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Cablegate: Finance Minister Accuses Fedecamaras of Subversion

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHCV #2188 3191924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151924Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0106
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7589
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ NOV LIMA 0894
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 2708
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS CARACAS 002188

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON PGOV VE
SUBJECT: FINANCE MINISTER ACCUSES FEDECAMARAS OF SUBVERSION

REF: A. CARACAS 2013

B. CARACAS 2124
C. CARACAS 2140

1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified, please
treat accordingly.

2. (SBU) Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas went on the
offensive November 14 and publicly accused FEDECAMARAS,the
country's largest umbrella business organization, of
"subversion" for its opposition to the BRV's constitutional
reform project. Cabezas was reacting to a five-page report
issued by the organization on November 13 calling on civil
society to reject the project and laying out why it was
reiterating its rejection (ref. c). The starkly worded
document which is available on the FEDECAMARAS website
underscores the continuing deterioration of the country's
productive sectors and international competitiveness (in
spite of high oil-fueled, consumption-led growth rates), the
failure of BRV economic production schemes, skyrocketing
crime, the erosion of the nation's institutions, laws and
social comity, and the consolidation of power into the hands
of one individual.

3. (SBU) Cabezas in a hastily convened press conference
(where reportedly no questions were permitted) challenged the
FEDECAMARAS position that the reform project was illigitimate
by noting that articles 342 and 344 of the current
constitution provided for constitutional reform and
established the mechanics for doing so. He also defended the
BRV's economic record by claiming, inter alia, that there
still were "large opportunities to invest (in Venezuela)" and
argued that "it was impossible to explain 15 quarters of
economic growth without the expansion of investment and newly
productive plants."

DUDDY

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