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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Cuba and Latam; Santiago

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #1134 3572010
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 222010Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4180
INFO RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0112

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001134

SIPDIS

STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, WHA/CCA
STATE FOR INR/IAA, PM, INL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KPAO KMDR PHUM PGOV CI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - CUBA AND LATAM; SANTIAGO

1.El Mercurio, conservative, influential newspaper-of-record, Sun.
circ. 260,108; 12/21 editorial entitled "Cuba and Latin America":
"President Bachelet will make an official visit to Cuba in
February.... This is hard to comprehend, since Chile has
historically been committed to the defense of human rights and has
therefore been forced to vote against Cuba in the United Nations....
There are no interests compelling Chile to make this special
gesture toward Cuba.... Cuba has also recently attended expanded
regional summits, and has reportedly assessed the possibility of its
return to the OAS. Amidst all this rapid and unexpected process, no
one has invoked the democratic clauses contained in the OAS Charter
or in many other regional agreements.... None of this is conducive
to the democratic transition anticipated in Cuba after half a
century. Instead, it seems that [this process] is a result of the
predominant political inclination and double standard in the region,
where dictatorships are sanctioned according to on their [political]
ideology. This situation is a backward step in the confusing Latin
American scenario.... In the case of Cuba, Latin America is now in
debt to its own principles."

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