(CNN) – Minutes after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was announced, scores of his fellow citizens made their way to El Arepazo, a Venezuelan restaurant outside Miami.
The colors of the Venezuelan flag - red, blue and yellow - predominated among the crowd of about 200 people, many of whom cheered and waved tiny flags as they bellied up to a buffet stocked with "pabellon criollo," the traditional Venezuelan dish of rice, beans, shredded beef and stewed black beans.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama received one endorsement he definitely did not ask for Monday: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The leftist leader and strong man, who has used strong anti-United States language in his political rallies and official speeches, told state-owned VTV, "In the point of view of his politics, if I were voting, I would vote for Obama and I believe that if Obama was from Caracas, he would vote for Chavez, I am positive."
(CNN) - Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama traded barbs Wednesday over Obama's national security assessment of Venezuela in an interview, with Romney calling the comments "stunning and shocking" and Obama's campaign saying Romney “was only playing into the hands” of that nation’s dictator.
Romney was joined by several prominent Republicans as well as the Republican National Committee, which called Obama "out of touch.” Obama demonstrates "an alarmingly naïve understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face in the Western Hemisphere," Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said in a statement.
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) - Drawing on 2006 remarks in which he compared former U.S. President George Bush to the devil, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking at the United Nations Thursday, said, "It doesn't smell like sulfur anymore."
In a rambling speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Chavez spoke highly of current President Barack Obama, saying he is an "intelligent man" and comparing him to President John F. Kennedy.
"I hope God will protect Obama from the bullets that killed Kennedy," he said. "I hope Obama will be able to look and see, genuinely see, what has to be seen and bring about a change."
Three years ago, Chavez spoke at the gathering the day after Bush spoke, and said the lectern "still smells of sulfur."
But on Thursday he looked around the podium and said, "It doesn't smell of sulfur. It's gone. No, it smells of something else. It smells of hope."
He did, however, criticize some U.S. policies, questioning whether there are "two Obamas."
(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.
(CNN) - The big winner out of this week's Summit of the Americas in Trinidad may be a decades-old book about the exploitation of Latin American people throughout history.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose anti-U.S. rhetoric has included calling former President George W. Bush the devil, approached Obama Friday and handed him a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent."
In just hours, the book, by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, rocketed to bestseller status on online book store Amazon.com. The English version was at No. 14 on the site's list of top sellers. On Friday, it had been No. 60,280.
The book topped Amazon's "Movers and Shakers" list on Saturday - with a reported 466,378-percent increase in popularity on the site.
It was at least the second time Obama and Chavez spoke at a summit during which Obama made overtures to improve U.S. relations with many of its Latin
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CNN) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave U.S. President Obama a book Saturday on Latin America.
The leftist leader, who once likened President George W. Bush to the devil, shook Obama's hand and handed him "Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano.
Asked later what he thought of the book, Obama jokingly said he thought it was one of Chavez's books. "I was going to give him one of mine," he quipped.
Obama and Chavez are attending the fifth Summit of the Americas, a gathering of representatives from 34 countries.
Asked if the encounters with Chavez were paving the way for a meeting, Obama simply responded, "I think we're making progress at the summit."
On Friday, Obama and Chavez saw each other and shook hands. Chavez's press office said Obama walked up to Chavez to greet him. It called the meeting "historic."
"President Chavez expressed his hope that relations between the two countries would change," it said, quoting Chavez as having told his U.S. counterpart: "Eight years ago with this same hand I greeted Bush. I want to be your friend."
(CNN) – In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, the Obama administration unveiled a plan to buy toxic assets from banks to unclog jammed credit lines, but critics say it’s a risky move. Will the president’s plan help you acquire money for homes, cars, and small businesses, or will it be a multi-million dollar waste of money? CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian takes a look.
Plus: Is Afghanistan the new Vietnam? Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos and Democratic Strategist Steve McMahon talk about how the war could shape President Obama’s legacy in Monday’s Strategy Session.
Also: The Latin American leader who called President Bush the devil is now calling President Obama “ignorant.” CNN’s Zain Verjee has the story.
Finally: Whose anti-terror policy makes America safer? President Obama takes some heat from former Vice President Dick Cheney on closing Gitmo and the president fires back. Republican Strategist Alex Castellanos and Democratic Strategist Paul Begala “Talk Politics.”
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