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Cable de la Embajada de EE UU sobre las expectativas de Colombia hacia el acuerdo militar

El nuevo acuerdo de defensa es esencial para el Gobierno colombiano, frente al rearme de Venezuela, explica el embajador William Brownfield

ID: 190668
Date: 2009-02-05 19:21:00
Origin: 09BOGOTA383
Source: Embassy Bogota
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 08BOGOTA1797 08BOGOTA4083 08SECSTATE128033
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0383/01 0361921
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051921Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6894
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8625
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1615
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 6958
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 2970
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 7663
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L BOGOTA 000383

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/05/2018
TAGS: PGOV, PREL, PREF, PTER, MASS, CO
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR FEBRUARY 9-13 VISIT OF AMBASSADOR
JACKSON MCDONALD AND DCA DELEGATION

REF: A. 2008 BOGOTA 1797
B. 2008 BOGOTA 4083
C. 2008 SECSTATE 128033

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Brian A. Nichols for reasons 1.4
(b and d)

SUMMARY
--------
1. (C) The signing of a new defense cooperation agreement
(DCA) with the United States is a priority for President
Uribe. The current negotiations come at a time when the GOC
is eager to cement the historically solid U.S.-Colombian
bilateral relationship under the new U.S. administration.
The GOC and Colombian people hold positive views of the
United States, and Colombia sees itself as an unwavering ally
in an Andean region increasingly hostile to U.S. values and
goals. The GOC views the negotiation of a new defense
agreement between the United States and Colombia as a key in
deterring potential regional threats, but also remains
sensitive to domestic and regional considerations regarding
the U.S. military presence in the region. The GOC
negotiating team appears to have internal divisions over
goals and negotiating tactics, and during the talks the GOC
may seek security guarantees we are unwilling to offer in the
DCA agreement. End Summary.

GOC NEGOTIATING POSTURE
-----------------------
2. (C) Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, Defense Minister
Juan Manuel Santos, and Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez
support strong bilateral ties, and see a new defense
agreement as a critical component of our relationship. The
GOC increasingly views Venezuela as a threat, especially
given recent Venezuelan arms purchases from Russia, and views
a defense agreement with the United States as a deterrent to
possible Venezuelan aggression. On several occasions,
Minister of Defense Santos has alluded to the airlift of
supplies from the United States to Israel during the 1973 Yom
Kippur war and has requested similar "assurances" from the
USG in the event of a conflict with Venezuela. The language
in Article IV of the October 23 Colombian counterproposal
requesting an aerial defense system and security guarantees
in the event of a threat to Colombia's national security
reflects this concern. We have communicated the U.S.
position on the aerial defense system to senior GOC officials
(per reftel C), but expect the issue to be raised during the
negotiations.

3. (C) Despite their enthusiasm for the agreement, GOC
officials stress that the agreement should avoid provoking
regional and domestic sensitivities to an enhanced U.S.
military presence. They have noted that any agreement should
avoid use of the word "base" and should be linked to earlier
bilateral and multilateral agreements to avoid the need for
Colombian congressional approval. Senior Colombian officials
have repeatedly stated their intent to avoid an agreement
that would require Colombian congressional approval. While
Colombian Executive Branch officials strongly support a DCA,
some opposition politicians and opinion leaders have already
spoken out against the possibility of "moving the Manta Base
to Colombia." The text of the GOC October 23 counterproposal
is generally consistent with these stated concerns (see
reftel B). For example, the GOC deleted the status of forces
agreement (SOFA) language and instead links privileges and
immunities (P&Is) to the earlier 1974 agreement titled
"Agreement Between the Government of the United States of
America and the Government of the Republic of Colombia
Concerning an Army Mission, a Naval Mission and an Air Force
Mission of the United States of America Armed Forces in the
Republic of Colombia" (commonly known as the "1974
Agreement").

GOC TEAM DYNAMICS, DIVISIONS
----------------------------
4. (C) The GOC technical negotiating team of approximately 20
members will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Clemencia
Forero. Two of the three Vice Ministers of Defense, Sergio
Jaramillo and Juan Carlos Pinzon, will also participate. The
GOC team will also include three additional members from the

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), including Patricia Cortes
(Coordinator for the Office of U.S. and Canadian Affairs),
and approximately a dozen others from the Ministry of Defense
(MOD). We expect there to be tensions between the MFA and
the DOD about the defense agreement--with the MFA being more
concerned with not antagonizing Colombia's neighbors and more
sensitive to national sovereignty concerns, and the MOD
generally favoring a more robust military relationship with
the U.S. There are also fissures within the MOD team, with
some favoring a broader agreement with expressly stated
defense "guarantees" from the USG, and others favoring a more
narrow, technical agreement. It remains to be seen which of
these internal GOC views will prevail during the
negotiations.

REGIONAL TENSIONS
-----------------
5. (C) The Government of Ecuador broke diplomatic relations
with Colombia after the GOC's March 1, 2008 bombing of
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Commander Raul
Reyes' camp in Ecuador, and has yet to resume ties.
Relations with Venezuela have improved somewhat following
recent meetings between Presidents Uribe and Chavez, but
Venezuelan support for the FARC--as evidenced in the
computers found at Raul Reyes' camp and GOC concerns that
Venezuelan authorities allow the FARC to move drugs and arms
across the border--contributes to continued tensions. In May
2008, following a speculative piece in the Colombian daily
"El Espectador" that suggested the Manta "bases" would be
moved to Colombia, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned
the GOC against the approval of a "gringo base" in La
Guajira, Colombia--saying he would consider this an act of
aggression. Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos replied
that, "I would tell those criticizing this information to
become better informed, because there will be no base" (see
reftef A). The GOC is eager to keep the upcoming
negotiations out of the media spotlight.

REGIONAL AMBITIONS
------------------
6. (C) In addition to a bolstered relationship with the
United States, Colombia also seeks to play a greater role in
the international security architecture, as evidenced by its
willingness to contribute troops to NATO in Afghanistan and
the Sinai Multinational Observer Force. Despite initial
skepticism, in July 2008 Colombia opted to participate in the
South American Defense Council, under the framework of the
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), following
assurances from Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da
Silva that the Defense Council would operate by consensus.
Colombia provides anti-narcotics training to police in
Mexico, Panama, the Caribbean and other nations. Mexico is
benefiting from Colombia's experiences fighting
narco-traffickers, and Presidents Uribe and Felipe Calderon
are seeking to institutionalize and deepen counter-narcotics
cooperation. We expect the GOC to make available the
expertise developed in combating the FARC and
narco-trafficking groups for international peacekeeping
efforts and other international security activities in the
years ahead, although financial constraints will remain an
issue.
BROWNFIELD