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When it comes to Venezuela, Obama has achieved more in 100 days than his predecessor did in eight years.
The outcome? It looks as though relations will return to how they were a year ago, with diplomats reinstated and channels of communication reopened.
But a couple of photo opportunities aside, there is still a long way to go in repairing relations that have bristled with tension between the two countries since Chavez came to power some 10 years ago.
Here in Venezuela, Obama and Chavez’s newly found friendship has been largely welcomed but also met with indifference and skepticism.
The opposition media has been largely quiet since the handshake and there has been some disquiet. The belief is that Obama is condoning Chavez’s systematic rout of opposition candidates.
Pro-Chavez media, meanwhile, warns that Obama is a wolf disguised as a sheep. “Obama is a laboratory experiment,” wrote Nelson Lucena in Aporrea, a pro-Chavez blog. “He will fail as much in his internal policies as in his external ones, for neither his government, his advisers and his cabinet are different to the advisers, ministers and programs of his predecessors.”
However, it won’t be hard to beat the relationship Chavez had with Bush.
That is at least something.