POLITICS
12/10/2013 04:59 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2013

Obama's Handshake With Raul Castro Is Only Offensive If You Ignore 75 Years Of History

The Twittersphere went wild Tuesday morning, when President Barack Obama exchanged a brief handshake with Cuban President Raúl Castro, brother of Fidel Castro, at the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.

The gesture was unplanned, according to the White House, but substantial nonetheless. Fifty years after the Communist revolution that placed Fidel Castro in power, the U.S. and Cuba still share no formal diplomatic relations. And the last time an American president shook hands with a Cuban leader was in 2000, when former President Bill Clinton exchanged greetings with Fidel Castro at a United Nations gathering in New York.

While some viewed Obama's handshake as a symbol of hope for reconciliation with Cuba, and others viewed the exchange as nothing more than diplomatic civility, there were, of course, those that chose to portray it as the latest traitorous act by our socialist commander-in-chief.

But if a handshake is truly an endorsement of every (or any) action undertaken by the other party, the United States really has a lot of explaining to do:

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