With carnival 2011 already a blurry, caipirinha-muddled memory, Rio de Janeiro is getting ready for a major event of an entirely different kind – Barack Obama’s visit to the city.
The US president will make make a public speech in Rio’s Cinelandia square on Sunday (March 20th) as part of his first visit to Brazil this week. To say that security for the visit will be tight is something of an understatement, and mystery still shrouds the exact itinerary and security measures that will be put in place during the Obama family’s visit.
He will address crowds in Cinelandia around 3pm, at an event that will be free to attend and open to the public, with security forces opening public access to the square at around 11.30am. The President’s speech will be translated via subtitles on a giant screen.
Crowds are expected to turn out in force, and security measures will be rigorous, so expect to queue if you want to catch the US President’s address to the Brazilian people.
It is thought that he may also pay a visit to the once-notorious Cidade de Deus (City of God) favela to see how the Police Pacification Unit installed there has driven out drug traffickers, and the White House has not ruled out a trip to see the Christ the Redeemer statue.