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Gonsalves claims to have broken the ice between Chavez and Obama

Gonsalves claims to have broken the ice between Chavez and Obama

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has disclosed that he played a part in ‘breaking the ice’ between American President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking on Monday, November 29, at the handing over of No Income houses to residents of Manning Village at Byera, stated that it was the first time that he has commented on the issue.

He said he saw it fit to comment considering the contribution of Venezuela to the building of the houses and to development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Referring to the famous photograph of Obama and Chavez greeting each other at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in April 2009, Gonsalves indicated that he told both Presidents that “they have to talk” to each other.

“I am the person who went to both Chavez and Obama and say you all have to break the ice, you all have to talk,” he said.

Gonsalves explained that while at in a hotel room in Trinidad, he heard Hillary Clinton making remarks on television “saying that she was welcoming the remarks made by president Raoul Castro concerning dialogue with the United States.”

He added that when President Obama arrived at the meeting in Trinidad, he spoke to him about Chavez.

“I said, I have formed the impression that President Chavez will like to have a new start with you. I said, I know as a fact that he appreciates you and you must find an opportunity to speak. My brother, Obama said: ‘Ralph, I will talk to him,’ Gonsalves explained.

He further explained that when Chavez arrived at the meeting, he told him that he must greet Obama. “We were lining up and I said to him (Chavez) you must go and greet president Obama. I went to Obama and said, Chavez is going to greet you and that is how the meeting took place,” Gonsalves said. (OS)

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