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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06CARACAS874 2006-03-30 17:48:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Caracas
Cable title:  

VENEZUELA'S NEW LABOR MINISTER A LOYAL PROFESSIONAL

Tags:   PGOV PHUM ELAB PINR VE 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 000874 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/28/2021
TAGS: PGOV PHUM ELAB PINR VE
SUBJECT: VENEZUELA'S NEW LABOR MINISTER A LOYAL PROFESSIONAL

REF: CARACAS 00532

CARACAS 00000874 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Mark Wells, Acting Political Counselor,
for Reason 1.4(b).

-------
Summary
-------



1. (C) In a rare departure for Venezuelan ministerial
appointments, new Labor Minister Ricardo Dorado is a
qualified and experienced expert in his field. Dorado most
recently served as Vice Minister of Labor, often representing
Venezuela at International Labor Organization (ILO) meetings.
Though a labor expert, Dorado also worked for the
Chavez-leaning human rights NGO PROVEA prior to joining the
Ministry of Labor. Dorado, who once studied to be a Jesuit
priest, has a leftist Catholic take on politics, according to
one former employer. Despite his grounding in the
traditional left, Dorado seems to be a Chavez loyalist who
can be expected to keep organized labor divided and
submissive to the government's wishes. End summary.



--------------------------


New Minister Has Professional Credentials


--------------------------





2. (C) President Hugo Chavez appointed Ricardo Dorado as
Minister of Labor on February 24. Dorado replaced outgoing
Minister Maria Cristina Iglesias, who was named Minister of
Light Industry. Iglesias, a member of the Patria Para Todos
(PPT) party, did not have a labor background. Dorado, who
had worked in key positions within the Labor Ministry since
2002, was often noted by labor leaders as a specialist,
providing much of the day-to-day management of the Ministry.
Before being appointed, Dorado was the Vice Minister of Labor
and often served as the acting minister in Iglesias' absence.
He also served as the Director General for Labor Affairs in


2002.



3. (C) According to labor analyst Rolando Diaz, for whom the
new Minister once worked, Dorado is a lawyer who completed
specialty studies in labor law. He is a graduate of Andres
Bello Catholic University (UCAB), a Jesuit-run university in
Caracas. Diaz said Dorado had, in fact, trained to be a
Jesuit priest, but ultimately chose the legal field. Diaz
said Dorado has always been a radical leftist, associated
with Catholic lay movements. Dorado has been a PPT party
sympathizer, but not a member, asserted Diaz. (Note: Diaz
said Dorado, approximately 40, is married with one child, and
probably does not speak English.)



--------------------------


And Some Revolutionary Bona Fides


--------------------------





4. (C) Prior to joining the government in 2002, Dorado worked
for the human rights NGO PROVEA (Venezuelan Education and
Action Program), an organization often sympathetic to Chavez.
One Internet reference indicated that, during the coup
attempt of April 2002, Dorado, acting with the support of
PROVEA, filed a request for protective measures on behalf of
the sequestered President Chavez before the Inte-American
Commission for Human Rights. Though this action no doubt
endeared Dorado to the Chavista camp, Diaz asserted that
Dorado probably does not share Chavez' convoluted ideas about
organized labor. Dorado had always been a radical proponent
of independent labor movements, Diaz said, diametrically
opposed to the government subservience that Chavez promotes.
Diaz speculated that the new Labor Minister was working for
the Bolivarians out of personal interests rather than
personal conscience. In any event, Dorado has in public
statements consistently toed the Chavista line.



--------------------------



CARACAS 00000874 002.2 OF 002


ILO Expertise Will Be Noticeable


--------------------------





5. (C) Diaz said that Dorado was the Venezuelan Government's
most qualified labor expert. Dorado has often handled the
ILO account, representing Venezuela at key meetings in
Geneva. Diaz recalled that Dorado used to give classes to
members of the Venezuelan Workers Confederation (CTV) on how
to present complaints to the ILO. Diaz said that, in
contrast with other Bolivarian ministers, Dorado "will not be
an embarrassment" in international fora.



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





6. (C) Labor leaders will respect Dorado as an expert, but
they do not look forward to any major advances in the labor
field. Chavez feels threatened by organized labor, even
among his own followers, and has pioneered a policy of
dismantling the sector, with Dorado's help, since at least


2002. The appointment of a qualified expert to a ministerial
position is rare for Chavez, who prefers loyalists to
technocrats. Dorado is probably the exception that proves
the rule, however. We do not expect Chavez to start putting
a priority on brain power in his senior government
nominations.

BROWNFIELD