Cablegate: Santiago Oct. 30 Media Report
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 302004Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0207
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0121
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0118
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0072
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 0118
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 001028
STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Oct. 30 Media Report
1. The Ministry of Education warned public teachers who
are on strike that it could be forced to extend classes until
December 29 to complete the days required for any given academic
year (Conservative, independent, La Tercera, 10/30).
2. President Obama invited Chile's next president to take
part in a presidential summit on nuclear energy that will be held
in Washington on April 12. The U.S. President invited 40 other
countries, including G8 nations. Although the summit will focus on
nuclear energy, with an emphasis on nuclear non proliferation,
diplomatic circles (in Santiago) view the invitation as a signal
for Chile. The analysis here is that the White House has a
positive opinion of Chile's role as a moderate ally in the region
compared to the axis formed by Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
Assistance for Chile to attain a diversified and more stable energy
matrix is, therefore, important to strengthen its ties with the
United States and its role in South America. Chile is the only
Latin American country invited to the summit that does not have a
nuclear plant. Diplomatic circles note that the invitation to the
summit is unrelated to an eventual visit of the U.S. President to
Brazil and Chile in the end of this year or the beginning of next
(El Mercurio, 10/30).
3. The New York Times published an article praising
President Bachelet as she prepares to end her term in office. The
article highlights her handling of the economy during the global
financial crisis, noting that she overcame gender barriers "in a
deeply conservative country" that elected Bachelet on her own
account and not as the wife of a popular president, as has been the
case in other Latin American countries (La Nacion, La Segunda, El
4. Chilean forestry companies complained to the Foreign
Ministry their concern over new tax benefits that U.S. cellulose
producers will receive in 2010. The Chilean companies said that
the new tax exemptions constitute unfair competition, because in
practice they will triple the amount of subsidy that the U.S.
companies receive today from the government. The subject could
come up for review with the Chile-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Administration Commission (El Mercurio, 10/30).
5. Deposed President Manuel Zelaya said he is a "moderate
optimist" with regard to the agreement reached last night with de
fact President Roberto Micheletti. "It is a first step toward by
restitution," said Zelaya. El agreement foresees Zelaya's
restitution pending approval from Congress and the Supreme Court.
Zelaya said the discussion about deadlines would start tomorrow (El
Mercurio on line, 10/30).
6. Roberto Micheletti and Manuel Zelaya reached an agreement
pressed by the United States, which sent to Honduras a delegation
headed by Assistant Secretary Thomas Shannon. The U.S. official
had said prior to the agreement that "time was running out" and
that "from the viewpoint of the United States and the international
community" an agreement was needed as soon as possible. Twelve
hours later, OAS political affairs secretary Victor Rico and
Shannon announced the agreement to the press. Shannon immediately
said the United States would support the November election. "This
is a great moment for Honduras. The people of Honduras should be
very proud of what they have achieved," said Shannon. "There is no
other country in the Americas that has suffered this kind of
democratic rupture and resolved it through negotiation and without
impositions or violence," added Shannon (Independent on-line news
agency El Mostrador, 10/20).
7. Deposed President Manuel Zelaya said the agreement
reached with Micheletti is "a victory for Honduras' democracy."
Zelaya also thanked Assistant Secretary Thomas Shannon and the OAS
for assisting in bringing the political crisis in Honduras to an
end. The U.S. delegation "played a fundamental and key role, as
well as the OAS, the European Union, as all other countries in the
Americas," said Zelaya (La Tercera on line, 10/30).
8. "I want to congratulate the people of Honduras, President
Zelaya, and Mr. Micheletti for reaching this historic agreement"
said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Government-owned, La
9. Tom Shannon twists Micheletti's arm: de facto president
Roberto Micheletti accepts Congress to decide on Zelaya's
reinstatement (La Nacion, 10/30).