wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08CARACAS325 2008-03-07 18:16:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Caracas
Cable title:  

CHAVEZ AND CORREA

Tags:   PGOV PREL EC VE 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8929
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHCV #0325 0671816
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 071816Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0762
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L CARACAS 000325 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/30/2032
TAGS: PGOV PREL EC VE
SUBJECT: CHAVEZ AND CORREA


Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR ROBERT RICHARD DOWNES
FOR REASON 1.4 (D)



1. (C) SUMMARY: Presidents Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa
held a joint press conference to condemn Colombia's incursion
into Ecuador and heap scorn on a wide range of people and
issues. Chavez challenged Uribe to face the International
Criminal Court alongside him and threatened to nationalize
Colombian businesses. Correa stated that the OAS decision
was welcome but did not close the case with Colombia. Chavez
dominated the event using it to push his anti-Colombia/U.S.
agenda. Unlike Chavez, Correa did not directly attack the
United States. END SUMMARY



2. (SBU) Following a swing through the region to gather
support against the Colombia's Uribe administration,
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa met with Hugo Chavez on
March 5. After their discussions the two leaders held a
joint press conference where each spoke and then took
questions from a pre-screened pool of friendly reporters.

WHAT CORREA SAID


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




3. (SBU) Correa made it clear that, while he appreciated
the OAS decision that Ecuador's territory had been violated,
he would not be content until Colombia had received an
"international condemnation" for breaching Ecuadorian
sovereignty and added that Ecuador would "exhaust every
diplomatic means" to see the aggressor condemned. Admitting
that the situation between Ecuador and Colombia had changed
since severing diplomatic relations, Correa warned that even
an anti-drug crop duster on his side of the border would be
considered "an act of war." He rejected Uribe's claim of
links between the FARC and Ecuador as Colombia trying to
switch "from accused to accuser." Correa deplored Uribe's
conduct as deceitful and aggressive adding that he could not
have relations with someone who has "lost all credibility."
Correa went on to claim that Uribe was making a profit off
the Colombian conflict. Unlike Chavez, Correa did not attack
the United States directly.

WHAT CHAVEZ SAID


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




4. (SBU) Chavez gave his "unconditional support" to Correa
and the people of Ecuador. Claiming he had no interest in
Colombian investments, he publicly ordered his ministers to
"draw up a map" of Colombian businesses in Venezuela so he
could see which to nationalize and how to divest BRV holdings
in Colombian businesses. Championing peace, Chavez said the
GOC could never beat the FARC, just as the guerrillas could
not topple the GOC, adding that Uribe had a "psychotic
obsession" with defeating the rebels. Referring to
Colombia's threat to charge Chavez with genocide and
supporting terrorism in the International Criminal Court,
Chavez challenged Uribe to face the ICC alongside him and
predicted that "Uribe would be the guilty one." Not one to
squander a media opportunity, Chavez blamed the United States
for the attack on Ecuador as part of an imperialist plot to
destabilize the region, accused former Defense Minister
Baduel of meeting with Colombian oligarchs and generals in
Bogota, denied his links to the FARC as "one of hundreds of
lies" by Colombia and accused Uribe of turning Colombia into
"another Israel."
DUDDY