Cuba

OMG! Obama Shook Raul Castro's Hand! Assume Outrage!

Maybe some actions don't actually speak louder than words

|

OMG, they touched! I hope Obama got his cootie shot first.
SABC

That President Barack Obama shook Cuban President Raul Castro's hand at Nelson Mandela's funeral is currently considered a "top story" by Google. Actual physical contact between U.S. and Cuban leaders is a rare thing, The Telegraph notes:

The handshake between the two historic enemies came as they attended a ceremony in Johannesburg to celebrate the late South African leader's ability to foster reconciliation.

The gesture—which comes despite half a century of hostilities—came as Mr Obama made his way to a podium to deliver a speech. It is only the second time ever that a US president has shaken the hands of a Cuban Communist leader. President Bill Clinton was the first to do so in 2000 after a lunch during a United Nations summit in New York, when he shook hands with Mr Castro's brother, Fidel.

On that occasion, the White House initially denied the handshake had taken place but later backtracked, saying it had been instigated by Mr Castro, who had approached Mr Clinton. Unlike the latest occasion, however, the exchange was not photographed.

Under diplomatic protocols established years ago, Cuba's president and Washington's representatives are rarely invited to the same events. If they do, the meeting is choreographed so that they are not likely to meet face to face.

Subsequently Twitter seemed to turn weird in a way I hadn't experienced before. There's an assumption now that folks on the right reacted to this incident with faux outrage. I follow folks across the political spectrum and I've seen tweets eye-rolling at possible conservative objections to the handshake from tweeters on the left. Oddly, though, I'm not seeing the actual faux outrage from the right. Time quickly tried to steal from BuzzFeed's playbook and posted a list of people "freaking out" about the handshake on Twitter. But many of the responses are actually just sarcastic jokes or assumptions about the right's outrage. Maybe that's the point, and it flew over my head, too. It is an interesting comment about our use of social media that we've come to expect so much pearl-clutching at everything politicians or celebrities do that we now just automatically assume it. (BuzzFeed itself simply posted a couple of pictures and an animated GIF of the handshake. Meanwhile, Fox News' reporting on the handshake seems to lack much outrage.)

After the handshake, Obama's speech at the funeral criticized oppressive governments:

"Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship and who they love," the president said.

"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," Obama added. "There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people."

More Reason on Cuba here and a recent argument to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba is here.

UPDATE: And right after I posted this, social media actually does start up the outrage machine over the president shooting a selfie at the funeral memorial.

NEXT: Same Sex Marriages in England and Wales To Begin in March

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. presidents used to shake hands with Soviet leaders all the time and continue to do so with the Chinese. Good grief. Seriously?

    1. This is a 21st Century scandal. The finger waging began before pearl clutching.

      1. OMG! I AMmeh.

    2. The only thing that gives the progtard media and its enablers joy is criticizing conservatives for reacting to something the “wrong” way. This is the entire plot of The Daily Show.

      1. This is also why The Atlantic devoted like a half dozen stories about Ted Cruz’s Facebook page.

  2. “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,” Obama added. “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.”

    Look in the mirror pal. And then there are the people who think Mandela’s legacy wasn’t all that great anyway…

    1. Laughing at the irony is the only way to listen to an Obama harangue.

      1. The irony of the contrast is actually kind of sickening. Mandela had all the justification in the world to despise his white oppressors, and somehow he found it in him to forgive them and work with them.

        Obama on the other hand loathes white people and anyone who disagrees with him about anything with absolutely no justification for his appalling attitude whatsoever. This assclown has been treated like virtual royalty by this country practically since the day he was born.

        1. Where do you get this shit?

          1. His first book, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, “typical white person”; do you need me to go on, dipshit?

            1. What from his first book (honest question)?

              1. The one that Ayers confirmed he ghost-wrote himself.

                1. I think Ayers was being sarcastic, but I do believe he was the ghostwriter. Obama’s earlier writings are pretty poor, but that book is well-written and in a style similar to Ayers’. And it has been confirmed that Ayers “helped” with it.

            2. Read it cover to cover I’m sure.

              1. Read it cover to cover I’m sure.

                Easier to do when the pages aren’t stuck together with semen every other chapter.

    2. Since when does Obama embrace racial reconciliation? He’s the most deliberately divisive President I can recall.

      1. Racial reconciliation, like political compromise, occurs when the right people get everything they want and the wrong people get in the back of the bus become enlightened and repent of their wickedness.

      2. Tim Cavanaugh has a sad. Or does he? What’s he been up to lately?

        1. Daily Caller. Gets lots of comments.

      3. Uh, since forever. You’re all just a bunch of closet racists who can’t be bothered to care about how your policies would affect minorities.

        /Tony

      4. When it comes to racism, he’s certainly the worst since Woodrow Wilson, although Tricky Dick comes close.

        -jcr

  3. “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,” Obama added.

    Beg that question.

    “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.”

    Now, if only those Teathuglican wreckers would shut up.

    1. You know what reforms would challenge chronic poverty? The motherfucking free market.

      The only inequality is between those who work for the state and those who don’t.

  4. Blind hog statistically run across an acorn. Also, I really want to visit Cuba without a bunch of bullshit.

    1. One guy I knew use to go around claiming prostitution does not exist in Cuba.I couldn’t actually point to a Cuban prostitute but it still sounded like a load of crap to me. I told him the fact he could make such a claim and it not be easily verifiable or dismissed was just another affirmation of what a dismally closed society Cuba has become under the communist.

      1. It’s sort of like all the lefties here claiming that Cuba has the best healthcare system in the world. Where’s the proof?

        1. From what I can gather, they have a good number of doctors per capita, but no equipment or medicine.

          1. I think I remember someone saying that they paid for their healthcare with the pain meds they had in their luggage, but I can’t recall who it was, so it could be apocryphal.

          2. Cuba, beautiful as it is, is just a fucking mirage and liberals who act as apologist for the pieces of shits in power are even bigger pieces of shits.

            They wouldn’t live or last a god damn day in Cuba the fuckers.

            I went into a bank and pharmacy there. The bank was loaded with spies while the shelves for medicine in the pharmacy were empty.

            Health care my ass.

            The first thing I noticed when I landed in Cuba was its poverty. I muttered to myself, “Castro you fucking prick.”

            My brother in law still hasn’t forgiven me for having gone and given that communist dictator tourism dollars.

            1. Every time a Cuban sees a Gringo and wonders how we can afford to have a decent standard of living, the Castros are undermined a bit more.

              -jcr

            2. Take your trade anywhere you feel you’ll get the best bang from it. If everyone was more a little more ruthlessly mercenary with their time and money, we all would be at least twice as prosperous than we are if we allowed moral sentiments to rule us.

              1. If everyone was more a little more ruthlessly mercenary

          3. From what I can gather, they have a good number of doctors per capita,

            I think “doctors” probably needs some scare quotes, there.

      2. One of my high school Spanish teachers did a junket in Cuba and came back singing praises about how great things were there with claims that just could not be true at face value.

        “Wait if things were so perfect there why are there sooooo many Cubans in Miami? I mean they get on makeshift rafts to get away.”

        The rest of that class went poorly.

        1. A prog once told me that as many Americans were emigrating to Cuba. His evidence was a book that he had read a long time before, whose title and author he couldn’t recall.

        2. Let me guess, ‘Being untainted by commercialism, the Cuban people are more grounded than us, they are more soulful and live more authentic lives.’

          Chronic dysentery tends to do that to people.

          1. Few things are as authentic and real as a bad case of the shits…

            I recently had an authentic time after eating at Chipotle.

            1. That’s weird. I love Chipotle; I’ve been a frequent consumer for a long time; and I’ve never had this problem.

          2. They actually conflate the ‘spirit of the Cuban people’ with being ‘happy.’

            I saw nothing but friendly people. But it was so obvious there was something more. Something less joyful. To any sober mind, that should hit you straight in the face.

            Luigi Barzini once argued that for all the sophistication and genius of ‘la dolce vita’ in Italy was just a mask to hide Italian sorrow.

            I think that’s at work in Cuba.

        3. “Wait if things were so perfect there why are there sooooo many Cubans in Miami? I mean they get on makeshift rafts to get away.”

          Those are just the hoarders, wreckers, and kulaks.

        4. I forget if someone posted this here, or if I got it somewhere else. Cuba sucks more than I realized.

          I’ve seen cities in the Middle East pulverized by war. I’ve seen cities elsewhere in Latin America stricken with unspeakable squalor and poverty. But nowhere else have I seen such a formerly grandiose city brought as low as Havana.

          1. Glad someone posted this. Totten is one of the best at exposing tyrannies.

      3. Prostitution obviously exists in Cuba.

        Cuban exile Valentin Prieto in Miami shares Eire’s disgust of the CDRs and the government’s child abuse.

        “Imagine if the state police came knocking on your door because your CDR neighbor smelled that black market chicken you fried last night to feed your kids,” he said. “You would tend to be surreptitious in everything, including thought and expression. You’d put up a false front, act like you’re the happiest, luckiest guy on Earth. The biggest problem with foreign journalists when it comes to Cuba is that they take everything at face value. ‘So-and-so said he’s very happy that the revolution gave him an education and that he has free healthcare.’ Yet so-and-so ain’t so happy because his daughter has to sell her ass to tourists because while he’s educated, he can’t earn a decent wage. And so-and-so isn’t so happy that he’s got to find medicines and other medical supplies to take to his daughter while she’s in the hospital. That kind of stuff never gets reported.”

        1. He continues:

          He told me about what happened at his sister’s elementary school a few years after Castro took over.

          “Do you want ice cream and dulces (sweets),” his sister’s teacher, a staunch Fidelista, asked the class.

          “Yes!” the kids said.

          “Okay, then,” she said. “Put your hands together, bow your heads, and pray to God that he brings you ice cream and dulces.”

          Nothing happened, of course. God did not did not provide the children with ice cream or dulces.

          “Now,” the teacher said. “Put your hands together and pray to Fidel that the Revolution gives you ice cream and sweets.”

          The kids closed their eyes and bowed their heads. They prayed to Fidel Castro. And when the kids raised their heads and opened their eyes, ice cream and dulces had miraculously appeared on the teacher’s desk.

          1. Socialism turns everyone under its tender mercies into a whore.

          2. -The kids closed their eyes and bowed their heads. They prayed to Fidel Castro. And when the kids raised their heads and opened their eyes, ice cream and dulces had miraculously appeared on the teacher’s desk.

            Truly sickening.

          3. “The kids closed their eyes and bowed their heads. They prayed to Fidel Castro.”

            But communism/socialism isn’t a religion.

          4. A story like that makes me wish I were more religious so that I could take some solace in the certitude that the teacher would spend eternity rotting in hell.

          5. Clearly, God made Castro give them ice cream and sweets.

          6. There are so many regional variations of this anecdote that I’m conflicted about its veracity. I’m beginning to wonder whether this was actually such a popular indoctrination tactic or just a legend that grew legs. There’s even a scene in Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa that depicts this.

            1. They should have a word for that kind of story.

          7. That convinces me. I’m praying to Timothy Leary.

  5. Don’t worry, Obama has it covered, he snuck an exploding cigar into Raul’s pocket when nobody was looking. Obama found the cigar JFK’s old desk, or maybe it was Clinton’s old desk?

    1. “Don’t worry, Obama has it covered, he snuck an exploding cigar into Raul’s pocket when nobody was looking.”

      OK, if he actually did do that, I could pat the guy on the back.

      1. Why would any Cuban take a cigar from an American? Does not compute.

        1. As I understand it, the quality of Cuban cigars has gone the way of most Commie goods.

          1. Nicaragua is the new Cuba for cigars.

            1. Rocky Patel is the new Cuba for cigars. Anything else is just imitation.

          2. Cuban Cohibas are good. I can take or leave the rest.

          3. I was pretty “meh” about the couple of Cubans I smoked in Canada awhile back. I mean, they were good, but not in a whole ‘nother league.

            Then I realized that every Cuban cigar I bought enriched the Castro clan, and I vowed to never buy another one.

          4. The Dominican Republic is the new Cuba for cigars. Same climate, same soil, except run by actual businesses.

  6. Nobody objected to that time Eisenhower gave a handy to Fulgencio Batista. Journalism ain’t what it used to be.

    1. Why did Eisenhower give him a German cell phone?

      1. Because there wasn’t time to give him a Cleveland Steamer.

      2. Time-traveling NSA agents are using it to collect his geolocation data.

        1. Fringe.

      3. BTW I should let you know that I will now be referring to all handjobs henceforth as German cell phones.

        1. You think it’ll turn into street lingo? Like next time I watch an episode of Cops and they’re running a 20-man sting to bust Johns two rooms down from where kidnappings and murders are taking place, the undercover hooker will walk up to the car and be like “$10 for a German cell phone”

  7. I’m guessing Obama, like Mandela, views Cuba as a land of happiness and unicorns.

  8. As long as he didn’t bow it’s a step up.

    1. Well…he certainly isn’t standing up straight in the picture. Like he’s trying to resist the urge.

    2. If shriek came on here and said this is nothing compared to W skipping in a garden while holding hands with the dictator of Saudi Arabia, I’d have to say, ‘yup, not even a shadow of a doubt there.’

  9. I wouldn’t piss on the best part of either of the Castro brothers if they were on fire myself, and I have no respect for anybody who would receive them with any kind of friendly gesture, but in a country where 50% of the idiots under 30 own a Che Guevara t-shirt I’m having trouble finding my shocked face.

  10. “Oddly, though, I’m not seeing the actual faux outrage from the right. Time quickly tried to steal from BuzzFeed’s playbook and posted a list of people “freaking out” about the handshake on Twitter.”

    You’d almost think the accusations of faux outrage are themselves nothing more than political posturing to make receptive audiences feel good about their self-anointed intellectual superiority.

  11. On the flip side why SHOULD world leaders be expected to shake hands with verified dictatorship scum? Why should pomp and circumstance erase ethical disdain for the cruel and inhumane?

    1. Obama idolizes these tin pot dictators, because he dreams of being exactly like them, only with a powerful military and vast amounts of wealth remaining to steal.

    2. On the flip side why SHOULD world leaders be expected to shake hands with verified dictatorship scum

      Depends on if said dictator opposes the US or not.

      1. If only we can find the right dictators, world utopia will appear.

        1. How about the Kaiser? That’s what Mencken and Randolph Bourne thought.

          1. Well, a dead guy will certainly get my vote for world dictator over the candidates that are still alive.

            1. Kaiser Wilhelm was an awesome guy though. Mary once nagged at him about some stupid shit and he bought her a steam powered dildo made of brass from the Guggenheim collection to shut her the fuck up. Worked until she wore it out.

    3. That ends up begging the question of who should have refused to shake hands with who in that situation though.

      1. True enough.

    4. The practice of politics requires one to deal regularly with the scum of the earth who, rightly or wrongly, wield political power over their particular prefecture. Even good people (which Obama, for the record, is not) have to make nice with rat bastards like Castro et al. in order to get things done.

      1. On a planet with a massively destructive brutality streak running through its hills and valleys it is telling that before dealing with the degradation of human life comes the nature of business and getting things done.

        1. What are you going to do? Go to war with every dictator? I don’t think a hand shake is going to tip the scales either way.

          1. You shake hands with people you dislike?

      2. Particularly at a memorial event. If I were a president at a conference I’m not sure I wouldn’t punch the shithead in the face. But at someone’s funeral, I’d play nice.

        Full disclosure: I’d probably punch Castro, too.

    5. On the flip flip side, why would Obama be ashamed? He and Castro are bros in power. They all played the game and won. He has to at least respect the successful player.

    6. Why should the world have leaders at all?

      I really couldn’t care less what these people do when the meet each other. It’s just two dudes who think they are awesome. I don’t want a leader or representative to the world.

    7. There’s never an excuse for rudeness.

      1. The irony here is enough to make my eyes bleed.

      2. So you would shake hands with Stalin Mao Hitler, if you were a fellow “world leader?”

        1. I think the answer to this question depends on the effects of my act. If by not shaking their hand I would spark or stoke potential hostilities that would result in suffering for people in our respective nations, then I would shake their hand. If by not shaking their hand I could inspire and demonstrate important solidarity with dissidents struggling against them then I would not. I would balance these two in deciding, but my response would not be about ‘dirtying my hands’ so to speak.

          1. “There’s never an excuse for rudeness.”

        2. Well, there’s always the option of wiping your hand on your pants afterwards, or immediately having the Secret Service provide you with some topical germicide.

          1. Or give them the stink palm.

        3. So you would shake hands with Stalin Mao Hitler, if you were a fellow “world leader?”

          I’d make sure I scratched my ass for all to see right before I did it.

    8. Re: Agile Cyborg,

      On the flip side why SHOULD world leaders be expected to shake hands with verified dictatorship scum?

      I dunno, so let’s ask.

      Ra?l, Agile is asking: why would you do it? Have you no self-respect, sir?

  12. In Obama’s defense, did he really know who he was shaking hands with? My guess is no.

    1. Undocumented Hispanic voters ARE a growing bloc…

    2. He’ll hear about it on the news later.

    3. He probably thinks that Cuba is the 58th state.

    4. He probably thought it was some AFL-CIO courtier that managed to sneak his way in with the rest of the swells.

  13. So lefties are outraged that righties aren’t outraged over a handshake.

    1. Why aren’t the lefties talking about how we can learn to fix healthcare from the Cubans? After all, they have the greatest healthcare system on the planet, amirite?

    2. As experts on feelings, they know how everyone should feel at all times.

  14. The handshake between the two historic enemies

    which one is the Trotskyite?

  15. “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,” Obama added.

    Whew. I’m glad he was able to bring American politics into it. Damn those Republicans!!!

    And that selfie business is pretty god damn inappropriate.

    1. This actually makes him less ridiculous than 99% of his supporters who think Republicans were pro-apartheid.

  16. Here’s a swell thought: Cuba isn’t the enemy any more, and it’s time someone started acting like a grown-up and acknowledging the fucking Cold War has been over for 15 years.

    America’s greatest foreign threat (negligible though it may be) is terrorism. We need to stop fighting and carrying the grudges of the last war and start being adults.

    1. Agreed. We need to start soaking up all of the delicious cane sugar from Cuba instead of letting those filthy Canadians revel in it.

      1. And by cane sugar, you of course mean the purest, highest quality blow.

        1. From Cuba? Ha! Everyone who knew shit about agriculture fled to Honduras. And Columbia has its rep for a good reason.

    2. The Cold War has arguably been over for longer than that, but I still wouldn’t shake hands with the Castro bros. Or Obama. Which I guess explains why I wasn’t invited.

    3. Control of the sheeples is not possible without constant war or the imminent threat of.

    4. Yeah, when I read the bit about “traditional enemies” in the quoted article, my response was along the lines of “Not mine.”

  17. Why is he shaking hands with that No-Good-Communist.

    Damn Raul! I thought you were better than that!

  18. Actual, non-ironic outrage. “Shameful day to be an American.”

    1. NRO is pissed that he didn’t take the opportunity to shout “Mr. Castro, tear down this wall!” like St. Reagan would have.

      1. National Review was more likely upset that he did not take the opportunity to declare war on Cuba (and several other countries, just for kicks).

        1. You’re confusing National Review with The Weekly Standard.

          1. No, I am simply remembering their full throated support for the Iraq War and nation building in the Middle East.

  19. So who’s going to be the first to argue that politicians shouldn’t be going to these events in the first place and shaking hands with other world leaders and that all world leaders are scum?

  20. No reason to be a dick, I guess. And the US is allies with governments at least as bad as Cuba’s. Either way, this is a silly thing to care about.

    1. I don’t know it does strike me as talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand the US should respect international diplomacy but on the other hand aren’t they all statists anyway using public funds? Either argument will be used when convenient.

      Reminds me of Bo Cara wondering why the US should even have embassies. Strange that I didn’t see similar sentiment during the Cold War.

      1. You are misremembering or misstating what I said. I said I was puzzled by libertarians acting outraged at our government saving money by moving the delegation to the Vatican into the Italian embassy.

      2. I guess I just expect them all to be two faced fucks. That’s their job. Not the job I’d have them do, but still, that’s the job.

        1. I wish our Presidents would spend most if not all of their time flying around the world and shaking hands rather than engaging in getting more and more laws and executive orders passed.

          1. I wish they’d veto a bunch of stuff, pardon some people, and then go on vacation. On their own dime.

            1. Agreed, the pardon and veto power are two of the few I would like to see our executive exercise much more vigorously. Sadly no one wants to a ‘Willie Horton’ moment or to be labeled ‘obstructionist’ so they are not.

            2. Vote for me and I’ll make it happen.

              I figure if I’m not impeached by noon, I’m not trying hard enough.

      3. Yes, in an anarcho-capitalist world, embassies would be a relic of a barbarous past if they existed at all given wars would not be fought and trade would be universally free, so even diplomacy becomes entirely unnecessary. Why you would expect me to be defensive about my desire for a vast improvement in the human condition is a mystery to me.

  21. Commies, old and new, are worthy only of contempt.

    1. And shooting. Don’t forget shooting.

  22. “There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.”

    Was he looking in a mirror when he said that?

    1. I give Obama a pass on this, no actually some slight applause. I think in the context he was fairly clearly speaking about very oppressive regimes like Cuba which are far more abusive of basic liberties than the US under Obama. I do not want my nation to be the world’s police-man, but if we are to be a city upon a hill holding out the promise of liberty and human rights to the world then I think it is appropriate for our representative at these functions to scold these kind of regimes.

    2. Let’s keep a little perspective here. Dissent is most certainly tolerated in the US. Unless I’m the only one here not commenting from prison.

      1. So harrassment by the IRS or local officials doesn’t count. Good to know.

        Cause it happens.

        No, we’re hardly SA or Cuba – but go try to take that cop’s photo during the riot and let me know how you make out…

        1. Its far from perfect, but it is just idiotic to suggest that it is at all the same as Cuba.

    3. Any Westerner who uses the Africanized version of Mandela’s clan name (“Madiba”) is advertising their desperate douchiness.

      That is all.

  23. I saw a little clip of His Hopeyness earlier, admonishing the youth of the world to follow in Mandela’s footsteps, and resist government oppression.

    “Wait, wait, wait. When I said, ‘Question Authority’ I definitely did not mean MY authority.”

    1. If the Apartheit government of South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s had the surveillance capabilities of the NSA , FBI, and CIA today, Mandela would have been buried a long time ago in an unmarked grave.

      1. How’s that? He was imprisoned throughout the 70s and 80s, so they could have disappeared him any time they wanted.

        1. Ah, yes. Well, then just think how much better we can do!

    2. Biden said something similar to the people of China last week.

  24. “”Long live the Cuban revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro ? Cuban internationalists have done so much for African independence, freedom and justice. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious imperialist campaign designed to destroy the advances of the Cuban revolution. We too want to control our destiny. ? There can be no surrender. It is a case of freedom or death. The Cuban revolution has been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” – Nelson Mandela

    Seriously, I’m having a hard time mourning for this commie douche.

    1. He doesn’t have to be perfect to have done good. Shit could have been a lot worse when majority rule started in SA. And Mandella could have stuck with the commie crap and nationalized industries and all that when he came to power, but he didn’t. I think he deserved credit for that. I have no problem with reminding people that he was a communist and a terrorist, but in the end he did do a lot to prevent a very ugly racial situation and to set his country up to be one of the more economically successful in Africa.

      1. His power was kept in check by the old guard only folding to the extent the West demanded it of them. The armed forces, for instance, was maintained under their control. They were not saints either, but I trust divided power over anyone’s innate goodness, especially communist like Mandela.

        1. Right. He certainly didn’t do it all on his own and having to compromise helped a lot too.

          Another thing he deserves a lot of credit for is stepping down after his term as president. He could easily have become another Mugabe if he had chosen to.

      2. I agree. Apartheid was tragic and its end should be applauded, but the man was no saint, and certainly not a champion of (everyone’s) freedom.

  25. Actual physical contact between U.S. and Cuban leaders is a rare thing, The Telegraph notes

    Beckman: “He slimed me!”
    Stantz: “That’s great! Actual physical contact!”

  26. Here’s an outrage sighting:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..um=twitter

  27. Now I’m even more disgusted with Raul Castro.

    1. +1 firm handshake

  28. Get back to me when we “normalize” relations with Cuba, and start trading again. I wanna visit Havana before I die, and I DON’T want to fly there via Air Canada.

    Shook his hand? Really, TEAM RED? Fuck you.

    1. I appreciate your faux outrage at their non-existent outrage.

  29. “”Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship and who they love,” the president said.”

    Oh yeah?

    And did the serial child-bomber with a hard-on for locking people up over Free Speech deliver this touching eulogy of the Stalinist terrorist before or after shaking hands with the despotic Communist mass murderer who helped imprison a jaw-droppingly exponential statistic of his countrymen?

  30. Look, over there! A distraction!

  31. Did Castro offer any tips on single payer health care?

    1. You can save a lot of money by not buying any drugs or modern medical equipment.

  32. You missed the punchline on the President’s selfie:

    Michelle, who is visibly pissed off, switches seats with the President so he’s no longer sitting next to the hot Scandinavian PM that he couldn’t seem to keep his hands off of.

    1. I wonder when he found out that all of this was captured on camera and went viral almost instantaneously. Awkward moment of AF One. Will anyone ask Jay about it tomorrow: “How are US-Danish relations today?”

  33. I love the Castros. They have maintained Cuba as the Museum of Communism for 55 years, a showcase for how Marxism-Leninism simply cannot be made to work. I don’t want to lose it.

  34. Mandela’s funeral Note: Don’t forget that White Man named F.W. de Klerk who lifted the ban on the African National Congress and released Nelson Mandela. Had he not done so, Mandela might have died in prison and there would still be apartheid today in South Africa. And don’t forget all those White People in South Africa who fought apartheid for decades before Mandela was released and suffered for it. Mandela is getting the honors he deserves but he had a lot of help in getting to where he is, due to the efforts of White people. Let’s be fair about this.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.