(CNN) – President Obama's friendly interactions with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has set off a wave of controversy, but analysts said the leaders' next steps will show if relations have truly improved or if Obama was overstepping boundaries.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez presents a book to President Obama at the Summit of the Americas.
Chavez and Obama were both at the Summit of the Americas, which ended Sunday in Trinidad and Tobago.
On the first day, Obama reached out his hand to Chavez and was seen smiling and patting the Venezuelan leader on the shoulder as the two shook hands.
"With this same hand I greeted Bush eight years ago, I want to be your friend," Chavez said, his office reported.
On the second day, as cameras jockeyed for position, Chavez got up and gave Obama a book, "The Open Veins of Latin America," which documents centuries of American abuse in the region. After the exchange, the book skyrocketed to become one of Amazon's best-sellers.