Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wikileaks [39]: "The Future Institute aims to fly some ten thousand Brazilian citizens back to Lebanon to vote this March, providing $10,000 in support

C O N F I D E N T I A L 



 Jared Cohen (S/P) and Janine Keil (INR) visited Sao Paulo, Brazil September 24-26. They met with a variety of representatives -- Christian, Jewish and Muslim -- of Brazil's ethnic Lebanese community. Among the Lebanese Brazilians who met Cohen and Keil were: Joseph Sayah, Lebanon's Consul General; Sheik Jihade Hamade of the World Assembly of Islamic Youth (WAMY, Sunni); Berty Tawil and Ernesto Chayo (Banco Safra); Alfred Cotait (Secretary of International Relations for Sao Paulo City Hall); Guilherme Mattar (Cotait's Chief of Staff); Suheil Yammout (Head of the Lebanese March 14 Movement and representative of Saad Hariri in Brazil); Mohammed Zoghby (President of the Muslim Federation of Brazil); Fouad Naime (journalist, editor of the magazine "Carta do Libano," representative of Phalangist and Lebanese Forces); Salim Schahin (businessman and banker, participant in the Abraham Path Project); and Naji Nahas (businessman). The flagship event of the trip was a cocktail organized by the Lebanese Consul General (CG) at his residence on 9/25, where he invited a variety of Lebanese-Brazilian interlocutors to meet with Cohen and Keil....
¶5. (C) While most Lebanese Brazilians keep Lebanon's divisions at arms-length, the leaders described above can be intensively engaged in the country. Several of our interlocutors communicate with Lebanese political leaders regularly. President Suheil Yamout (the convict) of the Future Institute provided perhaps the most concrete example of intense selective engagement when he described his organizations "get out the vote" drive for Lebanon's March parliamentary elections to Cohen and Keil. The Future Institute aims to fly some ten thousand Brazilian citizens who also hold Lebanese passports back to Lebanon to vote this March, providing up to USD 10,000 in financial support to each one to make the trip. The Future Institute also mentioned that a likely 50,000 Lebanese will self-finance trips back to Lebanon in the spring to participate in the March elections. They are coordinating with Saad Hariri (son of the Prime Minister assassinated in 2005, leader of the Lebanese Future Movement) to ensure that they maximize thes e votes in the right districts. Meeting participants estimated that there are up to one half-million Lebanese in Brazil who are eligible to hold Lebanese passports and who could conceivably vote in that country's elections. When asked, Lebanese stakeholders explained that the vast majority of these are March 14 supporters. Pre-Polarization Lebanon Meets Brazil ..."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are supposed to be a lot of people with Phoenician blood living in Cornwall, UK. I am sure they would qualify as Lebanese and they are all dumb enough to vote for March 14. Also, they could do with the money now that Cameron has become Prime Minister. So Saad, if you ever read this blog, reply below and I am sure we can come to a deal.