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Cablegate: Santiago Dec. 7 Media Report

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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Dec. 7 Media Report

Chile-U.S.

1. President Bachelet will meet with Governor Pawlenty next
week in Santiago. Pawlenty is "the most probable Republican
contender against Obama in 2012" (Conservative, afternoon daily La
Segunda, 12/4).

2. Interview with Mary Wilson, president of the League of
Women Voters entitled, "United States Supports Inclusion of Women
in Politics" (Government-owned La Nacion, 12/7) PAS program.

Honduras

3. Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela said that
given the complexity of the situation in Honduras, things seem to
be moving in the right direction in that country. Valenzuela
admitted that the United States had been somewhat "disappointed"
with the Congressional decision in Honduras against Zelaya's
reinstatement, but added, that "one must find other solutions." He
said that the fundamental issue now is to fulfill two conditions of
the Tegucigalpa-San Jose agreement: Form a unified government and
a Truth Commission. "What is at state is the pillar of the Inter
American system, which is the collective defense of democracy,"
said Valenzuela, adding that the issue is how to improve the
Democratic Charter to "truly protect democracy." Asked whether the
United States had changed its position with regard to Honduras,
Valenzuela said Washington has been consistent. He explained that
after the international community strongly condemned the coup, the
Micheletti government tried to justify what it had done and that
it was at that point that some in and outside the United States
began to see Zelaya's ousting as legitimate. "We never shared that
position," said Valenzuela, adding that after this point the United
States insisted on seeking "a negotiated solution to revoke the
authoritarian situation," in Honduras. The United States, he said,
recognized the election because there was an ongoing negotiation.
"Many thought that an OAS statement saying that the coup had been a
severe violation of the Inter American charter was enough for
Zelaya's reinstatement, but that did not happen and the problem
then was to decide on what steps to take .... We could not recall
our ambassador, because how could we assist with the return to
democracy if we had no ambassador? That is why although we
condemned the coup, we always looked for a solution and that is
where we are with the OAS" concluded Valenzuela (El Mercurio,
12/6).

4. Valenzuela also defended OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel
Insulza stating that the secretary's role is to find mechanisms to
negotiate the reestablishment of democracy on behalf of other
countries. From that viewpoint, Valenzuela said Insulza had done
"a good job" (El Mercurio, 12/6)

5. OAS Secretary General Insulza said that President-elect
Porfirio Lobo is in the position to restore democracy in his
country by ending Zelaya's "persecution, reestablishing human
rights and public liberties, and by calling on all democratic
forces to reach one national agreement. " The secretary also said
that since the OAS did not send observers to the election he could
not offer a "final verdict" on the election. However, he said, "it
seems that there won't be internal obstacles to Lobo's taking
office" (El Mercurio, 12/6).

6. Editorial: "President-elect Porfirio Lobo received strong
backing from the United States, which accepted Sunday's election as
legitimate because it was 'peaceful' and 'fulfilled international
standards' ... It is clear that Washington changed its initial

opposition to the process in Honduras for a more pragmatic stance
that reflects (recent) events and the will of the people of
Honduras to elect a new government.... Assistant Secretary Arturo
Valenzuela ... is being a realist in saying that 'it makes no sense
to make major decisions' until Lobo takes office.... But the
return of normality in Honduras has not yet concluded, because two
conditions must still be met: The installment of a unified
government and the creation of a Truth Commission...and until that
occurs, Honduras will not have normal relations with the OAS nor
receive the financial aid is so strongly needs" (Conservative,
influential El Mercurio, 12/7).

Afghanistan

7. Editorial: "President Obama might have been somewhat
uncomfortable announcing that he would send additional troops to
Afghanistan just days before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize....
But since he became a candidate, Obama has been saying that the
focus of attention should shift from Iraq to Afghanistan, which in
his opinion is the real battlefield against terrorists.... In this
regard, what he is doing now is consistent with what he said before
arriving to the White House. Obama's goal has always been to
defeat the Taliban and gradually transfer security to the Afghan
government, armed forces, and police. That is the real challenge
that the United States and the European allies face today...
because until the transition occurs... the allies will have to
continue dealing with the government of Afghanistan, which has
proven to be corrupt and inefficient" (El Mercurio, 12/7).

Bolivia

8. Headlines: "Evo Morales wins with 63%, takes control of
the legislature, and thinks about reelection in 2015" (El Mercurio,
12/7); "Morales reelected with 62% and takes control of the Senate"
(La Tercera, 12/7).

Local

9. A report by think tank "Libertad y Desarollo" shows that
President Bachelet's cabinet members have been in government an
average of 13 years since the onset of democracy 20 years ago (El
Mercurio, 12/5).

Chile-Peru

10. In an interview with Argentine daily "Pagina 12," Peru's
Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde said his country is
"satisfied" with Chile's commitment to investigate the accusations
of espionage, but added that he expects to receive an answer before
a new administration takes office in Chile. Garcia Belaunde said
that "while President Bachelet has "at all times tried to have good
relations with Peru," these relations have been hurt by the Peru's
maritime border claim in The Hague. He also touched another
sensitive bilateral issue: "We don't understand why Chile spends so
much on weapons and why those weapons point to Peru" (La Tercera,
12/6).

Copenhagen Conference

11. Editorial: "The Chilean delegation attending the Copenhagen
Conference has one clear idea in mind: A 'green' country is good
for the national interests, not just politically, but also
economically and socially.... What the United States and China
decide at the conference will be crucial for Chile's exports,
because of the greater environmental demands over the next years...

Regardless of whether the interest in the environment is the result
of a true commitment or because it is a source of income, the
private sector will have to look at the environment as a new
element of investment" (Financial daily Diario Financiero, 12/7).
SIMONS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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