Cablegate: Country Clearance Approval for Ambassador David A.


DE RUEHSG #0035/01 0142037
O 142037Z JAN 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 03598

1. Embassy Santiago warmly welcomes and grants country
clearance for Ambassador David A. Gross, Coordinator for
International Communications and Information Policy, from
01/15/2008 through 01/16/2008, as requested reftel. The
purpose of the visit is to meet with Chilean government
officials to discuss the U.S.-Chile bilateral relationship,
including telecommunications related issues.

2. Control Officer for your visit is Jessica Patterson,
Political-Economic Officer, telephone numbers: office (56-2)
330-3394, cell (56-9) 139-9093, home (56-2) 335-8104, and fax
(56-2) 330-3118. Control Officer can be reached 24 hours a
day via Post 1, telephone (56-2) 330-3321/3700. During
business hours it is best to reach the Control Officer via
the Embassy switchboard (56-2) 330-3000.

3. Employees with diplomatic or official passports must
obtain diplomatic or official entry visas through a Chilean
embassy overseas or CA/PPT/SIA in Washington. Those with
tourist passports do not need visas, and may enter on tourist
cards filled out on the airplane. Travelers with tourist
passports are required to pay a one time fee of $100.00 U.S.
dollars each to enter the country.

4. Upon arrival, Ambassador Gross will be met by control
officer and expediter. Lodging has been arranged at the Chief
of Mission Residence.

5. State Department TDY visitors requiring OpenNet-Plus
Systems access during their stay should inform the Control
Officer prior to their arrival. Visitors will be required to
attend a Systems Security briefing and complete a Network
Access Request Form. If visitors wish to access e-mail from
their home State Department post, users must provide the ISC
with the fully qualified domain name or the TCP/IP address of
the TDYer's home e-mail server.

6. Personnel who intend to bring U.S. Government portable
microcomputers (laptops) for use in CAA or non-CAA areas must
notify Post's ISSO and RSO in advance of travel. Personal
Electronic Devices (PED), Personal Digital Assistant's (PDA)
e.g., 'Palm Pilots', MP-3 players, etc. are NOT authorized in
CAA spaces and are not authorized connectivity within OpenNet
unclassified or classified networks, or stand-alone

classified PC's.

7. Travelers are reminded that Santiago's Public Affairs
Section is responsible for handling all in-country press
arrangements for both Mission personnel and official
visitors. Media inquiries or requests for interviews made
directly to the visitor during the course of a visit should
be directed to the Embassy Press Attache, Timothy Stater,
telephone (56-2) 330-3350. Where contact with the media
would serve to promote USG interests, Public Affairs will
work with visitors prior to their arrival to determine the
desired level or arrangements for contact with the press.
On-site Public Affairs staff is also available to assist
visitors and delegations at meetings where media coverage is

8. Cash Exchanges: At the airport, Banco Edwards and AFEX
(Exchange House) have money exchange facilities located on
the ground floor customs area as you leave the terminal. The
Embassy has a 24-hour ATM machine, which can access any U.S.
account served by the local bank. Currency received will be
Chilean pesos at the current rate of exchange. ATMs are
located conveniently around Santiago and in other
metropolitan areas in Chile. You are urged to bring an ATM
card to Post since this is the most convenient (and many
times economical) way to change money.

9. The Embassy community has a small commissary/gift shop,
which is available to official visitors.

10. The climate in Chile is temperate, but milder than that
of Washington. The seasons in Chile are reversed: Summer
(December, January, February) temperatures usually vary
between 49 degrees (mornings and evenings) and 85 degrees
during the day; Winter (June, July August) temperatures range
between a minimum of 38 and maximum of 64. Most
precipitation occurs during the winter months. Except for
the hottest summer nights, evenings tend to be substantially
cooler than the days.

11. All areas of Santiago are affected by high pollution,
although the area around the Embassy has slightly better air
quality than the more congested areas in the city. The
pollution appears as heavy smog in the winter and dust in the
summer. Pollution levels rise to unacceptable levels an

average of five to six times per year. The major health
effects include difficulties with breathing and aggravation
of existing respiratory, cardiovascular, allergic and
asthmatic problems. This is particularly true for the
elderly and children, and for those with confirmed asthmatic
and allergic symptoms. Contact-lens wearers sometimes find
their eyes are more easily irritated here. The most severe
pollution occurs during the months of May to October.

12. The intensity of the sun is particularly pronounced in
Santiago. Travelers should travel with good sunglasses, hats
and sun block if they anticipate spending much time outdoors.

13. In order to drive a vehicle in Chile, you must have an
international driver's license. Failure to adhere to this
may result in arrest and confiscation of the rental vehicle.

14. After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, there is
currently a very real possibility for violent actions against
United States citizens and interests throughout the world.
We urge all Embassy personnel and visitors to Chile to
maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate
steps to reduce potential vulnerability.

15. The Embassy has advised in a Warden message to Americans
in Chile that extremists in the tri-border area (Brazil,
Argentina and Paraguay) may have received instructions in
mid-October 2000, to begin efforts to collect information on
U.S. business people and government officials in the southern
cone of South America. This information would be used to
prepare contingency plans for possible kidnappings or attacks
in the event terrorists strike in the southern cone. We take
this information very seriously. Because of the Embassy's
special visibility, we urge all personnel to maintain a high
level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to reduce
potential vulnerability.

16. Visitors should be aware of the criminal environment in
Santiago, which is rated medium for USG employees. Street
crime, common to many South American cities, is a problem.
One should be particularly alert in the business/commercial
crowded areas. We recommend visitors:

-- Be attentive to your surroundings -- people, vehicles,
packages, etc.

-- Maintain a low profile, particularly in busy tourist areas.

-- Vary your routes and times for all required travel.

-- Treat mail or other deliveries from unfamiliar sources
with suspicion.

-- Be circumspect about information you provide about
yourself to strangers or in the presence of strangers.

© Scoop Media

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