- CARACAS, Venezuela -- Last
Sunday, United States Ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinak, gave a strong
caution to the Brazilian government with relation to the South American
giant's relationship with Venezuela and Cuba.
- During a conference at Florida International University
last Sunday, Hrinak said that her government expects Brazilian President
Lula da Silva to convince Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to adopt a "democratic
solution" to the current political situation.
- Hrinak was referring to the process of referenda currently
underway in Venezuela to recall several lawmakers and President Chavez.
After counting and validating 3.4 million signatures collected by opponents
of Chavez, electoral authorities are requesting about a million of those
listed in petitions with irregularities to confirm or deny their willingness
to sign and their identity, in order to decide if the recall on Chavez
should take place. Political opposition to Chavez and the commercial media,
accuse the President of manipulating the process of recall.
- Hrinak warned President Lula to "carefully calibrate
his opposition" to certain political issues such as the current situations
in Venezuela and Cuba, which are part of the main focus of the Bush administration
in Latin America.
- The Ambassador warned that if Basil pretended to be a
regional leader, it should dedicate more time to that task. "It's
difficult to understand Brazil's silence given the recent abuses of human
rights in Cuba," said Hrinak.
- Hrinak said that the U.S. has avoided reacting to criticisms
by the Brazilian government of some issues that are not fundamental for
U.S. interests. However, she mentioned that her government would not adopt
the same position with regard to Brazil's approach to the current situation
- Hrinak served as Ambassador to the U.S. in Venezuela
during President Chavez's first years in office, with whom she had several
- Negotiation rather than intervention
- Marco Aurelio Garcia, President Lula's International
relations advisor, was outraged by the U.S. Ambassador's comments. "I
don't think those kinds of comments are appropriate for an Ambassador to
say. Brazil and the U.S. never had better relations, but it is obvious
that we have different perceptions on several issues," Garcia told
Argentine newspaper La Nacion.
- According to Garcia, "there are different positions
with regard to the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, the World Trade
Organization, and in the case of Venezuela, we do have different methods;
we tend more towards negotiation than to intervention."
- Garcia defended Brazil's approach to the political situation
in Venezuela by saying that "Brazil has good communication with both
the government as well as with the opposition, and that is not the case
in of the United States. Therefore we can help [Venezuela] a lot."
- Brazil is part of the so called Group of Friends of Venezuela,
which was created to act as mediators in the Venezuelan political crisis.
- Brazilians demonstrate in support of Venezuela
- In reaction to Ambassador Hrinak's comments, several
Brazilian social groups, intellectuals and political leaders participated
in a demonstration this Monday in front of the Venezuelan Embassy in Brasilia,
to show their support for Venezuela's "Bolivarian revolution",
and to repudiate "US intervention" in Venezuela and Brazil.
- An estimated 1600 people attended the demonstration.
Among the groups and personalities who attended were the influential Landless
Peasant Movement, the Rural Women's Movement, the Federal District Journalists
Union, state congressman Frei Sergio, officials form the Cuban Embassy
in Brasilia, and Venezuela's Ambassador to Brazil Eloisa Lagonell.
- 2003 VenezuelAnalysis.com