Thursday, December 9, 2010

Brazil: Mariel investment aiming at post-embargo trade

Brazil: Mariel investment aiming at post-embargo trade

Brazilian government officials told National Security Advisor Gen. James
L. Jones that Brazil's $300 million investment in the expansion of a
Cuban port only makes sense in a post-embargo scenario.

According to a cable sent by the U.S. embassy in September 2009 and
published this week by Wikileaks, Jones talked with presidential foreign
policy advisor Marco Aurelio García and his deputy, Ambassador Marcel
Biato, as well as other Brazilian during an Aug. 4-5 visit to Brasilia
last year.

"They noted that their plans to help Cuba construct a deep-water port at
Mariel only make sense on the assumption that Cuba and the United States
will eventually develop a trading relationship," the cable said about
the meeting with García and Biato.

The Brazilian officials also pressed Jones to consider ending U.S.
sanctions against Cuba. According to the U.S. cable, García and Biato
said that "Raúl Castro is more pragmatic and less ideological than
Fidel, with a focus on getting short-term economic results. They see
Cuba as taking a path similar to that of Vietnam under Raúl, whom they
acknowledged was a transitional leader. Given that the United States has
a relationship with Vietnam, Garcia said, there is no reason the United
States can't have a similar relationship with Cuba."

According to the Brazilian officials, their support for Cuba and efforts
to include the island in hemispheric forums "open additional space that
Raúl needs to engage the United States."

Apparently, Jones had expressed concern over Brazilian cooperation with

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