News / USA

Clinton in Brazil After Pledging Long Term Earthquake Aid to Chile

Multimedia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Brasilia for meetings with Brazilian leaders after a stop in Chile where she pledged long-term U.S. relief help for the earthquake-ravaged country. Chilean officials say damage estimates range into the tens of billions of dollars.

Clinton spent only a few hours on the ground at the Santiago airport, meeting with President Michelle Bachelet and President elect Sebastian Pinera, and delivering an initial installment of 25 badly needed satellite telephones.

But she promised that the United States intends to be responsive to Chilean requests for a list of emergency items, including mobile surgical units and water purification systems,and said that the American commitment to Chile will be long-term.

"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," said Hillary Clinton. "We'll be there to be of help when others leave, because we are committed to this partnership and friendship with Chile."

President Bachelet said the earthquake - one of the most powerful ever recorded - damaged a half million homes and affected the lives of two million Chileans though the monetary costs of recovery at this point, are hard to calculate.

"I could not answer for you how much it would cost to rebuild, to reconstruct, all this damage," said Michelle Bachelet. "But I can only say, it will be a lot. 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 amount of money."

Ms. Bachelet said that Chile, which runs budget and trade surpluses, may be able to obtain reconstruction loans at favorable rates from the World Bank and other institutions, though that would be a decision for the incoming Pinera administration to make.

Pinera, who is to be sworn into office next week, estimated earthquake damage at $30 billion - 15 per cent of Chile's annual economic output.

But he said the disaster need not cause a rollback in his campaign pledges for job creation and a six per cent annual economic growth rate, given that the rebuilding process will be labor intensive.

He said it was not the time to criticize the leftist government's handling of the crisis.

But Pinera lamented looting and vandalism that have occurred in some areas including in Chile's second-largest city Concepcion, which was hardest hit by the earthquake.

"This is absolutely unacceptable," said Sebastian Pinera. "It simply worsens the already catastrophic situation that we're in. I hope that the government was 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."
 
Pinera, of Chile's right-leaning National Renewal Party, said he might extend the national state of catastrophe declared by President Bachelet to allow for a continued military role in relief efforts.

Clinton, under questioning, said while Chile requires military-related hardware like portable bridges to meet earthquake needs, the idea of sending U.S. military personnel to Chile is not under discussion.

The Secretary of State has talks here Wednesday with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on, among other things potential new U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. Brazil, which has extensive relations with Iran, is a current Security Council member.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid