Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama at the Summit of the Americas

Obama has been in Trinidad and Tobago for the past several days for the "Summit of the Americas" meeting of North, Central and South American leaders.

On the first day, the media coverage of the Summit focused on criticism - by Hugo Chavez and others - of the US embargo on Cuba (notwithstanding the Obama administration's loosening of travel restrictions for Cuban emigrants). Chavez et al. pointed out the inconsistency of our willingness to engage in North Korea Iran versus continued intransigence when it comes to Cuba. Raul Castro also made some comments that were interpreted as emphasizing the ongoing disagreements between the US and Cuba, as opposed to talking about improvements in the relationship.

Today's Post has a very interesting article about Obama having talked, during the course of this Summit, considerably more about his race than he did during the recent European trip:
In talking about his race and the backgrounds of his counterparts, Obama is associating himself more closely than his predecessors did with Latin America's indigenous, black and mixed-race underclass, which has long identified the United States with economic policies that benefit the elite of European descent far more than them.

The approach has helped to reduce, though not eliminate, the expected political strife between Obama and such populist leaders as Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Bolivia's Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of his country.

No comments:

Post a Comment