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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Western Hemisphere: Venezuela, Chvez's

VZCZCXYZ0017
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0785 2671301
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241301Z SEP 07
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7496
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 8610
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8341
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2909

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000785

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, Chvez's
regional influence; Sao Paulo


1. "Difficult Dialogue With Chvez's Venezuela"

Business-oriented Valor Econtmico (9/24) editorialized: "Presidents
Hugo Chvez and Lula da Silva resumed in Manaus embraces and
friendly public declarations following a tense separation period
that began in May when the Venezuelan accused the Brazilian Senate
of parroting the U.S. Congress. They spoke about integration and
joint projects, but the lack of smiles between them was not the only
indication that Chvez's tone is still above of what it is expected
from a strategic South American partner. There is today a clear
climate of mistrust between the two governments. It becomes evident
when Chvez says that he will create a Bank of the South in Caracas
without discussing the issue with the GOB; or when he declares that
the delay in joint project negotiations between state-owned oil
companies Petrobras and PDVSA is 'shameful'.... Chvez is not happy
with the Lula administration's moderate behavior and market-oriented
inclination, and this is one of the reasons for the Venezuelan to
accuse once again Mercosul of being an 'old commercial mechanism'
that does not serve South American integration. While Chvez may
have a relevant role in Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay as a
petrodollars provider, his influence in Brazil does not go beyond
the enchantment he causes among certain leftist circles and the
major interest of the business sector looking for good profit
opportunities in Venezuela.... The problem for Lula is how to deal
with a neighbor whose Bolivarian socialist project may seriously
conflict with the South American model of integration dreamed of in
Brasilia.... The same way that it would not be right to permit that
Chvez's Bolivarian project dictate the course of bilateral
relations, it is not wise to ignore Venezuela as a response to its
president's inflammable rhetoric."

2. "Losing Patience With Chvez"

Center-right national circulation daily O Estado de S. Paulo
remarked (9/22): "Why is it that in all the pictures in the
Brazilian media showing the Lula-Chvez meeting in Manaus the
Brazilian president looks like he is experiencing a bad moment
beside his almost always inconvenient interlocutor?.... According to
rumors in Brasilia, Lula is losing his patience with the Venezuelan
autocrat, who, incidentally, is a boring person.... The energy
cooperation between Brazil and Venezuela has been so full of
misunderstandings that the Manaus meeting was called exactly to
discuss the current relationship between the two nations.... The
Colombian question is another issue that may create further friction
with Chvez - if Lula does the right thing. Brazil should not have
accepted to host negotiations between Chvez, the Colombian
government and the FARC narco-guerrilla.... The announced Brazilian
initiative is a dangerous imprudence because it has the potential of
creating unexpected and unnecessary problems."
White

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