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21 January 2009

In First Foreign Foray, Obama Heading to Latin America

Despite campaign rhetoric about calming tensions through unconditional talks with hostile adversaries, Obama's remarks in a little noticed interview have already put him on a collision course at the summit with Venezuela's sulphuric president, Hugo Chavez.

In a two-part interview with the Spanish-language Univision television network, broadcast on Jan. 13 and 17, Obama said he was open to talks with Venezuela to improve relations. But in language suggesting a continuity with Bush administration policies, Obama not only labeled Chávez "a force that has interrupted progress in the region," but charged him with "exporting terrorist activities."

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