Colombia police prepare for one of the most
important political events
on the Latin American calendar: The Summit of the Americas,
held in Colombia April 14-15. Thirty three heads of state,
President Obama, will be in attendance.
With No Hope of Doing So, Colombians Ponder ‘Bumping Into’ Obama (El Universal,
“Some people would ask questions based on economics, urging Obama 'not to sign
the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia,' which has been a work in progress
since the presidency of Alvaro Uribe. Others, meanwhile,
demanded that the man they consider the most important political leader coming
to the summit 'look after third world countries' and 'use his power to help
develop our country.'”
Cuba Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez explains that Cuba has chosen not to attend the Summit of the Americas, averting a diplomatic showdown with U.S. leaders who insist that Cuba is not a member of the Organization of American States. Cuba was expelled in 1962.
Tourists and the natives alike on the streets of Cartagena’s
Historic Center had a wide variety of reactions when asked what they would say
to U.S. President Barack Obama if they were to bump into him during his stay in
the city during the Summit of the Americas [to be held in Catagena
from April 14-15].
Although the odds of this happening are highly unlikely, the
people who stood before the cameras and journalists of El Universal took
the chance to express their thoughts.
Some people would ask him questions based on economics, urging Obama
“not to sign the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia,” which has been a work in
progress since the presidency of Alvaro Uribe. Others,
meanwhile, demanded that the man they consider the most important political
leader coming to the summit “look after third world countries” and “use his
power to help develop our country.”
The more adventurous even dared to shout, “Stay the Hell Out!”
as they regard his stay in the city as unnecessary.
One respondent even came over to complain about the changes the
summit is causing to the city center, and said he disagreed with putting a Juan
Valdez Café opposite the “Torre delReloj” (Clock Tower).
OBAMA IN CARTAGENA
Measures to protect the U.S. president and the other 32 heads
of state coming to Cartagena are very well designed, having been under development
for years. Therefore, is would be essentially impossible for a “Cartagenero” to meet Obama face to face.
The U.S. president will arrive in Cartagena on Saturday
morning on April 14, and depart on Sunday afternoon the 15th, after having lunch
with President Juan Manuel Santos.
The Hilton Hotel is the designated lodging site for the president
and his entourage.
Obama will take advantage of his stay in Cartagena to eat
Colombian crab, rice with coconut and ice cream with fruit.
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