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Obama in Chile: Renew JFK´s Alliance for Progress in The Americas in a partnership of equals.

From Chile, President Obama met former chilean Presidents Ailwyn, Frei and Lagos and also address the hemisphere from the presidential palace.

SANTIAGO .- There were no announcements about economic and social aid to Latin America, as proposed by John F. Kennedy in 1961, but a strong call to work together on an equal partnership between the U.S. and all countries of the region.

That was the main focus for the Americas of Obama´s awaited speech delivered this afternoon.  For half an hour, Obama explain the need of setting the foundations for a new alliance for progress, where all  nations ” can expect a better standard of living, with dignity and in freedom.”

“The challenge of President Kennedy remains (…) but after half a century we must give meaning to that work, in our own way, a new way. I think in the Americas today we do not have seniors or junior partners, there are only equal partners” said Obama.

Recognizing that is not the first time that an U.S. president propose an strategic alliance, Obama said his country intends to continue working with countries in the hemisphere to meet their responsibilities in areas such as security, drug trafficking and trade.

In that vein, he praised the promise made by President Sebastián Piñera in order to eliminate extreme human poverty by 2020. “It’s an ambitious goal, but adequate and on this trip I want to expand trade and investment, that can help to achieve this goal,” he said.

President Obama also pledged to advance the trans-pacific association between the u.S., Asia and Latin America, and also the free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia, he wants to increase lending to the Americas, also to raise the exchange in education and promoting sustainable and secure energy.

After that, Obama spent several passages of his address to highlight the great development achieved by Latin America and the importance assigned to the U.S. to the region, calling it an area “strong, proud of their progress and ready to assume a greater role in global affairs. ”

Also took that moment to highlight the role that Chile has played in strengthening democracy and civil society groups throughout the world. He also thanked the “excellent leadership of Sebastián Piñera” and, in a gesture to the Socialist-Christian Democrat Coalition (in power since the late 80´s until Piñera´s electoral victory) , he salute the former presidents of the conglomerate “that guided the country through years of great progress.”

His words were greeted with applause by Patricio Aylwin, Eduardo Frei and Ricardo Lagos, who shortly before the speech held a private meeting with Obama.

Independence of the Cuban people.

Alongside this, he referred to the steps that countries should give on the issue of immigration, so that each state can provide opportunities for its citizens, and the ongoing struggle for human rights. In that regard, he mentioned the case of Cuba and the cubans need to have greater independence from the castrist authorities.

“In the future we will continue to seek ways to support the independence of the people of Cuba that I think has the same right to freedom than anyone else in the hemisphere. I will make this effort to try to break this story, which now lasts longer than my life. The Cuban authorities must make a decision to defend the basic rights of the Cuban people because they deserve it, “he said.

The example of 33

At the end of his speech, the President recalled the story of the 33 miners in the desert of Atacama and their example of “faith and determination that inspired the world.” The U.S. president said this was “a miraculous rescue, a tribute to Chilean leadership.”

He added that if you “need a reminder of humanity and the hopes we share, that is what happened in the desert.”

“When a country like Chile decides to do something, there is nothing they can not do. As countries throughout Latin America come together and focus on a common goal and when the United States is doing its contribution, there is nothing we can not accomplish together . And that’s our vision of the Americas. This is the progress we can achieve together, “he said.