U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Iraq's weeklong delay in drafting a new constitution is "not helpful."  But, he expressed confidence the postponement will not push back the October 15 deadline for a vote on the constitution.

Secretary Rumsfeld spoke to reporters Tuesday while headed to Paraguay for talks with President Nicanor Duarte Frutos on hemispheric issues. 

During the flight, the defense secretary said there is evidence that Cuba and Venezuela have been involved in the situation in Bolivia in what he termed "unhelpful ways," but declined to elaborate.

Earlier this year, Bolivian President Carlos Mesa resigned after farmers, miners and labor groups staged large protests to demand nationalization of the oil industry and redistribution of energy profits to help the country's poor.

Chief Justice Eduardo Rodriguez has been serving as interim president.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, Reuters.