United States Reaches Out to Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba…
America’s foreign policy is finally being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It’s about F#$%!# time.
Obama urged cooperation at the Summit of the Americas today in Trinidad. He said: “I have a lot to learn and I very much look forward to listening and figuring out how we can work together more effectively.” He also asked the other leaders not to blame all of their past problems on the U.S.
He exchanged greetings with Venezuela’s notorious commie, Hugo Chavez. Later Chavez said: “I think it was a good moment. I think President Obama is an intelligent man, compared to the previous U.S. president.”
Chavez also said: “I'm not going to speak for Cuba. It's not up to me...but all of us here are friends of Cuba, and we hope the United States will be, too.”
Obama also spoke with Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. As you probably remember, Ronald Reagan used his presidency to stage terrorist attacks against Ortega’s government. (Forget it, rightwads, they weren’t “Freedom Fighters.” They were Terrorists.) It didn’t work. Ortega got voted out in 1990, and then got voted back in in 2006.
Ortega still holds some resentment. (Who wouldn’t?) Since he couldn’t very well say anything to Dead Ronnie, he took it out on Obama. He gave a 50-minute speech blasting everything the U.S. has done, going all the way back to the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. But he did point out that Obama wasn’t responsible for that.
Obama responded with: “I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was also less than enthusiastic about Obama: “Obama said three things: There are neither senior or junior partners. He said relations should be of mutual respect, and he spoke of change. In Bolivia ... one doesn't feel any change. The policy of conspiracy continues.”
OK, so the entire meeting wasn’t all warm and fuzzy. But it’s a start. There have been decades (centuries, for that matter) of mutual resentment throughout the Americas. Personally I think it’s better to talk about these resentments at a meeting instead of having mutual threats and trade embargos.
And speaking of Cuba — I read this anecdote on a website several years ago. I have no idea whether it’s true or not:
Sometime during Fidel Castro’s adolescence, he got in a fight with a school bully, and got his ass kicked. The next day Castro challenged this same bully to another fight. The bully whupped him again, even worse than the day before. The next day — same thing. Fidel Castro repeated this same procedure every day for the rest of the year — challenge the school bully to a fight, get his ass kicked. Castro never won any of those fights, but by the end of the school year, the bully was terrified of him.
cross-posted at Bring It On!