09.15.11

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Cablegate: Luis Tascón Accused of Being “Instrument of the (U.S.) Empire” Having Spent a Month “in the Offices of Bill Gates” (Updated)

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Cablegate at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Interesting cable about Hugo Chávez and some politicians in his country

IMPERIALISM with patents is a subject this site covers extensively. There is also a fair deal of coverage about financial sanctions and the role Microsoft plays in them. In one Cablegate cable that we found this morning we see a president trying to get “assistance in arranging a meeting with Bill Gates.” World Bank/IMF are the next points in the list. Without delving again into the background of all this (in relation to Microsoft and Bill’s instrument of control), we’ll just descend into the following cable which mentioned why Luis Tascón Gutiérrez got expelled.


VZCZCXRO5067
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHCV #0227/01 0531735
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221735Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY CARACAS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0643
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 SECTION 01 OF 02 CARACAS 000227 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
HQSOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD 
DEPARTMENT PASS TO AID/OTI (RPORTER) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/21/2018 
TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], 
PREL [External Political Relations], KDEM [Democratization], 
VE [Venezuela] 
SUBJECT: PSUV FOUNDING CONGRESS: DELAYS AND AN EXPULSION 
 
CARACAS 00000227  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR ROBERT RICHARD DOWNES, 
REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
¶1. (C) Summary.  President Chavez publicly declared after his 
constitutional referendum defeat that shoring up his 
political base will be one of his highest priorities.  Since 
then, he has focused considerable personal attention on 
launching his proposed single, pro-government party, the 
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).  Some 1600 PSUV 
delegates are trying to forge party statutes and select party 
leaders at an ongoing, and much-delayed, founding congress. 
According to current planning, PSUV leaders hope to register 
the new party with electoral authorities by March, well 
before state and local elections tentatively slated for 
November.  The ham-handed expulsion of a National Assembly 
deputy from the party is highlighting the extent to which 
this ostensibly grassroots party is being steered by Chavez 
and a small, powerful group of core supporters.  It has also 
revealed and exacerbated cleavages within Chavismo.  The PSUV 
is fast establishing that it values party discipline over 
other considerations and does not welcome dissent.  The PSUV 
continues to enjoy extensive government support, including 
free air time and advertising space in government-owned media 
outlets.  End Summary. 
 
------------------------------- 
The Much-Delayed Party Congress 
------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) President Chavez spoke January 19 to over 1600 
elected PSUV delegates to open the party congress of his 
proposed single, pro-government party, the United Socialist 
Party of Venezuela (PSUV).  The PSUV founding congress has 
been tasked with establishing party regulations and a 
political platform.  President Chavez postponed the congress 
a number of times in 2007 before declaring that it should be 
held soon after the December 2007 constitutional referendum. 
The PSUV founding congress, divided into some 50 work 
committees, has been holding weekend sessions since January 
19 both in Caracas and other Venezuelan cities.  Critics 
accuse BRV officials of using government resources to sustain 
the PSUV congress and of exploiting government-owned media to 
promote the PSUV. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Chavez spoke for five hours to the PSUV congress on 
February 16, urging party delegates to embrace unity and to 
set aside individual ambitions.  In addition, Chavez exhorted 
party members to elicit greater local participation in PSUV 
"battalion" meetings.  Chavez also reportedly tasked the PSUV 
delegates with selecting party leaders and establishing 
criteria for selecting gubernatorial and mayoral candidates. 
Party leaders told the local media that they expect the PSUV 
founding congress to conclude in early March and to register 
as a political party with the National Electoral Council 
(CNE) around the same time. 
 
¶4. (C) While ostensibly a party being forged "from below," 
the formation of the PSUV appears to be closely supervised 
from above by a small, powerful group of Chavez supporters 
who make up the PSUV Support Committee, successor to the 
larger PSUV Promotion Commission.  Chavez designated former 
Vice President Jorge Rodriguez to lead the Support 
Committee's efforts.  Miranda State Governor Diosdado 
Cabello, former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel, and 
National Assembly Deputy Dario Vivas are also reportedly 
playing a key role.  The Support Committee meets with and 
answers to the Venezuelan president. 
 
---------------------- 
Expulsion of NA Deputy 
---------------------- 
 
¶5. (SBU) Former VP Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda State Governor 
Diosdado Cabello announced on Venezuelan state television 
February 16 that the PSUV founding congress unanimously voted 
to expel National Assembly Deputy Luis Tascon from the party. 
 Days before in the National Assembly, Tascon accused 
recently appointed Tax Authority (SENIAT) Director Jose David 
Cabello, brother of Diosdado, of purchasing some 200 cars and 
microbuses at grossly inflated prices when Jose David Cabello 
was at the Ministry of Infrastructure in 2004.  The PSUV 
voting bloc in the National Assembly also expelled Tascon 
from its parliamentary group on February 21. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Diosdado Cabello denied the corruption accusation 
against his brother and in a press release accused Tascon of 
being an "instrument of the (U.S.) empire."  Cabello added 
 
CARACAS 00000227  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
that Tascon had spent a month "in the offices of Bill Gates" 
and suggested that while there a chip was injected into 
Tascon's blood.  Cabello also produced a purported written 
request by Tascon for a diplomatic passport for a banker that 
Cabello said is associated with narcotrafficking.  National 
Assembly President Cilia Flores reportedly tried to dismiss 
the NA Comptroller Commission chairman who received Tascon's 
complaint, but failed. 
 
¶7. (C) Hard-line Chavistas such as National Assembly Deputies 
Iris Varela and Carlos Escarra have publicly defended Tascon. 
 Varela questioned how someone could be expelled from a party 
that is not yet formally established.  Escarra noted that 
Tascon should have the right to defend himself and questioned 
the manner in which he was reportedly expelled from the PSUV 
by simple acclamation at the February 15 founding congress 
meeting.  Numerous Chavistas have posted op-eds on the 
pro-government "apporea.org" website accusing PSUV leaders of 
imposing excessive party discipline at the expense of 
democracy. 
 
----------------------- 
PSUV: Multiple Currents 
----------------------- 
 
¶8. (C) Intra-PSUV squabbling appears to reflect increasingly 
visible divisions within Chavismo.  NA Deputy Carlos Escarra 
told the media that there are three currents within the PSUV 
occupying the left, center, and right of the pro-Chavez 
spectrum.  Miranda State Governor Cabello publicly accused 
Tascon of being part of the "false left"; Tascon accused the 
Miranda governor of being part of the "endogenous right." 
 
¶9. (C) Podemos leaders told the Ambassador February 19 that 
within the National Assembly, Escarra, Foreign Minister 
Nicolas Maduro (and presumably now his common-law wife and 
National Assembly President Cilia Flores), and former Army 
major Francisco Ameliach lead three separate informal groups. 
 Other insiders report that there are a few dozen 
"renovation" legislators trying to force the National 
Assembly leadership to share power -- and perks -- more 
broadly. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
¶10. (C) The PSUV's Stalinesque expulsion of NA Deputy Tascon 
is a noteworthy example of growing cleavages within Chavismo 
as well as the Bolivarian revolution's capacity to eat its 
own.  It also could not have happened to a "nicer guy" - 
Tascon is widely known for posting on his website the names 
and national identity numbers of all the persons who signed 
the recall petition against President Chavez.  Chavez 
supporters subsequently used the "Tascon" list to deny 
government jobs, contracts, services and benefits to 
signatories. 
 
¶11. (C) Tascon's ouster from the PSUV recalls the stripping 
of NA Deputy Francisco Ameliach of his PSUV coordinating role 
within the National Assembly in August 2007.  Ameliach was 
disciplined after he suggested publicly that if the PSUV was 
not ready for 2008 state and local elections, Chavez' former 
political party, the Fifth Republic Movement (MVR), should be 
"dusted off" to compete at the polls.  Notwithstanding 
Chavez' claim that he is trying to build a genuinely popular 
party from the ground up, the PSUV is earning a reputation 
for doctrinaire and factional politics rather than for 
fostering grassroots democracy and cooperation within the 
Chavista base. 
 
DUDDY


The second cable is:


VZCZCXRO7524
OO RUEHPA
DE RUEHCO #0408/01 1932156
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 112156Z JUL 08 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY COTONOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0418
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0354
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1282
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COTONOU 000408 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y  - (FIXED FORMATTING ERRORS) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W:DBANKS/ESPRUILL 
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO USAID AND PEACE CORPS 
PARIS FOR BKANEDA 
NSC FOR BPITTMAN 
MCC FOR JBLOOM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/11/2018 
TAGS: OVIP [Visits and Travel of Prominent Individuals and Leaders], 
EAID [Foreign Economic Assistance], EAGR [Agriculture and Forestry], 
PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], 
PINR [Intelligence], EFIN [Financial and Monetary Affairs], LY [Libya], BN [Benin] 
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR PRESIDENT YAYI'S TRIP TO THE U.S., 
JULY 15-21, 2008 
 
REF: A. BROWN/BANKS E-MAIL OF 7/9/2008 
     B. COTONOU 396 
     C. COTONOU 349 
     D. COTONOU 348 
     E. COTONOU 262 
     F. COTONOU 255 
 
COTONOU 00000408  001.4 OF 002 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Gayleatha B. Brown. Reasons 1.4 (b&d). 
 
¶1. (SBU) Summary:  Benin,s President Boni Yayi travels to 
Washington, D.C., July 15-21, 2008, primarily for talks with 
the World Bank and the IMF and to seek assistance for plans 
to energize the country,s agricultural sector and to 
follow-up on earlier requests for food aid. His request for 
meetings with USG officials is linked to several issues of 
concern, including a growing problem in the agriculture 
sector, implementation of the MCA Compact, and efforts to 
curb corruption.  Yayi also wishes an opportunity to 
demonstrate strong US/Benin ties as he continues to struggle 
at home to achieve economic growth and good governance 
objectives. A successful visit to Washington would raise his 
political capital at home where a stalemate in the National 
Assembly is blocking essential legislation and on the African 
continent where he hopes to strengthen his position as a 
regional player in the wake of hosting the 10th CEN-SAD 
Summit.  End summary. 
 
¶2. (U) President Boni Yayi of Benin will meet with World Bank 
and IMF officials during his July 15-21, 2008 visit to 
Washington, D.C.  In addition, he has requested appointments 
with President Bush, Secretary Rice, Director of Foreign 
Assistance Fore, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO 
Danilovich, and Peace Corps Director Tschetter.  His 
delegation includes:  Pascal Irenee Koupaki, Minister of 
State for Economic Forecasting, Development and the 
Evaluation of Public Action; Roger Dovonou, Minister of 
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Fishing; and S. Lawani, 
Minister of Finance. 
 
//STALEMATE AT HOME// 
 
¶3. (U) The strong political coalition that secured President 
Yayi,s election in March 2006 is crumbling.  Although Yayi 
won a majority of the communes in the April 2008 municipal 
elections, his desire to create a single list of candidates 
from his Force Cowry for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) movement 
drove a number of National Assembly deputies from his 
governing coalition.  Those deputies and others from 
opposition parties now hold a majority in the National 
Assembly, blocking key Government of Benin (GOB)-sponsored 
legislation.  This includes the new penal and civil codes 
that are instrumental to the implementation of USG-funded 
projects such as the Women,s Justice and Empowerment 
Initiative (WJEI). 
 
¶4. (U)  The anti-corruption fight also has stalled.  The GOB 
has had little success in its pursuit of high-profile 
corruption cases against alleged corrupt, former government 
officials.  For example, the Supreme Court recently ordered 
the release without bond of Sefou Fagbohoun, a powerful 
opposition party leader whose case had long lingered with no 
action.  The GOB had accused Fagbohoun of embezzlement and 
mismanagement of the privatized gas parastatal SONACOP.  He 
promptly took his place in the National Assembly, a position 
won from a jail cell and where he now has parliamentary 
immunity.  Yayi,s efforts earlier to convince the parliament 
to lift immunity in another case also failed. 
 
¶5. (U) In addition, President Yayi is under pressure over 
rising consumer prices.  Workers peacefully protested on July 
10 against the high cost of living related to food prices. 
To make matters worse, the GOB is running short of funds used 
to subsidize prices of key commodities to the consumers (Ref 
F).  President Yayi organized a June 24 briefing for donors 
on the problem, explaining that GOB efforts to reduce the 
prices of foodstuffs and construction materials, through 
subsidies and cuts in import duties and VAT, have cost the 
GOB FCFA 48,248,478,989 (approximately USD 114,877,331.) 
 
//LIBYA LEAVES BENIN WITH A WHOPPING CEN-SAD BILL// 
 
¶6.(C) To make matters worse, Libya did not keep a promise to 
provide substantial funding to help defray GOB expenses for 
the recent 10th CEN-SAD summit in Cotonou, according to 
President Yayi.  He told the Ambassador on July 3 that 
instead of the expected USD 10 million contribution from 
Libya, the GOB received only USD 3 million, most of which 
went to pay the Libyan delegation's living and lodging 
 
COTONOU 00000408  002.4 OF 002 
 
 
expenses (including Mr. Khadaffi's tent).  The Chief of Staff 
at the Finance Ministry confirmed that Libya's contribution 
totaled FCFA 1,255,675,958 or approximately USD 3 million. 
Moreover, to facilitate Libyan financed, private-sector 
construction of 69 luxury villas for the CEN-SAD summit, the 
GOB recouped prime land near the Cotonou airport from private 
owners and gave generous tax breaks for the project.  Yayi 
said that of the promised 69 villas, the Libyans only built 
¶40.  The Foreign Minister told the Ambassador that contrary 
to Khadaffi's wishes, Benin did not press Khadaffi's 
controversial position on African unity (Ref D) at the recent 
AU meeting in Egypt - a testimony, he said, to Benin's 
independence. 
 
//GOB ISSUES FOR DISCUSSION IN WASHINGTON// 
 
¶7. (SBU)  Per Ref A, MFA Americas Acting Director told post 
that President Yayi,s issues for discussion with USG 
officials include: 
USG: 
- agricultural development; food crisis; transformation of 
the Cotton industry; OPIC 
- international cooperation: CEN-SAD, G-8 resolutions 
- climate change 
- democracy in Africa 
- MCA Compact (delays in implementation related to the Port 
of Cotonou and the Access to Justice Program, efforts to curb 
corruption and related laws, and additional funds for the 
current Compact and a Compact II) 
- recent dismissal of the Port Director that is not expected 
to derail Port reforms 
- tour d,horizon on USAID programs (health, education and 
WJEI) and 
- assistance in arranging a meeting with Bill Gates. 
World Bank/IMF:  Post expects President Yayi,s talks to 
focus on budgetary assistance, the status of Benin,s 
structural adjustment reforms and release of donors, 2008 
budget support funds. 
 
¶8. (SBU) Comment:  President Yayi,s visit to the United 
States presents an opportune time for USG officials to 
reiterate support for his stance against corruption and 
encourage concrete action to arrest and try corrupt 
officials.  The GOB also needs to fully engage in the 
President,s Malaria Initiative (PMI) by committing the 
requisite personnel for implementation of the program.  In 
some respects, Yayi is between a rock and a hard place. 
Crippling defections from FCBE in the National Assembly 
hamstring GOB efforts to move forward on key economic and 
social legislation, thus hampering his ambitious program for 
growth and development and ability to meet the high 
expectations for change of the electorate. 
 
BROWN


Remember that this is US perspective on Hugo Chávez, so it’s supposed to make him look bad.

Update: Luis Tascón Met Bill Gates, Then Shot Down Free/Libre Software in Venezuela

Looking back at this Cablegate cable, we realise that Tascón did a lot more harm even to Free software.

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5 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 15, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Gravatar

    It’s wrong to conflate the interests of the US and those of Microsoft. They are orthogonal more often than not. Every move to boost M$ hurts dozens of US interests, from citizens to medium sized companies to government agencies.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    But many US companies (e.g. SMBs) do not fund election campaigns. The question is, whose interests does this government serve? Multinationals’? SMBs’? People’s?

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    That’s going to get several levels nastier in the next major election in 2012 because corporations are now allowed to directly finance campaigns.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122805666

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Free market radicalism. Milton Friedman must be smiling in his grave.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    http://www.sjgames.com/illuminati/govt_official.html

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