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Cablegate: Chavez, Brazilian Leadership and the Calc Summit

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0677 3541640
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191640Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8797
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9949
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8949
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3232

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000677

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: CHAVEZ, BRAZILIAN LEADERSHIP AND THE CALC SUMMIT

Contested Leadership

Lead editorial in center-right O Estado de S. Paulo (12/19) says:
"Reacting to comments made by those [who attended] the Latin America
and Caribbean Summit (CALC), which gathered 33 countries in the
State of Bahia (Brazil) attests to the "incontrovertible leadership
of Brazil"...Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Brazil is
not the only Latin American country to exert "an important
leadership" in the area. But neither Chavez nor the observers seem
to understand the peculiarity of the role played by Brazil in this
picnic of regional self-assertion, held under anti-American
rhetoric. Once more it demonstrates, clearly, that the previously
mentioned Brazilian leadership is not undisputed. However, it is
sufficiently robust to work as moderator in an event that otherwise,
would be at the mercy of inconsequential Bolivarianism bravado.
...If MERCOSUL and the Andean Pact, who gather, each one, handfuls
of countries; it does not work; what does it say about an entity
with 33 members that has little in common in addition to the
situation than being on the same continent."
White

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