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Cablegate: Santiago Feb. 26 Media Report

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SUBJECT: Santiago Feb. 26 Media Report

Lead Story

1. President-elect Pinera condemned the death of Cuban
dissident Orlando Zapata (All dailies, 2/26).

Cuba

2. Pinera's spokesperson issued the following statement:
"President-elect Pinera expresses his most sincere condolences to
the family of Cuban citizen and human rights defender Orlando
Zapata, and also strongly condemns the circumstances of his
death.... The president-elect joins those claiming for the
immediate release of over 200 political prisoners still
incarcerated in Cuba and calls to end all forms of political
oppression in the island." In the statement, Pinera calls on Cuba
to begin a process for the "peaceful reestablishment of democracy,
rule of law, and to guarantee human rights and civil liberties."

Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez said La Moneda hopes that the
president-elect would refrain from commenting on international
affairs until he is in office. "We are party to not interfering in
other country's internal affairs. We condemn human rights
violations in Cuba or in any other country, (but) in the places
where it is appropriate, such as United Nations," said Fernandez
(El Mercurio, 2/26).

3. Pinera's statement left La Moneda in an uncomfortable
position, because it had not yet commented on Zapata's death (La
Tercera, 2/26).

4. The Christian Democratic Party will file a bill with the

Chamber of Deputies harshly condemning human rights violation in
Cuba. The bill will also call on Bachelet to invite the leader of
Cuba's dissidence, Oswaldo Paya, to Pinera's swearing-in ((El
Mercurio, 2/26).

Obama - Argentina

5. Argentine President Cristian Fernandez told CNN that
Barack Obama "was not meeting the region's expectations" and that
there is a feeling that the United States has "missed
opportunities." The Argentine president made the statements just a
week before meeting with Secretary Hillary Clinton (Conservative,
influential newspaper-of-record El Mercurio, 2/26).

6. Editorial on Argentina and the Malvinas: "Once more there
is tension between Argentina and the U.K. over the Malvinas, the
south Atlantic archipelago that was the scenario of a war between
the two in 1982 .... But it seems that the Argentine government did
not learn the lesson from that war... which is that the only
possible path for Argentina to have any hope of recovering the
islands it lost in 1833 is to engage in a constructive dialogue and
negotiation. The solution is not pressuring and much less
exacerbating differences that are politically and internally
motivated" (Conservative, in dependent La Tercera, 2/26).

Pinera Administration

7. Pinera named the general manger of Copec fuels, Jorge
Bunster, director of the Foreign Ministry's International Economic
Relations Bureau (Direcon) (La Tercera, 2/26).
SIMONS

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