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Cablegate: Media Reaction - President Bush's Travel to Latin America

VZCZCXYZ0006
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0441 0751203
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161203Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1174
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 3535

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000441

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, WHA/EPSC

STATE FOR INR/IAA, PM, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO OPRC CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - PRESIDENT BUSH'S TRAVEL TO LATIN AMERICA


1. Summary: Wrap-up coverage of the President's trip to Latin
America had an underlying negative tone in Chile. Words such as "no
evident success," "cosmetic impact," "no significant assistance,"
are mentioned. However, the bio-fuel agreement signed with Brazil
is identified as a success. End summary.

2. On March 15, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record "El
Mercurio" (circ. 129,000) carried an article entitled "Bush
Concludes Tour to Latin America with no Evident Success." Quote:

"President Bush tried to show that the United States is concerned
with the region's problems. But the late, brief, and limited impact
of his trip did not change the perception that Washington is far
from the continent.... Among Bush's accomplishment are that he
prevented a battle with Hugo Chavez' counter-tour and concluded an
agreement on bio-fuels with Brazil. But he did not offer
significant assistance, eliminate tariffs on ethanol, or improve the
immigration agenda with Guatemala and Mexico."

3. On March 15, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record "El
Mercurio" (circ. 129,000) carried an article entitled "Bush
Concludes Tour Without Winning Over the Region." Quote:

"In spite of the social assistance (programs), the agreement on
ethanol, and the promise of an immigration reform, Bush's trip only
had a cosmetic impact on the difficult relations (between the United
States and the region). Bush's tour had some diplomatic successes,
but did not improve the superpower's image or counter the view that
the White House failed to treat the region as it deserves to be
treated."

4. On March 15, government-owned, editorially independent "La
Nacion" (circ, 4,200) carried an article entitled "Bush's 2007 Tour
to Latin America: Too Much Noise and Few Results?" Quote:

"The overall view is that the visit was just to explore a forgotten
terrain, and analysts concur that the most prominent element of this
trip was the demand by some regional leaders for a real change in
U.S. immigration policy."

5. On March 15, government-owned, editorially independent, "La
Nacion" circ, 4,200) columnist Marcel Garces wrote:

"The proposals that Bush allegedly brought with him are ineffective
and an insult given the magnitude and nature of the problems and
misery in the region."

6. On March 15, conservative, independent "La Tercera" (circ.
101,000, 3/15) columnist Angel Soto, professor at the University of
Los Andes, wrote:

"The belief that U.S. assistance will help us solve our problems is
a historical mistake. This trip should be seen as placing more of
the responsibility of promoting change on the Latin Americans
themselves. Scholarship programs to study in U.S. colleges,
training programs for teachers, free trade, and support for stable
institutions are far more long-lasting than money we receive and
which sometimes gets trapped in bureaucracy.

KELLY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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