January 23, 2018

1,000 officials, businessmen to be part of the delegation

Friday, March 4, 2016

Obama to extend trip to Argentina with Patagonia visit

United States President Barack Obama is planning to extend his stay in Argentina for a few days with a visit to Patagonia, announced President Mauricio Macri yesterday.

Although not yet confirmed, the US Embassy said it was “highly probable” that he would visit San Carlos de Bariloche in Río Negro province but last minute changes could still alter Obama’s schedule.

Over 1,000 US government officials and businessmen may be part of the delegation that will arrive in Argentina on March 23, on the back of the president’s historic visit to Cuba.

“The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has decided to visit us here and spend a few days in Bariloche with the US president,” announced Macri yesterday during a press conference in Bariloche. The president anticipated that accords will be signed to further cooperation between state-owned nuclear technology company Invap and NASA.

So far, the only US government official whose participation on the trip has been confirmed is US Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson. US Secretary of State John Kerry, First Lady Michelle Obama and her children may also accompany Obama to Argentina.

An exploratory group has been sent to Bariloche by the US Department to make preparations for the expected visit. The US delegation will most likely stay in the Hotel Llao Llao as it has sufficient rooms to lodge such a large group, according to state news agency Télam. The news will be made official today after the US government completes a security evaluation.

While Obama is expected to arrive in Argentina on Wednesday, March 23, he may arrive 12 hours earlier on Tuesday night, March 22. The Foreign ministry revealed yesterday that one of Obama’s first activities will be a conference with the US Chamber of Commerce in Argentina at 8.30am. He is also expected to be received by Macri at the Pink House, a meeting that will then be followed by a press conference. At night, there will be a state dinner in Obama’s honour. He may also visit the Navy Mechanics School (ESMA) memorial in Buenos Aires City on Wednesday, a day before the 40th anniversary since the beginning of the last military dictatorship (1976-1983).

Argentine Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel yesterday wrote to Obama — who also received the award in 2009.

“You will be coming to my country on the same day of the 40th anniversary of the last genocidal dictatorship in Argentina, and on the 200th anniversary of our national independence. Certainly, you cannot deny that your country has many pending debts with our country and with many others,” he said.

“In 1976, while you were only 14 years old, and your country was celebrating two centuries of independence, we were starting the most tragic period of our history, with the implementation of a state terrorism which subjected our people to prosecution, torture, death, and forced disappearance of persons in order to deny them their rights to freedom, independence and sovereignty,” the leader of the Service for Peace and Justice (Serpaj) added.

There is also possibility that Obama will arrive in Bariloche on Thursday, March 24, so as not to coincide with the 40th anniversary commemoration in Plaza de Mayo.

Obama may also visit the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires to pay homage to victims of the worst act of terrorism in Argentina.

Herald with Télam,

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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia