Security Will Be Tight So Plan Accordingly.

The Fifth Summit of the Americas will be held in Port of Spain from April 17th – 19th 2009, which the 34 leaders of the nations in the Americas will attend along with their delegations. As a result of this Summit , there will be certain restrictions in Port of Spain.

13th – 16th & 20th - parking restrictions on Dock Road
15th – 20th - Caricom Jetty closed
16th – 20 - Container operations at the Port of Port of Spain halted
17th – 19th - entire Port of Port of Spain closed

It is to be expected that there will be an exclusion zone around the area where the Summit will be held, Hyatt Hotel. Given the proximity of the Hyatt Hotel to Wrightson Road it is more than likely this exclusion zone will involve the closure of Wrightson Road and is likely to also extend eastward to involve the closure of Richmond Street.

The closure of Wrightson Road will result in traffic problems in Port of Spain because this is a major traffic artery through the city and so there will be difficulty for people moving around the city. On April 19th the Summit activities shift from the Hyatt as the leaders will hold a retreat at the Diplomatic Centre in St Anns.

There will therefore be an exclusion zone that will involve the Queen’s Park Savannah, another major traffic artery. You should therefore plan for staff having travel difficulties around Port of Spain during this time.

Summits bring out protestors and these will not just be local protestors, but will most likely involve international groups. In other countries there have been riots, when the protesting groups included anarchists. Only persons from Bolivia , Haiti and Paraguay require visas to enter Trinidad and Tobago and so persons can enter Trinidad relatively easily.

The Government has not stated what steps it will be taking to screen persons entering Trinidad during this time. When the Cricket World Cup was held in the Caribbean, an Advanced Passenger Screening System was introduced to try to exclude trouble makers and it is to be expected that this system will also be used during the Summit.

This system however may not capture all potential trouble makers. To coincide with the Summit of the Americas , local labour leaders have planned a Summit of Labour for April 15th and 16th and 60 trade unions are expected to participate, with the unions being from outside Trinidad. A Summit of the People is also planned for the same time.

There will be a large security presence in Port of Spain during this time and it is expected that assistance will be given to the Trinidad and Tobago Police by other Caricom police forces who are most likely to supply manpower. Notwithstanding the security presence, you should advise your staff to stay away from the area of the Summit , if they have no reason to be in that area.

This advisory was put out by the Neal & Massey Company.


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