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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Ecuadorian Relations With

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

UNCLAS QUITO 001741

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, WHA, WHA/AND, WHA/PDA
DIRONDCP FOR PA
EMBASSIES FOR PAO/IO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL OPRC KIRC KPAO EC
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: ECUADORIAN RELATIONS WITH
VENEZUELA

1. "Possible Accords with Venezuela," an opinion
column (07/23) by Orlando Alcvar in Guayaquil's (and
Ecuador's) center-right "El Universo" (weekend circ.
240,000)

Quote: "Although Chavez's proposals are moved by the
best intention, they also carry along an undeniable
political ingredient that demands enough capacity to
handle them in the right way, because no one ignores
the interest the Commander has to lead the whole
region and demonstrate to the U.S. -which he
opposes-that he has allies in its back yard, which
might cause frictions that are inconvenient for any
country.

". . . we have to be careful. It is positive that we
do not think only about Wall Street, and that we open
the range of possibilities to interest Venezuela,
Colombia, Brazil, China, and any other country
willing to cooperate with our development. . ."

2. "Turn in Foreign Policy," an editorial (07/21) in
Guayaquil's (and Ecuador's) center-right "El
Universo" (circ. 140,000)

Quote: "[The government strategy to have a more open
and balanced foreign policy] has resulted in a couple
of specific accords with Venezuela that. . . not only
respond to concrete financial needs, but also on
terms advantageous for the country.

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"Venezuela is a nation close by. The ties that link
us are deep. . . That does not imply, of course,
sympathy with the project nor methods used by the
present Venezuelan regime, which we have criticized
harshly due to its flagrant lack of respect for the
basic principles of democracy. . .

3. "Accords with Venezuela?" an editorial (07/21) in
Cuenca's center-right "El Tiempo" (circ. 7,000)

Quote: "The Venezuelan offer for Ecuador to use its
[oil] refinerie is attractive.

"However, some national analysts have warned about
what they consider an eventual risk if negotiations
on oil and debt with Venezuela come to fruition.
They contend this would have geopolitical
implications, because a [agreements] in the oil and
external debt areas with the nation ruled by Hugo
Chavez, would put distance between Ecuador and the
United States, our main business partner. . . Those
opinions are reasonable, of course, but we cannot
forget that a sovereign country can arrive at accords
or negotiations with any state it wishes to. . . It
is evident that Hugo Chavez is playing a political
card with his apparent generous offer, but the
Ecuadorian government will have to negotiate very
skillfully, avoiding undesired commitment with the
hemispheric policies led by Chavez."

4. "Venezuelan Variables," an editorial (07/22) in
Quito's left, populist "La Hora" (circ. 120,000)

Quote: "Just as we advocated Ecuadorian neutrality
and non-intervention in reference to the Colombian
conflict, we should do the same with President
Chavez's regime. . ."

MEMMOTT

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