Wikileaks: Caracas Chronicles Full of Expletive (Updated)

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Great fun from the Wikileaks docu-dump:

1. (C) SUMMARY: A plain-spoken 
nuclear physicist told Econoff [the
U.S. consulate's Economics Office]
that those spreading rumors that
Venezuela is helping third countries
(i.e. Iran) develop atomic bombs
"are full of (expletive)." He said
Venezuela is currently unable to
provide such assistance particularly
as the Chavez administration "does
not trust scientists." He added that Venezuela's nuclear
cooperation agreement with Russia finalized May 4 is pure
political theater as Venezuela is incapable of cooperation with
Russia on the development, design, construction and operation
of nuclear reactors. Also contrary to the agreement with the
Russians, to the knowledge of the scientific community, there
is no exploration or exploitation of uranium, ongoing or planned,
in Venezuela.The scientist contended that, even if the Venezuelan
government used all Cuban scientists, exploring for
commercially viable uranium deposits in Venezuela would
require a large taskforce and news of such an effort would
leak quickly.

As this blog has been known to take seriously the contention that Venezuela could be helping Iran with the uranium-mining link of the nuclear chain, I will now consume my requisite portion of humble pie. (John Bolton, btw, should get a double-helping.)

The cables on nuclear matters are pretty categorical: the U.S. just doesn’t perceive announcements of a Venezuelan nuclear program as a credible threat. One cable – helpfully entitled VENEZUELA INCAPABLE OF SUBSTANTIVE NUCLEAR
COOPERATION WITH IRAN/RUSSIA
– basically laughs off the threat, and another notes that no serious scientists are currently involved in any kind of nuclear program in Venezuela, estimating it would take 10-15 years to make any real progress from the current starting point.

I do have to add that the way that cable exposes the Embassy’s sources is simply appalling. Really bad. Unforgivable, really. If those guys end up in jail, I’m going to make it my life’s mission to punch Julian Assange on the mouth one day.

Update: A further cable published by Spain’s El País paints a slightly more complex picture about this. In this one, the embassy makes a clear difference between a nuclear program and mere prospecting for uranium yellowcake: it dismisses the former, but says there is reason to believe Venezuela and Iran (and also Bolivia) may at least be considering the latter.

The picture it paints is of a really incipient, very early-stage effort in this regard, which may amount to nothing more than intentions. Interestingly, the Embassy treats Venezuela’s plans in this regard as a major diplomatic own goal, noting that some countries (i.e., France) that refuse to get worked up about Chávez’s authoritarian tendencies suddenly sit up and take notice when cooperation with Iran over nukes is mentioned.

Considering my 2009 post about this focused on prospecting, maybe Caracas Chronicles isn’t as full of expletive as all that…

1 COMMENT

  1. I would help you hold him while you punch him. I didn’t want to form an opinion on the WikiLeaks too soon but the more I see the more I think, what is the point of this? they are not uncovering anything illegal, they are not giving the public anything they really need to know to go on about their lives. What is the public interest here? I don’t see it.
    Is just about proving that everything can be hacked and no one can be trusted in the digital era. Whatever you say is going to end up in the front page of major newspapers and all over the internet for anyone to see.

  2. Although Chavez might not have the Venezuelan scientists needed to cooperate and work together with the Russians, that doesn’t mean that he can’t get the Russians themselves to construct and operate a nuclear reactor just like he had the Chinese launch a “revolutionary satellite”.

    We also have to remember that these wiki leak sources might not always have the correct information.

  3. Wikileaks has help bring to light the squalid and vile nature of the empire. This does damage the imperialist ambitions. More, penty of illegality is being uncovered.

    The empire has be stopped naked, and it isn’t pretty.

    Of course Quico hates anything that makes life more difficult for empire and oligarchy. Do bears shit in the woods?

  4. It’s, of course, mind-boggling that a lowly army private serving in Iraq had access to all those documents (most of them had nothing to do with Iraq) and that he was able to copy and smuggle them so easily–an incredible embarrassing security breach. On the other hand, judging from the cables I’ve seen (and read about), the US in general and the State Department in particular are coming out looking pretty good. The writers don’t strike me as a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats. Yes, much of the information seems mundane, but that’s because those cables were indeed fairly routine–remember that none of these docs were classified as “top secret.”

  5. I always thought, and still do, that the current government in Venezuela was and is incapable of fostering a new paradigm, based on a complex source of alternative energy. Any wishes in this direction were merely same old, same old … delusions.

  6. Plenty of undemocratic impulses and cynical machinations come through this info. But if you thought Iraq and torture were alright, you will filter out anything that gives ethical and sane people pause.

    It isn’t your ass that is being bombed or tortured– so everything is ok.

    Squalid and cynical–to be generous.

    • If it isn’t your ass being held up and murdered on the street. If it isn’t your ass hauled to court over “speech” crimes. If it isn’t your ass losing all savings to runaway inflation and crazy economics. If it isn’t your ass forced into exile. If it isn’t your ass being “expropriated” or “invaded”. If it isn’t your ass isolated or suffering because of nonexistent public services.

      All is fine, because you aren’t in Venezuela, or your ass does not depend directly on the Bolivarian government. So you can cheer on the Bolivarian Revolution with just the same breath which with other people cheer the U.S. government bringing “freedom” to other peoples, or domestic spying of U.S. citizens.

      Fun you are, Slave Revolt. Always and ever. Maybe someday you will get to worry, for real, about other people being trampled.

  7. Oh, cry me a river! Poor, oppressed, privileged elites. You can’t defeat the Bolivarians at the ballot box, and you condemn Wikileaks for exposing US crimes–this attitude of obsequiousness speaks volumes, as does your abiding contempt for authentic democratic movements the world over that challenges ecocide and rapacious corporate and military pillage.

    Your only hope is that uncle Sammie will carpet bomb the Venezuelan barrios and return you folks back to power.

    You can always go to Miami and cry on the shoulder of the facsist Miami Cubans. But watch out, they will stab you in the back in a heart beat–no solidarity between equalidos, vendepatrias, and willing slaves. It dot happen.

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