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Cablegate: Gbrv "Surprised" About the Nobel Peace Prize

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DE RUEHCV #1321 2872042
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P 142042Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3816
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TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM VE
SUBJECT: GBRV "SURPRISED" ABOUT THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

1. (SBU) The Venezuelan government (GBRV) reacted
immediately and strongly to the October 9 news that President
Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Venezuela's Public
Defender Gabriela Ramirez said early that morning on the
government-owned VTV the award "made a mockery of human
rights," and the government Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias
issued a press release with her statement. Shortly after
noon Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolas Maduro said he was
"surprised" at the announcement, since "Obama has only just
begun." He suggested Obama demonstrate his commitment to
peace by ending the U.S. use of Colombian military bases.

2. (U) President Chavez criticized the decision in his
weekly column "Las Lineas de Chavez" October 11, asking "What
has Obama done to merit this prize?" After accusing the jury
of forgetting President Obama's "determination to keep troops
in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his decision to establish new
military bases in Colombia," Chavez said it was like giving a
baseball pitcher a Cy Young award at the beginning of a
season.
DUDDY

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