The region’s Presidents will descend upon San José Dec. 16 for a summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA). Three days of technical and ministerial meetings will precede the presidential hobnob; be prepared for possible delays or blockades between Juan Santamaría International Airport and nearby summit site Hotel Herradura, both west of San José.
Perhaps the most controversial item on the agenda is who will represent the region during negotiations for a free-trade agreement with the European Union, set to begin next year. Leaders from the rest of the region chose Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Norman Caldera as the negotiation coordinator, but Costa Rican President Oscar Arias – who apparently was not invited to the meeting where this decision was made – maintains that this responsibility should rotate among the participating countries.
Nicaraguan President-elect Daniel Ortega will be in attendance, as well as the heads of state of his country, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.