In a quiet haven, well away from the protests plaguing President Bush’s visit to Latin America, the American leader and his Uruguayan counterpart talked trade and diplomacy. Mr Bush had been flown immediately to join Tabare Vasquez at the Presidential ranch. Bush evaded reporters’ questions about the unrest in Montevideo, and refused to be drawn on the subject of his “bete noire” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is on his own, parallel, Latin American tour doing his best to discredit Bush.
Next stop for the whistle-stop white house charm offensive, Colombia, where the security services have been preparing for days for this visit of just seven hours. 22,000 members of the National Guard are on alert conducting random searches in Bogota. Apart from the expected civil unrest, police intelligence has revealed FARC rebels are planning a high profile attack.