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In Chile, Obama to Discuss Issues of Democracy and Human Rights in Latin America

By Dialogo
March 21, 2011

During his visit to Chile planned for 21 and 22 March, U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss in Santiago issues of democracy and human rights involving all of Latin America, Chilean President Sebastián Piñera revealed.

“It’s going to be a historic visit, and we hope that it will be a very fruitful visit,” Piñera indicated to reporters at a public event.

In Santiago, issues will be considered on which there is scope for “collaboration on the subject of energy, on the subject of English teachers who may come to teach English to our children, and on the subject of democracy and human rights, not just in Chile, but in the rest of Latin America,” he added.

“We’re going to have a working meeting with him. We have many agreements to sign that are important for Chile,” the Chilean president said.

Obama will arrive in Chile on 21 March, following a visit to Brazil that is part of a trip to Latin America that also includes El Salvador.

Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno was expected to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement with a U.S. representative on 18 March, amid fierce criticism following the emergency in Japan, where a severe earthquake led to breakdowns at nuclear plants.

“On this subject, Chile needs to be familiar with different alternatives and have them on the table, so that when a decision has to be made, all the elements are there,” Moreno explained in a separate press opportunity.

The agreement with the United States “does not include setting up anything nuclear in Chile; they’re simply agreements for arranging seminars and training,” he added.

Chile, a country that also has high levels of seismic activity, is a net fuel importer and is going through a period of energy deficits, leading it to explore a variety of ways to expand its grid.