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Cablegate: Santiago Feb. 25 Media Report

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KMDR KPAO PGOV PREL SNAR EFIN CI
SUBJECT: Santiago Feb. 25 Media Report

Lead Story

1. All dailies (2/25) report that Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton will arrive in Santiago next week to meet with President
Bachelet and President-elect Pinera and that she would not attend
Pinera's swearing-in on March 11. Only government-owned La Nacion
reported differently saying that the Secretary "might" be at the
swearing-in "if she can adjust her agenda to be away from her
country ten days."

Secretary Clinton's Visit

2. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the first
high-ranking U.S. official to meet with president-elect Pinera.
Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley said that the secretary would
arrive to Chile next Monday and leave on the 2nd. She would not,
therefore, attend Pinera's swearing-in. In 2005, the White House
sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Bachelet's swearing-in.
This would be Clinton's fourth visit to Chile, although the first
as Secretary of State. She traveled before as First Lady
(Conservative, independent La Tercera, 2/25).

IPR

3. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) has
been very influential over the past years on what countries should
be included in the United States Trade Representative's list of
countries that need to improve on IPR. In its most recent report,
the IIPA says that Chile implemented new yet "inadequate"
legislation and underscores the high levels of piracy that still
exist, and recommends the USTR to keep Chile on its Priority Watch
List another year. Although Chile was the first Ibero-American
country to sign an FTA with the United States almost six year ago,
it has not fully complied with the agreement with regard to IPR,
says the IIPA (El Mercurio, La Tercera, 2/25).

Pinera Administration

4. UDI party Congressman Dario Paya will be Pinera's
Communications Director (El Mercurio, 2/25).

5. At the Rio Group, President Hugo Chavez said that "God
willing," he would attend Pinera's swearing-in on March 11. A
Cuban delegation will also attend. Pinera and Chavez have already
had an exchange of harsh remarks. A Chavez visit could attract
major media interest, as would Raul Castro's eventual attendance
(Government-owned, La Nacion, 2/25).

OAS

6. In spite of the controversial relationship that Hugo Chavez
has had with the OAS since Jose Miguel Insulza took office, the
Venezuelan president told Insulza yesterday at an informal
gathering that he would endorse his candidacy for another term in
the OAS. This means that Insulza already has 23 votes of a total 33
to be reelected. Reportedly, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega
also expressed his support for Insulza's reelection. The United
States, Mexico, and Peru are among the countries that have not yet
officially revealed their vote (La Tercera, El Mercurio, 2/25).

Rio Group Summit- New Regional Bloc

7. The Rio Group countries reached a consensus to create a new

regional organization to promote regional integration and to
present one voice in global forums. The new organization excludes
the United States and Canada. U.S. Department of State
spokesperson Philip Crowley said that the United States maintains
good relations with the majority of Latin American and Caribbean
nations and that, therefore, sees no problem with the new project
approved in Cancun. He added that it is good for countries to find
ways to cooperate more effectively. Assistant Secretary Arturo
Valenzuela said that these initiatives are important, because they
give confidence and provide mechanisms to resolve conflicts in the
region (El Mercurio, 2/24).

8. Presidents Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro not only strongly favor
the exclusion of the United States from the creation of a new
regional block; they also want to dissolve the OAS. With regard to
the latter, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela
said, "There is consensus that the OAS has a historical importance
and it must therefore be strengthened. We must not look down on
the work it does" (El Mercurio, 2/24).

Other

9. 80-year old American Duncan Buchanan died from a heart
attack after his plane landed in Chile. He was taken to the
airport's emergency unit for reanimation, but died at 7:10 a.m.
(All dailies, 2/24).
SIMONS

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