Obama caves in to Venezuela dictator
The big news coming out of the Summit of the Americas being held in Panama City is that President Obama did the grip and grin with Cuba's dictator Raul Castro.
President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba shook hands here on Friday night, and American officials said they would hold discussions on Saturday during a gathering of regional leaders, in the first full-fledged meeting between presidents of the United States and Cuba in more than a half-century.
The expected encounter was not on Mr. Obama’s official schedule, but it held deep significance for the regional meeting, as the president’s move to ease tensions with Cuba has overshadowed the official agenda.
Mr. Obama is nearing a decision on removing Cuba’s three-decade-old designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, citing progress in the effort to re-establish diplomatic ties after half a century of hostilities.
But the "historic" handhake overshadowed the real news coming out of the summit. When President Obama imposed some mild sanctions on 7 Venezuelan officials for taking part in the drug trade last month, he called the regime "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
Apparently - not so unusual.
Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro, is claiming “victory” after President Obama said in an interview earlier this week that “Venezuela is not a threat.”
Maduro is attributing Obama's supposed change of stance to his initiative of gathering 10 million signatures protesting "U.S. imperialism."
“Venezuela is not a threat to the U.S. and the U.S. is not a threat to Venezuela,” Obama told EFE, apparently changing the language used in the March 9 executive order announcing sanctions against seven government officials and calling the situation in Venezuela “an unusual threat.”
“This rectification of vocabulary means a lot and it was possible thanks to the help we received from other Latin American governments and the entire world,” Maduro said Thursday to a crowd gathered in front of the Miraflores Presidential Palace.
He said that Obama’s change of language could open a “new era” of relations between the U.S. and Venezuela.
How can you say that a regime is an "unusual" threat the national security and then a month later pull an Emily Litella and basically say, "Never mind"?
Former Obama campaign speechwriter now national security expert Ben Rhodes explains:
Asked whether the U.S. was walking back from its previous depiction of Venezuela as a national security threat, a State Department spokesman, Justen Thomas, referred to remarks by a deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, at a press briefing this week in which he said: "The wording [of the executive order], which got a lot of attention, is completely pro forma. This is a language that we use in executive orders around the world. So the United States does not believe that Venezuela poses some threat to our national security. We, frankly, just have a framework for how we formalize these executive orders."
By his side was Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, a willing signer of the petition that will be delivered this weekend to President Obama at the Summit of the Americas taking place in Panama City.
Obama reminds me of the punch drunk boxer, cowering in the corner, covering up, as the champ pummels him with blow after blow after blow. It appears that his entire second term will be spent caving in to the thugs and evil fanatics of the world who have been largely kept in a box by presidents of both parties since the end of the cold war. They have been released now, free to run wild and dominate and bully their neighbors - with the president of the United States their chief enabler.
But we shouldn't be surprised. This is the foreign policy that the most radical liberals have been wanting for 40 years; a humbled, apologetic United States, playing second fiddle to the United Nations, agreeing with every claim of "imperialism" made by every tin pot dictator in all the benighted cesspools of the world. Obama believes it's time for the US to be taught a lesson through humiliation. And school has just begun.