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

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DE RUEHSO #0297 1631137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111137Z JUN 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8309
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9439
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8752
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3109

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000297

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'
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE

Chavez's U-turn

Article in center-right O Estado de S.Paulo (6/11) says: "Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez has traded darkness for light....He announced
that 'Latin America has no place for guerillas any more....' The
question that has echoed through the hemisphere-'what got into
Chavez?'-has more than one answer to it. All of them...suggest he is
finally convinced that the cost of protecting an organization that
is repudiated by the vast majority of Colombians and has been
harshly attacked by Bogot's administration greatly surpasses the
benefits expected from a Bolivarian solidarity that could support
Chavez's ambitions.... The dismantling of the Farc coincides with
the reaction of Venezuelan democratic forces to Chavez's
totalitarian plans.... Since [December's referendum] Chavez'
popularity has fallen 20 points...and the prospects for the November
elections are less favorable than he would like.... It is in this
context that [Chavez's] u-turn fits.
White

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