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Biden to visit Brazil, Caribbean, Central America

US Vice President Joe Biden begins a four-country trip across Latin America on Monday that starts with a stop in Brazil to cheer the US team as they face Ghana in the World Cup.

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden begins a four-country trip across Latin America on Monday that starts with a stop in Brazil to cheer the US team as they face Ghana in the World Cup.

Biden will fly directly to Natal, where his country's side face Ghana's Black Stars in a key Group G clash on Monday, the White House said on Sunday.

"I suppose everybody can probably guess which side he will be rooting for," a senior administration official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Biden will then fly to Brasilia, where he will meet President Dilma Rousseff and help patch up relations frayed after the Brazilian leader cancelled a state visit to Washington last year following revelations by Edward Snowden that US agencies have been spying on her country.

Biden then travels to Bogota, arriving late on Tuesday, just days after President Juan Manuel Santos was re-elected in a tight run-off race seen as a thumbs-up to the peace process his government has engaged in with the country's two leftist guerrilla groups.

In the Dominican Republic -- Biden's first visit to the Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti -- he will meet top officials to discuss issues that include energy security.

The Guatemala leg of the trip was added in the last minute. Biden is scheduled to meet with the presidents of Guatemala and El Salvador and a senior Honduran official "to address the rise and flow of unaccompanied children to the United States," among other issues.

The surge over the past months of Central American children crossing the US-Mexican border "is an issue of great concern to us," the US official said. "We're seeing growing numbers of children under 12 and girls in the latest surge. Our top priority is to manage this urgent humanitarian situation."

The children, which include older teens, are fleeing violence and the lack of economic opportunities in the region, the official said.

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