There’s the old Hollywood joke about the actress who rambles on about her own career until, sensing her excess, she stops herself with, “Enough about me. Let’s talk about you.” And then she asks, “So tell me, what do you think of my career?”
The Mexico City dailies, which rarely run non-Mexico-related stories on their front pages, covered the first day of the Americas Summit in Panama with a predictable solipsism worthy of our self-absorbed actress. At an event including the first public meeting of the U.S. and Cuban presidents after their announced detente, and Venezuela’s threatening fireworks, four out of the five major dailies give us these headlines:
El Universal: “I admire what Enrique did: Obama”
Milenio: “Energy reform sensible: Obama”
Reforma: “I admire Enrique for the change: Obama”
Excélsior: “Obama admires Peña's reforms”
Obama has praised last year’s reforms before. So has just about every other world leader. It’s automatic, like genuflecting at the pew. It’s not news. It’s not what the summit is about.
La Jornada took a more newsworthy approach, but can’t quite bring itself to look at a U.S. administration entirely positively: “Obama greets Castro while stirring up dissidents.”
The point being made is that the U.S. president is two-faced, having offset his cooperation with the Cuban government by meeting with anti-Castro dissidents at the summit site. The protesters, it was said, were financed by the forces of imperialism, including the United States.
In other words, we're expected to believe that Barack Obama went to Panama to hasten friendly relations with Cuba, but hired troublemakers to protest his own efforts.