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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Chavez's Regional Influence

VZCZCXYZ0016
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1717 2951929
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221929Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2315
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1526

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001717

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IIP/G/WHA, INR/R/MR, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL VE CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - CHAVEZ'S REGIONAL INFLUENCE

1. On October 21, conservative, influential, newspaper-of-record "El
Mercurio" (Sun. circ. 260,108) carried a column by Andres
Oppenheimer entitled "Hugo Chavez' Project in the Continent."
Quote:

2. "It is no mystery that Hugo Chavez...wants to destabilize Latin
American countries that have good relations with the United States.
He openly states it on an internet webpage of the Ministry of
Communications.... Chavez is following in Fidel Castro's footsteps,
creating artificial conflicts with internal 'enemies' to build a
global cause and use them as a justification to remain in power
forever. The difference is that unlike Castro... Chavez has tons of
money. But what bothers me the most is that the United States is
financing his efforts.... With its absurdly large use of
unnecessary fuel, the United States is paying Chavez US$34 billion
for oil each year. As long as the United States continues to pay
that fortune, Chavez will continue to have all the money in the
world to finance 'alternative movements' in countries that have good
relations with the United States."

URBAN

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