February 22 — Dr. Denzil Douglas, the prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, was among the CARICOM leaders who arrived on Sunday at the International Airport in Cancun, Mexico, for the two summits to be held in near By Playa del Carmen. The leaders arrived aboard a Mexican Air Force plane at about 1:06 p.m. local time. Along with Dr. Douglas was Patrick Manning, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Baldwin Spencer, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Tillman Thomas, the prime minister of Grenada, David Thomson, the prime minister of Barbados, and Colin Granderson, CARICOM’s assistant secretary-general. The noted leaders arrived just minutes after Haitian President Rene Preval and Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Haiti and Jamaica are members of both the Group of Rio and CARICOM. Mexico is hosting the first Mexico-Caricom Summit on Sunday and the Group of Rio Summit on Monday and Tuesday. Prime Minister Douglas is accompanied By Minister of Housing, Public Works, Energy and Utilities, Dr. the Hon. Earl Asim Martin; His Excellency Ambassador Errol Maynard and Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Crios Freeman. A foreign media report said the leaders of more than 30 Latin American and Caribbean nations are meeting in Mexico from Monday to launch a group that will serve as an alternative to the Organization of American States. The main difference between the OAS and the yet-to-be-named organization will be that the United States and Canada will not be members. Leaders of Latin American countries have been meeting almost every year since 1986 when the Rio Group was created By countries including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. This year’s summit is intended to take the Rio Group to a new level By creating the organization. Among the main topics to be discussed at the summit is whether to recognize Porfirio Lobo as the legitimate president of Honduras. Lobo, who took office in late January, was elected under a de facto government that resulted from a coup in June against then-president Manuel Zelaya. The ousted leader was then forced out of the country. Other topics on the agenda include the creation of a long-term plan to help Haiti recover from the devastating effects of the earthquake and Argentina’s conflict with Great Britain over oil drilling offshore from the Falkland Islands.
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