Ecuador and Venezuela compete to praise WikiLeaks' Julian Assange
WikiLeaks' trove of 250,000 cables will probably not damage US relations in Latin America, experts say, but some regional leaders are seizing the opportunity to lambast the Washington.
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In perhaps one of the most damaging cables, for example, Ms. Clinton questions the anxiety of Ms. Fernández, and even asks whether she is on medication. Another details a conversation of a French diplomatic adviser calling Chávez “crazy.”Skip to next paragraph
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Chávez's 'ironic' praise
Chávez, nonetheless, praised the leak – since Sunday, 291 of 251,287 cables have been posted on WikiLeaks.org, with the remainder to be released in coming months – and says that the cables regarding Venezuela prove that the US has long tried to isolate him.
WikiLeaks says it has 3,435 documents pertaining to Venezuela, the most of any Latin American country. Only one is thus far published online. That is followed by 3,070 documents on Brazil and 2,896 documents on Colombia. Another 1,621 regard Ecuador, with most coming from the US Embassy in Quito, and 35 classified "secret."
“I have to congratulate the people of WikiLeaks for their bravery and courage,” Chávez said on state television Monday evening. He added, referencing the WikiLeaks revelation that Clinton directed US diplomats to obtain detailed information on United Nations officials and diplomats, “Clinton should resign, it’s the least she can do with all of this spying and delinquency in the State Department.”
Mr. Sabatini calls Chávez's statements ironic, given his track record with freedom of information.
“The irony is just too rich ... Chávez praising WikiLeaks when ... there is no access to Venezuelan documents at all,” he says.
Not all of the cables will be damage-free. One potential impact on bilateral relations, Sabatini says, could come from documents relating to US-Mexico relations, and specifically Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s attempts to clamp down on organized crime, if any revelations of corruption or futility emerge.
WikiLeaks says it has 2,836 documents on Mexico, of which 26 are classified "secret." Another 2,039 cables regard Honduras, most coming from the US Embassy in Tegucigalpa, of which 121 are classified "secret."
The sole cable publicized thus far from the Embassy in Tegucigalpa has already revealed that the US believed that the ouster of Mr. Zelaya in Honduras was illegal, raising questions why, months later, the US eventually came to recognize presidential elections.