Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala.
News Briefs, Peru

Peru’s Humala Visits U.S. To Meet With Hillary Clinton; Possibly With Obama

July 5, 2011 By Andrew OReilly

Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala.

Peruvian President-elect Ollanta Humala is one his way to the United States for a number of  high-profile meetings Wednesday in Washington D.C.

In his first trip to the U.S. since winning Peru’s elections last month, Humala will meet with OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza tomorrow morning and later with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mercopress reported that Humala will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama tomorrow afternoon at the White House.

Peruvian media outlets and other news sources, however, are reporting that Humala will not meet with Obama during his visit to the U.S.

During his meeting with Clinton, Humala is expected discuss bilateral ties and joint efforts between the U.S. and Peru to combat drug trafficking. Peru may soon take over the title of world’s top coca producer from Colombia, according to a report released by the United Nations (UN).

Humala recently completed his first round of foreign visits as Peru’s president-elect, making trips to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. Today’s trip will be Humala’s first visit to the U.S.

In 2006, his visa was revoked on political grounds as there was suspicion of Humala’s involvement in his brother’s failed military uprising against then President Alejandro Toledo. Information about that incident was revealed in leaked diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks.

During his previous political campaigns, Humala took a strong anti-U.S. stance and aligned himself closely Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. However, in his last campaign and since becoming president-elect, the nationalist former military man has toned down his rhetoric and added that he would continue Peru’s controversial free trade agreement with the U.S. signed by current president Alán García.

Humala is traveling with his wife, Nadine Heredia, and will pass through Miami before making his way to Washington D.C.

A scheduled trip to Venezuela was recently postponed because of the health problems plaguing President Hugo Chávez.

Photo: Eduardo Santillán/Presidencia de la República @ Flickr.