The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is expected this Friday, February 15, in Punta Arenas, extreme south of Chile, before his flight on Saturday to his country's Antarctic base "Comandante Ferraz", reports the ChileanÂ press.
According to Brazil's consulate office in Punta Arenas, the Brazilian president has on several occasions planned to travel to Antarctica but other pressing business has postponed his trip. However on this occasion the Brazil's leader will pay a visit to the base mounted by Brazil in the Antarctic Peninsula in 1984.
The delegation coming with Lula includes the ministers of Defense,Â and of Science and Technology and the Commander of the Brazilian Navy. They will be joined in Punta Arenas by the Brazilian Ambassador in Chile, Mário Vilalva.
On Friday evening a reception has been scheduled for local authorities in the Cabo de Hornos hotel and early Saturday the party leaves, weather permitting, for the airstrip of Chile's Presidente Eduardo Frei base and from there by land or helicopter to Comandante Ferraz.
Lula will be shown around the base by the head of a team of Brazilian scientists who are working on several research projects on meteorology, continental and marine geology, oceanography, biology, astrophysics, geomagnetism and nuclear geophysics.
At midday he's scheduled to have lunch on board the Antarctic support vessel Ary Rongel. Late afternoon the delegation should be back in Punta Arenas and early Sunday will begin the return flight to Brazilian capital Brasília.
Lula da Silva is the second Brazilian president to visit Comandante Ferraz, the first was Fernando Collor de Mello who spent three days in Antarctica back in 1991.