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The Hill: Rubio slams Obama handshake with Castro

Posted 12/11/2013

The Hill
By: Justin Sink and Amie Parnes
December 10, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blasted President Obama on Tuesday after the president shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

“If the president was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba,” Rubio said.

Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, has been a vocal critic of the Castro regime. Earlier this year, he told The Cable he believed “the Castro regime sponsors terrorism abroad and against their own people.”

“It remains clear that Cuba is the same totalitarian state today that it has been for decades,” Rubio said. “This totalitarian state continues to have close ties to terrorist organizations.”

He’s also criticized the president for loosening restrictions on travel to the island as part of an economic embargo instituted during the Cold War.

The White House defended the handshake earlier, saying it was not a “pre-planned encounter” and was intended in the spirit of the day.

Read the rest of the article here.