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Cablegate: Santiago Nov. 12 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Nov. 12 Media Report

Lead Story

1. Centro de Estudios Publicos poll for the presidential
election: Sebastian Pinera 36 percent, Eduardo Frei 26, Marco
Enriquez Ominami 19, and Jorge Arrate 5 percent (Conservative,
influential El Mercurio, 11/12).

U.S.-Related News

2. Arturo Valenzuela was sworn in yesterday as Assistant
Secretary of State for Latin America (El Mercurio; conservative
independent La Tercera, 11/11).

3. The Army has organized an international conference on
mapping starting November 15. For six days experts from 150
countries will discuss new mapping technologies, satellite images,
and tools and its uses. Vice Admiral Robert Murrett, Director of
the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, is among those
attending (El Mercurio, 11/12).

Honduras

4. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelly
returned to the United States empty handed after a two-day visit to
Honduras. Kelly tried to bring both parties in conflict back to
the negotiating table (El Mercurio, 11/2).

5. OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said the
regional organization "cannot even consider" sending observers to
the November 29 election in Honduras as requested by de facto
President Roberto Micheletti (Conservative, afternoon La Segunda,
11/12).

CEP Poll

6. The September CEP poll showed minor variations
compared to the August survey: While Pinera decreased one percent
and Frei two, Enriquez-Ominami increased two. Arrate is approaching
the 5 percent that candidates of the far left have received in past
elections (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 11/12).

7. Political analysts comment on the CEP poll. Maria de
los Angeles Fernandez, of Chile 21 Foundation, said the poll shows
that although Pinera is ahead in the presidential race, he seems to
have reached a ceiling. She noted that although the percentage for
Enriquez-Ominami has consistently increased, it is unlikely he will
be able to reach Frei. Guido Romo, from research center Geminis,
said the poll shows that the August-November campaigns had no
effect on voting patterns. Gonzalo Muller, from Universidad del
Desarrollo, said the results did not answer the main question,
which is who would go to a runoff with Pinera, because while Frei
is losing votes Enriquez-Ominami is gaining them. Furthermore, he
said, the results in an eventual runoff show that Enriquez-Ominami
is a stronger candidate than Frei (Business, financial Diario
Financiero, 11/12)

8. We can draw the following conclusions from the CEP poll:
The voting percentage for each of the three main candidates -
Pinera, Frei, Enriquez-Ominami-- did not vary more than 3 points
compared to the August poll; 14 percent said that they are
undecided; n the 2005 presidential election 15 percent voted null
or did not vote. We can assume, therefore, that it is unlikely

that there will be any significant change in the number of
individuals who will not vote in the December election (Catholic
University professor Rodrigo Salcedo; Government-owned La Nacion,
11/12).

Venezuela

9. Editorial: "Hugo Chavez... is doubling his efforts to
increase his hold on power....Given the somewhat tired decision to
blame U.S. imperialism, Chavez has now made Colombia its new
target. In his most recent remarks... Chavez ordered the Bolivarian
Forces to prepare to wage war on Colombia.... This kind of rhetoric
is very dangerous, because Chavez could resort to extreme tactics
including war to hold on to power.... Other government in the
region see this as threat too, such as Brazil that offered
immediately to mediate in the crisis.... Venezuelan analysts ...
anticipated recently said that Chavez has three real options to
create a situation to stay in power: an auto coup, an artificial
civil war, or a war on Colombia. Any of the three are possible...
and all of them are equally bad for Latin America. But the latter
is the worse of them" (El Mercurio, 11/11).
SIMONS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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