WESTERN HEMISPHERE: MERCOSUL SUMMIT IN RIO DE JANEIRO; CHAVEZ’S REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE; SAO PAULO

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
07SAOPAULO53 22 January 2007 No clasificado Consulate Sao Paulo

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VZCZCXYZ0005
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0053 0221259
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221259Z JAN 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6304
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7382
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7724
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2691

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000053

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR, OPRC, OIIP, ETRD, BR
SUBJECT: WESTERN HEMISPHERE: MERCOSUL SUMMIT IN RIO DE JANEIRO;
CHAVEZ’S REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE; SAO PAULO

1. "Chvez, The Dictator"

Center-right national circulation daily O Estado de S. Paulo
editorialized (1/21): "In Venezuela, all the powers, the republic
and democracy are now facing a checkmate. The powers that the
Assembly members - who are Chvez’s followers without exception -
gave to the president allow him to change every aspect of the
nation’s political, economic, social and administrative life.
Nothing is out of Chvez’s arbitrary reach as president, not even
the private life of each citizen. Chvez does not have to satisfy
anyone to ’adapt the current legislation to the construction of a
new economic and social model’.... It’s the ’21st Century
socialism,’ a natural consequence of "Bolivarianism.’ Such labels
are purposively vague and confusing. They make no sense and result
from an ideological mess aimed at spell-binding the Venezuelans,
especially the poorer ones.... Colonel Chvez is the boss in
Venezuela and he will do anything he wants there. And what he wants
now is to eliminate all the remaining vestiges of representative
democracy and bury capitalism and the market economy.... This is the
typical process of building a dictatorship and a totalitarian
regime.... Colonel Chvez now holds the power to lead Venezuela to a
long and somber journey to the past. But this is not enough for him.
Chvez wants to spread to neighboring nations the germ of
backwardness and authoritarianism.

2. "Who Is Afraid Of Chvez?"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo
commented (1/22): "Hugo Chvez is the noisy novelty in Latin
American policy.... His autocratic power emphasized by a servile
Congress, his populist character, his harassment to media that
opposes him, the announcement of nationalization of strategic
sectors - everything added to his ’Bolivarian socialism,’ form the
image of an anachronistic leader.... But those who currently oppose
him do not seem to be less ridiculous and regressive. There has
been much misunderstanding, ’anti-Bolivarian’ exaggeration, and, in
certain cases, hysteria, always on behalf of democracy.... Chvez’s
21st Century socialism is no socialism anywhere. It is just a
repetition of the nationalism that ruled Latin American economies in
the middle of the 20th Century. The difference is that state-owned
companies now support foreign and social policies by distributing
wealth (or alms), and are no longer tools of industrial
diversification. There are many reasons for one to believe that the
Bolivarian adventure will not end well. But Chvez and his pupils -
Evo Morales’ Bolivia and Rafael Correa’s Ecuador - are the result of
decades of corruption and liberal recipes sponsored by the elite
that have always ignored the Indigenous."

3. "Diplomatic Excess"

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo (1/21)
editorialized: "One cannot yet technically qualify Hugo Chvez’s
regime as dictatorial. However, the term ’democratic’ cannot be
attributed to his administration. Ironically, the current process in
Venezuela has already been described as ’peaceful transition to
authoritarianism’.... Because the ’Bolivarian revolution’ is a
one-man project, Chvez claims the unlimited right to reelection.
Because it is not enough for him to have a Congress supporting
everything he wants, Chvez demands an 18-month period to rule by
decree. These are Venezuelan internal matters, Brasilia says,
ignoring Mercosul’s and the OAS democratic clauses. At any rate, the
non-intervention principle among sovereign nations should be
sufficient for the Brazilian diplomacy to adopt maximum discretion
in the matter. This is not what is going on. Brazilian foreign
Ministry officials have justified Chvez’s acts. They argue that
everything has been done in accordance with Venezuelan laws. The
future Brazilian Ambassador in Washington, Antonio Patriota, said
that the unlimited right to reelection exists in France and was only
restricted in the U.S. after Franklin Roosevelt’s third
reelection.... Seen from such a point of view, Hitler gained power
according to the laws of his nation, and North Korea is not
different from France.... The Brazilian diplomacy would have done
better keeping silent before that farce, but it preferred to assist
it."
McMullen