5th Summit of the Americas

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5th Summit of the Americas
5th Summit of Americas.jpg
5th Summit of the Americas logo
Host countryTrinidad and Tobago
DatesApril 17–19, 2009
Venue(s)Hyatt Regency Trinidad
CitiesPort of Spain
Follows4th Summit of the Americas
Precedes6th Summit of the Americas

The Fifth Summit of the Americas (VSOA) was held at Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, on April 17–19, 2009.[1]

Organizers planned for the Fifth Summit to focus on a wide-ranging theme: "Securing Our Citizens' Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability."[2]


The Summits of the Americas are a continuing series of summits bringing together the leaders of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and South America. The function of these summits is to foster discussion of a variety of issues affecting the western hemisphere. These high-level summit meetings have been organized by a number of multilateral bodies under the aegis of the Organization of American States. In the early 1990s, what were formerly ad hoc summits came to be institutionalized into a regular "Summits of the Americas" conference program.[3]


Group photo of leaders attending Port-of-Spain summit.
Partial group photo of leaders at the closing Port-of-Spain summit.

The host nation's task in organizing the summit programme was a multi-faceted challenge.[11]

The top issue at the summit was the current economic crisis, which also encompassed issues of access to increased credit and lending from multilateral banks, sub-regional banks and international development banks. Other issues included promoting human prosperity, energy security and environmental sustainability.[12]

Regional leaders had their first face-to-face meeting with United States President Barack Obama at the summit.[13]

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez used his first meeting with President Obama to argue in favor of lifting the US-led embargo of Cuba. Chávez also used the occasion to publicly present Obama with a copy of Eduardo Galeano's 1971 book Open Veins of Latin America.[14]


The host country's Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) planned to ensure that they would be prepared to deal with the consequences of natural or man-made hazards which might impact the delegates during the Summit of the Americas. The Ministry of National Security and OPDM worked together in anticipation of over 4,000 visitors.[15]

Other American nations made security forces available during the international event. Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown offered to request 35 soldiers of the Bermuda Regiment to be sent,[16] but the offer was declined as unnecessary.[17] In preparation for the summit, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) sent 124 officers for a three-week training program in Trinidad. The Jamaican contingent was briefed and given all the necessary resources and equipment, and they were expected to bring back to Jamaica any good ideas and best practices which might be observed during the operation.[18]

Heads of State and Government[edit]

Summary of Leaders
Flag and Country Head of State / Government
 Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer
 Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
 Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham
 Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson
 Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow
 Bolivia President Evo Morales
 Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
 Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper
 Chile President Michelle Bachelet
 Colombia President Álvaro Uribe
 Costa Rica President Óscar Arias
 Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit
 Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández
 Ecuador President Rafael Correa
 El Salvador President Tony Saca
 Grenada Prime Minister Tillman Thomas
 Guatemala President Álvaro Colom
 Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo
 Haiti President René Garcia Préval
 Honduras President Manuel Zelaya
 Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding
 Mexico President Felipe Calderón
 Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega
 Panama President Martín Torrijos
 Paraguay President Fernando Lugo
 Peru President Alan García
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas
 Saint Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves
 Suriname President Ronald Venetiaan
 Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning
 United States of America President Barack Obama
 Uruguay President Tabaré Vázquez
 Venezuela President Hugo Chávez


  1. ^ Summit Americas Archived 2009-06-25 at the Wayback Machine: V summit (5th) Archived December 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ 5th Summit of The Americas (VSOA)
  3. ^ Twaddle, Andrew C. (2002). Health Care Reform Around the World, p. 382.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Florida International University, Summit of the Americas Center Archived May 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (SOAC): Summits list Archived April 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Summit Americas: I summit (1st) Archived 2011-06-12 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Summit Americas: Sustainable development Archived September 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Summit Americas: II summit (2nd)
  8. ^ Summit Americas: III summit (3rd)
  9. ^ Summit Americas: Special
  10. ^ Summit Americas: IV summit (4th) Archived June 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Tack, Clint Chan. "Summit programme takes shape," Newsday (Trinidad & Tobago). February 15, 2009.
  12. ^ "Economy will be top issue at 5th Americas Summit," Xinhua. March 14, 2009.
  13. ^ Brooks, Lovelette. "Summit of the Americas: Carib issues for Obamam" Archived 2009-03-24 at the Wayback Machine Jamaica Gleaner News (Kingston). March 22, 2009.
  14. ^ "Chavez says he'll lobby Obama on Cuba at summit," Taiwan News. March 18, 2009.
  15. ^ Bagoo, Andre. "ODPM activates emergency systems for Summit," Newsday. March 17, 2009.
  16. ^ Premier discusses world economy with CARICOM heads[permanent dead link], The Royal Gazette, March 17, 2009
  17. ^ Bermuda Regiment Deployment not required for upcoming Summit of the Americas Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, South Florida Caribbean News, April 20, 2009
  18. ^ "J'can police, soldiers to provide security at Americas Summit," Archived 2009-03-30 at the Wayback Machine Jamaica Observer (Kingston). March 27, 2009.


  • Prieto, Alfredo. "Everybody But Cuba,"Havana Times. April 15, 2009.
  • Twaddle, Andrew C. (2002). Health Care Reform Around the World. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing. ISBN 978-0-86569-288-6. OCLC 48132063.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
4th Summit of the Americas
Summits of the Americas
Port of Spain
Succeeded by
6th Summit of the Americas