Harper on Chavez and why Obama makes friends easily

The PM’s weekend at the Summit of the Americas

At the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain this weekend—during which U.S. President Barack Obama declared a “new beginning” with Cuba—Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the President’s “clear desire to listen—not necessarily to agree but to listen—has won him a lot of friends.” Harper, who was worried going in that the discussion would get bogged down, as it has in the past, by conflicting ideologies, said Obama sparked a “new era of dialogue” among the 34 leaders. And despite their political differences, Harper described Hugo Chavez, the other major star of the show, as “affable” and “gregarious.” The PM also said everyone was “grateful” the Venezuelan leader was in a “particularly good mood” this weekend.

New York Times

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