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Cablegate: Media Report January 21

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R 211426Z JAN 10
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0567
INFO RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
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STATE FOR R/MR, I/PP, WHA/BSC, WHA/PDA, INR/IAA

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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Media Report January 21

Secretary Clinton-Chile

1. "Hillary Clinton Phones Pi????era and Presidents
Confirm
Attendance to Inauguration" Even though on Tuesday
(President-elect) Sebastian Pi????era received a greeting letter from
the United States, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called
the new President yesterday to congratulate him on his election.
Meanwhile, yesterday, presidents of Argentina Cristina Fernandez
and Uruguay's Fernando Lugo confirmed their attendance to the March
11 inauguration. In his talks with foreign Heads of State, Pi????era
also invited the presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador,
who are very likely to attend. Mexican Felipe Calderon's presence
is still unknown. (Conservative, independent La Tercera, 1/21)

Chavez-Pi????era

2. Only 72 hours after Sebastian Pi????era's election,
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made his first statement about
Pi????era. In a warning tone, Chavez responded to President-elect
Pi????era's comments Monday, in which he stated having strong
discrepancies with Venezuela. "There are deep differences in terms
of how democracy is understood and practiced; the way in which the
economic model is developed, and much more," asserted Pi????era.
During an event in Caracas, Chavez said: "The least we can ask is
respect for the Venezuelan sovereign people... Let us not get
involved with the Chileans, and have the new Chilean Government
stay away from us... I expect Mr. Pi????era not to intend
transforming
Chile into another platform of attack against Venezuela... I call
on you to focus on governing and doing what you should do." In
addition, he commented that Pi????era's victory was based on an
"offensive" from the right to "restore" the neoliberal project
driven by the United States within the Hemisphere. (Conservative,
newspaper-of-record, El Mercurio, 1/21)

3. Article by Washington correspondent Alvaro Vargas
Llosa on President Chavez' remarks criticizing President-elect
Pi????era: "Sources close to the President-elect said that they would
avoid responding to these kinds of attacks, while they would
continue to establish a clear stance on international issues... In
Washington's case, many things could be reproached to the Bush
Administration, but the line followed by Tom Shannon during the
past two years was clever: it consisted in ignoring Chavez'
bravados while attempting to strengthen its relations with the
center-left and center-right. Nothing would isolate Chavez more
than seeing Pi????era... become involved with the rest of Latin
American countries and Spain's Zapatero." (La Tercera, 1/21)

Haiti

4. Local coverage on Haiti focused on the rescue efforts
and the finding of people alive under the rubble.

5. "Rescue Workers Run against Time in Search for the
Few Life Miracles Still Emerging in Haiti" The story also
highlighted State Department Greg Adams' phone briefing with Latin
American media yesterday: "We are committed with the people of
Haiti in the long-term," said Adams. He also noted that in spite
of the fact that the U.S. troops will stay on the island "the least
time possible" due to their "other commitments" in Iraq and
Afghanistan "we will not leave Haiti shortly. We are here to stay."
Greg Adams was also quoted saying that the United States "is ready"
to assist the Haitian Government. "If they need observers for when
the elections take place, assist on security, we will help, but
that is a decision for Haiti and not the United States,' he noted.
(El Mercurio, 1/21)

6. "Surprising Rescue of People Alive Under the Ruins
One Week After the Earthquake" (La Tercera, 1/21)

7. "Incipient Haitian Political System Sees Elections
Postponed for a Year" (El Mercurio, 1/21)

8. "U.S. Promises More Soldiers, while Hospital Ship
Tends First Patients" (Government-owned, but editorially
independent, La Nacion, 1/21)
URBAN

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