Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

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Remarks With Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
August 3, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:Well, I am delighted to welcome Minister Moreno here to the State Department. He and I have had the opportunity to meet a number of times over the course of the last year, and it’s always an important meeting because we have so much in common with Chile and so much work we are doing together, as well as the increasing leadership role that Chile is playing both regionally and globally.So Minister, I know you’re here for the exciting opening of the exhibition at the Smithsonian about the great rescue of the miners, and I’m happy that we’ve had this chance to visit about our full agenda together.

FOREIGN MINISTER MORENO: Well, thank you, Secretary, and thank you for receiving us. It’s a great opportunity to talk about all the things that we have in common with the U.S. Also, as you already told the press, we have this fantastic opportunity at the Smithsonian, where we’ll remember what happened last year and where the U.S. and all of your technology and your companies and all your support was so important.

So now, we will be also following what happened with President Obama’s visit to Chile, which was very important not only for Chile, but also for the region. So we can go over all those issues that we talked about on that date.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 10, 2011


SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome Minister Moreno here. We met a year ago, almost to the day, when I came to Chile to extend sympathy, solidarity, and support of the American people with Chileans in the wake of a devastating earthquake that took more than 500 lives and affected more than two million people and caused such extraordinary damage.

And from that time to today, it’s been an amazing year for Chile. The resilience and the dynamism of the people has been seen time and time again. We were among the over one billion people who watched the rescue of the miners and look forward to having an exhibition at the Smithsonian of that remarkable feat in August.

It is no coincidence that President Obama will be going to Chile and delivering a major policy address in Santiago articulating the importance of Latin America to the United States. It will be approximately, if not exactly, 50 years to the week after President Kennedy articulated the Alliance for Progress.

And we have so much that we’re working on together. Our bilateral relationship is open and growing. The United States is Chile’s second largest trading partner. We’re the largest foreign investor. And we know that prosperity depends on security, and I thanked the minister for Chile’s great work in Haiti and what they are doing throughout the region to assist law enforcement, police training, and so much else. We are very much heartened by the Chilean congress passing this week a law that significantly strengthens Chile’s legal code in combating the trafficking in persons.

So, Minister, there’s a lot we talked about – about Chile and the United States, about South America, about the Western Hemisphere, and indeed, the world. (Laughter.) So thank you so much for being here.

FOREIGN MINISTER MORENO: Well, thank you very much, Ms. Secretary. As you know and as I told you at the meeting, we are delighted with the visit President Obama will do on March 21st to Chile. We feel that this is a significant signal to Chile and to the whole region. I am sure that within that visit and with all of our teams, we will work together identifying opportunities for the Americas.

I also, as you already said, I want to express our appreciation for the U.S. support not only of the earthquake but also on the miners’ rescue. We feel that this was an example of finding new solutions, creative solutions, for problems that we were not used to have. This was something that never happened before – people that were trapped under 700 meters below earth. So – and together with the U.S., with many people, very good ideas, and our own teams, we were able to rescue all of them alive. We feel that this is an example of the type of partnership that we can have between the U.S. and Chile.

Of course, we have issues of common interest which are education, energy, technology, and many more. We hope to strengthen this partnership between Chile and the U.S. and we are really forward-looking, taking into account the new realities that we have in our region. Chile and the United States share a common agenda in human rights, on democracy, on economic development, on social inclusion, in the fight to international crime, on the care about the environment, and many other issues. And we have to work together.

One of those issues is Haiti. And as we talked, we knew to devise ways of how we can be effective in taking Haiti to a new startup, a new development, and to take all that country from where it is to a new complete reality. And also, we had the opportunity to talk about our trip with President Pinera to the Middle East and to the south of Europe. Those are issues that are important not only to the U.S., not only to the people that are in those countries. These are issues that are important for the whole world.

So thank you very much. We will be waiting for President Obama down there. And as I told you at the start, this is a magnificent opportunity for both countries to strengthen our relations. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Minister.

MR. TONER: The first question, Jill Dougherty at CNN.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you. Mr. – Colonel Qadhafi is hitting back very strongly at the rebels. He’s doing a lot of damage. CNN’s Arwa Damon, who is in the region, had an interview with the head of the interim government in eastern Libya, Mr. Jalil. And he said there has to be immediate action; the longer the situation carries on, the more blood is shed.

You also had Mr. Clapper today saying that if this goes on, the regime will prevail. How long can the United States and the world community stand on the sidelines without taking military action?

And also you had the ambassador – I guess the former ambassador for Libya here today. What did you tell him?

And then just one very quick one that came up. Saudi Arabia – there are reports that the police have been firing on protestors in Saudi Arabia. How do you assess the stability of Saudi Arabia right now?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t know anything about this final point, Jill. But on the first two questions concerning Libya, I think the international community is well aware of the situation and has moved quite quickly and forcefully. First, we imposed strong sanctions. Just in the United States we’ve already frozen over $32 billion of the Qadhafi regime’s assets. We have coordinated additional sanctions with our European and other partners and also through the United Nations. We’re expanding our sanctions to even more people within the Qadhafi regime.

Second, we have taken steps to put in motion actions that will hold members of the Qadhafi regime accountable through the United Nations Security Council resolution. We have referred the regime to the International Criminal Court. We have intelligence capabilities that are monitoring Libyan activities in order to establish the base for accountability.

Third, we are in direct contact with members of the opposition here in the United States, in Libya, in other countries. And we are working with them to determine what assistance they actually are able to use and asking for so that we can figure out how best to support their aspirations.

We are also, as I announced today, suspending the Libyan embassy in the United States. We will not accept representatives from the Qadhafi regime representing them in Washington. And we think all of this is adding up to significant pressure.

Fourth, we’re providing a lot of assistance to support the humanitarian needs. We have helped to repatriate people who have fled from Libya. We’re getting resources in in cooperation with a lot of other partners to provide support for the Libyans who are waging this very difficult struggle. And we are positioning our own people on the borders to figure out how much more we can do, and we are pursuing a range of military options.

But I think it’s important to underscore this takes time to prepare and plan. We – we’re very supportive of this week’s meetings in NATO. We’re pursuing 24/7 surveillance, and we are taking steps to enforce the arms embargo.

So today at NATO, the alliance agreed, number one, to increase maritime assets in the central Mediterranean. We agreed to move ahead with detailed operational planning for humanitarian relief and for even more active enforcement of the embargo. And we are continuing to plan for the full range of possible options, including a no-fly zone. And these plans will be presented to NATO on March 15th.

I know how concerned people are. I share that concern. But we have a lot of experience in this kind of circumstance, from Iraq, from the Balkans, and elsewhere. And we know how challenging it is to do any of the things that a lot of people are calling for. But I think the steps we have taken add up to a great deal of quick reaction to what we see happening.

QUESTION: Is there an actual trigger for military action?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, I’m not going to respond to that, because trying to plan is the first and most important undertaking, and there is an enormous amount of planning going on. But it’s very challenging, and I think we ought to be – have our eyes open as we look at what is being bandied about and what is possible in order to make good decisions. And that’s what the President has asked us to do.

MR. TONER: Next question to (inaudible).

QUESTION: Thank you. Mrs. Secretary, we would like to know why Chile is so important for Latin America. Do you think or do you see Chile as a counterweight of other governments of the region like Venezuela, for example? And in that case, what do you expect of the Chile Government? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, we admire Chile. We admire the extraordinary progress that Chile has made over the last years. Its recent history of transitioning to a full democracy is extremely important in today’s world, and we talk about that and point people to it. In fact, in my conversations with Egyptian officials, Chile is mentioned without any prompting from me but from Egyptians saying they want to know more about what Chile has done. Because Chile is not only a democratic success, it is an economic success and it has delivered results for the Chilean people because of the strong commitment to democracy.

So, as the President is clearly demonstrating, we are very proud of our strong bilateral relationship, but we also see the opportunity for Chile to play a role regionally in helping neighbors to understand what it takes to have the kind of positive story that Chile now represents. So perhaps the minister would want to add to that.

FOREIGN MINISTER MORENO: Well, I only want to add that in Latin America we have countries that are pursuing two different kinds of models. But any country can choose what they want to do. What we do in Chile has been successful for us. Some other countries are getting through the same road and they are being successful too. And we feel that that’s the way – how we can be maybe the first developed country in Latin America within this decade, that we can fight against poverty. At least until today, results have been good. Results have been good also for Colombia, for Peru, for many other countries that are going through the same path. And people have to choose what is the best way of doing things in their own country.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.



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Excellent choice! Great news! Congratulations Mme. President!

Michelle Bachelet’s Appointment To Head UN Women

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC
September 14, 2010

On behalf of the people of the United States, I want to congratulate former President Michelle Bachelet of Chile on her appointment to head the newly formed United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women – UN Women. I have been privileged to work alongside President Bachelet on a variety of important issues, especially advancing opportunities for women.
As long as I have known President Bachelet, the needs of women and marginalized populations have topped her list of priorities. She has broken barriers for women in Chile and throughout the region, and I am inspired by her passion, her expertise, and her courage to speak out on difficult issues. These are the indispensible qualities that make her an excellent choice to lead UN Women.
With President Bachelet at the helm, UN Women will be a powerful force in our shared work to elevate the status of women and girls. It will strengthen the UN’s work on women and girls, mainstream gender equality throughout the UN system, and ensure that these issues enjoy their rightful status.
As a longtime champion for the rights of women and girls and a proven political leader, President Bachelet is the ideal person to launch this important new agency that will help millions of people around the world improve their lives.

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The State Department posted these videos from the past week.  Secretary Clinton was in Chile on Tuesday,  and these videos show her with President Michelle Bachelet speaking to the press.   I see a special chemistry between these two leaders.

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Remarks With Chilean President-elect Sebastian Pinera

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Santiago Airport
Santiago, Chile
March 2, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much. I just had the privilege and opportunity of a long conversation with President-elect Pinera about the immediate crisis of the earthquake and about a number of important issues that we will be working on together upon his becoming president next week.
Chile and the United States have a very close bilateral relationship. We have explored a number of the important matters that are on our agendas together, but we also have regional and international responsibilities. Chile is a member of the G-20. President-elect Pinera will be coming to Washington for President Obama’s nuclear security summit. There are a number of critical issues that we must work on together.
I reiterated our strong support as Chile recovers from the earthquake. And President-elect Pinera mentioned specific needs that Chile will have for reconstruction, and we’ve offered assistance in that phase as well.
Well, the president-elect informed me that Chile is not a member of the G-20, but the G-20 will be working to help Chile as long – as well as other international financial institutions. And certainly with the president-elect’s background in business, he will be a very important voice in all of the multilateral discussions about the economy going forward.
President-elect, on behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, we stand with you. We look forward to working with you, and congratulations upon your inauguration next week.
PRESIDENT-ELECT PINERA: (Via interpreter) I want to very much thank Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her visit and also for the willingness that she has indicated to cooperate with Chile so that we can not only deal with the current emergency but also work towards the plan for reconstruction that Chile needs to carry out with a sense of a unity and solidarity.
The meeting with Secretary Clinton was a long one. It was a deep meeting, it was a fertile meeting, and I think that we have covered not only many bilateral issues as well as the issues Chile is facing now during the emergency and its phase of reconstruction, but also many multilateral issues of interest to us both.
We share with the United States a number of values – freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, a sense of cooperation – and above all, we share the same ideas with regards to challenges of the 21st century.
And so we posed to her and we represented to her our willingness to continue to cooperate, but even more closely than before, on strengthening democracy, protecting human rights. We also asked Secretary Clinton for cooperation from the United States with regard to technology, because if the United States can provide us with very good information on renewable energy, environmentally friendly energy, technology necessary to provide housing – temporary housing, to provide prefabricated housing quickly, this is going to help, particularly in the cases of 500,000 people who have been left without shelter as a result of the earthquake; also in terms of renovation and also issues of entrepreneurship, because Chile is now at a time in its history where it needs to make a leap forward. Our hope for Chile is that it will be the first country of Latin America to beat underdevelopment, to beat poverty. And we hope to do so while we strengthen democracy and work towards peace.
And finally, I asked the Secretary of State to please extend our invitation to President Obama so that he will visit Chile in the near future. And I also assured her of my attendance at the nuclear security summit in Washington, D.C. in April. I also hope that I will have the opportunity to have many more meetings with Secretary Clinton so that we can further the ties that join our two countries, so that we can work towards the achievement that our people require.
And I want to thank you, Secretary, so much for being here today. I hope that our fertile bilateral relationship leads to many good things for our two nations. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.
QUESTION: A question, Madam Secretary. Hi, Madam Secretary. I’m over here.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Sorry. Oh, there you are. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Hi, Mr. President-elect. I have a question for you, whether you believe that you’re satisfied with the response of the government to the earthquake. Do you believe, for example, that they should have deployed the military within the 24-hour period? That could have, perhaps, avoided some of the looting that we’re seeing in the most affected areas.
And for the Secretary: We know that you like to get out in person and see these situations for yourself. Do you feel a little disappointed that you weren’t able to in this case? And you also went to Haiti after that quake. Can you just to explain to our viewers and readers at home the differences you see and the reaction to the situation? Thank you.
PRESIDENT-ELECT PINERA: (Via interpreter) When you go through a catastrophe as massive as the one that Chile has suffered, let’s remember that this was not just a large earthquake. It’s one of the greatest, most powerful earthquakes that have ever been recorded. Over 75 percent of Chile’s population was affected by it. There are basic priorities that need to be dealt with immediately. Those are to maintain public order and safety, to provide the basics needs to the people, such as water, power.
If the armed forces can help in this initiative, they should be used. They can provide technology and logistics, the staff necessary to get many of these jobs done. And therefore, I applaud the Government of Chile for having established a state of catastrophe that made it possible for them to make use of the armed forces in this situation.
My team is currently studying what it is we are going to do when we take office so that possibly we will be extending this state of catastrophe to continue dealing with the situation to provide water as quickly as possible, provide water – sorry, power as quickly as possible, and do this in a way that this emergency phase will come to a close quickly and we can begin with the work of reconstruction.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have been visiting sites of disasters for more than 30 years, as a first lady in Arkansas, as a first lady of the United States, as a senator from New York, and now as Secretary of State. And it is very clear to me that Chile is much better prepared, much quicker to respond, more able to do so. The leadership that President Bachelet and President-elect Pinera are providing to make sure that they work together in order to keep the recovery and relief efforts going seamlessly is exactly what one would expect. There is no doubt in my mind as we stand here at an airport that thankfully is functioning and relief flights are coming in, that Chile is prepared, is dealing with this massive disaster and will be on the road to an even better recovery in the future.
QUESTION: President-elect Pinera, buenos tardes. We’d like to know how you plan to pay for the reconstruction efforts, which are going to be considerable, what you estimate they’re going to cost. And also, how does this affect your economic plan of 6 percent growth and 200,000 jobs created in your first year in office?
And for Madam Secretary, we just wanted to ask you whether you think that president-elect’s attitude toward Venezuela and Cuba will be helpful or a hindrance to the relations between the U.S. and those countries, and Chile and those countries. Thank you.
INTERPRETER: Dos preguntas, primero para El President-electo Pinera – sorry. (Laughter.)
President-elect, how do you plan to pay for the reconstruction efforts that are going to have to be carried out, and how do you plan to reconcile those with your platform for 6 percent growth for the nation and 200,000 more jobs?
And for Secretary Clinton, the question was —
SECRETARY CLINTON: No, just his answer is sufficient.
INTERPRETER: Okay. The president-elect answered: We are finishing our diagnosis right now, so we’re not quite sure of all the figures and absolutely all the details. What I can tell you this is the most important thing we need to deal with right now. So far, the count is that there are over 730 people who have died, more or less. That number may continue to grow, unfortunately, because a number of people are still missing. We know that there are people who are caught under the rubble. And so we will continue to work on this. This is probably the worst and the most – the saddest thing that we’re dealing with right now.
We know this effort is going to entail an enormous investment. Figures right now are in the area of $30 billion. We’re not sure of that, but that’s more or less in the area of 16 percent of this country’s GNP. Therefore, an amendment will have to be made to our plan, because we are going to have to factor in one very important element, and that is the phase of reconstruction.
How are we going to carry this out? Well, luckily, Chile’s financial situation is extremely solid. We have fruitful resources – financial resources and human resources that will allow us to do much. We will also be given a helping hand by the international community, which has already shown its solidarity. You’ve seen it at this very airport. President Lula came to visit us, the Secretary of State is here with us today, and the president of Peru is going to be visiting us shortly. This is a demonstration of the efforts at reconstruction that have already begun and that we are already being helped with.
SECRETARY CLINTON: As to the second question, Chile and the United States share common values: a great belief in democracy, a respect for private property and free markets, a commitment to free expression and independent media, and so much else. And we will stand strongly on behalf of those values in our hemisphere and around the world.
QUESTION: (In Spanish.)
INTERPRETER: The question had to do with – the question was for the president-elect. What do you think of the decisions of the government? Do you think that they should’ve used more military? Do you think that greater power should have been exercised in that sense?
The response is: There has been an enormous wave of vandalism, looting, crime in the cities of Concepcion and Talcahuano. This is absolutely unacceptable. It simply worsens the already catastrophic situation we’re in. I hope that the government will be using all the tools necessary in order to combat crime and to restore order.
If more troops – if more people are needed, they should be used. Fighting crime is a priority of our administration. And I want to say something with regards to the figures I gave a little while ago. We will not change the figures we gave for expecting 6 percent in growth and 200,000 additional jobs. Those figures remain. And perhaps the phase of reconstruction can help to accelerate our growth and increase the number of jobs that we have.
But in any catastrophe, the first things you need to worry about are maintaining public order and providing the basic needs of the people in terms of water, power, et cetera. This is not the time to evaluate the performance of the government. This is not the time to cast blame or say that anything has been done wrong. This is the time to provide solutions, and evaluations can come later.
QUESTION: (In Spanish.)
INTERPRETER: A question for Secretary of State Clinton: If the Government of Chile requires it, would the United States be willing to send troops to Chile?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have said we will offer any help, but that has never been mentioned. Certain equipment has certainly been requested, which we will attempt to provide. But I have great confidence in Chile’s ability to manage its security needs. We want to be helpful where they have gaps, and that’s what we will try to fill.

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Remarks With Chilean President Michelle Bachelet

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Santiago Airport
Santiago, Chile
March 2, 2010

PRESIDENT BACHELET: (Via interpreter) Good morning, everyone. I would like to, first and foremost, thank the international solidarity of the many neighboring and friend countries, and very particularly I’d like to thank the solidarity of the United States, of President Obama, and of Secretary Clinton. She called me (inaudible) very close moment, not only called me but she has come in person to express that solidarity.

At the meeting with the Secretary of State, we have discussed several specific subjects. We talked about the priorities identified by my government, and that we have conveyed to all of our embassies, governments, and international agencies.

Our objective is that cooperation will exactly meet and respond to our needs, our most urgent needs. And as I have pointed out already, these are satellite phones and we have already received yesterday and there is – there are others about to come. Also, temporary (inaudible) there have been announced and a field hospital with (inaudible) capability. Also, donations in money are very useful, very important, because we need to buy food and medication.

We have also requested power generators, desalination water treatment plants to purify water, saline water. And as to (inaudible), we need autonomous dialysis systems because dialysis, as you know, calls for pure water, and in those impacted areas there is no water.

There are other elements indeed that we have discussed with the Secretary, but mainly what we need is semi-temporary or temporary semi-permanent hospital facilities, as many, many have been destroyed. And we need to have them and they are – they will be arriving soon.

The government knows that people need water, food, and don’t think that – we do have them in our country, but how can we supply them if we don’t have bridges or roads? And we need to have authorities communicated with the people to know exactly what their needs are and get to them immediately. And that is why we have – I know that it’s important for the hospitals for them to care for the wounded and for all the victims. For that we have sought the support of the international community.

We are already, of course, distributing all these elements. We do have here in the back, planes with contingents and with food. But that – we need to do it very fast, get to the remotest corners of the country and get there soon.

PRESIDENT BACHELET: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary of State.

PRESIDENT BACHELET: (Via interpreter) Finally, I’d like to thank very particularly Secretary Clinton, President Obama, for the great support and friendship that they have given us and that the Chilean people will be eternally grateful. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: President Bachelet, I first come with the great sympathy and support from President Obama and the people of the United States. This devastating earthquake has wrought so much damage across your country. The ferocity was 800 times greater than the earthquake that hit Haiti, and your leadership and the extraordinary efforts of your government and the people of Chile are responding with resilience and strength. And the United States is ready to respond to the request that the government of Chile has made so that we can provide not only solidarity, but specific supplies that are needed to help you recover from the earthquake.

I was planning to be in Chile today anyway for a long-scheduled trip and I was so looking forward to meeting with President Bachelet who is a leader whom I admire greatly and consider a friend. And when I spoke with the president, I said, “I will not come if it will interfere in any way.” And we changed the itinerary so that I could come and I brought with me 25 of these satellite phones. We have identified 62 as the highest priority for the government’s request. I had 25 on my plane loaded on and I’m going to give this one to you, Madam President.

And let me just add after consulting with the president and her ministers, we are sending eight water purification units. They are on their way. We have identified a mobile field hospital unit with surgical capabilities that is ready to go. We are working to fill the need for autonomous dialysis machines. We are ready to purchase and send electricity generators, medical supplies and are working to identify and send portable bridges so that some of the places that are remote that lost their bridges will be able to be reconnected to the country. People are working. That’s a good sound.

And finally, Madam President, after discussing the needs that Chile has, we will look to see if we can provide additional equipments from portable kitchens to helicopters to assist you in this massive rescue recovery effort that you are undertaking. And additionally, we will let the people of America, who are very anxious to help Chileans, know that they can contribute to the Chilean Red Cross; that they can contribute to the Caritas Chile and the ONEMI programs. We will get that information and give our press the specifics.

QUESTION: Hello, Madam President. I’m over –

PRESIDENT BACHELET: Where are you? Oh, yes.

QUESTION: Madam President, you’ve described some of the things you need, but can you give us an idea of the scale; maybe billions of dollars or less that you need for –

PRESIDENT BACHELET: Forgive me, I didn’t hear the last part of your –

QUESTION: Yes, what is the scale –

PRESIDENT BACHELET: We can’t hear you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Nearer. Closer. Go right up there, yeah.

QUESTION: What scale of things do you need? What dollar amount? Could it be in the billions of dollars? And what specifically can the U.S. do? Can it use – can it send some of the military over (inaudible) using the diplomats in Europe to get aid from them?

PRESIDENT BACHELET: Well, we are going to receive aid and support from many different countries and organizations but I would say we cannot give an exact and accurate figure right now on how much it will cost. I mean, there has been some estimation made. They talk about 30 thousand million dollars. But really, I mean, with some places, there’s still poor communications. So we are more focused right now in doing all the emergency, the short-term, I would say, initiatives that people need to assure food, water, electricity, and of course, public order.

But in the meantime, we will start doing the estimation. We have rough estimations, like we have two million people who have been damaged by the earthquake in different levels of damage. We have an estimation that at least 500 houses – 500,000 houses have damage. But we have to – we are now, in the meantime, sending experts: engineers, architects, and so on, to evaluate in the field the kind of damage and if those kinds of public works can be repaired or have to be completely rebuilt.

So until now, we don’t have the exact – I could not answer to you the exact – how much it will cost to rebuild, to reconstruct all the damage. But I can only say it will be a lot, because Chile has the capacity, we have the engineers, we have the people, we have the experience, we have people trained and all that, but I think it will take long and it will mean a whole lot of money. So we have been talking also with the Secretary of State of another kinds of initiatives in the financial – I mean, Chile today (inaudible) creditor, so we think we could be able to have also with the good credit from whatever, World Bank or – and we will discuss those issues with the future government so we can advance in that, too.

I do not have the exact figure. As you know, we have updates every two and three hours, and the Secretary of State also offered human resources, that is, experts, engineers, and others. And – but I will give the floor to her so she can (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it’s understandable that what the president has said is there needs to be a very good assessment, and it’s very difficult to do that assessment while you’re still trying to help people get food where they need it, provide medical care, and even reach some of the more remote areas. And we stand ready to help in any way that the Government of Chile – and I will say this to the President-elect Mr. Pinera when I meet with him – any way that the Government of Chile asks us to. We are so grateful for what Chile did in Haiti. Your rescue teams were among the very best in the entire world. And we want to help Chile, who has done so much to help others. And I can only imagine the extent of the damage – 2 million people, at least, who are displaced.

So we stand ready to offer what we’ve asked for now and to stay, as your partner and your friend, for the long term. We’ll be there to be of help when others leave because we are committed to this partnership and friendship with Chile.

Thank you.

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Morning update: The Secretary of State landed in earthquake-stricken Chile. She was greeted at the airport in Santiago by outgoing President Michelle Bachelet.

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Earlier today, as I was able to grab a few minutes here and there, I posted a series of pictures from Secretary Clinton’s day in Uruguay.  Well, there was a plethora of pictures from today by the time I got home, so these are some more I want to share.

Here she is arriving in Montevideo.  When she travels, I really like to have the obligatory arrival picture.  She has a way of walking down those steps.

She also has a way of walking the tarmac..
This next series show her with outgoing Uruguayan President Tabare Vaquez.  I love their greeting. 

She also met with the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo.

She attended the inauguration at the Legialative Palace.

Originally, she was also  supposed to meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Uruguay and then to leave after the inauguration for Chile, however, those plans changed today.  Instead of meeting with Kirchner in Uruguay, and instead of going directly to Chile, she flew, instead to Buenos Aires, and was received by Kirchner there.  (Upcoming separate post on this because there’s just more history to that than I want to handle in this post.)  She will visit Chile tomorrow.  Apparently that stop has been attenuated to some extent, but she certainly will meet with President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera.

So this afternoon, she boarded her Hillforce One for the short hop to B.A.  (Ohhhh!  I wish I were there.  Someday, I HAVE to go to Argentina!)

Upcoming: Hillary with Cristina at the Casa Rosada. 

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I hope this is not premature of me, but I have to hand it to Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela who is doing the best job so far of tweeting a trip! He sent the link to these pictures. There are more at the State Department Flickr site. I am at the office and do not have time to upload everything right now.

Secretary Valenzuela also communicated that a stop in Buenos Aires has been added to the itinerary. Secretary Clinton will meet with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner there. I heard on the news this morning that the Chile stop will be brief.

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About three hours ago, Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela, accompanying Secretary Clinton on her Latin American tour,  tweeted that they were Wheels Up from Andrews Air Force Base. We all, I am sure, wish everyone on board a safe and successful trip. The first stop is Montevideo Uruguay for the inauguration of the new President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica. Then they will head for earthquake-stricken Chile.

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