WASHINGTON: Republicans were left steaming yesterday after US President Barack Obama shook the hand of Cuban leader Raul Castro, with one senior lawmaker likening the act to appeasement of the Nazis.
A White House official said it was not "pre-planned", but that did not stop Republicans from assailing Obama for greeting an iron-fisted ruler.
Obama "should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba," Senator Marco Rubio said of the gesture.
Senate Democrat Carl Levin dismissed the controversy, saying, "I think there's too much read into hand shakes".
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Original headline: Lawmakers slam Obama
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