Chavez speaks of ‘good start’ in ties with Obama

April 19th, 2009 - 5:24 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Port of Spain, April 19 (DPA) The first meeting between US President Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez was a “good start”, the Venezuelan president said Saturday.
“We have started to talk with Obama, and in itself that is a start, a good start. I believe we have started with positive steps,” Chavez told reporters at the Summit of the Americas underway in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It is time we have the true start of a new history, that there is a balance, that domination mechanisms end,” Chavez said.

The outspoken Venezuelan used a much less aggressive tone than that of recent days. “I have no doubt that a greater rapprochement will follow.”

Chavez went on the offensive in the run-up to the summit and said earlier this week that he would reject its final declaration.

However, during his stay in the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, he shared a few friendly moments with Obama.

Chavez even gave the US president a copy of the essay Las venas abiertas de America Latina (The Open Veins of Latin America), a classic by Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano, in the hope that Obama would “learn” about the region.

With two broad grins on their faces, the two presidents greeted each other with a traditional “solidarity” handshake Friday.

The gesture melted eight years of frost between the two countries - a time span when Chavez taunted former president George W. Bush as the personification of evil.

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