Cablegate: Ardent Pro-Chavez Daily Gives Guarded Welcome And

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




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. The regular "Stumbling Block" column published under the
pseudonym "Marciano" in the very pro-Chavez daily DIARIO
VEA, offered both a guarded welcome and a warning to
Ambassador Brownfield. "Martian" noted that Ambassador
Brownfield seemed to be bringing a new approach based on
mutual respect. He warned the Ambassador not to try to
interfere in Venezuela's internal affairs. It is widely
believed that "Marciano" is actually Venezuela's Vice-
President, Jose Vincente Rangel. END SUMMARY.


2. DIARIO VEA (pro-government, circ. 25,000)
10/08 Stumbling Block column headline: "Shapiro's Successor"

Full text: "The new U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela is William
Brownfield. He's a Foreign Service official; that is, a
professional. He's coming from Chile, where he was
carefully watched: too friendly say some, but restless.
He's loquacious and forward. His wife is also the U.S.
Ambassador to Ecuador. It is a family of diplomats.
Brownfield was in Central America and also, some years ago,
in Venezuela as a consul in Maracaibo. In other words, he
knows the country.

"What is, for now, the main thing about Brownfield? The
instructions he brings from his government and the fact that
he is Shapiro's successor. Let's see: a) As for the
instructions, he gave a signal when he submitted copies of
the letters of credence to Foreign Affairs Minister Prez:
"We are ready, willing, prepared and eager to explore the
possibility of improving the bilateral relations between our
two countries and also to collaborate on regional affairs,"
(our cannibalistic opposition cannot be happy with this
statement). Starting off with this statement is not bad and
we have to bet on his good faith. Venezuela-United States
relations got complicated as a result of Washington's
interfering in Venezuela's domestic affairs and because of
the way the U.S. Embassy worked together with the Venezuelan
opposition in sinister events such as the coup d'tat on
April 11 and the oil strike and sabotage in 2002. The
government of the United States provoked the conflict, not
the government of Venezuela. Therefore, if the new
ambassador brings another approach, that of respect for
national sovereignty, there won't be any trouble because
everything can be dealt with based on that recognition. b)
Succeeding Shapiro is a challenge: he was a most imprudent
and undiplomatic human being. If Brownfield doesn't want
problems he must behave differently than his predecessor -
more discretion and less meddling; relations with all the
sectors of society and not with one in particular; Chavista
and anti-Chavista; government and opposition; not to succumb
to the lure of the East of Caracas and to keep in mind that
Caracas also has other places where human beings live and a
number of people that believe in the Venezuelan government
and support President Chvez.

"Welcome or Unwelcome:
"This columnist, who has many reservations about the Bush
administration's foreign policy towards the region - and
particularly towards Venezuela - and about the performance
of ambassadors from that nation, leaves the door open to
judging Brownfield's management, which will not be working
within the parameters of other previous ambassador, and with
the hope that the U.S. administration will look at the case
of Venezuela with a different criteria from the one it has
used up until now. Welcome, Mr. Brownfield! And I hope I
won't have to say in the future, Unwelcome, Mr. Brownfield!"


5. `Marciano' is considered to be the pen name of
Venezuela's Vice-President Rangel; the fact that he chose to
address this issue probably reflects the Vice President's
desire to comment on recent statements by Secretary Powell,
A/S Noriega and the Ambassador. The general line in VEA is
stridently anti-USG. Marciano's message shows some
restrain, but remains firm in the GoV's stated principles
End Comment.



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