U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Chile, January 1997
Bureau of Public Affairs
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Chile
Area: 756,945 sq. km. (302,778 sq. mi.); nearly twice the size of
Cities: Capital--Santiago (metropolitan area est. 5.2 million).
Other cities--Concepcion-Talcahuano (840,000); Vina del Mar-Valparaiso
(800,000); Antofagasta (245,000); Temuco (230,000). Terrain: Desert in
north; fertile central valley; volcanoes and lakes toward the south,
giving way to rugged and complex coastline; Andes Mountains on the
Climate: Arid in north, like the Mediterranean in center, cool and damp
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Chilean(s).
Population (1996): 14.0 million.
Annual population growth rate: 1.5%.
Ethnic groups: Spanish-Indian (mestizo), European, Indian.
Religions: Roman Catholic 89%; Protestant 11%.
Education: Years compulsory--8. Attendance--3 million. Adult literacy
Health: Infant mortality rate--17/1,000. Life expectancy of newborns--
Work force (5.2 million): Services and government--36%. Industry and
commerce--34%. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing--14%. Construction--
Independence: September 18, 1810.
Constitution: Promulgated September 11, 1980; effective March 11, 1981;
amended in 1989 and 1993.
Branches: Executive--president. Legislative--bicameral legislature.
Judicial--Supreme Court, court of appeals, military courts.
Administrative subdivisions: 12 numbered regions, plus Santiago
metropolitan region, administered by "intendentes"; regions are divided
into provinces, administered by governors; provinces are divided into
municipalities administered by mayors.
Political parties: Major parties include the Christian Democrat Party,
the National Renewal Party, the Party for Democracy, the Radical Social
Democratic Party, the Socialist Party and the Independent Democratic
Union Party. In 1993, the Communist Party did not win a seat in
Suffrage: Universal at 18, including foreigners legally resident for
more than five years.
GDP: $67.3 billion.
Annual real growth rate: 8.5%.
Per capita GDP: $4,700.
Natural resources: Copper, timber, fish, iron ore, nitrates, precious
metals, and molybdenum.
Agriculture and fisheries (8% of GDP): Products--wheat, potatoes, corn,
sugar beets, onions, beans, fruits, livestock, fish.
Industry (17% of GDP): Types--mineral refining, metal manufacturing,
food processing, fish processing, paper and wood products, finished
Trade: Exports--$16.4 billion: copper, fishmeal, fruits, wood products,
paper products. Major markets--EU 26%, Japan 18%, U.S. 14%, U.K. 7%,
Brazil 6%, South Korea 5%, Germany 5%.
Imports--$15.3 billion: petroleum, chemical products, capital goods,
vehicles, electronic equipment, consumer durables, machinery. Major
suppliers--U.S. 25%, EU 18%, Argentina 9%, Brazil 8%, Japan 7%, Germany
Relations between the United States and Chile are better now than at any
other time in history. The United States Government applauded the
rebirth of democratic practices in Chile in the late 1980's and early
1990's, and sees the maintenance of a vibrant democracy and healthy
economy as among the most important U.S. interests in Chile. President
Eduardo Frei's working visit to the United States in June 1994 was his
first trip outside of South America as head of state. By agreeing to a
consultative framework, President Clinton and President Frei took
concrete steps to increase the frequency of consultations on issues of
mutual concern. In the recent past, these consultations have included
high-level discussions on common approaches to UN issues, visa issues
between the two countries, and consultations on agricultural trade.
Following the November 1995 visit of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton,
a number of senior U.S. Government officials have visited Chile.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher traveled to Chile in February
1996, and met with President Frei and other Chilean leaders to discuss a
number of important issues including trade, defense and multilateral
relations. Secretary of Defense William Perry followed with a visit to
Santiago in March 1996.
The warm relationship enjoyed by United States and Chile today contrasts
with the difficult period of relations during the rule of Augusto
Pinochet's military regime from 1973-89. The 1976 car bomb attack in
Washington, DC, which killed Orlando Letelier, former Chilean ambassador
to the United States and a member of President Salvador Allende's
cabinet, and U.S. citizen Ronni Moffitt, caused a sharp deterioration in
relations. This event led the U.S. Congress to ban security assistance
and arms sales to Chile in 1978.
Following the transfer of power in 1990 from the Pinochet military
regime to the newly elected government of Patricio Aylwin, the frigid
relations between Chile and the United States began to thaw. President
Aylwin's state visit to the United States in May 1992 was the first by a
Chilean leader in more than 40 years and symbolized increased
cooperation between the two countries. In response to a commitment by
President Aylwin's government to pursue the Letelier-Moffitt case within
the Chilean judicial system, President Bush lifted the 1978 U.S.
sanctions. As the United States continued to press for justice in this
case, a Chilean court found that the chief of intelligence operations
and the commander of army intelligence had ordered the assassination.
Both officers were subsequently sentenced to prison terms in Chile for
their roles in the assassination and began serving their sentences in
1995. In addition, the Chilean Government made an ex gratia payment to
the families of the victims.
The goal of U.S. foreign policy in Chile is to pursue expanded economic
relations and to cooperate in good faith on a range of other bilateral
and multilateral issues of interest. Above all, the United States
believes that an economically strong and a democratically healthy Chile
will benefit the entire hemisphere.
U.S. Embassy Functions
Besides working closely with Chilean Government officials to improve our
bilateral relationship, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago provides a wide
range of services to U.S. citizens and businesses in Chile. The Embassy
is also the locus for a number of American community activities in the
Attaches at the embassy from the Foreign Commercial Service and Foreign
Agriculture Service work closely with the hundreds of U.S. companies
which maintain offices in Chile. These officers provide information on
Chilean trade and industry regulations and administer several programs
intended to aid U.S. companies starting or maintaining business ventures
The Consular section of the Embassy provides vital services to the more
than 5,500 U.S. citizens residing in Chile. Among other services, the
Consular section assists Americans who wish to participate in U.S.
elections while abroad and provides U.S. tax information. Besides the
U.S. residents living in Chile, over 80,000 U.S. citizens visit
annually. The Consular section offers passport and emergency services
to U.S. tourists as needed during their stay in Chile.
PRINCIPAL U.S. EMBASSY OFFICIALS
Deputy Chief of Mission--Charles S. Shapiro
Economic and Political Counselor--Russell L. Frisbie, Acting
Consul General--Thomas J. Rice
Administrative Counselor--Lois E. Turner, Acting
Commercial Counselor--Carlos F. Poza
Defense Attache--Capt. Thomas L. Breitinger, USN
Public Affairs Officer--Barbara C. Moore
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Santiago are located at 2800 Andres
Bello Avenue, Las Condes, (tel. 562-232-2600; fax: 562-330-3710). The
mailing address is Casilla 27-D, Santiago, Chile. Internet:
Chile's economy, spurred by free market-oriented policies, has averaged
a real growth rate of over 6% per year during the last 13 years. A
limited government role in the economy, openness to international trade
and investment, high domestic savings and investment rates, and budget
surpluses have made this performance possible. The economy's rapid
growth has led to steady increases in wages and living standards.
In 1995, the economy grew by 8.5% in real terms as the inflation rate
fell by almost a percentage point to 8.2%. For 1996, real growth and
inflation are both expected to be around 7%. Chile's trade balance,
which was in surplus by $1.4 billion in 1995, is expected to move into
negative territory by the end of 1996 (although the trade surplus the
U.S. enjoys with Chile will continue). With investment continuing at a
record pace, the economy is expected to continue growing vigorously over
the next several years.
Chile has achieved central government budget surpluses every year since
1988. The 1973-90 military government sold many state-owned companies,
and the two democratic governments since 1990 have continued
privatization at a slower pace. Import tariffs are a flat 11% on nearly
all products. Policy measures such as the privatization of the national
pension system have encouraged domestic investment and the savings rate
of the society as a whole approaches the rates of the dynamic economies
of the Far East. The foreign investment law offers investors basically
the same treatment as domestic firms, along with extra guarantees.
Wages have risen faster than inflation each year since 1990; nearly all
of this growth reflects greater productivity. The higher wages have
increased living standards and have brought more people into the labor
force. The share of Chileans with incomes below the poverty line
($4,000/year for a family of four) fell from 45% of the population in
1987 to 28% in 1994; it is expected to be around 24% by the end of 1996.
Unemployment has varied with the business cycle in recent years, with
annual rates of between 4.5% and 6.0%.
Inflation has gradually declined every year since 1990, when it hit 27%.
In 1995, average annual inflation stood at 8.2%, and the Central Bank
has predicted that it will fall to 6.5% in 1996. Because most wage
settlements and spending decisions are indexed, either formally or
informally, it has been difficult to reduce inflation rapidly while
maintaining high growth rates. Still, the independent Central Bank has
been willing to raise interest rates when necessary to bring down
The establishment of a compulsory private sector pension system in 1981
was an important step toward increasing domestic savings and the pool of
investment capital. Under this system, all workers must pay 10% of
their salaries into privately managed funds. This large capital pool
has been supplemented by substantial foreign investment.
Total public and private investment in Chile's economy has been over 26%
of GDP in every year since 1992, and a similar level is expected in
1996. The government recognizes the necessity of steadily increasing
private investment to boost worker productivity. The government is also
encouraging diversification to non-traditional exports such as fruit,
wine and fish to gradually reduce the relative importance of basic
product exports such as copper and other natural resources.
Chile's welcoming attitude toward foreign direct investment is codified
in the country's Foreign Investment Law, which gives foreign investors
the same treatment as Chileans. Registration is simple and transparent,
and foreign investors are guaranteed access to the official foreign
exchange market to repatriate their profits and capital. However,
capital must be kept in Chile for one year.
Despite international investors' concern elsewhere in Latin America,
foreign direct investment in Chile continued at a record pace and
reached $1.8 billion in 1995. In contrast, portfolio investment fell as
international investors realized gains accumulated over several years.
Total gross foreign investment fell by 6% from 1994's record high,
leveling off at $4.3 billion in 1995.
Chile's economy is highly dependent on international trade. In 1995,
exports reached $16 billion and imports $14.7 billion. Exports
accounted for almost 25% of GDP. Chile has traditionally been dependent
upon copper exports. The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world's
largest copper producing company. Foreign private investment has
developed many new mines in recent years. The private sector now
produces more copper than CODELCO. Copper output is expected to
increase rapidly in the next few years as private sector projects come
Non-copper exports have grown even faster than those of copper. In
1986, non-copper exports of $1.7 billion made up 42% of total exports;
by 1995, these products reached $9.6 billion and 59% of total exports.
The most important non-copper exports are forestry and wood products,
fresh fruit and processed food, fishmeal and seafood, and other
Chile's export markets are geographically diverse. Asia and the
European Union are the largest regional markets. The U.S., the largest
single market, takes in about 15% of Chile's exports. Latin America has
been the fastest-growing export market in recent years. The government
actively seeks to promote Chile's exports globally. Since 1991, Chile
has signed free trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Venezuela,
Colombia, and Ecuador. An association agreement with Mercosur
(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) was signed in July 1996.
Chile has joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
organization in an effort to boost commercial ties to Asian markets.
Also, Chile and the European Union plan to negotiate a trade agreement
in the coming years, although it is unclear how much trade
liberalization will result. Chile is keenly interested in joining
NAFTA, in large part because the United States is its most important
single trading partner and source of foreign investment. Chile's 1996
free trade agreement with Canada was designed to be compatible with
Chilean NAFTA accession.
Imports have grown along with the economy in the past few years. The
country's high investment rate is reflected in the fact that capital
goods make up almost 30% of total imports. The United States is Chile's
largest single supplier, providing 25% of the country's imports in 1995.
Import tariffs are a flat 11% on nearly all products. Higher tariffs
are charged on imports of wheat, wheat flour, vegetable oils, and sugar.
Domestic production of these commodities is protected by import price
bands, which are variable tariff rates that bring import prices up to
the average international price of the last five years. Imports of used
goods are charged a tariff of 16.5%.
Chile's financial sector has grown faster than other areas economy over
the last few years. Chileans have enjoyed the recent introduction of
new financial tools such as home equity loans, currency futures and
options, factoring, leasing, and debit cards. The introduction of these
new tools has been accompanied by increased use of traditional
instruments such as loans and credit cards. Chile's private pension
system, with assets worth over $24 billion, has provided an important
source of investment capital for the stock market. The number of firms
with shares traded on the stock market continues to grow.
Chile's credit rating is one of the best in Latin America. In recent
years, many Chilean companies have sought to raise capital abroad due to
the relatively lower interest rates outside of Chile. There are three
main ways Chilean firms raise funds abroad: bank loans, issuance of
bonds, and the selling of stock on U.S. markets through American
Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Nearly all of the funds raised go to
The government is rapidly paying down its foreign debt. The combined
public and private foreign debt is about 30% of GDP which is low by
Latin American standards.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Following a coup in 1973, Chile was ruled by a military regime headed by
General Augusto Pinochet until 1990. The first years of the regime were
marked by serious human rights violations. In its later years, however,
the regime gradually permitted greater freedom of assembly, speech, and
association, to include trade union activity.
In contrast to its authoritarian political rule, the military government
pursued decidedly liberal economic policies. During its 16 years in
power, Chile moved away from economic statism toward a largely free
market economy, fostering an increase in domestic and foreign private
General Pinochet was denied a second eight-year term as President in a
national plebiscite in 1988. In December 1989, Christian Democrat
Patricio Aylwin, running as the candidate of a 17-party center-left
coalition, was elected president. In the 1993 election, Eduardo Frei
Ruiz-Tagle of the Christian Democratic Party was elected President for a
six-year term and took office in March 1994.
Chile's constitution was approved in a September 1980 national
plebiscite. It entered into force in March 1981. After Pinochet's
defeat in the 1988 plebiscite, the constitution was amended to: ease
provisions for future amendments to the constitution; create nine
appointed or "institutional" senators; and diminish the role of the
National Security Council by equalizing the number of civilian and
military members (four members each).
Chile's bicameral Congress has a 47-seat Senate (38 elected, 9
appointed) and a 120-member Chamber of Deputies. Deputies are elected
every four years. Senators serve for eight years with staggered terms.
The current Senate contains 21 members from the governing coalition, 17
from the rightist opposition, and the eight still-living appointed
senators designated in 1989 by Pinochet for eight-year terms. Since
taking office, the Frei administration has proposed the abolition of the
nine appointed Senate seats. The last congressional elections were held
in December 1993. The congress is located in the port city of
Valparaiso, about 140 kilometers (84 mi.) west of the capital, Santiago.
Chile's congressional elections are governed by a unique binomial system
that rewards large coalition slates and penalizes small independent
parties. Each coalition can run two candidates for the two Senate and
Chamber seats apportioned to each type of electoral district.
Typically, the two largest coalitions split the seats in a district.
Only if the leading slate outpolls the second place finisher by a margin
of more than 2-to-1 does the winner gain both seats.
The political parties with the largest representation in the current
Chilean Congress are the centrist Christian Democrat Party and the
center-right National Renewal Party. The Communist Party and two green
(ecological) parties failed to gain any seats in the 1993 elections.
Chile's judiciary is independent and includes a Supreme Court, a court
of appeal, and a system of military courts.
Chile's armed forces are subject to civilian control exercised by the
president through the Minister of Defense. However, under the 1980
constitution, the services enjoy considerable autonomy, and the
president cannot remove service commanders on his own authority.
Army: 55,000 troops under General Augusto Pinochet. The army is
organized into six divisions, one separate brigade, and an air wing.
Navy: Admiral Jorge Martinez Busch directs the 29,000 person navy,
including 5,200 marines. The fleet of 11 surface vessels and four
submarines is based in Valparaiso. The navy operates its own aircraft.
Air Force: General Fernando Rojas Vender heads a force of 12,000. Air
assets are distributed among four air brigades headquartered in Iquique,
Santiago, Puerto Montt, and Punta Arenas. The air force also operates
an airbase on King George Island, Antarctica.
The Chilean police are comprised of a national, uniformed police force
(carabineros) and a smaller, plainclothes investigations police force.
After the military coup in September 1973, the Chilean national police
were incorporated into the Defense Ministry. With the return of
democratic government, the police were placed under the operational
control of the Interior Ministry, but remained under the nominal control
of the Defense Ministry. General Fernando Cordero, who directs the
national police force of 27,000, is responsible for law enforcement,
traffic management, narcotics suppression, border control, and counter-
terrorism throughout Chile.
About 85% of Chile's population live in urban centers with 40% living in
greater Santiago. Most have Spanish ancestry, but a small, yet
influential, number of Irish and English immigrants came to Chile during
the colonial period. German immigration began in 1848 and lasted for 90
years; the southern provinces of Valdivia, Llanquihue, and Osorno show a
strong German influence. Other significant immigrant groups are
Italian, Yugoslav, French, and Arab. About 400,000 persons of
predominantly aboriginal descent, mostly of the Mapuche tribe, reside in
the south-central area.
The northern Chilean desert contains great mineral wealth, primarily
copper and nitrates. The relatively small central area dominates the
country in terms of population and agricultural resources. This area is
also the historical center from which Chile expanded until the late
19the century, when it incorporated its northern and southern regions.
Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands and features a
string of volcanoes and lakes. The southern coast is a labyrinth of
fjords, inlets, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. It also has
small, rapidly declining petroleum reserves, which supplied about 10% of
Chile's domestic requirements during 1993.
About 10,000 years ago, migrating Indians followed the line of the Andes
and settled in fertile valleys and along the coast of what is now Chile.
The Incas briefly extended their empire into the north, but the area's
remoteness prevented extensive settlement.
In 1541, the Spanish, under Pedro de Valdivia, encountered hundreds of
thousands of Indians from various cultures in the area that modern Chile
now occupies. These cultures supported themselves principally through
slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. Although the Spanish did not
find the gold and silver they sought there, they recognized the
agricultural potential of Chile's central valley, and Chile became part
of the Viceroyalty of Peru.
The drive for independence from Spain was precipitated by usurpation of
the Spanish throne by Napoleon's brother Joseph. A national junta in
the name of Ferdinand -- heir to the deposed king -- was formed on
September 18, 1810. Spanish attempts to reimpose arbitrary rule during
what was called the Reconquista led to a prolonged struggle under
Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile's most renowned patriot. Chilean independence
was formally proclaimed on February 12, 1818.
The political revolt brought little social change, however, and 19th
century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial
social structure, family politics, and the influence of the Roman
Catholic Church. The system of presidential absolutism eventually
predominated, but wealthy landowners continued to control Chile.
Toward the end of the 19th century, government in Santiago consolidated
its position in the south by ruthlessly suppressing the Mapuche Indians.
In 1881, it signed a treaty with Argentina confirming Chilean
sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the War of the
Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879-83), Chile expanded its territory
northward by almost one-third and acquired valuable nitrate deposits,
the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence.
Although Chile established a parliamentary style democracy in the late
19th century, it degenerated into a system protecting the interests of
the ruling oligarchy. By the 1920s, the emerging middle and working
classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, whose
program was frustrated by a conservative congress. Continuing political
and economic stability resulted in the quasi-dictatorial rule of General
Carlos Ibanez (1924-32).
When constitutional rule was restored in 1932, a strong middle-class
party, the Radicals, emerged. It became the key force in coalition
governments for the next 20 years. In the 1920s, Marxist groups with
strong popular support developed. During the period of Radical Party
dominance (1932-52), the state increased its role in the economy.
The 1964 presidential election of Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei-
Montalva (father of the current president) by an absolute majority
initiated a period of major reform. Under the slogan "Revolution in
Liberty," the Frei Administration embarked on far-reaching social and
economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian
reform, including rural unionization of agricultural workers. By 1967,
however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who
charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who
found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had many noteworthy
accomplishments, but did not achieve the party's ambitious goals.
In 1970, Dr. Salvador Allende, a Marxist and member of Chile's Socialist
Party, who headed the "Popular Unity" (UP) coalition of Socialists,
Communists, Radicals, and dissident Christian Democrats, was elected by
a narrow margin. His program included the nationalization of most
remaining private industries and banks, massive land expropriation and
collectivization. Allende's proposal also included the nationalization
of U.S. interests in Chile's major copper mines.
Elected with only 36% of the vote and by a plurality of only 36,000
votes, Allende never enjoyed majority support in the Chilean Congress or
broad popular support. Domestic production declined, severe shortages
of consumer goods, food, and manufactured products were widespread and
inflation reached 1,000% per annum. Mass demonstrations, recurring
strikes, violence by both government supporters and opponents, and
widespread rural unrest ensued in response to the general deterioration
of the economy. By 1973, Chilean society had split into two hostile
camps. A military coup overthrew Allende on September 11, 1973. As the
armed forces bombarded the presidential palace, Allende committed
With its return to democracy, Chile has become an active participant in
the international political arena. It is an active member of the Rio
Group, and it rejoined the Non-Aligned Movement. Chile was a driving
force in the world summit for social development held in Copenhagen in
March 1995. The Chilean Government has reestablished diplomatic
relations with most countries, including Cuba in 1995. Chile maintains
only consular relations with Bolivia.
Often driven by economic interests, cooperation between Chile and most
of its Latin American neighbors has significantly improved. However,
Chile's acquisition of territory during the War of the Pacific (1879-83)
continues to influence adversely its relations with Peru and Bolivia.
Although Bolivia does not maintain an embassy in Santiago, recent high
level talks with Bolivian leaders seeking to improve commercial access
through Chile to the Pacific Ocean suggest improved relations. Bolivia
had severed relations in 1978 following failed negotiations with Chile
concerning access to the Pacific. By treaty, any Bolivian-Chilean
agreement involving former Peruvian territory also would require Peru's
Chile's recent agreement with the Mercosur countries and its continuing
interest in NAFTA and APEC auger well for even closer ties abroad in the
future. Politically, Chile has become one of the most active countries
in supporting the implementation of the Miami Summit of the America in
1994, and will host the second Summit in Santiago at the end of March
1998. Currently a member of the UN Security Council, Chile participates
in UN peacekeeping activities and has a large array of multilateral
obligations befitting its growing international prestige.
PRINCIPAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
President--Eduardo FREI Ruiz-Tagle
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Jose Miguel INSULZA
Ambassador to the United States--John BIEHL Del Rio
Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS)
--Edmundo VARGAS Carreno
Ambassador to the United Nations--Juan SOMAVIA Altamirano
Chile maintains an embassy in the United States at 1732 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 (tel. 202-785-1746).
American Chamber of Commerce in Chile
Vespucio 80, Piso 9
U.S. Department of Commerce
Office of Latin America and the Caribbean
International Trade Administration
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in
the subject country. They can be obtained by telephone at (202) 647-5225
or by fax at (202) 647-3000. To access the Consular Affairs Bulletin
Board by computer, dial (202) 647-9225, via a modem with standard
settings. Bureau of Consular Affairs' publications on obtaining
passports and planning a safe trip abroad are available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280, price
$14.00) is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal
Government Officials" listing in this publication).
Upon their arrival in a country, U.S. citizens are encouraged to
register at the U.S. embassy (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials"
listing in this publication). This may help family members contact you
in case of an emergency.
FURTHER ELECTRONIC INFORMATION:
Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). Available by modem, the CABB
provides Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and helpful
information for travelers. Access at (202) 647-9225 is free of charge to
anyone with a personal computer, modem, telecommunications software, and
a telephone line.
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DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at http://www.state.gov; this site has a
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U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on a quarterly basis
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information, call (202) 512-1530.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information,
including Country Commercial Guides. It is available on the Internet
(www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-
1986 for more information.
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