As for Venezuela, Obama's friendly encounters with Chavez at the summit drew intense publicity — partly, Obama said, because Chavez is good at getting in front of TV cameras. Chavez's anti-American rhetoric has, in the past, led Obama to call him a demagogue.
Before he even got back to Washington, Obama was facing condemnation from some Republicans about how he dealt with Chavez. The president brushed that aside, noting that Venezuela has a defense budget about one-six hundredth the size of the United States' and owns the oil company Citgo.
"It's unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States," Obama said. "I don't think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so."
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Obama Is Playing Chess While The GOP Plays Checkers
President Obama commenting at the Summit of the Americas.