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Cable sobre la respuesta positiva de los chilenos tras la moderación de su Gobierno ante Perú

El 23 de noviembre de 2009 el embajador de EE UU en Santiago señala que la reacción mesurada del Gobierno chileno en el 'conflicto de los espías' está provocando un extenso apoyo en el país en un momento delicado, a menos de un mes de las elecciones presidenciales y legislativas

ID: 236237
Date: 2009-11-23 20:36:00
Origin: 09SANTIAGO907
Source: Embassy Santiago
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 09LIMA1635 09LIMA1647 09LIMA1653 09SANTIAGO903 09SANTIAGO905
Destination: VZCZCXYZ0001
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTIAGO 000907

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/11/23
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, CI, PE
SUBJECT: CHILE: DOMESTIC REACTION TO SPY STORY SUBDUED

REF: SANTIAGO 905; SANTIAGO 903; LIMA 1653; LIMA 1647; LIMA 1635

CLASSIFIED BY: Paul Simons, Ambassador; REASON: 1.4(B), (D)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The domestic reaction in Chile to the Peruvian
spy story has been subdued due to careful management by the
Bachelet administration. Congress and the three leading
Presidential candidates support President Bachelet's handling of
the situation. Potential U.S. military sales currently are not a
media issue in Chile, as the press has focused on the spy story.
END SUMMARY.

Chile's Domestic Reaction Subdued

---------------------------------

2. (C) The domestic reaction in Chile to the Peruvian spy story has
been low-key thanks in good part to careful management by the
Bachelet administration. Foreign Minister Fernandez briefed the
Chilean Congress on November 18, delivering the same information he
gave the Ambassador earlier that day (Ref A): Peru's domestic
politics are the driving force behind President Garcia's steadily
increasing rhetoric. According to Fernandez, nationalist
opposition forces in Peru used the spy story as a pretext to block
Garcia's regional security initiative and undermine Garcia's more
cooperative approach with Chile.

3. (SBU) On November 19, La Tercera also ran an article making the
same arguments, drawing on Chilean government sources.

4. (SBU) The GOC strategy, which calls for a measured response,
appears to have widespread domestic support. The Chilean Senate
and Chamber of Deputies passed separate resolutions supporting
President Bachelet and rejecting the "hostile" expressions of the
Peruvian government. Jorge Pizarro, President of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, said that Chile needs to proactively
communicate its position in the region to insure that others are
not confused by Garcia's comments.

Presidential Candidates Steer Clear of Spy Story
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. (SBU) The spy controversy is taking place less than one month
before the December 13 presidential and congressional elections,
but the three leading presidential candidates have avoided turning
it into an election issue. Sebastian Pinera, the leading candidate
from the opposition Alianza coalition, said that relations with
Peru must be handled firmly and prudently. He noted the maritime
dispute as the key disagreement between the countries, but
emphasized that Chile and Peru have a shared future. Concertacion
candidate and former President Eduardo Frei said President Bachelet
is responsible for external affairs and candidates should not weigh
in. Independent candidate Marco Enriquez-Ominami expressed total
support for Bachelet's actions.

6. (SBU) The spy story broke the same day that the U.S. announced
possible military sales to Chile. Initially, media stories cited
both as examples of friction with Peru, but recent statements by

political leaders and in media reports have focused on the spy
story. The potential military sales largely ceased to be a media
story in Chile by the week of November 16.

Full Time Director for Maritime Dispute
---------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The GOC made two expected announcements this week that
have a bearing on Chile's relations with Peru. Bachelet appointed
Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Van Klaveren as the
full-time director of the working group that will submit Chile's
response to Peru's maritime lawsuit at the International Court of
Justice. The response is due March 9, 2010. Separately, Minister
of Defense Francisco Vidal announced that Chile would release its
third "Defense White Book" in the next 30 days. The document will
outline Chile's military expenditures, arms purchases, and
strategic objectives. Vidal noted the importance of promoting
transparency and said the document will clearly show that Chile is
not in arms race. Both announcements were expected and not in
response to the recent friction with Peru.
SIMONS