(C/NF) VENEZUELAN FOREIGN POLICY WITHIN LATIN AMERICA (C-AL9-01405)

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
09STATE70077 7 July 2009 Secreto / No para extranjeros United States Secretary of State in Washington

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S E C R E T STATE 070077

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/07/2034
TAGS: PINR, EPET, ETRD, PREL, VE
SUBJECT: (C/NF) VENEZUELAN FOREIGN POLICY WITHIN LATIN
AMERICA (C-AL9-01405)

Classified By: SUZANNE MCCORMICK, DIR., INR/OPS. REASON: 1.4(C).

1. (C/NF) WASHINGTON ANALYSTS APPRECIATE THE WIDE BODY OF
REPORTING OVER MANY YEARS ON THE PUBLIC AND COVERT TOOLS
VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT CHAVEZ USES TO GAIN INFLUENCE IN LATIN
AMERICA. US POLICYMAKERS AND ANALYSTS REMAIN INTERESTED IN
THIS TOPIC AND, AS TIME AND RESOURCES PERMIT, WOULD
APPRECIATE ANY REPORTING ON CHAVEZ’S ONGOING FOREIGN POLICY
TOOLS WITHIN LATIN AMERICA GIVEN THE CURRENT OIL PRICES AND
LESSONS VENEZUELA HAS LEARNED FROM ITS FOREIGN POLICY
SUCCESSES AND SETBACKS OVER THE YEARS.

A. (C) WHAT ARE CHAVEZ’S TOP REGIONAL SPENDING PRIORITIES
FOR 2009? IN POST’S ESTIMATION, WILL HE MAKE CUTBACKS IN
REGIONAL SPENDING GIVEN LOWER OIL PRICES, OR WILL HE CONTINUE
SPENDING DESPITE HAVING FEWER RESOURCES?

B. (C) WHICH COUNTRIES IS CHAVEZ MOST LIKELY TO LOBBY THE
MOST AGGRESSIVELY TO JOIN PETROCARIBE OR ALBA, AND WHAT, IF
ANY, STRATEGIES DOES HE PLAN TO USE OR INCENTIVES DOES HE
PLAN TO OFFER?

C. (C) WHAT IS THE STATUS OF ONGOING VENEZUELAN-SPONSORED
SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS IN LATIN AMERICA? HOW DOES THE
PUBLIC IN VENEZUELA VIEW THE PROGRAMS? TO WHAT EXTENT ARE
THEY SUCCESSFUL IN BOLSTERING CHAVEZ’S IMAGE IN THE REGION?

D. (C) WHAT ARE CHAVEZ’S PLANS WITH REGARD TO UPCOMING
REGIONAL ELECTIONS? WE WOULD SPECIFICALLY APPRECIATE
REPORTING ON VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS’ VIEWS TOWARD
THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS IN HONDURAS, BOLIVIA, COLOMBIA,
URUGUAY, CHILE, AND BRAZIL (IN 2010). WHAT IS CHAVEZ DOING,
IF ANYTHING, TO INFLUENCE REGIONAL EVENTS FROM BEHIND THE
SCENES?

E. (C) WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY REPORTING ON PUBLIC REACTION
TO CHAVEZ’S REGIONAL FOREIGN POLICY. HOW IS THE POPULATION
REACTING IN THOSE COUNTRIES THAT BENEFIT FROM HIS FOREIGN
INITIATIVES? HOW IS THE VENEZUELAN POPULATION REACTING?
CLINTON