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Cablegate: Chileans Lament Expulsion of U.S. Ambassadors

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0840 2601133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161133Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3713
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3526
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 2092
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 1038
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0417
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1775
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 5675
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4034
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1905
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000840

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/BSC, WHA/EPSC, EEB/IFD, INR/IAA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL BL VE CI
SUBJECT: CHILEANS LAMENT EXPULSION OF U.S. AMBASSADORS

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Ambassador met separately with Interior
Minister Perez Yoma and Foreign Minister Foxley and briefly
discussed the expulsions of Ambassadors Duddy and Goldberg from
Venezuela and Bolivia. Both Chilean Ministers expressed surprise
and disappointment with the developments. Perez Yoma called the
expulsions shameful and senseless. Foxley recounted his personal
experience with an inexplicable Morales-directed assault against
Chile. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) During a September 12 meeting (septel) with Interior
Minister Edmundo Perez Yoma, Ambassador Simons said the two expelled
U.S. Ambassadors from Bolivia and Venezuela were first-rate, career
diplomats. Neither is impulsive nor were they trying to provoke a
fight. The Ambassador added both were good friends and had advanced
together with him through the ranks of the diplomatic service.

3. (SBU) Perez Yoma described the expulsions as shameful
("verguenza") and senseless, indicating the irresponsible actions
were taken to hide internal problems. He agreed that there is no
internal coordination within the Bolivian government and often the
Defense and Interior Ministries are given separate instructions and
do not know what each other is doing.

4. (SBU) On September 11, the Ambassador discussed the expulsion of
Ambassador Goldberg with Foreign Minister Foxley. The Foreign
Minister shared a personal and inexplicable action directed by
President Morales. Prior to the OAS meeting of Foreign Ministers in
Medellin last May, the Bolivian Foreign Minister briefed Foxley
confidentially that he had been instructed to strongly criticize
Chile. Foxley warned that he would be obliged to respond and urged
that the Bolivian not do it. The Bolivian Foreign Minister
responded he had no choice, and the two went through the unfortunate
motions, Foxley said.

SIMONS

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