United States presidential visits to Central America

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The countries of Central America and their capital cities

Eleven United States presidents and three presidents-elect have made thirty-four presidential visits to Central America. The first visit by an incumbent president to a country in Central America was made in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt. The trip, to Panama, was the first international presidential trip in U.S. history, and signaled the start of a new era in how presidents conducted diplomatic relations with other countries.[1] In 1928, Herbert Hoover, during the time when he was president-elect, visited the region during his historic "good will" trip, to Central and South America.[2][3]

The number of visits made to each country in the region are: nine to Panama, seven to Costa Rica, five to El Salvador, four to Honduras, three to Guatemala, and three to Nicaragua. Belize has not been visited by an American president.

Costa Rica Costa Rica[edit]

President Dates Location Notes
Herbert Hoover[4] November 28, 1928 San José Met with President Cleto González Víquez. (Visit made as President-elect.)[5][6]
John F. Kennedy March 18–20, 1963 Attended Conference of Presidents of the Central American Republics.[7]
Lyndon B. Johnson July 8, 1968 Informal visit; met with President José Joaquín Trejos Fernández.[8]
Ronald Reagan December 3–4, 1982 Official working visit; met with President Luis Alberto Monge and President Álvaro Magaña of El Salvador.[9]
George H. W. Bush October 27–28, 1989 Attended Hemispheric Summit Meeting.[10]
Bill Clinton May 7–9, 1997 Attended a Summit Meeting of Presidents of the Central American Republics.[11]
Barack Obama May 3–4, 2013 Met with President Laura Chinchilla and leaders of the Central American Integration System.[12]

El Salvador El Salvador[edit]

President Dates Locations Notes
Herbert Hoover[4] November 26, 1928 Cutuco Met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Martínez Suárez. (Visit made as President-elect.)[5]
Lyndon B. Johnson July 8, 1968 San Salvador Attended meeting of the Presidents of Central American Republics.[8]
Bill Clinton March 10, 1999 Met with President Armando Calderón Sol and Addressed the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador.[11]
George W. Bush March 24, 2002 Attended a summit meeting with Central American heads of state.[13]
Barack Obama March 22–23, 2011 Met with President Mauricio Funes.[12]

Guatemala Guatemala[edit]

President Dates Locations Notes
Lyndon B. Johnson July 8, 1968 Guatemala City Informal visit; met with President Julio César Méndez Montenegro.[8]
Bill Clinton March 10–11, 1999 Guatemala City,
Antigua
Attended Central American Summit meeting with leaders of seven Central American and Caribbean nations.[14][11]
George W. Bush March 11–12, 2007 Guatemala City,
Santa Cruz del Quiché,
Santa Cruz Balanyá,
Iximche
Informal visit; met with President Óscar Berger. Visited Iximche archaeological site.[13]

Honduras Honduras[edit]

President Dates Locations Notes
Herbert Hoover[4] November 26, 1928 Amapala Met with President-elect Vicente Mejía Colindres and Foreign Minister Augusto Coello. (Visit made as President-elect.)[5]
Lyndon B. Johnson July 8, 1968 San Pedro Sula Informal visit; met with President Oswaldo López Arellano.[8]
Ronald Reagan December 4, 1982 San Pedro Sula Official working visit; met with President Roberto Suazo Córdova and with Guatemalan President Efraín Ríos Montt.[9]
Bill Clinton March 8–9, 1999 Soto Cano Air Base,
Tegucigalpa
Discussed reconstruction aid with President Carlos Roberto Flores; addressed U.S. military personnel.[11]

Nicaragua Nicaragua[edit]

President Dates Locations Notes
Herbert Hoover[4] November 27, 1928 Corinto Met with President Adolfo Díaz and President-elect José María Moncada. (Visit made as President-elect.)[15]
Lyndon B. Johnson July 8, 1968 Managua Informal visit; met with President Anastasio Somoza Debayle.[8]
Bill Clinton March 8, 1999 Managua,
Posoltega,
El Porvenir
Discussed reconstruction aid with President Arnoldo Alemán and visited the El Porvenir Maya city site.[11]

Panama Panama[edit]

President Dates Locations Notes
Theodore Roosevelt November 14–17, 1906 Colón,
Panama City
Inspected Panama Canal construction.[16]
William Howard Taft January 29 –
February 7, 1909
Colón,
Panama City
Inspected Panama Canal construction and met with President José Domingo de Obaldía. (Visit made as President-elect.)[17]
Warren G. Harding November 24, 1920 Colón,
Baihos
Informal visit to Panama Canal Zone. (Visit made as President-elect.)[18]
Franklin D. Roosevelt July 11–12, 1934 Panama City Informal visit.[19]
October 16, 1935 Balboa Informal visit with President Harmodio Arias Madrid.[19]
August 4–5, 1938 Informal visit with President Juan Demóstenes Arosemena.[19]
February 27, 1940 Cristóbal,
Balboa
Met informally with President Augusto Samuel Boyd.[19]
Dwight D. Eisenhower July 21–23, 1956 Panama City Attended a meeting of the Presidents of the American Republics.[20]
Jimmy Carter June 16–17, 1978 Invited by President Demetrio B. Lakas and General Omar Torrijos to sign protocol confirming exchange of documents ratifying the Panama Canal treaties. Also met informally with Presidents Carlos Andrés Pérez of Venezuela, Alfonso López Michelsen of Colombia, José López Portillo of Mexico, Rodrigo Carazo Odio of Costa Rica, and Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica.[21]
George H. W. Bush June 11, 1992 Met with President Guillermo Endara and delivered public addresses.[10]
George W. Bush November 6–7, 2005 Met with President Martín Torrijos.[13]
Barack Obama April 10–11, 2015 Attended the 7th Summit of the Americas.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "This Day In History: 1906-Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama". history.com. A+E Networks.
  2. ^ "Herbert Hoover: Foreign Affairs". millercenter.org. Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Deconde, Alexander (March 1950). "Herbert Hoover's Good Will Tour". Historian. 12 (2): 167–181. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.1950.tb00106.x.
  4. ^ a b c d "Travels of President Herbert C. Hoover". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  5. ^ a b c Hoover, Herbert (1974). "Supplement IV - Addresses During a Trip to Central and South America". Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Herbert Hoover. 1. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. pp. 615–642. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  6. ^ Cohen, Alex (November 29, 1928). "Don Cleto Gonzales Viquez, President of Costa Rica, in welcoming President Elect Herbert C. Hoover today, made the following address: Our Love OF U. S. Great, Message from Costa Rica". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  7. ^ "Travels of President John F. Kennedy". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Travels of President Lyndon B. Johnson". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  9. ^ a b "Travels of President Ronald Reagan". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  10. ^ a b "Travels of President George H. W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Travels of President William J. Clinton". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  12. ^ a b "Travels of President Barack Obama". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  13. ^ a b c "Travels of President George W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  14. ^ "Central American Summit". npr.org. March 11, 1999. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  15. ^ Jeansonne, Glen (2012). The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 44–45. ISBN 978-1-137-34673-5. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  16. ^ "Travels of President Theodore Roosevelt". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  17. ^ "Travels of President William Howard Taft". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  18. ^ "Travels of President Warren G. Harding". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  19. ^ a b c d "Travels of President Franklin D. Roosevelt". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  20. ^ "Travels of President Dwight D. Eisenhower". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  21. ^ "Travels of President Jimmy Carter". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  22. ^ "Seventh Summit of the Americas Panama City, Panama, April 10-11, 2015". summit-americas.org.