As we explained yesterday, Barack Obama & Co. heads to Mexico on Thursday, en route to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad, which will be held from April 17 to April 19 in Port of Spain, at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.
American taxpayers will be happy to learn that once again, the US delegation is travelling lightly :
President Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, is all set to lead a 1000 member US delegation to the Carribean. The delegation is expected to arrive in a fleet of over 25 planes for the event ! !
According to the Trinidad Express, the US delegation is the largest out of 34 countries being represented at the summit. The 25 US aircraft include Air Force One, United States Air Force fighter jets and cargo planes.
The Hyatt Regency, along with all other hotels and most other types of lodging in the City have already been booked solid for the period of the summit. The Hilton Trinidad Hotel with 380 rooms has been reserved for the US delegation, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Hilton Trinidad sits on a picturesque hilltop location, spread over 25 acres of landscaped gardens overlooking the Queen’s Park Savannah.
The hotel also offers tennis, a fitness center, pool, men’s and women’s fashion, jewelry and souvenir shop, skin care salon, a nearby 18-hole golf course and beautiful Maracas Beach.
There’s also 7 restaurants, bars and lounges. Room rates starting from $169.
President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama could either stay at the Hilton Trinidad along with the other members of the US delegation, or they might stay abroad Air Force One, which will be parked at Piarco International Airport, 17 miles from the Hilton Trinidad Hotel.
They could also end up staying aboard an aircraft carrier anchored out at sea, since Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning has denied permission for US military jets (along with similar requests by other nations) to be based on any local airstrips during the Summit, citing a potential for conflict. Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is also attending the summit.
Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow has been appointed as White House Advisor for the Summit of the Americas. Ambassador Davidow will oversee preparations for the President’s participation in the Summit and, in conjunction with the Department of State, will help manage Summit-related diplomacy in the region.
The Summit organizers have also arranged for two cruise ships - The Carnival Victory and The Caribbean Princess - to house all the attending media. The media digs start from $425 per night for oceanview staterooms and onwards upto the $650 penthouse suite.
source : http://triphow.com/?p=940
I really wonder why Obama needs so many people when he travels abroad. A thousand persons seems to me a little exaggerated, although I am ready to admit this Summit of the Americas is certainly very important for the USA.
But if you make the calculation : 380 rooms reserved for the US delegation ; 169 dollars is the price of the cheapest room, which means there are probably much more expensive ones, you reach a total of minimum 76,000 dollars ! And this is only a minimum for the rooms! And you have to add the price of the food and drinks, and the extras, think about it, you have to feed one thousand people !
More than one million euros were spent in Strasbourg ; the price of the trip to South America is likely to be even more than that.
Obama has been president for less than 100 days, and yet, he has spent his time travelling across America, across Europe, and now to Latin America.
I know he has said that he is bored in Washington, and enjoys going away as often as possible, but why doesn't he try to stay at "home" for a while, in order to tackle (at last) all the problems that his fellow-citizens are facing everyday ?
Seeing him yesterday so happy with Easter Bunny at the White House, surrounded by beautiful American children, I could not help finding him quite cool, but childish (is this what we expect from the leader of the first world's superpower ?)
I really have the impression that this man lives in another world, a sort of disneyworld...
The only problem is :
Obama is not Alice.
And his country is not Wonderland...