News & Current Affairs, CARICOM Affairs - Saturday, April 18, 2009 16:04

5th Summit of the Americas: What’s not making the news on day two

By , Managing Director

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We invite bloggers and monitors to fact check and add any new developments to the story via email (address below) or in the comment box accompanying this article. Photo credits to Georgia P.¹ Some links to late updates from mainstream media are at the end of this post.

  • Drummit 2 Summit’, a grassroots group formed to protest ‘energy insecurity, anti-sustainable development and pauperism in Trinidad & Tobago’ has (as of 3:30pm) been shut down by police in St. James with the threat of mass arrest. Permit for peaceful protest at St. James auditorium revoked – protest deemed illegal . As of 4:25pm riot police are moving in on a bunch of drummers in a circle, singing, dancing and clapping. TV coverage of the event and police stand off lead to protest being allowed to continue. Official who revoked permit admits to being coerced by police to do so. At 5:10 pm, police were advised by a senior superintendent to leave the peaceful protest, which was then allowed to continue until 6pm.
  • There are serious issues with respect to the timeliness of public transcripts being made available. At the time of writing, there are no transcripts available from yesterday’s opening speeches and definitely no transcripts from today’s events. This presents a major difficulty for citizen journalists, bloggers and followers of the Summit who are not in Trinidad. (We, however have an article with the full rundown of yesterday’s opening).
  • Summit organisers cite “a lack of discipline” among reporters and all reporter pools have been suspended for today. Since reporters can’t ask questions to leaders directly, public information will now come via Summit mouthpiece, Felipe Noguera, who will provide a synopsis of each leader’s speech and his personal opinions in response to reporters’ questions.
  • It is alleged that Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, former Attorney General and member of the opposition party, has distributed flyers on what he terms “the dictatorship of Patrick Manning” to all Summit leaders (TBC).
  • EfE reports that five ALBA states will not sign Summit Declaration. This is in spite of the fact that Hugo Chavez, head of ALBA, has gone out of his way to appear chummy and cooperative with President Obama.
  • Evo Morales says that Bolivia cannot implement biofuels of any sort – not feasible for developing LAC states. Says that the type of capitalism that disregards human life must end, and condemns the United States’ interference in Bolivian elections when he ran for President. Says US front line workers remain ‘pro George Bush’ and that President Barack Obama should heed the world’s call for an end to the blockade against Cuba. Morales, who recently completed a hunger strike against liberalism, said the socialist movement is “for the people” and the right wing is losing base support all over Latin America.
  • Riot police surround and break up small, peaceful assembly of labour leaders at the Cipriani Statue in downtown Port of Spain. ‘Overkill’.
  • Hugo Chavez proposes that next Summit be held in Havana, Cuba. Press communication indicated Pres. Obama smiled, did not respond.
  • Alleged altercation between foreign press and police at the Hyatt – Summit Hotel – journalists say restrictions are too stringent.

Updates from mainstream media 04/19

Obama pursues charm campaign at Americas summit

Tax haven initiatives a key matter of interest at summit bilaterals, says Bahamas PM

Concerns raised by Summit Leaders: Canada, USA et al.

Coverage of the St. James Summit 2 Drummit protest

A Slum on the Edge of the Americas Summit: Leaders Need Not Look Far to See Poverty and Violence Outside Summit Venue

Jovan Reid · Bridgetown, Barbados

Jovan specialises in media advocacy, project management and policy design for central government, donors and nonprofits. He is the founding director of the Antillean and served as Director of Advocacy until 2010. He currently leads on business development for antillean.org.

jovan@antillean.org

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Guyana aaron from Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana
Jun 9, 2009 19:39

the summit has done well

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