Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

December 10, 2013

Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro

JOHANNESBURG — President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a simple gesture that signaled possible thawing between the leaders of two Cold War foes.

The brief encounter between the U.S. and Cuban president came during a ceremony that celebrated the former South African president's legacy of reconciliation. Obama was greeting a line of world leaders attending the memorial in Johannesburg before delivering his own eulogy in which he urged a new generation to embrace Mandela's life work as their own.

More than half a century after the U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba, such exchanges between American and Cuban leaders are exceedingly rare. U.S. officials often have gone to great lengths to avoid having presidents meet Cuban leaders, even in passing.

In fact, when former Cuban President Fidel Castro, who led the nation for nearly half a century, shook hands with former President Bill Clinton at a U.N. Millennium Summit luncheon in 2000, he said Clinton had been the first U.S. president to do so.

Despite Tuesday's handshake, Obama still offered an implicit criticism of governments like Cuba's when moments later, he said that too many people embrace Mandela's legacy of racial reconciliation but passionately resist economic and other reforms.

"There are too many who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent from their own people," Obama said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

Making his way to the podium for his speech, Obama also greeted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff with a kiss on the cheek. Rousseff and Obama have clashed over reports the National Security Agency monitored her communications, leading the Brazilian leader to shelve a state trip to the U.S. earlier this year in a show of anger. In another potentially uneasy exchange, Obama also briefly greeted Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose refusal to sign a security agreement with the U.S. before year's end has irritated the Obama administration.

The U.S. and Cuba have recently taken small steps toward political reconciliation, raising hopes that Washington and Havana could be on the verge of a breakthrough. But skeptics caution the two countries have shown subtle signs of thaw in the past, only to fall back into old recriminations.

At a fundraiser in Miami last month, Obama argued for a renewed approach toward Cuba.

"We've started to see changes on the island," he said on Nov. 8.

"We have to be creative," he added. "And we have to be thoughtful. And we have to continue to update our policies. Keep in mind that when Castro came to power, I was just born. So the notion that the same policies that we put in place in 1961 would somehow still be as effective as they are today in the age of the Internet and Google and world travel doesn't make sense."

In 2009, Obama made waves when he shook hands with the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, a strident critic of the United States, at the Summit of the Americas.

___

Associated Press writer Peter Orsi in Havana contributed to this report.

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 8-2-14 backpacks of love.jpg Backpacks of Love needs volunteers this week

    What had begun as a few churches collecting random bags of pencils and notebook filler paper has turned into a once-a-year community-wide project to get every kid an even shot at succeeding in school.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 5-2 Tanner Elmer mug.jpg Sheriff's Corner: Compensation remains an issue for NCSO

    We recently submitted the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office 2014-2015 budget proposal for review. Included in this year’s budget is Option 1, a complete salary restructure for the entire sheriff’s department, or Option 2, an 8 percent across the board raise.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 food pantry girl.jpg Local girl raises money for hungry families

    Lacy Rose Goodrich, 9, is a typical Bowie fourth-grader. She likes to watch “Full House,” reruns and “iCarly,” and she has a dog and a cat. She takes gymnastics and dance lessons, and has attended four different Vacation Bible Schools this summer, as well as all the parks and recreation summer programs for kids.
    What’s unusual about Lacy is that she also raised nearly $500 for the food pantry since Easter, which is the equivalent of 3,450 pounds of food for hungry Navarro County residents.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hope Center Celebrating 30 years: Hope Center sends out appeal

    The Hope Center, which began in 1984, will celebrate a huge milestone soon.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jury dismissed for Monday

    The jury called for Aug. 4 at 8:30 a.m. District Court, Judge James Lagomarsino has been dismissed.
     

    August 1, 2014

  • 8-1-14 city council meet.jpg City to raise water, sewer rates

    Water rates, sewer rates and trash rates will all go up for Corsicana city residents, according to preliminary budget figures presented to the city council Thursday afternoon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City cancels ambulance contract with county

    The City of Corsicana has notified Navarro County officials it is cancelling its agreement with the county to provide EMS ambulance service to areas outside the city limits. According to a letter sent to county officials by Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan, ambulance service to county residents will end on Jan. 31, 2015.

    July 31, 2014

  • 8-1-14 TxDOT.jpg TxDOT work nears completion

    The project to rebuild Seventh Avenue or Highway 31 as it goes through Corsicana is almost over. From an uneven patchwork of paving and pitted concrete, now it’s a smooth ride from Beaton all the way through town.
    It just took an extra year to finish.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates