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Profile: Ricardo Lagos

 
  

Positions that Ricardo Lagos has held:

  • President of Chile


 

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Ricardo Lagos actively participated in the following events:

 
  

February 28, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       US special envoy to Latin America Otto Reich meets with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos of Santiago to discuss Chile's position on the US-British-Spanish UN draft resolution declaring Iraq in further material breach of past UN resolutions. Prior to the meeting, Chile had been openly against the passing of another resolution. But after Reich's visit, the president says that force should be used against Iraq if it does not comply with the UN, but “by a broad coalition of countries.” [The Washington Post, 3/1/03]
People and organizations involved: Otto Juan Reich, Ricardo Lagos
          

March 2, 2003      Complete Iraq timeline

       The Observer breaks the Koza memo (see January 31, 2003) story. Neither the US State Department nor the White House denies the authenticity of the leaked memo. White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tells reporters, “As a matter of long-standing policy, the administration never comments on anything involving any people involved in intelligence.” And Patrick Weadon, speaking for the NSA, says, “At this point, we're not issuing a statement.” [The Sydney Morning Herald, 3/4/03; Washington Post, 3/4/03; Baltimore Sun, 3/4/03] The intended victims of the operation are deeply angered by the memo. President Ricardo Lagos demands an immediate explanation from the US and Chile's ambassador to Britain Mariano Fern?ndez explains to The Observer, “We cannot understand why the United States was spying on Chile. We were very surprised. Relations have been good with America since the time of George Bush Senior.” [The Observer, 3/9/03] Martin Bright, one of the reporters who helped break the story, later tells the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the exposed operation has “caused an enormous diplomatic rift between the Chileans and the Americans and the UK.” He says he believes that the leaked memo is partially responsible for Chile's increasingly defiant stance at the UN. The UN quickly begins a top-level investigation of the spy operation. [Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3/6/03; The Observer, 3/9/03] The Observer notes that the leaked memo could make it more difficult for the US to obtain UN authorization to wage war on Iraq. [The Observer, 3/2/03] The US media networks largely ignore the story. Though NBC, CNN, and Fox News Channel all arrange for interviews with Martin Bright soon after the story is broken, all three quickly cancel. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Bright explains, “It happened with NBC, Fox TV and CNN, who appeared very excited about the story to the extent of sending cars to my house to get me into the studio, and at the last minute, were told by their American desks to drop the story.” [Salon, 3/3/03; Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 3/6/03]
People and organizations involved: Ari Fleischer, Patrick Weadon, Britain Mariano Fern?ndez, Ricardo Lagos
          

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