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Mr. Morales added that regional and local grass-roots groups, the backbone of Mr. Chavez’s socialist regime, are “increasingly disappointed” by the concentration of political power in his newly established Socialist Party of Venezuela.

They are also nervous about his foreign policy decisions, especially his “intrusive diplomacy throughout Latin America” and his support for rebel groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.