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Cablegate: Santiago Media Report January 20

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SUBJECT: Santiago Media Report January 20

Incoming Administration

1. President-elect Sebastian Pi????era appointed his close
advisor, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, to manage the establishment of the
incoming administration. Among Hinzpeter's first duties are to
designate delegates at the Foreign Ministry's Protocol Office and
the Presidency's Administration Office. Yesterday, Pi????era received
the U.S. State Department's letter of congratulations in which the
U.S. Administration conveyed its determination to continue
strengthening bilateral ties. (Conservative, newspaper-of-record
El Mercurio 1/20)

2. "U.S. Sends Congratulations." "We congratulate
President Elect Sebastian Pi????era on his election and the Chilean
people for an exemplary election process," said State Department
spokesperson Phillip J. Crowley in a statement. (Conservative,
independent La Tercera, 1/20)

3. "Obama Administration Congratulates the
President-elect." "We look forward to working with the
President-elect," said State Department spokesperson Philip
Crowley. (Financial, business-oriented Estrategia, 1/20)

4. In a phone conversation, U.S. Ambassador to Chile
Paul Simons congratulated President-elect Sebastian Pi????era on his
election in the runoff. Simons wished him "success at his work as
President" and conveyed Washington's deep interest in "continuing
to work enthusiastically with his administration to maintain
strengthening their close relations on bilateral, regional and
global issues." Ambassador Simons also saluted Christian
Democratic Senator Eduardo Frei and underscored his "great
dedication to public service and to the country's welfare." (Online
daily Emol.com 1/20)

Haiti

5. Local dailies continued to provide extensive coverage
on Haiti, focusing primarily on the deployment of additional U.S.
troops and the controversy raised by the alleged expedited adoption
of Haitian children:

6. "U.S. Troops Deploy in Haiti and Begin Aid
Distribution." While approximately 10 U.S. helicopters loaded with
troops landed on the presidential palace lawns in the northeastern
area of Haiti's capital city, a C-17 dropped 14,000 rations of
prepared food and 15,000 liters of water. American forces control
the airport area in Port au Prince and maintain a strong presence
in the seaport area. Chile's Minors Service (SENAME) has received
30 queries about adopting Haitian children. Yesterday, 53 Haitian
orphans - who were in the advanced stages of the adoption process -
arrived in the United States. (La Tercera, 1/20)

7. "Controversy Hikes over Expedite Adoptions of Haitian
Children." Countries such as the United States and the Netherlands
have accelerated the processes. Chile opposes to "express"
procedures. "We are not in favor of massive or 'express' adoption
procedures under any circumstance, even beyond the dramatic
situation that is taking place in Haiti," noted Eugenio San Martin,
SENAME Director, in allusion to the U.S. and Dutch measures to
speed up the adoption processes of Haitian children. "While we
remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the
use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for
adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care
they need here," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano. She underscored that adoption authorization will

be granted only to children who met the criteria before the
earthquake. (El Mercurio, 1/20)

8. Thousands of Haitians are trying to flee Port au
Prince in search for food and water. Rescue workers distribute
over 250,000 rations per day, half of which are delivered by the
United States in accordance to the U.N. Food Program. (El Mercurio
1/20)

9. Dozens of U.S. troops landed on the Presidential
Palace lawn in Haiti taking control of the area. The United States
has clarified that its forces will not patrol the streets and their
deployment should provide Haitians with "the confidence that the
hospitals will remain open to all citizens." (El Mercurio, 1/20)

10. "Chileans Want to Adopt Haitian Orphans." UNICEF's
office in Santiago has received 20 requests, while NGO America
Solidaria another seven. Other petitions have been submitted to
Chile's Foreign Ministry and institutions such as SENAME, but the
road doesn't seem expedited. The United States announced that it
will accelerate adoption processes on behalf of Haitian orphans.
However this will apply to cases already underway. Secretary Janet
Napolitano pointed out that the U.S. priority is "family
reunification in Haiti." Thus, she clarified that the United
States would not open its doors to all orphans. (Conservative,
afternoon daily La Segunda 1/19)

Economy and Trade

11. The Heritage Foundation 2010 Economic Index showed
that Chile dropped two places since last year. Chile's economic
freedom score is 77.2, making its economy the 10th freest in the
2010. (La Tercera, 1/20)

12. Chile's exports to China doubled shipments to the
United States in 2009. 23.8 percent of Chilean exports were bound
to China last year, mainly of copper and cellulose. For the third
year in a row, China displaced the United States as primary
destination of domestic shipments, a trend that will continue,
according to experts. (La Tercera, 1/20)

Obama Administration Anniversary

13. Editorial: "Barack Obama's Hard Learning Experience
in Office." "When assessing Barack Obama's first year in office,
the balance shows achievements in addition to promises yet to be
fulfilled. He has faced a hard task, therefore a combination of
accomplishments and challenges should not surprise . . . On the
international scope . . . in a short period of time, the U.S.
President has changed the negative perception held by the
international community during the past Administration . . . In
Latin America, . . . Obama's respectful and cordial tone shown at
the 2009 Summit of the Americas was welcomed, but it has not meant
higher U.S. attention toward the region, although its intervention
in the Honduras crisis and its rejection to reincorporating Cuba in
the OAS with no conditions were accurate . . . The general balance
shows a government which, in spite of being more active and
possible of major changes, still does not fulfill the expectations
it created, something that time could play against it." (La
Tercera, 1/20)
SIMONS

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