The major excitement at the gathering of heads of state in Belén took place Wednesday morning when Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua tried to bootleg in a Puerto Rican independence advocate as a speaker.
The Nicaraguan president offered part of his speaking time to the advocate, Rubén Berríos of the Partido Independentista de Puerto Rico. Independence of Puerto Rico has been a continuing theme by the organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
President Luis Guillermo Solís, who was moderating, got into a verbal tussle with Ortega over his ploy. Ortego said he demanded respect.
The theme of Puerto Rican independence is perhaps more popular among Latin American leftists than in Puerto Rico. Relations are cool between Ortega and Costa Rican officials anyway.
The anti-American rhetoric was not unexpected. The 3-year-old organization was set up as a counter to U.S. and Canadian influence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, finally showed up. He told a television audience in his home country that he fears an attack on his person in Costa Rica.
A number of police agencies and even the fire fighters are on duty to provide protection from Juan Santamaría airport to Pedregal Centro de Events where the summit is being held.
Police officials will be able to take a deep breath late this afternoon when the heads of state and foreign delegations leave.