Obama shakes hand of Cuba's Raul Castro at Mandela memorial

JOHANNESBURG Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:35am EST

U.S. President Barack Obama (back L) and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama look at the official program booklet during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Johannesburg December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

U.S. President Barack Obama (back L) and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama look at the official program booklet during the memorial service for late South African President Nelson Mandela at the First National Bank stadium, also known as Soccer City, in Johannesburg December 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama shook the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial to Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, an unprecedented gesture between the leaders of two nations which have been at loggerheads for more than half a century.

Castro smiled as Obama shook his hand on the way to the podium to make a speech at the commemoration for former South African President Mandela, one of the world's greatest peacemakers who died on Thursday.

(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Ed Cropley)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (5)
Seriously this is not news, it is a respectful man,Obama, not turning a memorial service for Mandela into some petty Cuban/American fight. It was a handshake not an ‘unprecedented gesture’.

Anyhow, cue the rightie/Obama haters with their craziness, I am predicting they will now say things like ‘Obama shown his true Communist colors’.

Dec 10, 2013 7:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
Wouldn’t it be great, if Mr Obama invited both Raul and Fidel to the opening game of the Nationals this spring? See if Fidel would be allowed to toss out the first ball? We really have to get over this Castro fixation. “Communism” as practiced in Cuba would collapse without the US propping it up through stupidity.

Dec 10, 2013 8:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
palmer1619 wrote:
And why shouldn’t he shake Castro’s hand? This entire issue of Cuba is ridiculous and absurd. While once there was a reason for the US to be angry, the US has never answered for treating Cuba as the toilet of the US. Get over it.

Dec 10, 2013 9:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.