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Cablegate: Evo, the Icc, and the U.N.: Venezuela Political

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS CARACAS 001138

SIPDIS


NSC FOR TSHANNON AND CBARTON
USCINSO ALSO FOR POLAD
STATE PASS USAID FOR DCHA/OTI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM KDEM VE
SUBJECT: EVO, THE ICC, AND THE U.N.: VENEZUELA POLITICAL
UPDATE: 4/1/2004

REF: CARACAS 01090

--------
Summary:
--------

1. (U) Leftist Bolivian legislator Evo Morales joined
President Hugo Chavez in Caracas March 30 to announce plans
to stage international demonstrations to commemorate the
events of April 2002, when Chavez was temporarily removed
from power and returned in triumph. Members of the
Venezuelan human rights NGO Venezuelan Victims of Political
Violence (VIVE) accused President Hugo Chavez of crimes
against humanity in the International Criminal Court at the
Hague March 31. Five former Venezuelan ambassadors to the
United Nations sent a letter March 23 to UN SYG Kofi Annan
condemning the GoV for human rights abuses and for preventing
the citizens from exercising their constitutional rights to
have a presidential referendum. End Summary.

-------------------
Chavez Receives Evo
-------------------

2. (U) Leftist Bolivian legislator Evo Morales joined
President Hugo Chavez in Caracas March 30 to announce plans
to stage international demonstrations marking the events of
April 2002, when Chavez was temporarily removed from power,
only to return. Morales and Chavez said they would sponsor
marches in various cities on "the continent" to commemorate
what they called a failed coup d'etat, and to support
Chavez's "Bolivarian revolution." Other Latin American
leftist organizations such as Barrios de Pie (Argentina),
Movimiento Pachakutec (Bolivia); Farabundo Marti Liberation
Front (El Salvador); Sandinista Front (Nicaragua); the Cuban
Communist Party (Cuba); and the Amplio Front (Uruguay) are
also in Caracas for the annual Bolivarian People's Congress.

3. (U) Chavez said coordinated April events will condemn U.S.
intervention, and recalled that he was swept back into power
in April 2002 by a counteroffensive that he said took "the
hawks of the CIA and pentagon" by surprise. Chavez said the
U.S. did not count on the people rising up to throw off the
tyranny and the military refusing their "bastard orders."

4. (U) Morales arrived in Caracas March 29 for several days
of meetings, including discussion on foreign aid for Bolivia
rumored to involve asphalt for Bolivian roads and $50
million. He said the results of those discussions would be
announced soon in La Paz. Morales also thanked Chavez for
his support in Bolivian efforts to reclaim a passage to the
sea through Chilean territory. Morales told reports he will
travel to Spain the week of April 5 to meet with
newly-elected Prime Minister Zapatero.

--------------------------------------------- ------------
Victims Accuse Chavez in the International Criminal Court
--------------------------------------------- ------------

5. (U) Members of the Venezuelan human rights NGO Venezuelan
Victims of Political Violence (VIVE) filed formal accusations
under the Rome Statute against President Hugo Chavez in the
International Criminal Court (ICC) March 31. VIVE's
accusation lists instances of murder, torture, unlawful
detention, and sexual abuse it alleges Chavez security forces
and agents carried out since July 2002. The accusation terms
the collected human rights abuses as "crimes against
humanity" perpetrated in a systematic manner as part of GoV
policy. VIVE charges that an appeal to the international
body is required because the Attorney General's Office, the
Ombudsman, and the courts in Venezuela have neglected to
conduct lawful investigations and to take action to protect
the citizenry from GoV abuse. VIVE also requested a
preliminary declaration from the ICC because the GoV has
started a criminal investigation against them for having
brought an earlier ICC complaint.


-------------------------------
Ex-Ambassadors Appeal to UN SYG
-------------------------------

6. (U) Five former Venezuelan ambassadors to the United
Nations, Simon Alberto Consalvi, Ramon Escovar Salom, Diego
Arria, Adolpho Raul Taylhardat, and Milos Alcalay, sent a
letter March 23 to UN SYG Kofi Annan condemning the GoV for
human rights abuses and for preventing the citizens from
exercising their constitutional rights to have a presidential
referendum. The ambassadors complained of GoV efforts to
avoid or confuse orders issued by the Supreme Court (TSJ)
Electoral Chamber regarding the referendum, and detailed GoV
attempts to remove or disqualify TSJ justices through actions
in the National Assembly and investigations by the offices of
the Attorney General and the Ombudsman. The result of these
GoV efforts, said the ambassadors, was to impede the people's
rights to an electoral solution to the current political
impasse. The ambassadors invited SYG Annon to visit
Venezuela and hoped that he would use his "voice of
authority" to call for a referendum and an end to GoV abuse.


SHAPIRO


NNNN

2004CARACA01138 - UNCLASSIFIED

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