The X Fact(her) - Keep Your Enemies Close, Your Friends Closer

AllHipHop Staff


is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know

your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle."– The Art of War, Sun Tzu

It was the handshake heard round the world.

Prez Obama and Venezuelan President (aka Dictator) Hugo Chavez’s crossed paths at the recent Summit of the Americas.

Chavez is best known for his anti-American views, support of Castro and

communist Cuba, standing up for the poor man and trying to united

Latina America and various third-world countries to combat what he

considers the evil American Empire.


is rich in natural resources including petroleum, natural gas, iron

ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower and diamonds. It’s

because of this that Chavez has gotten a platform at all. He shuns our

country publicly, yet we still would like to do business with him and he knows it.

The United States it the largest buyer of Venezelan oil. There’s no

coincidence that the book Chavez handed Prez Obama before extending his

hand for a shake was "The Open Veins of Latin America," published in 1971 by Uruguayan Eduardo Galeano.

Two powerful men shook hands.

Some feel Obama b***hed up, showing that the years of cold shouldering presented by the Bush administration melted away.

“How can we be a powerhouse if we shaking hands with all of our previous enemies?” they ask puzzled.

It’s not a big deal when you think about it on a common man’s level but politically this is a big freaking deal.


if you look at the picture you can tell that Obama didn’t really want

to shake dude's hand. Chavez is like your crazy rich uncle that folks

tolerate at the family reunion cause you hope he’ll bless with you a

$20 bill after you let him hug you.

To understand where all this comes from we've got to back to to 2002.


president of Venezuela for four years, is kidnapped and survives a

coup-attempt which he strongly believes was supported by the United

States. it's not a far fetched theory when you realize the U.S. has

been behind some coups including Iran in 1953 and a failed Iraq coup lead by a CIA -paid Sadaam Hussein in 1959

. The United States government (read: Bush and ‘em) claims that Chávez

is a threat to democracy in Latin America. Chavez makes it clear that

he is anti-American and positions himself as a champion for Latin

America and other third-world countries.


resulted was a standoff of wills for the next six years. Chavez

objected to what he called the “Evil American Empire”. Last fall he

kicked the US diplomat out of Venezuela and voiced the same distain for

Obama as he did for Bush, considering them to be of the same cloth.


hate for Bush ran deep. On September 20, 2006 he gave this memorable

speech at the UN where he called President Bush “the devil”. Peep the audio at

1:20 and listen for the laughter.

Fast forward to present day. Political pundits are gagging over the handshake:


in Latin America, enemies of America are going to use the picture of

Chavez smiling and meeting with the president as proof that Chavez is

now legitimate, that he's acceptable," Republican Newt Gingrich, a

former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, told NBC's "Today"



Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity that

President Obama’s handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “was

not helpful” and could lead “foes” of the U.S. to “think they’re

dealing with a weak president.”


downplayed the whole ordeal and credits his visits overseas and

interaction with once shunned leaders as creating opportunities in the


Bush played it his way and failed miserable.

Already, Chavez took Obama’s reaction as a positive sign, suggesting he will return a Venezuelan ambassador to Washington.

Perhaps Obama is debunking the angry black man myth and switching it up.

He’s proven his friendly smile and cool demeanor can be infectious.

- CH

The X(fact)Her is a weekly column that appears

on Started on Inauguration Day 2009 by the League of Young Voter's Education Fund, is a non-profit initiative that aims to keep young people engaged in the political process through activism and community involvement. Please visit to

find out how you can get involved right now! For more on Chloé A. Hilliard visit