"always remember to wash your hands before approaching the trough"
Medical authorities in Colombia have confirmed that president Uribe is currently infected with AH1N1 (or the dreaded swine flu). Colombian state press officer César Mauricio Velásquez told press that on return from the emergency summit called in Argentina to discuss new US bases to Colombia, Uribe suffered an exceptionally high fever and all the usual symptoms at which point they did the tests (& one presumes brewed up some chicken broth and ordered in some tamiflu). The Colombian state medical officer Juan Gonzalo López confirmed to press that the president is receiving clinical care at the presidential palace rather than in hospital.
On a trivial point this of course makes him the second head of state in the world to contract Swine Flu. The first was the president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias who caught the virus during his attempts to broker a settlement between the legitimate and usurpist regimes of Honduras earlier this summer.
The Colombians have advised through diplomatic channels that all the other heads of state who attended the Mercosur summit go to their doctors "just in case". But so far only Uribe seems to have come down with something nasty, he travelled to the summit with afore mentioned press officer Velasquez, foreign minister Jaime Bermúdez, Defense minister Gabriel Silva and head of military forces Freddy Padilla and a variety of Colombian journalists. None of the party other than Uribe have thus far manifested symptoms.
The first case of AH1N1 or swine flu was detected in Colombia on May 3rd of this year. The first person to die from the infection in Colombia did so on the 4th of June and to date 29 people have died. There are according to Colombian health ministry currently 631 confirmed cases of swine flu in the state.
Those most at risk from Swine Flu as we know are young children and pregnant mothers, the under-nourished and people suffering other debilitating health problems.
It might now also seem considering the cases of Arias and Uribe that presidents of Latin American countries engaged in controversial or unpopular transnational issues are also likely to get a bout.
It is too early to properly assess the results of the summit though there seems to have been a concession given to South American states that they may inspect the US bases or FOLs. When I know the exact conditions such inspections I shall report them accordingly. I also suppose the inspectors will bring their own bottled water and little face masks.
just in case
the background to the issues discussed at the extraordinary summit of Mercosur (the invitation from Uribe's Colombia to the USA to open up 7 bases) is thus far being covered in a multipart series :-
part one of the series :
The new Latin American century, FARC, arms races, US bases & sundry fibs
part two of the series :
New Latin American century (part 2): Nixon, Pinochet, Brazil, Chile, US bases, declassified files
part three of the series :
New Latin American century (part 3): US "Forward Operating Locations", Domination, Robots & fibs.