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Cablegate: Brazilian Foreign Minister Amorim Reaffirms Gob

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UNCLAS CARACAS 001942

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV KIPR VE
SUBJECT: BRAZILIAN FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM REAFFIRMS GOB
SUPPORT FOR VENEZUELA'S MERCOSUR ACCESSION

REF: A. CARACAS 1518
B. BRASILIA 1865

This message is Sensitive but Unclassified, please treat
accordingly.

1. (SBU) According to local media, on September 29, Brazilian
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim met with President Chavez and
Foreign Minister Maduro in Caracas to discuss, inter alia,
Venezuela's Mercosur accession, the status of the South
American gas pipeline project, and bilateral cooperation in
tourism, health, agriculture, the communal economy, and
trade. The two sides also stressed the importance of the
Bank of the South and South American integration, and talked
about plans for the creation of two jointly-owned refineries
located in Abreu de Lima, in Northeast Brazil, and the other
in Venezuela's petroleum-rich Orinoco belt. The visit was
billed as a follow up to the September 20 Lula-Chavez meeting
in Manaus, Brazil.

2. (SBU) During a post-meeting press conference, Amorim
expressed the GoB's strong support for Venezuela's Mercosur
accession, explaining, "the accession of Venezuela is very
important, it will help us create the backbone for the
integration of South America, and this has always been our
vision." On the Brazilian Congress-Chavez spat (Reftel A),
Amorim explained, "the Brazilian Congress has the autonomy to
make its own decisions, but the government of President Lula
was confident that it would decide in favor of Brazil, the
integration of Latin American, and also Venezuela." (Note:
Chavez has sometimes publicly blamed the USG for the delay in
Venezuela's Mercosur accession. End Note.) During his
September 30 weekly "Alo Presidente" television program,
Chavez also announced that he would meet with Lula in either
October or November to discuss generic drug manufacturing and
the production of HIV/AIDS drugs.

DUDDY

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