Obama to meet with Central American presidents

The summit will be held in Costa Rica in May

(published March 28, 7:00 a.m.)- President Daniel Ortega will get his second chance to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama during a Central American presidential summit in Costa Rica next May.

President Obama will be taking a two-country tour of the region on May 2-4, with stops in Mexico and Costa Rica, according to the White House.

US President Obama (White House photo)

“This trip is an important opportunity to reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Obama will first travel to Mexico to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto before traveling to Costa Rica on May 3.

“In Costa Rica, the President looks forward to the opportunity to meet with President Chinchilla as well as heads of state of the other Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, whom President Chinchilla has graciously offered to host,” Carney said yesterday. “The trip will be an important chance to discuss our collective efforts to promote economic growth and development in Central America and our ongoing collaboration on citizen security.”

Ortega first met Obama during the 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. During the summit, Ortega gave one of his typically long-winded diatribes that tried to cover the history of colonialism and 20th century U.S. interventionism in an unstructured speech that droned on for 50 minutes.

Obama was not impressed with Ortega’s history lesson, and chided the Nicaraguan president afterwards.

“To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements,” Obama said in his speech that followed Ortega’s jeremiad. “I’m grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We’ve all heard these arguments before.”

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