WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has returned from his Latin America summit claiming progress.
On Sunday, the president said the key was breaking free from stale debates and old ideologies.
Click play to watch analysis of President Obama's performance at the summit by CBN News Latin America Correspondent Stan Jeter.
The president reached out specifically to both Cuba and Venezuela. But his friendly interaction with Hugo Chavez created a backlash. Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada called Obama "irresponsible."
The president scoffed at criticism that outreach shows weakness, suggesting the issue was settled on last year's campaign trail.
"The whole notion was that somehow if we showed courtesy or opened up dialogue with governments that had previously been hostile to us that that somehow would be a sign of weakness," Obama said. "The American people didn't buy it."
Perhaps the summit's most contentious issue was the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Latin American leaders urged Obama to lift the ban, but he resisted.