Hugo Chavez praises Wikileaks, calls US a ‘failed state’
In response to the U.S. State Department’s condemnation of the unauthorized release of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables by the website Wikileaks, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez praised the whistleblower site and called for the resignation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“You should resign. It's the least you can do: Resign, along with those other spies and delinquents working in the State Department,” Chavez told Clinton in a televised speech yesterday. The Venezuelan president called the leak “historic” and said Washington “should give answers to the world and stop attacking [Wikileaks].”
Chavez also said the leaked documents show that the U.S. is “a failed state that throws overboard all ethical principles and respect for even its own allies.”
“I have to congratulate the people of Wikileaks for their bravery and courage,” Chavez added during a televised meeting of his Council of Ministers.
Chavez’s comment came in response to the State Department’s condemnation of what it called the “stealing and dissemination of classified documents.” Secretary Clinton called the leak “an attack on the international community.”
Wikileaks distributed the cables in advance to several international media outlets last week, and began posting them in a searchable database on its website last weekend. Approximately 2,500 cables from the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela and tens of thousands more from embassies around Latin America are expected to be posted in the coming weeks.
Chavez said the documents leaked so far by the press demonstrate “the huge effort made by the U.S. State Department to isolate the Bolivarian Revolution and this soldier,” referring to himself and his government’s socialist policies. His interpretation appears to be based on news reports from the Spanish newspaper El Pais about documents that have yet to be posted on the Wikileaks website.
“It did not work and it certainly will not work. The empire stands naked!” Chavez proclaimed.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, questioned by the press in Peru about the leak, said it was “one of the greatest scandals that have occurred in many decades of diplomatic history.”
Many of the documents reported by the press so far have revealed the U.S. use of diplomatic officials for espionage and intelligence gathering around the world. Other documents reveal what appear to be efforts by the administration of former President George W. Bush to dissuade Brazil from supporting Venezuela both diplomatically and economically.
“Somebody should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental stability,” said Chavez in response to a widely publicized cable in which Secretary Clinton asks for private information about Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s mental health.
In a recent piece for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Latin America expert Nikolas Kozloff affirmed that Wikileaks has now laid to bare the consistent U.S. efforts to maintain its hegemony in a region that is undergoing a “leftist pink tide” through the election of progressive leaders.
“From Brazil to Argentina, American officials have emerged as an imperious and cynical lot. Hopefully in the days ahead we may learn more about the Bush and Obama administration’s handling not only of Brazil and Argentina but also Venezuela, Bolivia, and Honduras,” Kozloff wrote.
President Chavez said the region’s response to the Wikileaks revelations should be regional unity and integration into what he calls a “pluri-polar world,” in addition to “a powerful ethical response of overwhelming rejection.”
“Let's do our job: to come together in South America, UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, and international relations with other countries,” he said.
[Reprinted from www.venezuelanalusis.com .]