Yes, it's true. Our President, like most Presidents, sometimes shakes hands with dictators or despots, and at Mandela's funeral he shook the hand of Raul Castro of Cuba, brother to Communist dictator Fidel Castro. Immediately Republicans began to howl - here was Obama acting all Communisty and "Palling around with Terroristy." Apparently the GOP Tea Party thinks the President should throw down the gauntlet (like Rand Paul) or pitch a tantrum in public or something. But Obama was at a state funeral it's called "diplomacy" people! It's called being a gentleman! It's called being a President. You have to act like a grown-up when dealing with other world leaders!
So shame on John McCain, of all people. I'd love to have a list of people he's shaken hands with over the years. Having Sarah Palin on his ticket is bad enough!
From Huffington Post:
As he rose to the podium to deliver his speech at the funeral of South African leader Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama took about 20 seconds to shake hands and greet his Cuban colleague (Raoul Castro). The fleeting contact of the leaders’ skin prompted wild speculation about what it all might mean. Does this image of the two leaders symbolize the beginning of a new era?
Given the course of U.S.-Cuba relations over the last five decades, it's safe to say the Obama-Castro handshake probably doesn’t mean a whole lot.
If the president was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba.
~ Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, via The Hill
Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) walked out of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela when Cuban “president” Raúl Castro began speaking.
“Senator Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” said Sean Rushton, Cruz’s communications director. “For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free.”
~ National Review
It gives Raul some propaganda to continue to prop up dictatorial, brutal regime, that’s all it is to prop up his dictatorial voodoo regime. Why should you shake hands with somebody who’s keeping Americans in prison? I mean, what’s the point? Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler.
~ Senator John McCain via FreakoutNation
Ladies and gentlemen, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela. The president was at an international funeral with leaders from all over the world. He didn't choose who's there. They're there to honor Mandela.
~ Secretary of State John Kerry defending the President
Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake, but when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raul Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant.
(Showing Kerry photos of the handshake.)
Raul Castro uses that hand to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates. (Activists) will feel disheartened when they see these photos.
~ Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R-Florida in confrontation with John Kerry
If you thought nobody could possibly be insane enough to compare the Obama-Castro handshake to Hitler, you clearly haven't met John McCain.— Grand Old Parody (@GrandOldParody1) December 11, 2013
McCain is right to criticize Obama for shaking Castro's hand, when he could have punched him like McCain... would... pic.twitter.com/kHueXfpRxY— Grand Old Parody (@GrandOldParody1) December 11, 2013
So....... McCain shook Gadafi's hand, Nixon shook Fidel Castro & Mao's hand, Rumsfeld shook Sadaam's hand, Bush shook Noriega's hand etc,etc— Art Vandalay (@soxfaneast) December 10, 2013
President Obama’s handshake with President Castro was a common & diplomatic decency you belligerent idiots, Sens McCain & Rubio!— Timothy Clark (@tvc3232) December 10, 2013
McCain stayed with Gadafi ‘Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler’ | The Raw Story http://t.co/1LdTq3wDEk— Dorothy Rissman (@stiNgo100) December 10, 2013
Oh and didn't Richard Nixon shook hands with Fidel Castro? Wonder where are Miami Cubans on that one? Also McCain with Qaddafi.— James Saint-Franc Ⓐ (@sirjamesa12) December 11, 2013