WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At the 43rd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas, co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the Council of the Americas, US Vice President Joe Biden announced that he will travel to Brazil, Colombia, and Trinidad & Tobago during the week of May 26th, 2013.
"I will travel to Brazil and Colombia in the coming weeks," said Biden. "And . . . we are welcoming heads of states from Peru, Chile, in June, more Latin American visitors this fall, and all told we will have the most active stretch of high level engagement in the Latin America in a long, long time because there're so many opportunities. There's so much more we believe we can do."
The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, and President of Peru, Ollanta Humala, will visit Washington in June, emphasizing the partnerships the government of Barack Obama wants to deepen in its second term.
"In Brazil, he looks forward to the opportunity to meet with President Rousseff and Vice President Temer and discuss ways to deepen our economic and commercial partnership and further our engagement on the broad array of bilateral, regional, and global issues that connect our two countries," said the White House in a statement.
Biden will be joined by his wife Dr. Jill Biden and in each country, the he will meet with key leaders to discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues.
"In Colombia, the Vice President will meet with President Santos to build on security relations and focus on ways to further the prosperity of our two countries. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Vice President looks forward to meeting with Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar as well as leaders of other Caribbean countries, whom Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar has graciously offered to invite."
In expressing her enthusiasm for Biden’s visit to Trinidad, Persad-Bissessar described it as “the continued strengthening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.”
Biden’s visit follows Persad-Bissessar’s trip to Washington last month, when she met with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Persad-Bissessar becomes chairwoman of Caricom on July 1.
At the 6th Summit of the Americas in Colombia last April, Persad-Bissessar said she held talks with Obama about the possibility of acquiring fast patrol craft from the US to bolster border security.
"The question isn't like it was the years, John, early on, when I was in the Foreign Relations Committee," said Biden. "It was always about what can we do FOR Latin America, what can we do FOR the Americans. It's no longer that. 'It's what can we do WITH Latin America? What can we do WITH our partners in the hemisphere?'"
"This trip will be an important chance to discuss our collective efforts to promote economic growth and development, access to energy and our ongoing collaboration on citizen security," concluded the White House.