from Weekly News Update on the Americas

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s brief Latin American visit covered five countries: Brazil on April 26, Colombia on April 27, Chile April 28-29 and El Salvador in the evening of April 29; she returned to Washington on April 30. According to unnamed “U.S. officials,” the trip was intended to forge a new alliance with the growing number of left-leaning Latin American governments. (New York Times, April 27; BBC News, April 30; Miami Herald, April 28, 29, May 1)

Rice was also trying to isolate Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who had confirmed on April 24 that Venezuela was ending a longstanding military exchange program with the U.S. “Any exchange of officers…is suspended until who knows when,” he said on his weekly television program. “There will be no more joint operations or anything like that.” Chavez said some US exchange officers, if not all, had been “carrying on a little campaign” against him “within the Venezuelan military institution.” He also revealed that several months earlier a US woman had been arrested and then released when she was spotted secretly photographing a Venezuelan military base; her documents showed she was a US naval officer. (La Jornada, April 25 from AFP, DPA, Reuters]

Rice seemed to have no luck in isolating Chavez. At a joint press conference with Rice on April 26 in Brasilia, Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim said the government of President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva was trying to cooperate in a “positive” way with Venezuela. (La Republica, Peru, April 27 from EFE) But according to Folha de Sao Paulo, Lula felt Chavez was “going out of bounds” by cutting off military cooperation, and on April 25 he sent his adviser Jose Dirceu to Caracas for discussions with Chavez on the subject. (LJ, April 29 from AFP, DPA)

Weekly News Update on the Americas, May 1

Weekly News Update on the Americas

See also WW4 REPORT #108


Special to WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, May 10, 2005
Reprinting permissible with attribution