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Cablegate: Assembly Approves 2007-2013 Economic and Social

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RR RUEHAO RUEHCD RUEHGA RUEHGD RUEHGR RUEHHA RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG
RUEHNL RUEHQU RUEHRD RUEHRG RUEHRS RUEHTM RUEHVC
DE RUEHCV #2396/01 3602032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 262032Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0353
INFO RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 002396

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV VE
SUBJECT: ASSEMBLY APPROVES 2007-2013 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
DEVELOPMENT PLAN

REF: A. CARACAS 2207

B. CARACAS 2363

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Summary
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1. (SBU) On December 13 the National Assembly approved the
BRV's "Guidelines for the 2007-2013 Economic and Social
Development Plan for the Nation." The two page introduction
of the 51 page document outlines President Chavez' vision to
further develop "21st Century Socialism." Themes include
"rebirth of the Venezuelan people with Socialist values," and
increasing social and economic ties within Latin America,
Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Syria and Iran. The plan
acknowledges the importance of the US oil market to the BRV
but advocates diversifying its customer base. Closely
related to the rejected December 2 Constitutional Referendum
reforms, the plan, attempts to provide a framework to
accomplish "21st Century Socialism." End summary.

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The Plan
--------
2. (U) The plan, "Guidelines for the 2007-2013 Economic and
Social Development Plan for the Nation" dated September,
2007" is found on the Ministry of Popular Power for
Communication and Information website (www.minci.gob.ve).
Ricardo Sanchez, President of the National Assembly's
Permanent Commission for Finances claimed the plan,
envisioned as a compliment to the defeated Constitutions'
reform, conforms to the principles of the current
Constitution. The plan is a follow up to the 2001-2007 plan
of the same name and contains seven sections. Each section
presents a discussion titled "focus" which provides the
background and motivation for achieving the goal of the
section. Following each discussion is an outline of specific
objectives. After the objectives, again in outline form,
follows a list of strategies and policies to pursue to
achieve these objectives. The seven sections are:
I. New Socialist Ethics
II. Supreme Social Happiness
III. Leading Revolutionary Democracy
IV. Productive Socialist Model
V. New National Geopolitics
VI. Venezuela: World Energy Power
VII. New International Geopolitics

3. (U) New Socialist Ethics: The first section contrasts
capitalism with socialism. Capitalism is condemned as being
based on an individuals' ego and socialism is praised for its
"ethical values and human solidarity." An extensive
discussion on "socialist ethics" outlines the qualities
needed to attain the goals outlined in the document.
Education is strongly emphasized. It also stresses human
rights and the elimination of corruption.

4. (U) Supreme Social Happiness: This section, which cites
Simon Bolivar as the originator of the phrase "Supreme Social
Happiness," focuses on advancement through socialism. It
references the Constitution as the basis for the policies for
the new socialist political and economic structures. (Note:
The language would have made sense only if the proposed
changes to the Constitution had been approved. End note.)
It emphasizes the missions, funded by petroleum, as a vehicle
to achieve the goals of universal identity, nutrition,
health, education, life and work. It also recognizes global
warming and the need to protect the natural environment.

5. (U) Leading Revolutionary Democracy: This section
discusses the collective strength of the group in contrast to
individual weaknesses. It advocates cooperative
associations, the total involvement of the people, and
development of mass communications.

6. (U) Productive Socialist Model: This section proposes the
elimination of social divisions of work, the elimination of
hierarchal structures and the elimination of "the disunity
between satisfying necessities and the production of wealth,
via the Productive Socialist Model." Under the model, the
State would maintain total control of all production
activities that are of strategic value. Social Production
Businesses (EPSs: Spanish acronym) are mentioned as the "seed
and the path to 21st Century Socialism." (Note: EPSs are
defined as economic units dedicated to the production of
goods and services, based on participatory planning without

CARACAS 00002396 002 OF 002


discrimination to workers and without hierarchal privileges.
End Note.) PDVSA is identified as a source of support for
EPSs.

7. (U) New National Geopolitics: This section emphasizes the
development of a more diverse economy and a wider system of
regional transportation through development of sparsely
populated areas. A key goal is the redistribution of the
population and activities from urban areas to rural regions.
It cites the export hub for petroleum in the north central
and coastal areas of Venezuela as a system which concentrates
wealth distribution in an unequal and unbalanced manner. It
also advocates additional axes of regional integration and
development from the central plains to the north, western
areas, eastern areas and the Apure-Orinoco area. These axes
are called the "strategic hinge" for the regional integration
of South America. It proposes a national railway system to
connect these axes.

8. (U) Venezuela: World Energy Power: The plan recognizes
the importance of petroleum in the national development
strategy for Venezuela. The section discusses the worldwide
increase in demand for oil, particularly in India and China
as well as South America, but states that the United States
will continue being a major purchaser of Venezuelan oil. It
promotes development of additional refining capacity and
petrol-chemical production. Aside from petroleum, the
section advocates the development of hydroelectric and
thermoelectric energy as well as the increased distribution
of hydroelectric energy. Reference is made also to the use
of petroleum income to support environmental protection and
community quality of life. Finally it discusses the use of
Venezuelan oil as a tool for strengthening multi-polar
integration with Latin American and the Caribbean.

9. (U) New International Geopolitics: The final section of
the document comments on the BRV efforts to create a "multi
polar world and the breaking of the hegemony of imperialist
North America." It outlines goals such as creating a "new
matrix of world power in the fields of finance, media,
politics and the military." It cites large energy reserves
as a means of forming strategic alliances to aid in the
development of a diverse economy for Venezuela. It lists
several examples including the development of the "Faja" in
the Orinoco region, the joint refinery project Abreu de Lima
in Northeast Brazil between Brazil and the BRV, as well as
joint businesses between China and the BRV and the gas
pipeline of the south (Refs A and B). The section advocates
the development of a "new" MERCOSUR based on the concept of
the South American Community of Nations (a European Union
patterned trade organization) and consolidating Venezuelan
leadership of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
(ALBA) as an alternative to the Free Trade Agreement Area of
the Americas (FTAA) and other Free Trade Agreements (FTA).
Other goals include strengthened ties with South America and
the Caribbean, strengthening alternative movements in Central
America and Mexico, as well as improved cooperation with
Iran, Syria, Russia and Belorussia. The section also
encourages closer relations with Spain, Great Britain,
Portugal, the Middle East, China, Viet Nam and Malaysia.

10. (SBU) Comment: The document, which was written in
September 2007, represents a detailed discussion of Chavez'
vision for achieving "21st Century Socialism" in Venezuela.
How the plan will be implemented in the wake of the defeat of
Chavez' Constitutional reform proposals is not clear. In
approving the plan, the National Assembly seems to have
wanted to establish that Chavez' supporters have not
abandoned the goals of the defeated Constitutional reforms.

DUDDY

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