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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Western Hemisphere: Venezuela, Chavez's

VZCZCXYZ0036
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0185 1011223
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101223Z APR 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8122
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9255
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8674
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3058

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000185

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: MEDIA REACTION: WESTERN HEMISPHERE: VENEZUELA, CHAVEZ'S
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE; BOLIVIA, REFORMS, GOVERNANCE


1. "The Vice of Populism"

Liberal and largest national circulation daily Folha de S.Paulo
(4/10) says: "President Hugo Chavez, has been increasing expenses
with all sorts of social programs for years in order to please his
constituents... . This policy...translates into inflationary
pressure. To counter that, Chavez...opted for controling prices... .
Venezuela is suffering from a severe food shortage and accumulates a
high rate of inflation, 7.1% for the first three months of the
year... . The situation will probably get worse because Chavez'
response to the growing difficulties has been the nationalization of
production chains... . Chavez' popularity is falling... . Therefore
it is likely he will intensify his economic magic, making the
problems in Venezuela even worse."

2."The disintegration of Bolivia"

Main editorial on center-right O Estado de S.Paulo (04/10) states: "
[Bolivia President] Evo Morales' institutional reforms-- that had
created excitement among his constituents-- have been a disaster...
. [He] conducted the final vote on the Constitution without the
opposition...[and] tried to suffocate the autonomous movements. ...
The social movements that helped elect [Morales] turned against him
when the people started suffering with the consequences of his
botched social and economic policies... . Faced with institutional
chaos, the government cancelled a referendum to approve the
Constitution... . The problem in La Paz nowadays is to figure out
who speaks on behalf of the government... . Machinations and fights
are bountiful as are the accusations of 'internal enemies'... . The
coca leader and self-annointed redeemer of an oppressed Bolivia is
leading his country's political disintegration."
White

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