Barack Obama may visit Columbus’ birthplace on October 12th 2008, and take part in the city’s celebration of the discovery of America, which is held in the city every year. As reported by Il Secolo XIX, Genova’s local newspaper.
Although the invitation has not been officially accepted by the American Presidential Candidate, Genoa’s mayor Marta Vincenzi is working very hard to make it happen.
Kerry Kennedy (Bob Kennedy’s daughter), is said to be in charge of liaising with Obama on the US side.
“[…] Kerry Kennedy and her family – among the first and most unexpected of Obama’s supporters in his challange against Hillary Clinton – are said to be organising his visit to Genoa. It all started when Kerry came to the city at the beginning of July, for the Week of Human Rights initiative promoted by the city’s council. Kerry was introduced to Nando Dalla Chiesa’s ‘Columbus Day’ program plan by Vincenzi .
The proposal of inviting Obama to Christopher Columbus’ birthplace was immediate, and a significant move.
That could have important consequences, because Genoa has been involved in battles for civil rights in the last few months while also trying to restore its relationship with the United States, which have often been identified as a symbol of evil globalization since the G8 summit [held in the city in 2001].”
After Bush – the “king” president among the other 8 powers protected by the Red Zone [the restricted area of the city where the G8 summit was held] – a black presidential candidate who speaks of dialog and integration to the people of Genova (and obviously also tens of thousands of Italians), from De Ferrari Square [the city’s main square]. […]"
– Translated from Indovina chi viene a Genova, Giovanna Mari, August 11th 2008.
This could be a truly important occasion for Genova (and Italy) to re-establish dialog with the United States after the G8 summit (which cost the city a death and millions of Euro of damage caused by vandalism).
However, there is still no official confirmation that the event will take place at all, especially due to the upcoming Presidential Elections in the same period.
If he comes, I’ll definitely be there!