Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo said on Monday that U.S. President Barack Obama will not make a public appearance during a May 3-4 official visit to the country.
Castillo told local Radio ADN that “there are some Costa Ricans who want to take advantage of [Obama’s] visit to stage street protests, forgetting all courtesy that should be given to such a distinguished visitor.”
Obama will participate as a special guest in the summit of presidents of the Central American Integration System (SICA).
“We also know that there are Costa Ricans who may be planning events that are disrespectful [to the U.S. president], and we will not expose [Obama] or any other president to that type of situation,” Castillo added.
The minister said recent acts of violence in the U.S. – including the deadly Boston bombings and ricin-laced mail sent to the president – will mean stringent security protocols for Obama and his entourage.
Preparations for Obama’s arrival are still being organized, and U.S. officials are coordinating closely with local authorities, Castillo said.
First Lady Michelle Obama likely will not accompany her husband on the trip, although there has been no confirmation of that from U.S. officials.
Due to security concerns, details and scheduling of U.S. presidential visits are often kept confidential.