From the flight deck to Trinidad

Annette Hester, CIGI Senior Fellow and CIC Research Associate
Obama to Speak at Summit Opening; Manning: TT Corn Soup will help Morales

Obama to Speak at Summit Opening; Manning: TT Corn Soup will help Morales

In the spirit of the Summit, as soon as we were settled, Jennifer and I secured the local Trinidad paper to check the Summit news.

This is the front page. As you can see, the two ships that will house most of the delegations, media, and parallel events’ participants are anchoring down…and we were reminded that it is all about Obama coming to town. Did you have any doubts? Ok… you didn’t ….

But the real story is not Obama or the ships. Check the lead in yellow:

Manning: TT Corn Soup will Help Morales

This is a story that hadn’t made the Canadian press but it is poised to gain momentum. Evo Morales, Bolivia’s indigenous leader/president, is in his fifth day of a hunger strike which according to the Trinidad paper is being conducted in an attempt to “persuade Bolivian opposition legislators to give more political power to indigenous groups and likely benefit his power-base.”

The story goes on to share that Evo held a broadcasted conversation with Venezuelan Hugo Chavez, explaining that he would probably miss the meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, taking place the day before the Summit, in Caracas, Venezuela; as well as missing the Summit in Port of Spain. Not to be outdone, Cuba’s Fidel Castro called in his support for President Morales and his cause.

According to Trinidad’s PM, Patrick Manning, Evo Morales has not withdrawn officially. Mr. Manning’s words of advice? “He should try some Trini crab and callaloo to set him right”. Ah… he went on to add corn soup to the meal. Apparently, the trio is sure to fix any problems his Bolivian friend might have.

Now, that would be a first. A leader missing the Summit because he is on a hunger strike!

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3 Responses to From the flight deck to Trinidad

  1. Sieg Holle says:

    It is all about traction – an awareness stunt maybe?

  2. Tom says:

    It is interesting that Evo Morales will be missing the Bolivarian Alternative meeting. As it was originally proposed to counter the FTAA, and now that the FTAA is no longer on the table for discussion, does Chavez’s Alternative remain relevant?

  3. Neve Peric says:

    I’d be curious to know if anyone is going to be addressing the rise of populists socialists movements in Latin America in any form at the Summit? Annette and Jennifer – do you know?

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