20 April 2009

Vocabulary In the News: Obama, Regional Leaders Discuss Cuba

VOA News - Obama, Regional Leaders Discuss Cubanews_logo

By VOA News
19 April 2009

Venezuela's President Chavez, back right, talks to President Barack Obama,  Trinidad and Tobago, 18 April 2009

Cuba has been a dominant theme at the Summit of the Americas.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and other leaders are pressing Mr. Obama to lift the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

Mr. Obama says he wants to see a change in U.S.-Cuban relations, but also democratic change on the communist-led island. Cuba is excluded from the summit.

This past week, President Obama lifted restrictions on travel and money transfers by Cuban-Americans to the island.

The other main topics among the leaders at the hemispheric meeting in Trinidad and Tobago have been how to revive their economies, maintain trade and keep the global financial crisis from causing more poverty.

Mr. Obama announced Saturday the formation of a $100-million program to help small entrepreneurs in the Western Hemisphere.

The White House says the new fund would loosen credit from banks and get money moving to small businesses.

U.S. officials say the ultimate goal is to raise 250-million dollars for the program.

Similar microfinance loan programs have proved successful in other developing regions.

Several Latin American leaders have blamed the United States for the financial meltdown.

However, the French news agency reports that President Obama's worldwide popularity was in evidence Saturday at the summit with Latin American leaders jostling to have a photograph taken with him.

The agency says the U.S. president agreed to most of the requests, including those of Panama's tourism minister and actor Ruben Blades. 

check-mark-graphic blame verb [transitive]
to say that someone or something is responsible for an accident, problem or bad situation
If it all goes wrong, don’t blame me!
Crime is a complex issue. We can’t simply blame poverty and unemployment.
check-mark-graphicfund noun [countable]
an amount of money you collect, save or invest
an investment/pension fund
check-mark-graphicjostle verb [intransitive]
to compete for something
two candidates jostling for votes
check-mark-graphiclift verb [transitive]
to officially end a rule of law that stopped someone from doing something
They’re hoping to get the ban lifted by the end of the month.
check-mark-graphicloosen verb [transitive]
to make something less strict or controlled
The country will loosen currency controls to encourage spending abroad.
check-mark-graphicmeltdown noun [countable]
a sudden and complete failure of a company, organization or system
fear of a global financial meltdown
check-mark-graphicmoney transfer noun [countable] = wire transfer
the electronic sending of money/funds
check-mark-graphicpressure someone to do something verb [causative]
to try in a determined way to make someone do something or tell you something
Managers are being pressed to ensure safety standards are met.
check-mark-graphicrequest noun [countable]
an act of asking for something in a polite or formal way
Requests for visas will be dealt with immediately.
Three banks have already refused his request for a loan.
check-mark-graphicrevive verb [transitive/intransitive]
to become, or to make someone/something become active, successful or popular again.
The railroad revived the flagging fortunes of the town. 

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