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Latin American leaders burned by WikiLeaks cables

In WikiLeaks cables, Brazil is called soft on terrorism and Chavez is called crazy.

In the cable, they asked a series of questions including what if any medication Fernandez takes, how she calms down under stress, whether her husband has become more emotionally volatile, as well as details about how the couple divides their days and the presidential workload.


One of the more eyebrow-raising remarks on Latin America came via France, in a memo detailing a Sept. 16, 2009 conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon and Jean-David Levitte, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's senior diplomatic adviser.

In the document, Levitte called Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez “crazy,” saying that even Brazil is unable to support him anymore.

According to the document, Levitte in substance said, “Unfortunately, Chavez is taking one of the richest countries in Latin America and turning it into another Zimbabwe.”

Sounding a similar note, a Dec. 14, 2009 cable from the U.S. embassy in Caracas described a precipitous decline in the Venezuelan public health system.

The cable cited a redacted source who “described the public hospitals as increasingly dangerous places, where underpaid, undersupplied and understaffed doctors work in unsanitary conditions to provide medical services to Venezuela's poor.

“Due to shortages of basic medical supplies, doctors ask patients to purchase their own needles, disinfectants and gauze,” the document continued. “Doctors sometimes dress wounds with the same dirty bandages.”

A man who seldom misses an opportunity to criticize the United States, Chavez fired back on Monday, praising WikiLeaks volunteers for their "courage" and urging Hillary Clinton to resign.

"I don't know what the United States is going to do," he said at a cabinet meeting. "The empire was left naked."

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