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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Western Hemisphere: Venezuela, Chavez's New

VZCZCXYZ0007
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0714 2331803
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211803Z AUG 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7373
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8483
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8264
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2873

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000714

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: MEDIA REACTION: WESTERN HEMISPHERE: VENEZUELA, CHAVEZ'S NEW
CONSTITUTION; SCO PAULO

"New Constitution Gives Chvez Too Many Powers"

Business-oriented Valor Economico editorialized (8/21): "The
constitutional reform proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez
can be summed up by an old phrase: 'The state is me.' The new laws
will make that nation an extension of Chvez's personal will. The
powers are absolutely exorbitant, even for the usual pattern of
Latin American dictatorships. Hugo Chvez's main goal is to
guarantee his perpetual reelection, and everything indicates that he
will get that, and even more.... The economy will suffer
transformations.... The concept of property will become a mess,
where private property will have to coexist with 'social,' 'public,'
'collective' and 'mixed' properties.... There is no clearer and more
absurd example of the extraordinary powers Chvez intends to grab
than the Executive proposal to give the president control over the
management of the nation's international reserves.... The practice
is common in African dictatorships, with the known disastrous
results.... The management of reserves in the hands of a politician
who seems determined not to respect limits can not only cause
economic disaster, but also serves as a remarkable weapon of
political corruption and personal enrichment. There is no
distinction in this regard between socialist and other
dictatorships.... The new Venezuelan constitution will eliminate
still existing democratic mechanisms in that nation. Supported by a
sea of petrodollars, Chvez will reign absolute as long as destiny
decides."
White

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