Colombian president Álvaro Uribe has delayed his visit to Washington in order to participate in an emergency meeting of regional countries to address the unfolding crisis in Bolivia, where three weeks of rioting have left at least 30 dead and many fearing a civil war.
Uribe had planned to begin his three-day visit to the U.S. capital Wednesday, but will postpone his arrival until next Friday to participate in a meeting of the Union of South American Nations called by Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to address Bolivia’s unrest, reported Spanish press agency EFE.
Colombia’s Washington embassy announced Uribe would address the Brookings Institute and the National Press Club during his trip, along with meetings to lobby for the passage of a bilateral trade agreement which is currently before the U.S. Congress.
U.S. Democrats, who control both houses of Congress, are the primary obstacle to passage of the bill. Representative George Miller, head of the Education and Labor Committee in the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Uribe Friday detailing his concerns with the labor climate in Colombia.
Miller is expected to be among the U.S. politicians Uribe meets with. Another will be U.S. President George W. Bush, who plans to receive Uribe in the White House Saturday before travelling to New York to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations.