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#499120 - 12/18/14 09:58 AM Foursome Of Presidents To Placencia: SICA Summit
Marty Online   happy

And while the 13 bilateral agreements made the headlines in Belize and Guatemala tonight, really they were secondary to the 44th SICA Summit of Heads of State. As the pro-tem president of SICA, Belize hosted the Summitt and welcomed its visitors which included four presidents. From early this morning, 7News was at the Riversdale Airport which was made operational just for the event:…

Jules Vasquez Reporting…

President Otto Perez Molina touched down at 8:30 am – one hour fifteen minutes after scheduled arrival – yet still his Beechcraft 40 was the first of the four Presidential jets scheduled to land at the Riversdale Airport.

Beechcraft 40

When he got off the jet, it was to the sound of applause from Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow who warmly embraced his Guatemalan colleague.

They briefly discussed logistics since the President had to go to a nearby resort and and wait for his Central American counterparts to arrive – while the Prime Minister would stay at Riversdale to greet the others.

Perez Molina then greeted Minister of foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala Alexis Rosado.

After that he and the Prime Minister exchanged a few cordial words and President Molina then proceeded to his resort to wait for a few minutes while the other leaders arrived.

Within an hour they were at the Belize Ocean Club – where – for scenic purposes, we assume, it was sent up for some of the leaders to arrive on the Lagoon side.

The host, Prime Minister Barrow was first and he came on the land side.

Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina was the first head of state to arrive in the caost Guard vessel on the Lagoon side.

We’d hazard a guess to say that he is the Guatemalan head of state to visit this part of the country and, again, Prime Minister Barrow greeted him like an old friend.

Even though they were an hour late at this point they appeared in no hurry to start.

Next to arrive was President of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina. He handed the pro-tem presidency over to Belize in July and now he is witness to it being handed back.

The president of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez was next to arrive …

Followed by the President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela who arrived later than everyone else because he landed at the Phillip Goldson International and then flew to Riversdale on a smaller plane.

By that time the meeting was already underway with opening remarks from Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister

"I welcome you to our beautiful souther shores here on the Placencia peninsula."

Barrow’s 15 minutes address touched on all the major issues being addressed at the summit –foremost among them, the widespread poverty in the region:

Hon. Dean Barrow

"We have all long since recognised that we must work as one if we're to improve the lives of the more than the 20 million of our people who live in poverty, especially our children. The fact of each hungry, homeless child is a rebuke to our collective conscience."

And this year many of those hungry children tried in desperation to go to the United States but were imprisoned:

Hon. Dean Barrow

"I'm talking of course of our children risking their lives limbs and innocence fleeing our shores for the US only to be locked up and displaced by a system boasting to be the greatest democracy in the world but seemingly oblivious to the simple imperative of compassion and human kind."

The region has also taken a unified stance on climate change

Hon. Dean Barrow

"We know, since we experience it that our climate has been changing and that if left unattended the results of that change will be devastating. We therefore speak with one voice and it is a stern one in demanding that what for us are existential challenges be dealt with urgently by the international community."

Barrow ended on an note for a region he says is on the upswing.

Hon. Dean Barrow

"Central America is progressing. Our institutions are becoming sturdier and we're everyday placing a firmer grasps on the core principals of vital dynamic and enlighten status.We are a part of the Central American isthmus, the pencil of god has no eraser and our geographic location dictates that our natural trading partners are right here in the sub region.”

In terms of who had the biggest jet, the President Danilo Medina seemed to outshine the others – and he also had the largest contingent. The presidents left shortly after the summit finished this afternoon at 2:30. Tomorrow we’ll tell you more about what was agreed to and achieved at the summit. Belize has now handed the pro tem presidency over to Guatemala.

Channel 7


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#499139 - 12/18/14 04:40 PM Re: Foursome Of Presidents To Placencia: SICA Summit [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Yes, largest jet and fat cat contingency but more than 30% of its 10 million citizens still live below the poverty line. His awards for fighting poverty must have paid off.
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