WESTERN HEMISPHERE: VENEZUELA, CLOSING OF RCTV, CHAVEZ’S REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE; SAO PAULO

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
07SAOPAULO481 4 June 2007 No clasificado Consulate Sao Paulo

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VZCZCXYZ0012
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0481 1551338
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 041338Z JUN 07 ZDK
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7040
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8156
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8106
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2792

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000481

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: VENEZUELA, CLOSING OF RCTV, CHAVEZ’S
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE; SAO PAULO

1. "Geopolitical Presages"

Editorialist Aldo Pereira remarked in liberal, largest national
circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo (6/4): "Hugo Chvez bought USD
4.5 billion in weapons over the past two years.... He has justified
such spending as a precaution against a possible ’asymmetrical’ war
against the U.S. The U.S. power may be unable to combat insurgencies
(Vietnam, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia), but it is lethal in conventional
war.... A coordinated U.S. action would pulverize the conventional
equipment and installations of Venezuela in hours. Therefore, the
naval and aerial military apparatus that Chvez is mounting is aimed
at rivals of another category, like Colombia, for example. The
Venezuelan military program is creating in South American
geopolitics a troublesome, volatile, contradictory and enigmatic
landscape marked by an already initiated arms race.... Chvez and
Morales have reached power through constitutional means. But so did
Hitler. History advises watching carefully the mutual fascination of
charismatic leaders and their nations. ’Bolivarian’ fantasies can
led to caudillo-type totalitarianism and interventionism in the
Havana-Caracas-La Paz axis.... Budgetary limitations have forced the
Brazilian Army to recruit fewer soldiers. There are no resources for
arms, ammunition and training. How then can we guard the extensive
borders with Venezuela, Bolivia and other South American nations?
Or protect interests such as those of the 400,000 Brazilians living
in the Bolivian region where Chvez has promised to build military
bases? ’If you wish peace, prepare yourself for war,’ Roman
strategist Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote in the 4th Century."

2. "Nothing Stops Hugo Chvez"

Influential, national circulation daily O Estado de S. Paulo (6/2)
editorialized: "Nothing seems to diminish Colonel Hugo Chvez’s
furor in his course towards the installation of a declared
dictatorship in Venezuela.... Chvez is manipulating the
demonstrations against restrictions to freedom of expression in his
favor.... But Chvez’s rapid march towards an open dictatorship is
beginning to frighten Venezuelans. Public opinion sectors opposing
him and his methods, which were silent and tired after two years of
strikes and street demonstrations, have resumed their activity....
University students are leading the protests.... Actions against
freedom of expression have also mobilized artists and intellectuals
who had watched the implantation of the ’21st Century socialism’
from a comfortable distance.... Now, even pro-Chvez congressmen
have protested against the attempts against freedom of
expression.... Venezuela is a signatory of the OAS Inter American
Democratic Chart and is also subject to the conditions of Mercosul’s
Democratic Clause. This makes attacks against democracy in
Venezuela a problem for all hemispheric nations. Therefore, the
nations of the region may act with all legitimacy to diplomatically
dissuade Colonel Hugo Chvez from completing his totalitarian
project, and, if they do not succeed, to isolate his regime from the
hemispheric community."
McMullen