Wikileaks: Cable de Embajada USA en Chile sobre palabras de Piñera respecto de HidroAysén

Estimados amigos, acá dejo el cable del embajador Simons donde Piñera se refiere a HidroAysén.

Es del 17 de marzo de 2008.  Es el punto 7 del cable.

La traducción es:

“El Embajador señaló que la embajada está trabajando con el Gobierno de Chile en cooperación energética, incluidas estrategias de diversificación y eficiencia energética.  Piñera expresó su desacuerdo con los grupos ambientalistas que buscan bloquear  la construcción de grandes proyectos hidroeléctricos en la Patagonia.   Chile necesita “duplicar su capacidad total de generación de energía en los próximos diez años”. Dicho esto, también señaló que es necesario reconocer las legítimas preocupaciones de los ambientalistas. Un buen enfoque sería reestructurar el proyecto de la Patagonia para adaptarse parcialmente a las exigencias ambientalistas -mediante la adopción de medidas como bordear áreas sensibles ambientalmente o de carácter especial en términos escénicos, y reducir parcialmente la huella ecológica de las represas.  Si bien estas medidas podrían aumentar en “un 10 por ciento” el costo del proyecto, reduciría el impacto ambiental en un tercio y seguiría siendo rentable para los inversionistas.”


Patricio Segura


Cable de la Embajada de EE UU en Santiago sobre la actitud de Piñera ante Pinochet

El punto débil de Piñera es su actitud demasiado condescendiente hacia los abusos sobre derechos humanos de Pinochet



ID:            146148

Date:            2008-03-17 14:08:00

Origin:            08SANTIAGO249

Source:            Embassy Santiago

Classification:            CONFIDENTIAL


Destination:            VZCZCXYZ0000


DE RUEHSG #0249/01 0771408


R 171408Z MAR 08












E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/12/2018




Classified By: E/Pol Counselor Juan A. Alsace for reasons 1.4 (B) & (d)




1. (C) Billionaire businessman and all-but-certain 2009

opposition presidential candidate Sebastian Pinera told the

Ambassador that the center-right – led by him – has a

“wonderful opportunity” to win the 2009 presidential

elections, given the “incompetence and corruption” besetting

the governing Concertacion coalition. Pinera described

President Bachelet as a “good woman, but bad president,”

whose foreign policy on issues such as Venezuela is contrary

to Chilean interest. He painted Bachelet as wrong on

domestic priorities, particularly education, but also labor,

innovation and public security, all of which contributed to

“voter fatigue” with Concertacion, now in power for nearly

twenty years. Pinera is short on offering solutions,

however. Moreover, he acknowledged his confidence is based

on current political realities (as he sees them), “which are

always subject to change.” End summary.

2. (U) The Ambassador paid a call March 13 on Sebastian

Pinera who, as the center-right candidate, ran against

President Bachelet in 2005, losing by 54 to 46 percent. The

billionaire businessman – he made his nut in the

telecommunications, credit, and aviation industries – is

gearing up for another run in 2009, and is the presumptive

candidate of the opposition Alianza. The Ambassador was

accompanied by E/Pol Counselor.


Back to the Future


3. (C) Pinera said that 20 months before Chileans head to

voting booths to replace Michelle Bachelet, the opposition

has a “wonderful opportunity” to win the 2009 presidential

elections. “All polls,” he claimed, show Chileans “losing

hope” and tired of the Concertacion, now in power for nearly

20 years. Current problems – energy shortages, corruption

and incompetence – are the result of failed Concertacion

policies. Moreover, giving the opposition a turn in power

would be good for democracy. When E/Pol Counselor noted

Bachelet had seemingly arrested her drop in polls (she has

recently rebounded from the high 30’s to the mid-40’s),

Pinera attributed it to her personal charisma, but insisted

her policies remain unpopular.

4. (C) The Ambassador asked if the Alianza would present new

ideas or resort to negative campaigning; Pinera replied the

Chilean press “never focuses on the positive.” For example,

he had the day before presented a plan on energy

diversification but was only questioned afterwards on his

views about alleged misuse of funds at the Ministry of

Education. Pinera noted there is internal disagreement

within Alianza as to campaign strategy. Senator Allemand (of

Pinera’s moderate right Renovacion Nacional (RN)) militates

for “total war” against the Concertacion. Joaquin Lavin, of

the hard right Union Democratica Independiente (UDI), and who

Pinera defeated in 2005 in first round presidential

elections, before going on to lose to Bachelet in the second,

is for a more conciliatory stance. Pinera said he would opt

for a “New Deal” approach, maintaining the opposition’s

traditional role as “fiscalizador” (watchdog), while also

seeking areas for cooperation. (Comment: Pinera may have

decided on this tack after seeing Lavin recently resurrect

himself in the polls by claiming to be a

“Bachelitista-Alianzista,” who would work with Concertacion

for the common good, an approach Chileans apparently

appreciated. Still, when E/Pol Counselor noted Lavin’s rise,

Pinera said Lavin had “bloomed for a day only.”)


Bachelet Not Up to Task


5. (C) Pinera claimed to have “600 professionals” (300

purportedly with advanced degrees) working on what a Pinera-

led government would do in areas of education, health, and

energy. But when the Ambassador pressed for specifics,

Pinera replied only that his efforts “aren’t politics,” and

repeated that the current government wasn’t delivering. He

said President Bachelet is “a good woman, but bad president.”

On foreign policy, Pinera criticized her for her “too close

ties to Chavez,” including having wanted to support (in 2006)

Venezuela’s campaign for a UNSC seat. Chavez had been wrong

on the Ecuador-Colombia dispute, sought close ties to Iran,

and is a destabilizing force in the region. All of Chavez’s

positions are contrary to Chilean interests. Pinera

continued that had he been President he would have told

Ecuador’s Correa (who was in Santiago March 9-12) that “Yes,

the issue of sovereignty is important, but so also is

combatting terror.”

6. (C) On domestic issues, Pinera panned Bachelet’s efforts

on education reform, noting that much money had been spent

“but not well.” The GOC is incorporating “bad practice” from

the fully subsidized public school system into the

semi-subsidized private system, despite the fact that the

latter has shown better results with less resources. Part of

the problem, according to Pinera, is that “the top seven

persons in the Ministry of Education have poor backgrounds in

education and none speak English.” (Comment: The

Harvard-educated Pinera flashed his elitist side here, noting

these seven had all attended “mediocre schools.”) Pinera

also panned Concertacion policies on labor, innovation, and

public security, adding that Bachelet really “doesn’t believe

in free trade or open economies.” In short, he concluded,

the GOC has no working agenda.

7. (C) The Ambassador noted that the Embassy is working with

the GOC on energy cooperation, including diversification and

energy efficiency strategies. Pinera said he is in

disagreement with environmental groups seeking to block

construction of major hydroelectric projects in Patagonia.

Chile needs “to double its overall energy generation capacity

in the next ten years.” That said, it is also necessary to

recognize the legitimate concerns of the environmentalists.

A good approach would be to restructure the Patagonia project

to partially accomodate the environmentalist — by taking

measures such as stringing power lines to “bypass” around

environmentally sensitive or especially scenic areas, and

partially reducing the footprint of the dams. While these

measures would add “ten percent” to the cost of a project,

they would reduce environmental impact “by a third,” while

remaining profitable for investors.


I Am the Man


8. (C) E/Pol Counselor asked if the October 2008 municipal

elections would be a harbinger of results for the 2009

presidential and parliamentary elections. Pinera replied

that in 2004, Alianza had “been in the ascendant” but that a

poor showing in the municipals that year had hurt the

opposition in the 2005 national elections. While he did not

expect Alianza to win the 2008 municipals, he believed

Alianza would do well, lessening any negative impact in the

2009 national elections. Pinera dismissed any possibility of

the UDI putting up a credible presidential candidate,

predicted there would be no primary to select the opposition

nominee, and said flat out he would be the Alianza candidate

in 2009. He supposed Concertacion would put up either former

President Lagos or OAS SecGen Insulza against him, but noted

he ran 12-15 percent ahead of both in the polls.

Nonetheless, he acknowledged, “in politics, anything can





9. (C) The numbers may look good for Pinera today and given

Concertacion’s current difficulties (a loss of majority in

both houses of parliament, a new round of corruption

allegations, public concerns over a spike in crime), he has

every right to be confident. But in an aside on economic

policy, Pinera also revealed his vulnerable flank, commenting

that Concertacion’s having maintained the Pincohet regime’s

economic policies was wise: “You don’t tear down the

pyramids because you lost lives building them.” This

somewhat cavilier attitude towards the human rights abuses of

the Pinochet regime is one Achilles heel of the center-right,

a stance that does not play well with Chile’s majority

center-left voters, and one which Concertacion will be sure

to use as it paints Pinera as a business lackey and Pinochet

sympathizer. As Insulza pointed out in a recent interview,

Pinera is currently “running alone.” That will change

shortly, as Pinera himself implicity understands. End




Acerca de coalicionarv

Organización de la Región de Aysén que trabaja por el desarrollo sustentable social, ambiental y económico de la Patagonia.
Esta entrada fue publicada en Uncategorized. Guarda el enlace permanente.


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