US embassy cable - 05TEGUCIGALPA1592

HONDURAS DEMARCHED ON VENEZUELA; MFA SEES GOV AS LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT, BUT ONE THAT MEDDLES IN REGION

Identifier: 05TEGUCIGALPA1592
Wikileaks: View 05TEGUCIGALPA1592 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tegucigalpa
Created: 2005-08-01 22:28:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Tags: PREL PGOV PTER SOCI EPET PINR HO VZ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T TEGUCIGALPA 001592 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
STATE FOR WHA, WHA/PPC, AND WHA/CEN 
STATE FOR INR/IAA. INL/LP, S/CT, AND EB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2015 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, SOCI, EPET, PINR, HO, VZ 
SUBJECT: HONDURAS DEMARCHED ON VENEZUELA; MFA SEES GOV AS 
LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT, BUT ONE THAT MEDDLES IN REGION 
 
REF: A. STATE 127251 
 
     B. TEGUCIGALPA 886 AND PREVIOUS 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires a.i. Paul Tuebner; 
Reasons 1.5 (B) and (D). 
 
1. (S) Acting PolChief delivered ref A talking points on 
Venezuela to MFA Acting Director General (A/DG) of Foreign 
Relations Alan Javier Oviedo Garcia during a meeting July 19. 
 After A/PolChief gave the demarche, Oviedo stated that the 
Government of Honduras (GOH) isn't quite sure how to respond 
to the issue since Chavez has been elected by the people and 
his government is still recognized by all countries. 
A/PolChief reiterated that the USG recognizes Venezuela's 
democratic legitimacy but emphasized that the U.S. Government 
has serious concerns about the Government of Venezuela's 
(GOV) recent actions and comments about the U.S. and 
hemispheric issues.  A/PolChief also expressed U.S. concern 
over recent accusations and stories of GOV funding of 
anti-government parties and movements within various 
countries of Central and South America.  Oviedo registered 
some surprise at the strong language of the demarche and the 
information contained within it, especially the decrease in 
U.S.-Venezuela cooperation on narco-trafficking and 
anti-terrorism.  A/PolChief reiterated the U.S. Government's 
strong support for democracy and the governments of the 
region.  Oviedo stated that the GOH hopes that diplomatic 
relations between the U.S. and Venezuela do not end, since 
this would leave Honduras in a bad position.  He also 
expressed concern over the possible election of an ally of 
Chavez in Nicaragua, and how this will affect relations in 
Central America between the U.S. and other countries. 
However, he also expressed the GOH's strong preference for 
relations with the U.S. in case diplomatic ties between the 
U.S. and Venezuela should come to an end in the future.   He 
noted that Chavez is a democratically-elected President and 
that GOH maintains a relationship with the GOV, but assured 
A/PolChief that Honduras is progressing in terms of 
democratic values and looks more to the North than to the 
South. 
 
2. (S) COMMENT:  It seems that the MFA is walking the 
Organization of American States line here.  Chavez and the 
GOV are democratically elected and therefore are somewhat 
sacrosanct.  In addition, their oil makes Honduras tread 
lightly, despite the fact that less than five percent of 
total Honduran petroleum imports come from Venezuela.  The 
lines get a little more murky when Chavez' activities in the 
region and support of fringe anti-government groups are 
discussed (see ref B).  Chavez' machismo against the U.S. is 
a source of pride for some Honduran leftists.  The powers 
that be within the GOH sometimes use U.S. concerns over 
Venezuela and Cuba to exaggerate the threat they pose to sway 
U.S. policy in their favor.  As stated in ref B, alleged GOV 
funding of leftist groups in Honduras has yet to be proved, 
but conferences and political diatribes do suggest close 
coordination with at least one anti-government group, the 
Popular Block, which is linked to the leftist UD Party.  If 
GOV funding of anti-government activities could be 
definitively proved to the GOH, GOH acceptance of GOV and 
Chavez would greatly diminish, if not disappear.  Post is 
concerned that during this election season possible GOV 
funding of leftist groups could have a negative effect on the 
democratic process in Honduras.  END COMMENT. 
Tuebner 

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