President Obama And Cuba’s Raul Castro Shake Hands

It happened during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

1. President Obama had a quick chat and shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The moment came just before Obama delivered a eulogy for Mandela in a Johannesburg stadium.

2. It appeared to be a friendly exchange.

Obama was cheered into the stadium and made conciliatory gestures toward other world leaders, including Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, who has clashed with the U.S. president over alleged National Security Agency spying.

3. The United States has not had diplomatic relations with Cuba since the communist revolution led by Castro’s brother Fidel more than 50 years ago.

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

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Jim Waterson is politics editor at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at

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