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Cablegate: Venezuelan Military Interferes with Bolivian Press

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #0551 0591744
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281744Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2654
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6587
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3909
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7796
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5040
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2276
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2376
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3343
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4443
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4917
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9507
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0177
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 000551

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM MOPS MASS BL VE
SUBJECT: VENEZUELAN MILITARY INTERFERES WITH BOLIVIAN PRESS


1. (U) At approximately noon February 27, a Venezuelan
Hercules that was reported to be carrying disaster assistance
arrived in El Alto. When Bolivian journalists attempted to
film the Venezuelan crew unloading the cargo, the Venezuelans
prohibited them from filming the plane (citing the
protections of a "convention" with the GOB), asked for the
journalists' film, and briefly detained the journalists on
site. The journalists protested and said publicly that they
did not deserve to be mistreated by the Venezuelans. They
further commented that if the Venezuelans were bringing
disaster assistance to Bolivia, they should not have had
anything to hide. The footage appeared on the February 27
evening news.

2. (U) A high level Bolivian air force official apologized to
the journalists later in the day, stating that the Bolivian
air force supports and coordinates with the press. He said
in this case "we let down our guard," calling the event a
"misunderstanding."

URS

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