Cablegate: Santiago Feb. 2 Media Report
DE RUEHSG #0124/01 0332004
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R 022002Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0649
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
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
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TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Feb. 2 Media Report
1. President Obama's 2011 budget proposal was front-page news
on all major dailies today (2/2).
2. Front-page headline: "U.S. President Obama phones Chilean
President-elect Sebasti????n Pi????era and commits to continue
closely with Chile"
Inside headline: "Barack Obama phones Pi????era to congratulate him.
The president-elect confirms his participation in the summit in the
Yesterday afternoon Sebasti????n Pi????era received a phone call from
other than the U.S. President who phoned to congratulate him "for
his historical victory," said a White House release. In the
conversation President Obama "underscored the close ties" that
exist between the two countries "based on mutual interests and
values" and expressed his commitment to "continue working closely
with Chile," said the release. Pi????era confirmed he would attend
the April energy and safety summit in Washington, where nuclear
energy will be among the topics. In Pi????era's circle the view is
that the conversation had been "cordial, interesting, and very
prolific" (Conservative, influential newspaper-of-record El
3. Headline: "Obama congratulates President-elect Pi????era and
invites him to Chile"
In a phone call yesterday, President Barack Obama congratulated
Pi????era and underscored the "strong alliance" between the two
countries. Pi????era expressed his commitment with human rights in
Chile, said he would maintain Chile's peace force in Haiti, and
invited Obama to visit the country in a tour of Latin American.
Reportedly, Obama said he would try to visit (La Tercera, 2/2).
4. American Chilean Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) President
Ricardo Garcia said that one of the obstacles that the Pi????era
administration will have to resolve regarding its ties with the
United States is the enforcement of IPR laws. "The United States
bases its development on the protection of (intellectual) property
and the fact that Chile does not duly protect these rights ... is a
situation that must be improved" (El Mercurio, 2/2).
Coverage of President Obama's budget proposal
5. President Obama revealed yesterday his US3.8 trillion dollar
2011 fiscal budget plan with emphasis on creating jobs and cutting
space and global warming programs (La Tercera, 2/2).
6. Headline: "Barack Obama confronts fiscal deficit with a 2011
budget that emphasizes jobs, security, and closing the Guantanamo
Given the drop in his popularity and having lost the majority in
the Senate, President Obama's budget proposal for next year focuses
on primary issues to regain confidence (Government-owned La Nacion,
7. Headlines: "A budget with its feet on the ground - U.S.
president renounces to manned trips to the moon and Mars" (La
Nacion, 2/2); "Obama proposes US 3.8 trillion budget for 2011 with
emphasis on employment (Financial dailies Diario Financiero and
Estrategia, 2/2/); "Obama announces tax increase for individuals
and corporations to finance his budget"
(El Mercurio, 2/2).
8. Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim will meet with
Pi????era in Santiago on February 12. After the election, Brazilian
President Lula da Silva congratulated Pi????era and invited him to
work for South America's integration (Diario Financiero, 2/2).
9. Adimark GFK poll revealed an 83% rate of approval for
President Bachelet and 65% for the government. The president was
also highly rated on personal attributes: 95% said she is "loved,"
91% that she is "respected," 90% that she has the "ability to face
a crisis," and 88% that she is "credible." Adimark noted that while
Bachelet is widely approved, her political coalition - Concertacion
-- lost the election (Conservative, afternoon La Segunda, 2/1).
10. Adimark Director Roberto Mendez: "This survey is a paradox....
The president has a record support, which does not transfer to the
candidate of her coalition (...) Bachelet was harshly criticized by
her own coalition in her first years in office and later faced
difficult situations stemming from divisions among coalition
parties. Many view Bachelet as a victim of her coalition" (Popular
tabloid Las Ultimas Noticias, 2/2).
11. Column by Andres Oppenheimer on Haiti: "Deforestation in Haiti
has made its soil lose the ability to retain water, which has
drastically reduced water supplies and hurt intensive
agriculture.... At the individual level, each and every one of us
should donate a tree to Haiti. At the international level...
donors should refuse the temptation to focus on just constructing
building. That is a cosmetic solution and Haiti needs trees and gas
stoves, but perhaps ones that run on solar (energy) rather than
bricks" (El Mercurio, 2/2).
12. Editorial supporting Jose Miguel Insulza's reelection to the
OAS: "Insulza's performance has been approved by the majority of
Latin American and the Caribbean.... The questions about the
outdated mechanisms of the OAS did not changed much during
Insulza's term.... For these to change, member nations must
restructure the organization and overcome the acute differences
that prevail in the continent. According to the OAS Charter, the
secretary general... can only carry out political initiatives that
have unanimous support, which is rarely reached on transcendental
issues. That is the difficult scenario in which Insulza has had to
work and ... in a region where differences among countries and
among its presidents prevail. It is probable and convenient that
once Insulza explains his program to the new (government) officials
they will choose to endorse his reelection (El Mercurio, 2/2).