5th SUMMIT of THE AMERICAS – April 17th 2009, hosted by Trinidad & Tobago

United States Vice President Joe Biden will be arriving in Chile tomorrow to consult with the leaders of several Latin American countries on the Fifth Summit of the Americas to be held in PORT OF SPAIN Trinidad this country during APRIL 2009.

Biden’s visit, which was announced by the White House on March 13, comes less than a week after Prime Minister Patrick Manning met with the leaders of five Latin American countries during a four-day whirlwind peacekeeping mission last week ahead of the Summit.

“The Vice President will travel to Chile and Costa Rica from March 27 to 30 to consult with Latin American leaders regarding the Summit of the Americas, which is scheduled for mid-April in Trinidad and Tobago,” a White House news release stated.

United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the Summit in Port of Spain next month.

Manning travelled to Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Mexico, and undertook the tour to “try to minimise any undue contention” during the Summit.

Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador and Nicaragua are all led by left-wing governments that had issues with the United States under the administration of Obama’s immediate predecessor in office, George W Bush.

Manning also travelled to Venezuela last Saturday, where he was expected to meet with that country’s President Hugo Chavez, but they never met.

A spokesman for the Venezuelan government told the Sunday Express the meeting had been postponed and official sources said this was due to a series of major “national issues” pertaining to the Venezuelan economy that President Chavez was scheduled to deal with in an address to the nation.

Biden will not be travelling to Venezuela while in Latin America, since his only other stop is Costa Rica.

While in Chile, Biden will be attending the Progressive Leaders Summit in Vina del Mar tomorrow and Saturday.

That event will be attended by Brazil’s President Lula da Silva and Uraguay’s President, Tabaré Vázquez, who are two of the leaders Manning met during his trip last week.