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Cablegate: Hugo Chavez' May 16 Speech

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

UNCLAS CARACAS 001728

SIPDIS


NSC FOR TOM SHANNON
STATE FOR INR/R/MR:IMARR AND STHIBEAULT, WHA/AND:HOEY,
WHA/PDA:CAVANAUGH, PACE/PR/FPCW/WHA:DPRINCE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO OPRC KIRC VE
SUBJECT: HUGO CHAVEZ' MAY 16 SPEECH

1. The following is a summary of Venezuelan President
Hugo Chavez' May 9 speech during the Venezuelan
government's (GOV) "Rally for Peace and against
Paramilitaries, and in Defense of Sovereignty and the
Dignity of the Nation" in Caracas, which substituted for
Chavez' usual Sunday Alo Presidente program. The speech
was broadcast in a national "cadena," which all broadcast
media were legally obliged to transmit. Bilateral issues
included the GOV's ultimatum that U.S. military personnel
vacate their offices at Fuerte Tiuna and other Venezuelan
bases; GOV accusations that Miami was the epicenter of
the foiled conspiracy to deploy Colombian paramilitaries
to Venezuela to assassinate President Chavez; the
announcement of the "Anti-Imperialist" phase of the
Bolivarian Revolution; allegations of USG violations of
human rights in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the alleged USG
role in the April 2003 coup attempt against Chavez.

-------------------------------------
GOV Gives U.S. Military the Pink Slip
-------------------------------------

2. President Chavez confirmed his government's decision
to order U.S. military personnel to vacate their offices
on Venezuelan Armed Forces headquarters in Fuerte Tiuna
in Caracas and in other bases in Venezuela. "I have
ordered the U.S. military mission to leave Fuerte Tiuna,
it was time to do so. What is a U.S. military mission
doing in the very heart of Fuerte Tiuna? We have given
them a deadline to leave . . . these are sovereign spaces
where we cannot allow the presence of any international
element, especially those of the North American Empire,"
said Chavez.

--------------------------------------------- -----
Colombian Paramilitaries - Miami Pulls the Strings
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. Chavez alleged that the recent infiltration of
Colombian paramilitaries "in the heart of Caracas" was
part of an international imperialistic conspiracy with
headquarters in Miami, Colombia (Bogota, Cucuta), and
Caracas. "Those who brought this network of accomplices
here -- which has an epicenter in Miami, another in
Bogota, in Cucuta, and here in Caracas -- these terrorist
paramilitaries and the traitorous Venezuelans, who
planned the invasion of the paramilitaries and whom they
contracted like mercenaries ... knew very well that these
paramilitaries couldn't have overthrown the Venezuelan
government, so their objective was the head of the
President, to assassinate him, decapitate him," alleged
Chavez. The U.S. imperialists and Colombian-Venezuelan
oligarchies' "simple, macabre plan" would not succeed,
however, and even if he were killed, Chavez would hear
from his tomb the cry of the Venezuelan people against
the "boot of U.S. imperialism" and in defense of
Venezuela," averred Chavez.

--------------------------------------------- ----
The Revolution Advances to Anti-Imperialism Stage
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. The Bolivarian Revolution has entered its "anti-
imperialist" stage, proclaimed Chavez to the audience of
tens of thousands of government followers. He then
proceeded to dictate the three lines of acton to defend
the country from imperialism:
-- trengthen the capacity of the National Armed Force
(FAN). Chavez said this action was not an armamnt race.
Rather, the new revolutionary phase called for increasing
Venezuela's military contingentto augment operational
capacity and mobility thrughout the country, including
establishing operaion theaters in some central states.
"The Hugo Cavez of 2002 (year of the coup d'tat) is now
part of history; we are ready to face any threat," Chavz
emphasized.

-- Reinforce the civic-militaryunion. "It is necessary
to remain alert and to einforce the civic-military

union. It is up to every one of us; we have advanced a
lot, but we still have a way to go," insisted Chavez.

-- Form popular organizations to defend the homeland.
"The Defense of the Mother Land is everyone's task,"
urged Chavez. "In each city slum, island, farming area,
university, factory, forest, in each place where there is
a group of patriots (...) people taking the leading role,
together with the Armed Force (...)," Chavez proclaimed.
"It is necessary to join efforts to ensure the national
defense, time has come to revolutionize security, to give
it a new concept, to re-orient it, because we are still
working with the paradigms of the IV Republic. I call on
all Venezuelans to join the defense of the homeland, of
the national sovereignty ... In the coming weeks, with
the advisory of the Council of Defense of the Nation
(Codena) I will start issuing guidelines and
instructions; I ask for the support of all the local
powers, social movements, popular movements (...) Men and
women of age that are not reservists, but who are in
condition to become soldiers should get military training
and organize themselves for the defense of the Mother
land (...) Because nothing nor nobody will be able to
beat Venezuela or a conscious and organized people," he
added.

5. Chavez also called on the support of active and
retired officials, such as Luis Reyes Reyes, Lara state
Governor; Eliecer Otaiza Castillo, president of the
National Institute of Educational Cooperation; Diosdado
Cabello, candidate to Miranda governorship; Jesse Chacon,
Communications and Information Minister; Hernan Gruber
Odreman, former Governor of the Caracas area Federal
District; Ronald Blanco La Cruz, Tachira state Governor;
Florencio Porras, Merida state governor; and Pedro
Carreno, National Assembly legislator. "The evaluation
of retired officers is underway so that they begin giving
military training wherever there is a group of patriots,
with the people taking the leading role, together with
the Armed Forces, to defend the country," insisted
Chavez.

-----------------------------------
U.S. Imperialism: Afghanistan, Iraq
-----------------------------------

6. U.S. imperialism included flagrant violations of
human rights, as evidenced by USG policy following
September 11, in particular its policy on Afghanistan and
Iraq, Chavez observed. "We were one of the few
governments that dared to speak out when U.S. imperialism
began with the invasion of Afghanistan, the bombing of
towns and cities. I recall I showed a photo of a photo
of dead children. I protested in the name of the
Venezuelan people and our government, and this angered
the government in Washington; we were only asking for
respect for the life of Afghani children. . . We were
right, especially after September 11, which the U.S. used
as an excuse. U.S. imperialism took off its mask, took
on the United Nations, disrespected the Security Council,
to invade Afghanistan, then Iraq," claimed Chavez.

-----------------
April 11 -- Again
-----------------

7. Following Chavez' accusations of U.S. imperialism, he
launched into his usual allegations that the April 2002
coup attempt against him could only have occurred with
USG complicity. . . "There is an important detail,
September 11, April 11, 2002; the fascist coup occurred
only seven months after September 11, and everyone knows
that this coup could only occur thanks to U.S. support
and the support from groups from other countries,"
asserted Chavez.

Shapiro


NNNN

2004CARACA01728 - UNCLASSIFIED

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