President Barack Obama arrived on the two-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago for the 5th Summit of the Americas on Saturday, where he hobnobbed with Latin leaders and even exchanged handshakes and pats on the back with hearty Venezuelan president and perpetual thorn-in-the side Hugo Chavez.
It was quite a departure from the previous administration's interactions with the leftist Venezuelan leader which usually resulted in Chavez likening George W. Bush to the devil followed by the immediate expulsion of all US ambassadors from both his country and his comrade Evo Morales' Bolivia (just) for good measure.
This time around it was all smiles and hugs for the two leaders, with Chavez even bearing gifts for his new presidential friend Barry--including an entire book dedicated to the rape and pillage of Latin America by the U.S. and Europe. Yay!
Although Obama did not say whether he would read the book or not, unlike the loser media, he did not consider the exchange to be a earth-shattering moment in history.
But he did call the weekend 34-nation Summit of the Americas a success, despite criticism from Republicans who blasted Obama for "irresponsibly laughing and joking" with "one of the most brutal, anti-American leaders in the entire world."
"The whole notion was that somehow if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us, that that somehow would be a sign of weakness," Obama said. "The American people didn't buy it. And there's a good reason the American people didn't buy it, it doesn't make sense."
His new best friend Hugo agreed as well. "I think it was a good moment. I think President Obama is an intelligent man, compared to the previous U.S. president."
He even reads good too!
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