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President Obama Makes Inroads With Hugo Chavez Thanks To Being Diplomatic

April 19, 2009

I am a fan of diplomacy.  We do not need to agree with everyone or everything in order to talk.  But let us recall that it is not our friends that we need to hold talks with, as much as those with who we have different perspectives and viewpoints.  While FAUX News was having fun with the handshake between President Obama and President Chavez we all know that there are reasons we need intelligent leadership, such as we now enjoy.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez said Saturday he’s ready to send an ambassador back to the U.S., according to the Venezuelan government news service.

“I have spoken to Roy Chaderton — currently Venezuela’s ambassador to the Organization of American States — and I have appointed him as candidate for the embassy in the United States,” Mr. Chávez said. “Now we must wait for Washington to provide the authorization so he can take up the post.”

His tense, vitriolic relationship with former U.S. President George W. Bush has dissolved into one with Obama that has started with respect and even friendship. On Friday, Mr. Obama shook Mr. Chávez hands while the two were waiting for the inaugural ceremony to start.

“I want to be your friend,” Mr. Chávez said to the U.S. president.

Both leaders are doubtless still feeling their way around this new relationship.

4 Comments
  1. April 19, 2009 10:28 PM

    Patrick,

    The sulfer thing was in response to the other comment that Hugo had said unkind things about Obama…..I was making the point that this was not the first such remark.

    Human rights is a huge item for the left. Though President Carter was not a liberal he had a very strong focus on such issues, and I think it fair to say each Democratic leader since then has had the same type of concern. Hillary was very engaged in a real way with women’s rights around the globe, as an example.

    I think it important that we re-engage with these countries after not having done so for a long time. Dialouge is worth the effort, and I truly think inroads will happen. That does mean we are going to change their naiton, as that should not be our goal. But allowing for better trade policies, environmental achievements, and curtailing support for splinter interest groups that work against us would be a most positive thing.

  2. Patrick permalink
    April 19, 2009 10:18 PM

    Venezuela’s policies are too hard to separate from Chavez. You’ll note his government expelled Human Rights Watch observers from his country last september. Clearly, his is an oppressive regime. I’m sure Mr. Obama will likewise concern himself with Venezuela’s sponsorship of Columbian paramilitary groups.

    Chavez is no Castro. If we must talk, fine. But lets not stop there. Shouldn’t human rights be a line in the sand for the left, at least? Bush took a clear moral stand against Chavez since he controlls the government, has curtailled democracy there, has corrupted the judicial system, and has wasted the country’s chance for prosperity through oil revenue.

    It is also ironic that you suggest that policy should not be based on personality. I agree. Then you go on with the sniffing sulfer comment–perhaps a lame attempt to describe Bush’s personality. What do you imagine Chavez smells from Obama? Stupidity? Chavez is a real thug, not a pretend one. Thugs respond to strength, not handshakes.

  3. April 19, 2009 5:26 PM

    The point to understand is that foreign policy is not to be based on personalities. The long-term aims of a nation is the basis by which to formulate policy.

    BTW…as long as Hugo does not smell sulfur like when he sniffed Bush….

  4. Lina permalink
    April 19, 2009 4:34 PM

    You should learn to read Spanish so that you know what Hugo Chavez has said about Obama – and it isn’t friendly.

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