Sunday, April 12, 2009

5 Days To The Summit of the Americas

Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week. -Charles Richards

Its official, I’m on the Summit of the Americas. You now have a voice in the Summit of the Americas. Maybe?

Today I was informed that I passed the security screening for accreditation to attend the Civil Society Segment of the Summit. According to the Trinidad Express, these organizations can make a difference. This particular accreditation came as a result of me going into the Secretariat and completing an application as the President of a community based NGO.

While waiting for this accreditation I was provided a letter and clearance to attend by one of the country’s political organizations of which I’m a member. Now, I have been accredited twice and cannot even pass one out to Carlos Slim, the richest man in Latin America, who allegedly was denied accreditation because of the application deadline. So what’s going to happen there? Why should you care?

This is a global event that can actually affect the entire Western Hemisphere. On the agenda for discussions are serious trade, social and environmental issues. This is an event that occurs once every four years where 34 leaders of the major countries in the West meet to discuss global issues. The purpose is to provide a forum for these leaders to work together on saving our planet or at least making it a more peaceful productive experience.

It’s a unique opportunity for transcending the time, space and controversial issues that exist between nations where leaders meet face to face like what we all are; human beings. With the state of the global economy, it is an opportunity to bring peace and solutions to the problems we are all seeing on the horizon. We all disagree on how some of the issues that affect us as a world should be handled. For example...

Although I realize that I’m only a peon in the Summit proceeding with my Civil Society segment accreditation my opinions could be considered controversial.

I don’t agree with the Trinidad and Tobago’s Commissioner of Police ban on protesters. The world needs to see the other side of the coin. I think the Commissioner and the people whose opinions he voices are totally disregarding the effects of such a wide sweeping decision.

It is my humble opinion that free speech should always be allowed if real solutions are to be introduced. Many Heads of States are so far removed from the real problems of their people that their presence merely builds their egos. It's a MUST attend event, so they are here. They come with self centered myopic views and illusions of grandeur on a global stage. In Trinidad, we do not have to look far to see examples of such blind leadership.

So what are the chances of me letting everyone know that that embargo on Cuba should be lifted and that they should be permitted to join the Organization of American States (OAS). Or, voicing my opinion of the raping of Trinidad and Tobago natural resources and environment by people who put profits ahead of life. I do NOT support or agree to the building of large smelter and steel plants in some of the most fertile lands in this country. We are destroying natural habitat for profits.

We are reading from a script someone else wrote. Without a plan someone else plans for you. The theme of the Summit is…..

“Securing our citizens’ future by promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability”

The Civil Society segment is actually the opening of the opening of the Summit and as such none of the Heads of States will be present. The actual Summit will begin on the 17th April. The itinerary of event for the Civil Societies is the 14th, 15th and 16th April you can view that at THE CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM. Two full days of seminar styled lectures and participatory workshops. From the schedule of events it looks like promises to be a very informative 2 days.

According to the Trinidad Express newspaper at the Summit;

“ … insider sources have indicated to this correspondent that there are as of now five speakers scheduled to address the opening session: President Obama, the Presidents of Argentina (Cristina Fernandez deKirchner) and Nicaragua (Daniel Ortega) and Prime Ministers Dean Barrow of Belize and host Patrick Manning who will be the last speaker.

Normally done on a sub regional basis, Argentina's deKirchner will speak on behalf of South America and Mexico; Nicaragua's Ortega will represent Central America, while Belize's Barrow is to speak for CARICOM in his capacity as current chairman of the 15-member Community.

One of the surprises in arrangements for the summit is the absence of Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, from those currently listed to address the ceremonial opening session.”


Security is extremely tight for this event with promises of up to 200 security personnel on each floor of one of the largest hotels in Trinidad. The Commission of Police acting on the request of the government has denied permission for any group to hold protest marches in Trinidad. While there are reports of heads of some of the global protest groups arriving in Trinidad.

It does appear as if the Summit of the Americas is going to really put Trinidad and Tobago on the map. Stay tuned for the rest of the Summit of the Americas inside reports.

Do you have an opinion? Smile. Let me know. Maybe I could mention it to someone I meet at the Summit.

As always be well.


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