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Special Reports Last Updated: Mar 5th, 2010 - 00:53:57

Hillary Clinton irritates Chile with photo op visit
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Mar 5, 2010, 00:25

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(WMR) -- WMR�s sources in earthquake-ravaged Chile report that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has angered Chileans with a photo-op visit just days before President Michelle Bachelet is due to leave after newly-elected billionaire Sebastian Pi�era is inaugurated.

With recovery and relief efforts underway, Clinton�s visit with her heavy security detail has interfered with disaster response operations in Santiago. The word from Santiago is that some members of the outgoing Chilean government did not want Mrs. Clinton to visit Chile at the present time.

Mrs. Clinton brought with her 25 satellite phones for Chileans with the �promise� of additional aid, including more �communications equipment.� Clinton was quoted as saying the quake was a �real doozy.�

Mrs. Clinton�s husband, former President Bill Clinton, has made it a business to collect massive amounts of funds for earthquake and tsunami stricken countries like Indonesia and Haiti. Mrs. Clinton may be testing the waters in Chile to see if the stricken country is ripe for another Bill Clinton relief funding scam.

Mrs. Clinton also met with Pi�era, a prot�g� of the former fascist dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Pi�era sees the quake as having a silver lining having stated that he sees post-quake construction creating more jobs, a thought shared by the neocon-controlled International Monetary Fund, which sees potential profits in reconstruction efforts.

There is some belief that the military is refraining from using the Navy to get food, water, medical aid, and tents to remote coastal towns hit by tsunamis and devastated by earthquakes to help set the stage for a return to Pinochet-style �emergency rule.� The government is also using a heavy hand on people who are salvaging water, baby formula, food, batteries, and flashlights from collapsed grocery stories and shops because many of the absentee owners of the stores have fled the area and have made no attempt to re-open. Pi�era, using his Pinochet playbook, has pledged to send more troops into desperate cities like Concepcion to �restore order.� Hillary Clinton pledged her support for Pi�era after he assumes office next week.

By contrast, after the Kobe quake in Japan in 1995, the Lawson convenience store chain set up operations without power and cut prices in order to distribute to the public food, water, clothes, ropes, flashlights, tarps, and batteries to the public. In Chile, the spirit of disaster capitalism is alive with Pi�era and the IMF looking forward to maximized profits for construction firms and unscrupulous U.S. west coast exporters of fuel and food waiting for inflation to spiral upward in Chile.

However, if the past is prologue, many unscrupulous building contractors will be chomping at the bit to land lucrative reconstruction contracts. Chile, which has a history of devastating earthquakes, is discovering that there was shoddy construction with several apartment complexes that totally collapsed from the recent quake. Inspectors have discovered inferior concrete and walls with single reinforcing rebar reinforcements in collapsed walls.

Throughout Chile, collapsed apartment buildings with a number of dead, 50 in one apartment building alone, have been found to have been built with sub-standard materials. Some of the poorly-built collapsed apartment buildings were completed as recently as two years ago. Survivors are demanding that the contractors be held criminally responsible.

WMR has been informed from Chilean sources that government inspectors are now making their rounds of damaged apartment buildings and are declaring some relatively new apartment complexes to be uninhabitable. Hundreds of people are currently standing in the front of their buildings, with police blocking their re-entry. 

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2010

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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