Mugabe and Zimbabwe one and the same thing- Chissano


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Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said seven years ago President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe were essentially the same and could not be separated.

According to a diplomatic cable just released by Wikileaks, Chissano told Brazilian government officials in August 2004 that Africans must stop blaming their colonial past for the continent’s present problems.

They must also use African solutions to resolve conflicts and not depend on the United Nations and others. 

Chissano said every conflict had its own roots and unique characteristics which had to be addressed.

In the case of Zimbabwe, given the country’s history, Mugabe and Zimbabwe were essentially the same and could not be separated.

Constant dialogue among all parties was the only way to relieve the country’s internal pressures.

Chissano voluntarily stepped down as Mozambican president after 18 years in office but the Brazilians were not happy about this.

Mugabe had already been in power for 24 years at the time and is now going into his 32nd year.

Full cable.

 

Viewing cable 04BRASILIA2249, PRESIDENT CHISSANO VISITS BRAZIL

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04BRASILIA2249

2004-09-03 20:31

2011-07-11 00:00

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 02 BRASILIA 002249

 

SIPDIS

 

ABIDJAN FOR USED/AFDB; PARIS FOR PARIS CLUB

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/03/2009

TAGS: PREL EFIN BR

SUBJECT: PRESIDENT CHISSANO VISITS BRAZIL

 

REF: A. BRASILIA 796

B. BRASILIA 1975

 

Classified By: DepPolCouns Lawrence Cohen, reasons 1.4 (b & d)

 

1. () Summary: Mozambique President Chissano visited Brazil

on August 31 and was rewarded with over USD 315 million in

debt forgiveness for his country, the most relief Brazil has

given during President Lula’s administration. Chissano is

well regarded in Brazil, and his decision to step down has

generated some angst here. President Lula, meanwhile, is

showing that his Africa-oriented foreign policy is no fluke.

End Summary

 

Worth the Trip to Brazil….

—————————-

 

2. (U) During Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano’s August

31 visit to Brasilia, the Brazilian Government (GOB)

announced it would write off 95% of Mozambique’s official

debt (USD 315.1 million) with the balance (USD 16.6 million)

to be converted into investment or equity funds. The accord

was signed by Brazilian Finance Minister Antonio Palocci and

President Chissano. The GOB also confirmed it would finance

the installation in Mozambique of a pharmaceutical plant for

manufacture of anti-retrovirus medicine. In forgiving

Mozambique’s debt, President Lula stated that Brazil was

setting an example for other countries. Minister Palocci

emphasized that Brazil’s initiative followed guidelines set

by the Paris Club to assist Mozambique and would not have any

impact on Brazil’s own financial situation. (Note: The Chief

of the Foreign Ministry’s Africa II Division told poloff that

Mozambique has been current on its debt obligations to

Brazil. End Note)

 

3. (SBU) Debt relief for Mozambique follows closely President

Lula’s announcements regarding Bolivia (where during a July

visit he announced debt relief of USD 48.7 million of

Bolivia’s USD 52 million debt), Gabon (USD 36 million of debt

to be renegotiated), and Cape Verde (promised debt

forgiveness of USD 2.7 million). According to press reports,

the GOB is also analyzing possible debt relief for El

Salvador.

 

Polemics Aside…

—————–

 

4. (SBU) In public remarks referring to visiting President

Chissano, who has ruled Mozambique for 18 years, Lula

expressed regret that Chissano had decided not to run for

reelection in December. The Brazilian President went on to

praise President Chissano: “You have learned to appreciate,

as few have, the symbolism and real value of the exercise of

democracy.” (Comment: Chissano is very popular in Brazil and

enjoys close friendships with senior Brazilian officials such

as former President Jose Sarney. End Comment)

 

5. (U) Chissano spoke to diplomats and new Brazilian foreign

service officers at the prestigious Rio Branco Institute (the

GOB equivalent of the Foreign Service Institute) about

conflict resolution in Africa. He elaborated on two key

themes: Africans must stop blaming their colonial past for

the continent’s present problems, and Africans must utilize

African solutions to resolve conflict and not depend on the

United Nations or others. Moreover, he said each conflict

had its own roots and unique characteristics which must be

addressed. His most pointed comments in response to a

question dealt with Zimbabwe. While not praising President

Mugabe, Chissano made clear that, given the history, Mugabe

and Zimbabwe were essentially the same and could not be

separated, and constant dialogue among all the parties was

the only way to relieve the country’s internal pressures.

 

Comment

——-

6. (C) During the last few months, President Lula has been

putting some substance into what initially appeared a hollow

Africa policy. At the upcoming September heads of state

meeting at the UN to discuss the creation of a world fund to

combat poverty, Lula will likely refer

to his government’s efforts to help Africa, including some

on-going and planned initiatives with India and South Africa.

During Chissano’s visit, President Lula vowed that he would

go to Africa every year, and we sense he will meet this

promise. Foreign Ministry contacts tell us that west Africa,

probably Nigeria and Guinea Bissau and possibly Ghana and

Senegal, could expect Lula’s next African foray.

 

7. (C) However, when looking across the Atlantic, President

Lula ought to select his itinerary and message carefully.

His July visit to Gabon, his ride there in an open Rolls

Royce with Gabonese President Bongo, and a subsequent bad

joke by Lula that he’d visited Gabon to learn how to stay in

power 37 years earned the President some ridicule here (ref

B).

 

Danilovich

(12 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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