Before the inaugural session of the 5th Summit of the Americas, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, walked up to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, to greet him.
Both presidents hook hands in a historic greeting, following years of tension during the Bush Administration when relations between Washington and Caracas deteriorated.
President Chávez expressed his hope that relations between the two countries would change to President Obama. “Eight years ago with this same hand I greeted Bush. I want to be your friend,” President Chávez said upon receiving a greeting from President Obama.
President Obama then thanked the Venezuelan President.
On several occasions, President Chávez has stated that the only thing he wants from the United States is respect for Venezuela and its sovereignty.
Prensa Presidencial, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / April 17, 2009