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Cablegate: Mideast: Western Hemisphere: Venezuela, Nationalization

VZCZCXYZ0009
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0580 1831354
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 021354Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7187
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8289
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8185
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2827

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000580

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: MIDEAST: WESTERN HEMISPHERE: VENEZUELA, NATIONALIZATION
PROGRAM, PRESS FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS; SCO PAULO

1. "Chavez' New Constitution"

Main editorial in center right O Estado de S. Paulo (7/2) says: "The
first measure Hugo Chavez took once he became president of Venezuela
in 1998 was to reform the constitution.... With the 1999
constitution Hugo Chavez was able to begin to tailor Venezuela to
the "bolivarian" format....Now [Chavez says] the 1999 constitution
has "residues of the old order"...and therefore it is time to write
a new one that reflects the goals of the dictator. The text is
almost ready.... From what is known about the project...private
property will be tolerated according to the convenience of the
dictator of the moment. Economy will be continuously
socialized...the central bank will lose its autonomy...indefinite
reelection of the president will be allowed.... Chavez also intends
to formalize the Bolivarian militias and the community police's role
as a national defense force. The Armed forces will perform
"strategic functions" to defend the country from an invasion of U.S.
troops-a fantasy threat used by the dictator to mobilize part of the
population.... The Bolivarian militias are actually a group of
brutes ...the community police...is a copycat of the Committees for
the Defense of the Revolution which Fidel Castro uses to keep the
population in line, It will be no different in Venezuela."
McMullen

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