MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 17:26 UTC



US Ambassador in Santiago to remain mum following leaks to the press regarding confidential talks with Congress

Wednesday, April 24th 2024 - 20:29 UTC
Full article
Meehan briefed Chilean lawmakers on initiatives to remove the South American country from the US Visa-Waver Program Meehan briefed Chilean lawmakers on initiatives to remove the South American country from the US Visa-Waver Program

US Ambassador to Santiago Bernadette Meehan told Chilean lawmakers Wednesday that she would no longer be briefing them on the possible exclusion of the South American country from Washington's Visa-Waver program after details of her confidential meeting with parliamentarians were published by the website El Mostrador.

On April 16 Meehan appeared before the Lower House's Foreign Affairs Committee to explain Chile's situation regarding the travel requisite after numerous requests from groups supporting former (and possibly future) President Donald Trump to strike Chile from the list of privileged countries after several Chileans were arrested. Meehan also insisted that El Mostrador's information was inaccurate.

Christian Social Congressman Johannes Kaiser read out loud an email from the US mission in Santiago: “We regret to inform you that Ambassador Meehan will no longer be conducting briefings for members of Congress on the Visa Waiver Program.”

“She traveled to Valparaiso on April 16 and met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss the Visa Waiver Program. Although the organizers assured her that the discussion would be confidential and held behind closed doors, details of the discussion were inaccurately leaked to the press.”

“Therefore, Ambassador Meehan will not be holding any further briefings on the Visa Waiver Program at this time.”

Kaiser insisted that Meehan was denouncing a crime committed by either a member of the Committee or any other Congressperson and added that the case would be brought to the Prosecutor's Office. “Once the session is declared secret, the members of the committee, the members of the team that is accompanying that committee, are mandated by law to keep secret, no matter if they only share cooking recipes.”

“I hope that, in this case, we can identify those responsible,” Kaiser insisted while warning that it will not be easy to recover from this “breach of trust.”

According to El Mostrador, Meehan, and Chilean Undersecretaries Manuel Monsalve (Interior) and Gloria de la Fuente (Foreign Affairs) appeared before the Congressional committee to discuss the Visa-Waver program. Talks eventually diverted toward the subject of Hezbollah operatives in the South American country.

Meehan reportedly told Chilean lawmakers that there were a couple of US legislators and groups in the United States who have asked for Chile's removal from the Visa Waiver after burglaries in uninhabited places worth millions of dollars. Chileans detected to have participated in these crimes were rare, El Mostrador said. The site also mentioned that the groups requesting Chile's suppression were close to America Great Again, a supremacist political movement that has aroused concern in several diplomats in the region and also in the sixteen security agencies of the United States for its nationalist ideology.

Categories: Politics, United States, Chile.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!