Barak Obama goes and shakes Chavez’ hand and all of a sudden everything is peachy and the US President seems to have lost his ignorance in Chavez’ eyes as Hugo quickly suggests exchanging Ambassadors and even names one right away. Meanwhile on the side of the formerly ignorant US President he is criticized for his quick rapproachement with our dear thug.
Obama defends himself, saying a handshake does not represent a change in US policy and I agree. Chavez is now Obama’s buddy, but let’s see how long its lasts and whether this was that Chavez was on a high or simply he was so star struck that he left all his hate and biases behind. After all Chavez has always been like a little kid when meeting legends, including Fidel Castro, Shea Stadium or the Emperor of Japan. And he thinks others are as star struck as he is, but as Obama clearly stated, a handshake will simply not change a country’s policy. He was, of course, speaking for the US, but for Venezuela it did chnage it and it may be chanegd back at any time depending on our dicator’s mood.
And that is why the whole thing will not last. Because Chavez has now embarked his Government in an adveture that sidesteps democracy and it is unlikely that Obama will ignore than even if we own Citgo. A simplistic and silly argument if I ever heard one. The truth is that Obama seeking Chavez out will have zero influence on what Chavez does and soon Chavez will regress to name calling and insults when the State Department points out his dictatorial ways.
And Obama should have asked Chavez what he did with the billions of dollars Venezuela received in the last ten years and if Galeano’s book includes a description of why the money, more than the US’s TARP program, barely helped in solving Venezuela’s problems. Of course, Galeano’s book was written well before Chavez’ time, but tries to blame other for our own failures. Our problems are not only our own but we have made little headway into solving them as we continue to resort to ideological solutions which have little to do with looking for the well being of our population.
And some are still waiting for Chavez’ bombastic declaration that he would boycott what he could not boycott, but by now he is saying that he obtained the biggest triumph in the country’s history, a statement he would have made no matter what happened at the Summit.
Except he didn’t, because his words and insullts were left hanging in the air of hos own superficiality, while the US President left now doubt that it was he who took the offensive and it was Chavez who was shown to have lightweight positions, which can be changed with a handshake and will be changed back again for whatever random reason he may decide to pick a fight with the Empire once again. And he will.