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Cablegate: Brazil: Venezuela Developments

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

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRASILIA 001332

SIPDIS

NSC FOR MIKE DEMPSEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2009
TAGS: PINR PREL VE BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: VENEZUELA DEVELOPMENTS

REF: A. BRASILIA 492

B. BRASILIA 1070
C. BRASILIA 1104

Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR DENNIS HEARNE. REASONS 1.4
(b)(d).

1. (C) The chief of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry's OAS
Division (MRE/DEA), Nelson Tabajara, told Poloff on 28 May
Brazil was "surprised" by recent negative developments in
Venezuela and has not formulated an official response.
Tabajara said the "inflamed" environment has raised the GOV's
"level of insecurity" to such an extent that no one can
predict Chavez's next moves.

2. (C) Tabajara said Brazil's Ambassador to Caracas had
recommended Brazil not/not provide MRE or other official
observers to this weekend's "reparos" process. (Note. We were
unable to confirm this with the MRE's Andean Division Chief.
End note.) Tabajara said the GOB expects the appeals process
to move forward 28-30 May, and said Brazil will "react
strongly and with the U.S." if there are irregularities.
Tabajara noted also that the upcoming OAS General Assembly
will provide a forum for Brazil and others to take positions
in light of events.

3.(C) Poloff asked Tabajara about 25 May press reports
indicating President Lula da Silva's strong concern about the
formation of pro-Chavez militias. Tabajara was not aware of
any recent intercessions by President Lula da Silva or FM
Amorim with the Chavez government on the militias or the
signatures appeals.

4. (C) Comment. On the eve of this important weekend, we
believe that the GOB will fulfill its Friends obligations in
the event of a melt down in Venezuela. But we also doubt
that the GOB has a contingency plan for decisive bilateral
engagement with Chavez. Repeated queries over the past
several weeks to candid and informed MRE interlocutors (refs)
reveal anxiety but also a seemingly fatalistic approach -- at
least at the professional working level -- to a matter that
should be of high strategic concern to Brazil. We cannot
judge whether confidential caveats have been registered by
the GOB with Chavez in recent days, but we doubt it. If the
situation does go critical, Lula could well pick up the phone
to Chavez, but we are not confident that the GOB has a ready
script for such a call, or that the message would be potent
enough for meaningful impact.

HRINAK

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