Saturday, April 18, 2009


Interesting item that is getting an enormous amount of play in the Spanish-speaking press and very little on the English-speaking side-- Chávez, upon shaking Obama's hand, went out of his way to say "I have waved to Bush with this same hand for eight years. I want to be your friend."

Scats this does support your theory of a North American media bias against the Strong Bolívar. But, then again, our people can only focus on one topic at a time, and Cuba seems to be it.

I want to say something for the record, that is also related to the last post. Nothing Obama has done has surprised me in the slightest. I was saying all along that he was a centrist. All presidents who are not insane (i.e. Bush) LOVE the slow process of "turning the ship of state," as Obama put it to Turkish students. It makes them look studious, intelligent, dignified, etc. Obama will break no molds in diplomacy; even Nixon, for Christ's sake, ate this stuff up.

But I do appreciate gestures-- like it or not they are a huge part of what presidents are about. I would argue, for example, that Chávez's gesture here is meaningful. Obama makes a lot of heartening gestures. They are not revolutionary, as he is not. But they are a decisive break with his destructive predecessor and I am allowed to find them comforting and -nonetheless- be horrified at the bailout, the lack of prosecution of Bush figures, etc. etc.


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