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Editorial from Chile: Supporting Chavez at UN Puts Chilean Interests Last (Translation)
El Mercurio ( Santiago ) ^ | October 18, 2006 | Hermógenes Pérez de Arce ( translated by self )

Posted on 10/19/2006 3:23:44 PM PDT by StJacques

Chile Last

Hermogenes Perez de Arce

Could the prinicpal promoter of Bolivian pretensions against Chile be seated in the Security Council, thanks to Chile?

Of course I am accustomed to Chileans not paying attention to me, and that is one of the worst defects of this country, but now it results in something particularly grave. Why do we continue speaking of the vote in the Security Council of the UN as a "matter of international politics," of whether or not to support "a government which intervenes in the internal affairs of other countries," of which "Chavez sets forth a party regime only equal to Cuba" and he is constituting "an extreme leftist front in Latin America." All of this is true, but the theme of the principal preoccupation for Chileans is something else: the threat to national security which Chavez represents.

His government has explicitly supported Bolivia's demands which imply a rejection of the treaty of 1904 between that country and ours. Chavez has said that some day he hopes "to bathe on a Bolivian beach," which presupposes previously adjoining territorial and maritime lands of Chile. And he has not left it at that, since he has handed over air and military armaments to Bolivia. This is a country [i.e. Bolivia] which potentially could be an aggressor against Chile, because as it expresses territorial aspirations against our coast, in fact it is assaulting us economically, forbidding Argentina from using the Bolivian gas it buys to fulfill its commitments with Chile. Therefore, there is little doubt remaining that, if they were sufficiently supplied, they also would attempt another type of aggression to materialize their aspirations. This newspaper has detailed the program of Bolivian frontier military settlements financed by Chavez. A Chilean journalist has been threatened by Bolivian soldiers, which they came to see as his luck in continuing to live after coming too close to the border.

And were we going to vote so that Chavez will occupy a seat on the Security Council, which is, precisely, the forum to which those countries who are threatened or attacked without motivation resort, to demand protection of their rights? Was the principal promoter of Bolivian pretensions against Chile going to be seated there, thanks to Chile?

The single idea by which the President [of Chile] would have ordered voting for Venezuela would have separated her from her obligation of watching over "the external security of the Republic" (article 24 of the Constitution). Moreover, she would have incurred by reason of cause the constitutional accusation of "acts which will have seriously jeopardized . . . the security of the nation" (Article 52, Number 2, Letter A, of the Charter). Even so, as I indicated in my previous column, her own abstention puts her at the edge of noncompliance with this same responsibility, because in certain situations, which could still present themselves, she could end up settling in favor of Venezuela, handing over another forum in which to express, as it has done up to now, its endorsement of the unlawful appropriation of Chilean territory.

Therefore, the only vote which can frame the presidential performance sensibly within the Constitution was and is to vote for Guatemala, in the present circumstance, or for whatever country which impedes the election of the ally of the potential aggressor against Chile.

It is an abysmal occurrence that the internal debate has been turned away from this crucial point. A few days ago, the morning paper La Tercera published a complete reporting on the subject and, in one section, gave a summary of the reasons for voting for and against Venezuela. And among these, it did not even mention the Venezuelan diplomatic and military endorsement of the maritime pretension of Bolivia!

The obligation of the government and, in this case, of all Chileans is to put the interest of Chile first. But the debate and the official decisions are revealing that it is last.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chile; hugotrans; stjtranslation; unitednations; venezuela
I absolutely love this editorial because it raises the issue of the ideological content of the foreign policies of Latin American leftist regimes. Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, who holds power by virtue of a coalition government in which the centrist Christian Democrats have joined, has thus far abstained from voting in the UN on the question of Venezuela's candidacy for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, which is a very big deal in Latin America. The main reason why Bachelet has abstained from casting her country's vote is that a recent Ambassador from Venezuela injected himself into Chilean internal political affairs by criticizing the historical record of the Christian Democrats, an upheaval whose details and consequences were discussed in an earlier thread. But this editorial takes the entire Venezuelan-Chilean relationship a step further. According to Perez de Arce, Hugo Chavez should be considered an enemy of Chile for his diplomatic, political, and military support of Bolivian pretensions to acquire an outlet to the Pacific at Chile's expense. In any country this would be a serious issue, and even though none of us would bet on Bolivia in a fight against Chile, it still has to be taken seriously. What other reason beyond ideology can Bachelet possibly have for supporting Venezuela in any way given Chavez's support of Evo Morales and Bolivia's desires to acquire land from Chile?

Even though I consider myself to be among the best-informed on Latin American issues, I must admit that Bolivia's current pretensions to acquire access to the sea at Chile's expense are somewhat new to me. I was aware of the historical background of Bolivia's attempt to secure a Pacific coast port in the late 19th century, but I just assumed the issue was dead. And it is purely unrealistic to think Bolivia can pull it off. But then Hugo Chavez may just believe that the ideological ties between and among the Latin American Left are those which really do bind them together. If he thinks that he will be proven mistaken in my opinion.

And finally; I wish I had some sense as to how well-understood Chavez, Morales, and Bolivia's intentions of acquiring Chilean territory truly are within Chile. The very fact that Bachelet is acting as she is suggests to me that it is not widely-known because otherwise she would not dare risk putting Chilean territorial integrity behind ideological support for Hugo Chavez. But with the above editorial we at least know that someone within Chile is paying attention.
1 posted on 10/19/2006 3:23:49 PM PDT by StJacques
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To: Alia; livius; proud_yank; Kenny Bunk; Founding Father; Kitten Festival; chilepepper; Fiddlstix; ...
A Latin American Left Watch ping for you all.

Anyone wishing to be included on the ping list may either ping me from this thread or contact me via Freepmail.
2 posted on 10/19/2006 3:24:45 PM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: StJacques

Well, the Chileans awake. Asi es la vida. Slowing but surely the Latins will begin to realize that Chavez is not in their corner, wants to use them, and is actually doing them harm. He has already enraged the Mexicans so much they recalled their ambassador by trying to interfere in their election. Please add me to your Latin American ping list. Many thanks.

3 posted on 10/19/2006 3:40:46 PM PDT by 3AngelaD
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To: 3AngelaD
Ok, you're on the Latin American ping list.

Check your mail.
4 posted on 10/19/2006 3:49:31 PM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: StJacques

WOW. That was one heck of a comprehensive article. Thank you for posting it, and your analysis.

5 posted on 10/19/2006 4:28:44 PM PDT by Alia
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To: StJacques; All

Final seat on Security Council remains undecided after third day of voting

19 October 2006 – The United Nations General Assembly remained deadlocked after a third day of voting this week in the contest to fill a non-permanent seat on the Security Council allocated to the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, with Guatemala maintaining its lead over Venezuela but falling short of the necessary majority.

After 13 rounds of voting today, which takes the total number of rounds so far to 35, neither Guatemala nor Venezuela had yet obtained a two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Balloting will resume next Wednesday morning.

Guatemala and Venezuela are contending to serve as a non-permanent Council member for a two-year term starting 1 January 2007, replacing Argentina. It is the only seat not yet determined.

In the 35th round today, when 123 votes would have been enough to secure victory, Guatemala obtained 103 votes and Venezuela received 81. There were seven abstentions. Guatemala has led in every round so far, with the exception of the sixth round on Monday, when the two countries were tied.

Balloting will continue until a State from the region achieves the required majority. There is no limit to the number of rounds of voting and in 1979-80 there were a record 155 ballots before Mexico was chosen from the Latin American and Caribbean Group to serve a two-year term.

On Monday Assembly members, following an agreed geographic allocation, elected Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members starting 1 January next year. They will replace Denmark, Greece, Japan and Tanzania when their terms end on 31 December.

The Council’s five other non-permanent members, whose terms end on 31 December 2007, are Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia. The five permanent members, which are the only members with veto power when voting, are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

6 posted on 10/19/2006 5:15:24 PM PDT by Founding Father (The Pedophile moHAMmudd (PBUH---Pigshit be upon him))
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To: StJacques
I was aware of the historical background of Bolivia's attempt to secure a Pacific coast port in the late 19th century, but I just assumed the issue was dead. And it is purely unrealistic to think Bolivia can pull it off.

The issue is far from dead in Bolivia. It has prevented a deal to build a natural gas pipeline to the Chilean coast where it could be shipped as LNG to the USA at great profit. Bolivia, like many troubled Latin American countries, combines poverty with a very narrow and intense nationalism that actually prevents development that would benefit the country.

7 posted on 10/19/2006 5:28:44 PM PDT by You Dirty Rats (I Love Free Republic!!!)
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To: StJacques; Alia; livius; proud_yank; Kenny Bunk; Founding Father; Kitten Festival; chilepepper; ...
If you think American Leftists are a giant pain in the nether quarter, you should meet a Chilean Leftist. I don't think these guys have yet acknowledged the death of Lenin. Of course, they probably recognize that Che Guevara is. He's a martyr.

Of course they're all for Morales and against the interests of their own country, which they are slowly submerging into class warfare and ruinous goverment policies ...again.

8 posted on 10/19/2006 6:53:15 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (What does it matter if we’re all dead, as long as the French respect us.)
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To: Kenny Bunk
I believe your post #8 was on the mark.

I think Michelle Bachelet actually had a chance to restore the "good name" (if I can put it that way) of the Chilean Left, but she is slowly blowing it. I do not predict the survival of her coalition whenever the next round of national elections comes up.
9 posted on 10/19/2006 7:32:06 PM PDT by StJacques (Liberty is always unfinished business)
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To: StJacques
Chilean Left, ... slowly blowing it.

Damned shame. A world-class country determined to undo its own rather spectacular success. A pity our country cannot benefit from their experience.

Our electorate is dumbed down to such abysmal ignorance of other countries that we cannot tell when our home-grown leftist charlatans offer to lead us down the same path to ruin.

10 posted on 10/19/2006 7:46:40 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (What does it matter if we’re all dead, as long as the French respect us.)
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