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Chavez Praises Wikileaks for `Bravery' While Calling on Clinton to Resign

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez praised nonprofit group Wikileaks.org for its “bravery” after the group began to publish 250,000 diplomatic cables and said that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should resign.

“I have to congratulate the people of Wikileaks for their bravery and courage,” Chavez said today on state television. “Clinton should resign, it’s the least she can do with all of this spying and delinquency in the State Department.”

WikiLeaks, which releases information that governments and businesses want to keep confidential, yesterday began posting on its website what it says are secret, confidential or in some cases unclassified U.S. embassy cables written from December 1966 to February 2010.

Cables revealed that the U.S. has worked with countries in the region to try to isolate Chavez, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais, which was given copies of the documents in advance. Chavez said today that those efforts have failed.

“This exposes the U.S. empire for what they are, their mask has fallen off,” Chavez said. “They’ve tried to isolate this soldier. It didn’t work and certainly won’t work now.”

Wikileaks is preparing to release more than 2,000 diplomatic cables from the U.S. embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, the second highest amount in Latin America after its embassy in allied Bogota, Colombia, according to the website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Cancel in Caracas at dcancel@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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