-by Scott Oddo
On Tuesday, shortly before his scheduled speech at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro, the president of Cuba. It was the first time the leaders of both countries had exchanged a greeting since 2000, when Bill Clinton accidentally high fived Fidel Castro at a Knick’s game.
Many American’s were outraged that the President would exchange greetings with the leader of a Communist country.
“The President has weakened America’s standing in the world by exchanging greetings with leaders of countries we don’t like” said a visibly upset Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehitnen (R-FL), who was born in Cuba. “This is just the latest incident showing that the President is soft on Communism. First he winked and pointed at Hugo Chavez as he passed him at the airport. Then during nuclear talks he nodded to the Iranian president and said ‘Hey, how’s it going?’. And now this.
If the President kisses Putin at the UN Christmas party, I’m going to call for his impeachment. The President needs to stop acting like a diplomat!
Despite the sharp reaction from Ms. Ros-Lehitnen and other Republican leaders, the American public seemed less certain of the impact of the handshake, as evidenced by our interview with Mel Sharpe, a tie salesman from Gary Indiana.
FN: “What is your opinion of the president shaking hands with Castro?”
MS: “He shook hands with Castro? I thought he was dead?” (shrugs shoulders).
FN: “No, Fidel Castro is still alive but his brother, Raul Castro, is now the President of Cuba”
MS: “Raul? Isn’t he the guy that kidnapped those women in Ohio? I thought he was dead” (shrugs shoulders)
FN: “No, that was Ariel Castro who kidnapped those women and he is dead”
MS: “Ariel? Wasn’t that ‘The Little Mermaid’? I thought she was dead” (shrugs shoulders)
FN: “I think we’re done, here”
At this point, it is still unclear what the long term impact of the hand shake will be. However, it is rumored that in addition to shaking hands, the two leaders exchanged contact information and will exchange Christmas cards.