlike the U.S. in Iraq, and he observed the USG is not permitting regular release of images of returning U.S. casualties/KIAs in the media. That said, Garcia did not indicate any weakening of GOB resolve in continuing its presence in MINUSTAH. Indeed, he said that Haiti (along with Bolivia) remains one of Brazil's most crucial foreign policy priorities, as it is the textbook case of the need for regional powers to work together in an effort to stabilize/democratize a potentially failing state. FOREIGN MINISTRY U/S FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA Â¶5. (C) WHA DAS Dan Fisk,in Brasilia with the U.S. Global Forum IV delegation (see septels) and accompanied by Ambassador Danilovich and PolCounselor, called on newly appointed Under Secretary for Political Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota on 10 June to discuss Haiti. (Note: Patriota assumed his new duties on 10 June and was previously chief of staff to FM Amorim. End note.) Using ref c points, Fisk emphasized that the USG is grateful for Brazil's leadership in MINUSTAH, but expressed USG concern about growing violence, saying that the gangs are "losing their fear" of international PKO forces, creating violent instability and conditions for Aristide to exert his influence. He asked for GOB views on how the international community could keep Aristide out of Haitian affairs and assist MINUSTAH in reestablishing credibility. Â¶6. (C) Patriota acknowledged that the situation on the ground had become less stable in recent weeks, but opined that violence appears to be "cyclical" in Haiti, with spikes and lulls. He understood that there are concerns being expressed that MINUSTAH has not been sufficiently robust, but also observed -- and repeated -- that such criticisms, when made publicly, can further undermine the force's credibility. (Note: Ambassador and DAS Fisk replied that there was little that could be done about negative media reports on MINUSTAH. End note.) Patriota also said it is important to send other clear signals of consistency and resolve, and in this context the GOB hopes UNSC and UN DPKO can arrive asap on decisions and announcements on both a 12 month mandate extension and a new MINUSTAH military commander. On the latter point, Patriota noted that FM Amorim had spoken by phone with SG Annan in the past few days. Patriota confirmed Brazil has a candidate ready, Brazilian Army three-star General Tella Amaral, who currently heads Brazilian army intelligence. Current MINUSTAH commander Heleno is available to remain throughout the technical rollover of the mandate, Patriota affirmed, adding that Brazil, as the main troop contributor, would expect to retain overall military command in a new mandate. Â¶7. (C) On Aristide, Patriota said that the mere fact of Aristide's existence will always be problematic in terms of his influence on some elements of Haitian society, however much the international community works to isolate him. That said, the GOB had been encouraged by recent South African Government commitments to Brazil that the GSA would not allow Aristide to use his exile there to undertake political efforts (NFI). It always remains important to include in political dialogue those elements of Lavalas that are willing to "leave Aristide behind them," Patriota said. Patriota and Fisk agreed that accelerating and enhancing assistance projects that have direct impact on Haitians remains a key priority, and that the GOB and U.S. should work together in this. Patriota observed that Brazil has 10 assistance projects underway, in cooperation with IFI's, other countries or on its own. Â¶8. (C) Comment. Neither Garcia nor Patriota seemed seized with the same degree of urgency on the security situation in Haiti as the USG, as reflected in refs a and c. That said, we believe they will take our points into careful account and weigh them in the context of the Secretary's conversation with FM Amorim at the OAS GA and new information being brought back to Brasilia from Haiti this weekend by MRE envoy Goncalo Mourao. For now, the GOB seems committed to its long-stated strategy: pursuing, in tandem, security, assistance and political dialogue as requisites for elections and stability, with a Brazilian in command of MINUSTAH. Danilovich