Demonstrators in Colombia’s capital are sending a message of protest to the US President. George W. Bush will be there within days as part of a tour of Latin American countries. But here and in other cities he can expect less than a warm welcome, with protesters expressing anger over issues ranging from immigration to the war in Iraq.
The president is also travelling to Mexico, Guatemala, Uruguay and Brazil – his first stop. Before setting off, he evoked the plight of the poor in Latin America, announcing a US social aid programme for the region: “The millions across our hemisphere who every day suffer the degradations of poverty and hunger have a right to be impatient.”
President Bush is hoping to improve his influence in a region where anti-American voices are on the rise. During his tour, Venezuela’s leader Hugo Chavez – a staunch Bush critic – is set to take part in anti-US rallies in neighbouring countries.