Finally: Obama shakes hands with Raul Castro

posted at 10:31 am on December 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Charlie Spiering, kismet at today’s memorial service for Mandela. One’s a communist who’s reduced his country to ruins, the other’s Raul Castro.

Seriously, though, some background from Joel Pollak on Castro’s presence:

South Africa has close ties with Cuba because the ruling party, the African National Congress, was supported by Castro during its years of exile and guerrilla warfare against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Many South African leaders, including Mandela, were willing to overlook human rights abuses in Cuba. Today Cuba exports professionals to South Africa to fill a skills shortage partly created by aggressive affirmative action policies.

What’s the protocol for something like this? You’re at the funeral of South Africa’s great conciliator. Castro’s right in front of you — and to my eye, it looks like he positioned himself there deliberately to meet O as he was coming down from the podium. Do you stiff-arm him or do you do a five-second heyhowareya and move on? Here’s what Obama said after he shook hands with another anti-American socialist leader early in his first term:

Rebuffing criticism of the warm greetings he exchanged with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, President Obama said Sunday that the United States, with its overwhelming military superiority and need to improve its global image, could afford to extend such diplomatic “courtesy.”…

He said the 2008 presidential campaign proved that American voters want the president to engage with his counterparts, whether or not they are avowed friends of the U.S.

He said it “was a nice gesture to give me a book. I’m a reader.” The president added that the election was a referendum of sorts on the argument that U.S. solicitude toward foreign leaders could be seen as “weakness.”

“The American people didn’t buy it,” Obama said. “And there’s a good reason the American people didn’t buy it, because it doesn’t make sense.”…

“Its defense budget is probably 1/600th of the U.S.,” he said. “They own [the oil company] Citgo. It’s unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States.”

If that was his line on Chavez, and if he was willing to make phone chitchat this year with the leader of a regime whose motto is “Death to America,” go figure that he’s willing to press the flesh with a Cold War dinosaur who’s recently taken the babiest of baby steps towards liberalization. If anything, rapprochement with Cuba might be his “legacy” fallback option if/when his outreach to Iran collapses. And even if it doesn’t collapse, in the highly unlikely event that he and other western leaders broker a comprehensive nuke deal with Iran, the mullahs will almost certainly demand formal recognition by the U.S. as part of the deal — and O will agree to it. If he can get something for the U.S. from it, he’s not going to let moral objections to how a regime treats its own people, let alone people abroad, bar diplomacy.

By the way, he also shook hands with Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Robert Mugabe. Now’s your chance, Rouhani! The man can’t say no.

Update: From today’s eulogy for Mandela. Just words?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

Update: Joel Pollak notes on Twitter that NBC has quietly deleted its claim that Obama also shook hands with Mugabe. I haven’t seen other reports that they two met; looks like NBC blew it and, rather than issue a correction, simply disappeared the bogus “fact.”


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And Chris Matthews comment this evenig will be

“he came amongst a Communist”

ToddPA on December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

“he came amongst with a Communist”

ToddPA on December 10, 2013 at 12:46 PM

More accurate

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2013 at 12:47 PM

So what’s the over/under on Clinton scoring on
some natives there??

ToddPA on December 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

If Raul Castro had ordered the fool’s family imprisoned and executed, would Barry still have shaken his hand and repeated his now-patented genuflection to the man?

IndieDogg on December 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

“Madiba” was Mandela’s Xhosa clan title, by which he was informally known.
ITguy on December 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Isn’t that the mouse shadow of the second moon?

LegendHasIt on December 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Yes, the man who can’t even build bridges with Republicans shaking hands with a dictator.

But it’s exciting and historic when our imperial president shakes hand with one of the worst human rights violators and terrorist supporters on the planet.

Marcus Traianus on December 10, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Classy: Obama attacks GOP during his Mandela memorial remarks

In America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important . . . There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.

Then there is ‘Mistress Death’ – Christiane Amanpour, who basically has an orgasm as Obama rushes up to shake Raul Castro’s hand…

Whoever linked this memorial to the embarrassing political rally that emerged from the memorial to Paul Wellstone was right on the mark. This is a shameful celebration of communism / socialism that does more to disrespect Mandela than honor him.

Athos on December 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

MeanWhile, ………………………..

https://twitter.com/Reuters

Tweets All / No replies

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics 4m

U.S. still has grave concerns about human rights situation in Cuba: White House aide #developing
=============================

Reuters Politics ‏@ReutersPolitics 12m

Obama’s handshake with Raul Castro was not planned, two did no more than exchange greetings, not a substantive discussion: White House aide

canopfor on December 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Then there is ‘Mistress Death’ – Christiane Amanpour, who basically has an orgasm as Obama rushes up to shake Raul Castro’s hand…

Whoever linked this memorial to the embarrassing political rally that emerged from the memorial to Paul Wellstone was right on the mark. This is a shameful celebration of communism / socialism that does more to disrespect Mandela than honor him.

Athos on December 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

The thread-winning comment from your PJMedia link:

“Por que tienne tiempo para Cuba y no estaba en Gettysburg, Señor Obama? No gusta de su propria historia?”

“Well, I was raised on Speedy Gonza… what?”

Del Dolemonte on December 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/

John McCain
4m
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in response to Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro: ‘Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler’ – @YahooNews
read more on yahoo.com
======================

Nelson Mandela mourned
7m
White House official: Obama’s handshake with Cuba’s Raúl Castro at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was not planned, the 2 did no more than exchange greetings – @Reuters
end of bulletin
================

Nelson Mandela mourned
12m
White House says handshake between Cuban President Raúl Castro and President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was not ‘pre-planned’ – @AprilDRyan
read more on twitter.com
=========================

canopfor on December 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Whoever linked this memorial to the embarrassing political rally that emerged from the memorial to Paul Wellstone was right on the mark. This is a shameful celebration of communism / socialism that does more to disrespect Mandela than honor him.

Athos on December 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

I gladly accept the honor. I did respond to gnatbrain verbaluce about it.

YOU are absolutely right.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Our evil Marxist communist punk Kenyan feels right at home with
the worlds other communists.

Texyank on December 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Impeach the bastard!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Cuban voters I hope see this picture. The leader of the Democrat Party shaking hands with a communist dictator. JFK is rolling over in his grave.

SC.Charlie on December 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Obongo shakes hands before giving head to a fellow communist.

mcgilvra on December 10, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Of course he shook Raoul Castro’s hand, he admires him greatly.

M240H on December 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM

So Mandela got Wellstone’d. Too bad.

22044 on December 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

It’s long past time to have relations with Cuba. Flood them with Disney, McDonalds and all the other cultural crap we vomit and they dont have a prayer.

rickyricardo on December 10, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Did Obama bow?, and to how many world leaders and tyrants.

….and did any of them feel slighted if he didn’t?

PappyD61 on December 10, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Climate Change for the Ruling class means jetting around lecturing the serf class how they need to cutback.

Climate Change for US means WE have to cut back on the water coming out of our showers, we need urinals/toilets you have to flush multiple times or that stink with filters, it means we need black boxes on our cars to be spied on, SMART TV’s that can see into our living rooms to see what we’re doing, and phones that track our every move, and a NANNY STATE to tell us how to eat, raise our kids, and how to think.

Climate Change is just Prosperity prohibition, something that Progressives (since Wilson) have been lusting after for a hundred years.

PappyD61 on December 10, 2013 at 1:54 PM

maybe they will meet later and exchange ideas on what is the best way to screw up a healthcare system.

tommer74 on December 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Lolz!!! That’s not his hand 0′s shaking. Surprised you missed that one Allah. ; )

Bmore on December 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

What a gnatbrain you turn out to be. No wonder many around here gave me grief for assuming otherwise.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Schad –
You make a dipsh*t remark, I’m gonna call it one.
So sorry if some of the sheep here brayed at you having the (occasional) nerve to wander off the echo chamber corral.
I’ve assumed in the past you’re capable (occasionally) of intellectual honesty. Maybe you’ve missed the back pats more than you value being ‘free’.
Again – a dipsh*t remark, that one.
But don’t worry, I’m sure there a plenty here to applaud you for it.
You can always play to the cheap seats.

verbaluce on December 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Nelson Mandela mourned
12m
White House says handshake between Cuban President Raúl Castro and President Obama at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was not ‘pre-planned’ – @AprilDRyan
read more on twitter.com
=========================

[canopfor on December 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM]

HA. The WH doesn’t even care that his tell is obvious to everyone now. Of course it wasn’t pre-planned, but it was planned. That’s why the major media was able to smoothly sell and downplay the event from the get-go, without even stutter or hesitation — the off-the-record backgrounder went out well ahead of time.

Dusty on December 10, 2013 at 2:24 PM

This is a shameful celebration of communism / socialism that does more to disrespect Mandela than honor him.

Athos on December 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Mandela was BFF with Fidel. He would be happy to see this.

INC on December 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Mandela’s Complicated Legacy Difficult to Celebrate for Cuban Exiles

Outside of South Africa, however, Mandela lent his name to a tyrant running his own kind of apartheid system, and the victims and families of Cuban exiles have a duty to their loved ones to speak up before the uncritical eye of the international media.

An avid supporter of Fidel Castro, Mandela visited Havana in 1991 and praised the Cuban Revolution as “a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” Castro responded with praise in kind, as did state-sponsored media for decades to come. “South African and Cuba treasure an inextricable nexus of brotherhood,” gushed the Castro regime’s personal propaganda outlet Granma, “symbolized in the ties of friendship that unite the two exceptional figures in the histories of both nations: Nelson Mandela y Fidel Castro.”

Much is made about the fact that Mandela felt a kinship with Castro over his decision to send up to 10,000 young Cubans to their deaths in Angola. Mandela himself said that few countries could “point to a greater record of selflessness” when describing this purge of Cuban youth. But Mandela did not stop at saying positive things about the regime. He insisted on telling its victims that he was choosing to ignore them.

“Who are they to call for the observance of human rights in Cuba?” he said on his visit there in 1991. “Who are they to teach us about human rights?”

They are the millions, like me, who come from families exiled from their countries because of their beliefs. They are the political prisoners rotting in jail because they believe in social equality, free markets, a solid constitution—the things Mandela gave his people but so callously denied mine. Prisoners who died in captivity, spending even more time there than Mandela himself for opposing Castro’s radical pivot to communism, which he promised his early supporters he would never turn to; prisoners who personally pleaded for Mandela to speak up for them, to fight with them for freedom.

He may have fought for the freedom of oppressed South Africans, but he did not fight for the freedom or equality of my people; instead he actively supported their oppression. By visiting Fidel Castro and praising the revolution, Mandela lent his grand name and hard-earned reputation to the cause of a brutal mass murderer who imprisoned thousands for their politics, forced one million to flee their tiny homeland for the same, and continues to oppress people who have been torn apart family by family, barely recognizing each other across a 90-mile gap.

It is difficult to mourn Mandela uncritically when his answer to the firing squads, the purges, the labor camps both my grandparents spent three years working under to flee to Spain was, essentially, “Who are you for me to care?” If Mandela himself so demonstratively refused to care about the plight of those who are my blood, perhaps he would understand why it takes a Herculean effort to care about his.

INC on December 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Why didn’t he just bow?

BoomJunkie on December 10, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Why didn’t he just bow?
BoomJunkie on December 10, 2013 at 3:04 PM


He Did.

LegendHasIt on December 10, 2013 at 3:12 PM

David Burge‏ @iowahawkblog

Difference between Astro and Castro? One is a talking cartoon dog from the 60′s, the other is a Hanna-Barbera character.

ITguy on December 10, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Notice again, he approach’s the other one, what an act of weakness that is.

jake49 on December 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM

American presidents should avoid shaking the hand of dictators, especially those that have American blood on theirs. One example of many: Raul Castro was Minister of Defense in 1996 when Cuban Air Force MiGs, cold-bloodedly and over international airspace, destroyed two civilian U.S. airplanes with four American rescue workers on board. President Clinton rightly condemned the attack as cowardly, while Raul Castro decorated his pilots for bravery….

The Castro brothers have been vying for the world to see a handshake with a U.S. president for over 50 years. (President Clinton did shake hands with Fidel at a U.N. summit in 2000, but there was no photo.) They knew it would represent a form of recognition, something they forfeited by virtue of presiding over a military dictatorship, and their support for violence and anti-American terrorist movements and governments on three continents.

Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake: At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service agents and diplomats were under orders to make sure such a “photo op” so highly desired by the Castros did not happen.

With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.

I would differ that this wasn’t a mistake. Obama could care less.

INC on December 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Obama to Castro, “Just a couple more years and I’ll have the flexibility to fully embrace communism and rule forever.”

kirkill on December 10, 2013 at 3:25 PM

He’ll blow him after the funeral under a pictures of Chavez and Marx.

Pathetic, just pathetic.

Makes Carter look like Reagan.

Bubba Redneck on December 10, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Im sorry but ive seen enough “West Wing” episodes to know that if the President of the United States does not want to been seen in the company of someone, and especially if he does not want to have to shake someone’s hand…..it wont happen.

This was allowed to happen because Obama sees Cuba as another victim of US capitalism and racial oppression. He shook hads with a Castro because he wanted to….nothing happens to the President in public by pure chance.

Obama’s speeches are as appalling as his judge of character. His hypocrisy knows no bounds.

alecj on December 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

verbaluce on December 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

verbaluce, don’t be a coward. If you are going to curse, curse. Dipshit.

Bmore on December 10, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Heh: Fake but accurate:

LegendHasIt on December 10, 2013 at 4:53 PM

verbaluce on December 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

The only one cheap, here, is you.

I always, 100%, stand by my remarks, cheap or rich.

I meant what I typed and it’s true.

Uncivilized louts. GWB did more for them than obama ever will, and they are too dumb to know it. Plus, they are jungle-like at a funeral, just like they were in Minnesota. Nothing you can do about it.

Schadenfreude on December 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Just a couple weeks after the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and the leader of the free world pulls this stunt?

Christien on December 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

I don’t think Netanyahu was there.

TarheelBen on December 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Absolutely shameful.

bluegill on December 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM

One’s a communist who’s reduced his country to ruins, the other’s Raul Castro.

Statement of the YEAR!

Vigilante on December 10, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Probably already linked, but let’s not forget the s**t-eating grin on Obama’s face when he crossed the room to shake Hugo Chavez’s hand a few years ago:

http://www.washingtonwatch.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/obama-chavez.jpg

Kindred spirits, all of them.

Missy on December 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM

This has already been posted I’m sure, but I’d bet money he didn’t know who he was shaking hands with

whatabunchoflosers on December 10, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Some hand shakes and other hair raising associations through the years.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42855_About_President_Obama_Shaking_Raul_Castros_Hand

stingray9813 on December 10, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Reminds me of Obama bowing to foreign leaders:

http://youtu.be/5U6fL7Y4BZA

Obama bowing to China:
http://youtu.be/FMutCSBsXKY

bluegill on December 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Reminds me of Obama bowing to foreign leaders:

bluegill on December 10, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Are you aware that there are pics of Eisenhower, Bush and Nixon bowing?

stingray9813 on December 10, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Why would anybody get all hot and bothered over Obama shaking hands with another communist. This guy has done so much damage to this country and nobody seems to get excited over that, but a hand shake bothers them. Heaven help us!

savage24 on December 10, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Birds of a Red Commie kind fl*ck together.

Best guess he will get off Air Force One and give U.S. the secret finger jester as he returns to screw U.S. some more.

He hates.
He hates U.S..
He hates and takes action.
He will hate to the end.

He is hate.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

stinkray

?? little green stimk balls,,,, wow you do know how to drag bottom

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I guess I crossed a line … my post is gone. I just posted a long list of Obama Constitutional violations, violations of the law, scandals, lies…you know, how much these two have in common and how much Obama envies Castro, who is a real, official dictator instead of a wanna-be…

easyt65 on December 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

It means little who do not comprehend the significance of the act, but I wonder if anyone is compliling a series of photos showing the depth of Obowmao’s BOW’s to foreigh dignitaries.

I still say the House of Saud is the deepest since the Japanese minister genuflected on the deck of the Missouri in Tokoyo harbor.

Missilengr on December 12, 2013 at 12:38 AM

The handshake of death … it’s all downhill for Raul now!

kregg on December 12, 2013 at 5:26 AM

Comment pages: 1 2