Friday, February 15, 2008

"We are going to talk about political prisoners in Cuba"

The Center for Democracy in the Americas transcribed remarks Senator Obama made about Latin America while campaigning here in Virginia last week. There’s video at CDA’s site, here. Here’s the transcript:

I don't actually agree with Chavez's policies and how he's dealing with his people. I think he has consolidated power. I think he has strong despotic tendencies. I think that he has been using oil revenue to stir up trouble against the United States. So, he is not a leader that I admire.

But we can't, our Latin America policy can not just be "I oppose Castro" and "I oppose Chavez" and that's the end of it. Because we've been neglecting, (applause) we've been neglecting Latin America even in our own back yard. We've been so obssessed with Iraq and so obsessed with the Middle East.

In the meantime, China has been sending diplomats and economic development specialists and building roads all throughout, all throughout, Latin America. They are securing trade agreements and contracts. And we ignore Latin America at our own peril.

So, I intend to visit the countries of Latin America. I intend to put together an alliance for progress in the 21st century. We are going to strengthen trade ties. We are going to talk about human rights. (applause) We are going to talk about human rights and we are going to talk about freedom of the press and we are going to talk about political prisoners in Cuba.

But we're also going to recognize that over time what we want to develop is the kind of relationship of mutual dignity, mutual respect. We don't have, the notion that Latin American countries are a junior partner to the United States, that is outmoded. We need to be full partners with those countries, show them the respect that they deserve.


Anonymous said...

Obama is on spot here. Absolutedly. This is a guy with enough sensibility to realize that lack of respect from the US to Latin American countries has been a major factor behind the political frustration in the region. I do believe that Obama can make a difference. It took a Cuban Revolution, Civil Rights movements, Viet-Nam War, Latin America insubordination and reactionary dictatorships, Iranian Revolution, Islamic Fundamentalism, Bush war, green-house effect and many other things like these, for the most powerful and proud nation on earth to produce a movement like the one lead by Obama. I may be celebrating too early, but I know that if it were not Obama, it will be someone else in a not too distant future. I'm sure about this simply because Respect is the right thing to do.
Go, Obama, Go!!!

Anonymous said...

This part of the speech is awesome! This is the path and is definetly spot on. Never heard such intelligent words from a politician.

obama rocks and he has tons of substance, underscored by Phil's excerpt .

Anonymous said...

This is smart policy. Get the apes knuckle draggers (republican neo-cons) out of power!

Anonymous said...

Obama has about as much substance as cotton candy...

Phil Peters said...

This was extemporaneous, in response to a student's question.

Anonymous said...

Well, I voted for Obama and if he wins the nomination, I'll vote for him in November as well. I truly wish he would expell the "neo-cons" from power, but I think that is easier said than done. Those guys won't go. They have an agenda and will probably try to use Obama to implement their agenda too. At least they will try, thinking perhaps that it will be less objectionable if a black president is in the White House. I hope they do not succeed.

Sharpshooter said...

I agree with the commenter who said "Obama has a much substance as cotton candy". After all, how long can one can get away with repeating the same mantra over and over again, and the same stories about the teacher who has two jobs to make endes meet, or the plant that has been closed in your town and the jobs went overseas? I for one, am tired of listening to those same stories everytime he makes a speech. Change,Change, Yes we can".
Yes, that is all fine and dandy dude, but can you tells us something with substance about those changes before you are making your home at 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave? I want to know what those changes are all about, before I trust you with the case with the "football". You know what I mean, Obbie?

Anonymous said...

But obama does have substance, he is just choosing to focus on broad themes/vision at this point.

the dude as Harvard Law degree and was editor of prestigious national law journal - no one can do this if they "have substance as cotton candy".

Finally, consider the intellect of Bush - no future president - republican or democrat will be as stupid (and brutish) as Bush. He is a frat. boy with silver spoon that somehow made it into the office, spouting out platitudes and pursing a red neck agenda.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he's going to pay more attention to Latin America by "renegotiating" (i.e. gutting) NAFTA and the bilateral FTA's. He has stated repeatedly that he's going to take America in a protectionist direction starting with NAFTA. Then he's going to yank aid to countries fighting narco terrorism such as Colombia and Mexico. He'll definitely have some fans in Latin America--on the far left.

Sharpshooter said...

Anon from 12:32pm
Bush is not running for office this time, so he is inmaterial and irrelevant to the conversation.(thank God there is no 3rd term!),
We are dealing with Barack Hussein Obama now and he is the one running for office of President. Don't compare the past with the future. Bush is irrelevant in this election, but I still want more substance than platitudes and words of hope.
YES WE CAN demand more from any candidate. Little things like positions, proyects for changing the direction of the Govt. and plans for carrying out the proyect for changes. That should not be too much to demand from any candidate who is running for highest office of the land, isn't it?

Sharpshooter said...

There is a lot we don't know about Mr. Obama and he still remains a mystery. For those with inquiring minds and who can look at things with both eyes and not only through the left one, it may be worth a visit to this blog from New Zeland.

I found a lot of things there that were very disturbing, but then what the hell do I know, I am only a right wing fanatic who is incapable of seeing the light that shines and blinds us emanating from the new darling of the Left.