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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Obama-Chavez handshake: the sign of differents times

Right-wing nuts must be going crazier (if that is possible). Warmongers must be disappointed. Why?

Our President shook the hand of President Chavez. Not only that, but they actually exchanged smiles.

To think that only a few months or years ago, we were accused of trying to orchestrate a couple of coups in Venezuela to remove (or possibly assassinate) its democraticaly-elected president. (well it would not be the first time we - our CIA in specific - overthrow and undermine the results of democratic elections when they bring people who want to serve their people rather than our corporations or policies)

It is certainly a sign of different times when our President actually respects leaders of other countries; when our president says something that makes sense (something other than smoke them out; or you are either with us or with the terrorists).

I and many other Americans got really tired of the cowboy approach to international conflicts and disagreements. Such an approach might work in a Crawford Ranch while herding cows, neo-cons, Blair and other lapdogs, but it does not work with smart and self-respecting leaders and people.

A handshake, a smile, respect, intelligence, and genuine interest in dialogue can make a whole lot of difference in promoting peace and stability in our world.

President Obama, my family and I are proud we voted for you.


AP story

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Presidents Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez have met for the first time, shaking hands as the Summit of the Americas gets under way in Trinidad and Tobago.

Photos released by the Venezuelan government show the two smiling and Obama touching Chavez on the shoulder.

The Venezuelan presidency says Obama initiated the handshake. It quotes Chavez as telling Obama he hopes for better relations between their nations.

Chavez also reportedly said Friday: "With this same hand I greeted Bush eight years ago. I want to be your friend."

As recently as last week, Chavez expressed a desire to "reset" relations with Washington.

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