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Cablegate: Response to Majors Designation Negative

VZCZCXRO9583
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHCV #1233 2612110
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 182110Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3723
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1037
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS

UNCLAS CARACAS 001233

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER VE CO
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO MAJORS DESIGNATION NEGATIVE

1. (SBU) During a September 17 press conference, Venezuelan
Minister of Interior and Justice Tarek El Aissami gave the
Venezuelan government (GBRV) response to the Presidential
Determination for Major Drug-Transit and Major Illicit
Drug-Producing Countries (the Majors). El Aissami described
the Majors report as bordering on "immoral, cynical and
hypocritical." Describing U.S. drug control policy as
"failure after failure," the Minister suggested that the
United States should, "decertify itself out of shame." El
Aissami repeated the charge made by President Chavez on his
September 13 episode of "Alo Presidente" that the DEA "had
become the main drug cartel operating in the United States."

2. (SBU) President Chavez, speaking during a September 17
televised event, admitted not having read the report, and
added that he would study it carefully to see if Venezuela
was being accused of supporting drug trafficking. Chavez
also announced that he was considering a airplane shoot-down
policy for Venezuela. "I don't like the idea," said Chavez,
"but others have the policy." Chavez revealed that drug
pilots ignore or laugh at orders to land from Venezuelan
authorities. Chavez warned the "Colombian and Yanqui" drug
traffickers that he was seriously considering the issue (a
shoot-down policy).

3. (SBU) Both local and sydnicated press reported Chavez's
informal comments that he considered the waiver to fund civil
society groups in Venezuela as funding for opposition groups
to conspire against him.

DUDDY

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