President Barack Obama declined even to attend the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Instead of attending, he dispatched a pair of former secretaries of state to attend.
Obama attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa and addressed the service. He also mixed and mingled, and CNN had its cameras trained on his every move, capturing this revealing moment.
“Castro! He’s shaking hands with Raul Castro!” Amanpour shouts as Obama seeks Castro out, bows to the Cuban dictator and takes his hand.
After Amanpour gushed over Obama’s shaking hands with the head of a brutal communist regime that once aligned itself with the Soviet Union and has oppressed the Cuban people for decades, CNN’s Chris Cuomo was quick to defend the president.
And that handshake obviously was a huge moment. But not to be misunderstood, the handshake with Raul Castro, the president of Cuba, we believe was President Obama showing respect to Nelson Mandela and the occasion of today, the spirit of reconciliation. Of course, it will be dissected politically. …
No matter the ongoing political disputes, on this day, it was about something bigger. It was about forgiveness and reconciliation, because it was about a man who was bigger: Nelson Mandela. And that is what the tribute has been all about today.
This moment might have been less significant had Obama not snubbed Thatcher after she passed. Thatcher was one of the strongest allies America had during the Cold War. Thatcher was one of a handful of leaders, along with President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and and Lech Walesa, who defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. As a college student, Obama had aligned himself with the “nuclear freeze” movement, which agitated against Reagan’s moves in Europe that signaled to Moscow that America would stand strong with free Europe against any Soviet aggression. “Nuclear freeze” was funded and supported by the Soviets to weaken Reagan’s and Thatcher’s hands, as many leaders in that movement were aware at the time.
Thatcher had also undone much of what the socialist Labour Party had done to Britain’s economy, ushering in an era of freedom and incredible economic growth for the UK. As such, her policies refuted Obama’s entire economic agenda in the United States.
More: Raul Castro is not merely the brother of longtime dictator Fidel Castro and the current dictator of Cuba. Before taking power, the hand that Obama shook today was responsible for countless political murders. Raul Castro was known as “the executioner.”
4. Raúl returned to Cuba with the other revolutionaries in 1956. Years of fighting culminated in Batista’s 1959 overthrow. Fidel Castro then took power, stating that if he was killed, “behind me come others more radical than me,” referring in part to his brother.
5. Raúl acted as an executioner during the revolution as well as after his brother took power. He was known for his ruthlessness and brutality. Years later, he suggested that his nickname should be “Raúl the Terrible” for his role in hundreds of killings. He even executed a close friend, Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa, on orders from Fidel in 1989.
And here is a photo of Raul Castro blindfolding a man before executing him. It’s not an exaggeration to say that today, the President of the United States smilingly shook the hand of a political serial killer.