President Obama is meeting with leaders from both North and South American countries at the Summit of the Americas this weekend, and one of the issues surrounding the summit is whether or not Obama will interact with Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. Obama has publicly stated that he will speak with Chavez should he initiate conversation, and Chavez wants to restore US-Venezuelan relations to the level that they were at under President Clinton (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/17/obama.chavez/index.html).
Similarly, Obama has cracked open our doors to Cuba since he began his presidency, allowing for more freedom of movement of both capital and of people between the US and Cuba. He lifted restrictions on Cuban-Americans that prevented them from sending money to relatives in Cuba, and he also removed restrictions on visiting their families back in Cuba. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/17/us.cuba/index.html?iref=newssearch).
Are these steps in the right direction for Obama if he wants to make America look like a country that is much more willing to hash out its differences with other countries rather than shut its doors to them as its policy had for the past 8 years?