At summit, Obama gets friendly with Chavez
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Thread: At summit, Obama gets friendly with Chavez

  1. #1
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    Exclamation At summit, Obama gets friendly with Chavez

    President Barack Obama extended a hand to America's hemispheric neighbors on Saturday at a summit where he offered a new beginning for U.S.-Cuba relations and greeted Venezuela's fiery, leftist president who gave him a book about Latin America's exploitation by foreign powers.

    U.S. relations with Havana and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez took center stage at the Summit of the Americas in this island capital. Obama signaled he was ready to accept Cuban President Raul Castro's proposal of talks on issues once off-limits for Cuba, including the scores of political prisoners held by the communist government.

    Obama shook hands with Chavez, a leader who once likened former President George W. Bush to the devil, and casually exclaimed, "Como estas?"

    "I think it was a good moment," Chavez said, describing his first grip and grin with Obama. "I think President Obama is an intelligent man, compared to the previous U.S. president."

    (AP) Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, hands President Barack Obama the book titled "The Open...
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    Then, as the first full day of meetings began in the two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, just off Venezuela's coast, Chavez walked over to Obama, patted the president on the shoulder and handed him the book, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Eduardo Galeano, an essay about U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region.

    Obama was taking part in a series of plenary sessions, group gatherings and one-on-one meetings that the White House hoped to squeeze into a busy schedule. He hoped to make time for individual sessions with leaders from Canada, Colombia, Peru, Haiti and Chile, aides reported.

    At his first meeting with South American leaders, Obama waited several minutes while security officers and members of the media pushed noisily into the room. Somebody accidentally hit a light switch, prompting Obama to ask: "Who turned off the lights, guys?" He said he hoped events would go more smoothly during the meeting where he said he would talk to the leaders about energy, security and other topics. "I have a lot to learn and I'm very much looking forward to listening," the president said.

    In an opening speech to the 34-nation gathering on Friday, the president promised a new agenda for the Americas, as well as a new style.

    "We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms," Obama said to loud applause. "But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations."

    (AP) Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, hands President Barack Obama the book titled "The Open...
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    Obama also extended a hand to a leader Ronald Reagan spent years trying to drive from power: Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega. The Sandinista president stepped up and introduced himself, U.S. officials reported.

    Yet soon after, Ortega, who was ousted in 1990 elections that ended Nicaragua's civil war but who was returned to power by voters in 2006, delivered a blistering 50-minute speech that denounced capitalism and U.S. imperialism as the root of much hemispheric mischief. The address even recalled the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, though Ortega said the new U.S. president could not be held to account for that.

    "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old," Obama said, to laughter and applause from the other leaders.

    But perhaps the biggest applause line was his call for a fresh start in relations between Washington and Havana.

    "I know there's a longer journey that must be traveled to overcome decades of mistrust, but there are critical steps we can take toward a new day," he said.

    On Tuesday, Obama ordered an easing of travel and remittance restrictions for Americans with relatives in Cuba. Within hours, Castro - who took over from his ailing brother Fidel a year ago - responded with an offer of talks on "everything" that divides the two countries.

    The White House welcomed the offer, but suggested actions would be better, such as releasing some of Havana's scores of political prisoners.

    Added Obama: "I am not interested in talking for the sake of talking. But I do believe that we can move U.S.-Cuban relations in a new direction."

    Cuba became a dominant issue even though the summit was taking place amid the worst global downturn since the Great Depression.

    To Latin American nations reeling from a sudden plunge in exports, Obama promised a new hemispheric growth fund, an initiative to increase Caribbean security and a new regional partnership to develop alternative energy sources and fight global warming.

    But most of all, he offered an end to old hemispheric arguments.

    "I didn't come here to debate the past," Obama said. "I came here to deal with the future ... We must learn from history. But we can't be trapped by it."

    Source: My Way News
    Last edited by lukem; 04-20-2009 at 10:17 AM.
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  3. #2
    "I didn't come here to debate the past," Obama said. "I came here to deal with the future ... We must learn from history. But we can't be trapped by it."

    I agree with that statement, unfortunately I doubt he will "deal with the future" the way I would.

  4. #3
    wolfhunter Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by utimmer43 View Post
    "I didn't come here to debate the past," Obama said. "I came here to deal with the future ... We must learn from history. But we can't be trapped by it."

    I agree with that statement, unfortunately I doubt he will "deal with the future" the way I would.
    He wants to learn from history, so Chavez gave him a history book to steer him towards a submissive, apologetic United States. Chavez handed him the book, "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent" by Eduardo Galeano, an essay about U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region.

  5. #4
    That too. The "history" he chooses to learn from is nothing short of propaganda. Shameful.

  6. #5
    what a fool... I am so ashamed of our white house dweller.
    You can have my freedom as soon as I'm done with it!!!

  7. #6
    what bush did hasn't worked so lets try a different approach. Matureness

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwtollett21 View Post
    what bush did hasn't worked so lets try a different approach. Matureness
    The lurking troll speaks!
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

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