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Cablegate: Media Report January 9-11

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DE RUEHSG #0030/01 0111441
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111440Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0516
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
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RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
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RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000030

SIPDIS
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: Media Report January 9-11

WHA A/S Valenzuela

1. A/S for WHA Arturo Valenzuela will visit Chile Monday
and Tuesday on a tour that includes meetings with government and
political representatives. The U.S. high-ranking official will meet
with President Michelle Bachelet, Foreign Minister Mariano
Fernandez and Finance Minister Andres Velasco. One of the topics in
the agenda is the eventual reelection of Jose Miguel Insulza for
OAS Secretary General. (Conservative, independent La Tercera 1/9)

2. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez met in
Washington with WHA A/S Arturo Valenzuela. This was a key meeting,
since the United States has not revealed its support for Jose
Miguel Insulza yet, with whom the relations have chilled since the
latter supported the initiative to withdraw Cuba's expulsion from
the regional organization. Valenzuela will visit Santiago Monday
and Tuesday to meet with President Bachelet, the two presidential
candidates, and to sign a bilateral extradition agreement.
(Conservative, newspaper-of-record El Mercurio 1/9)

3. The two Chilean presidential candidates, Sebastian
Pi????era and Eduardo Frei, have scheduled separate meetings with
Arturo Valenzuela, President Barack Obama's advisor. (El Mercurio
1/11)

4. Column by Editor Steve Anderson, entitled "U.S. State
Department Hemispheric Chief Arturo Valenzuela Visits Chile"
"Arturo Valenzuela... is in Santiago today, Monday to meet with
President Michele Bachelet and with presidential candidate
Sebastian Pi????era and Eduardo Frei. Top item on the agenda, report
the national media, is Chile's promotion of a second five-year
mandate for Organization of American States (OAS) General Secretary
Jose Miguel Insulza... The prior OAS history will no doubt will
(sic) shadow the meetings occurring in Santiago this week. Although
Valenzuela is no Noriega, the U.S. State Department has upset many
Southern Cone leaders by its acquiescence to the military coup in
Honduras last year and its duplicitous role in keeping Honduran
President Mel Zelaya from returning to office. The Western
Hemisphere office was rudderless at the time of the coup, with
Valenzuela's appointment held up by conservatives in the U.S.
Senate. Southern Cone nations, led by Brazil, have strongly
condemned this U.S. diplomacy." (English-language digital
newspaper, Santiago Times, 1/11)

U.S. -Chile

5. "Obama Will not Visit Chile in the Remainder of the
Bachelet Administration" The possibility of a presidential visit to
Chile is remote. The U.S. Embassy in Chile commented that "there
is nothing planned" now or in the near future... The Chilean
mission in the United States said that they have not been contacted
in any way about an eventual visit by President Obama. For now, the
only chance for a Chilean president to meet Obama is at the April
summit on nuclear security to take place in Washington. Michelle
Bachelet will not be in power then and either Sebastian Pi????era or
Eduardo Frei will be the one to shake his hand. (El Mercurio 1/10)

6. Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez made a short
stop-over in Washington after his surprise visits to Caracas and
Managua last week seeking support for OAS Secretary General Jose
Miguel Insulza's reelection. Fernandez discussed with Insulza
about the various scenarios which could take place at the Permanent
Council's meeting on Wednesday. (La Tercera 1/10)

7. President Bachelet inaugurated Thursday a modern

inspection site of fruits and vegetables destined for the U.S.
market. The state-of-the-art facilities in the area of Teno, in
central Chile, will increase the capability of the Chilean
Agricultural and Animal Service (SAG) to conduct pre-departure
inspections of produce exported to the United States. The
President opened the facility accompanied by U.S. Under Secretary
of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulation Programs Edward Avalos,
U.S. Ambassador Paul Simons, and other officials. (El Mercurio
1/11)

Frei Case

8. Interview with Dr. Enrique Paris, Director of the
Toxicology Center at Catholic University of Chile, in which he
dismissed the reports prepared by Chilean experts Carmen Cerda and
Laura B????rgel who revealed alleged presence of mustard gas and
thallium in former President Eduardo Frei Montalva's sample
tissues. Dr. Paris accused Dr. B????rgel of basing much of her
arguments on scientific literature and not quoting the author. He
also reiterated that Dr. B????rgel's findings have not been supported
by laboratories in the United States or other countries. (El
Mercurio 1/10)

Local

9. Seven days before the presidential runoff, an El
Mercurio-Opina S.A. opinion poll conducted in Santiago, Concepcion
and Valparaiso gave opposition presidential candidate Sebastian
Pi????era 46.1%, over government coalition contestant Eduardo Frei,
who obtained 41% (El Mercurio 1/9)

U.S. Air Security

10. International round-up editorial on the events
unraveled after the Christmas Day failed terrorist attempt against
a U.S. commercial airliner: "It was expected that Obama would
differentiate from George W. Bush and behead the ones responsible.
He did not... Obama was upset with the security services but calm.
It was the Obama who often takes a distance and seeks for a
solution, consults, studies and reconciles. This irks his critics
who, particularly when it comes to terrorism, ask for further
action... This has been a tough first year for Obama. (El Mercurio
1/11)
SIMONS

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