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McCain slams Obama handshake

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday compared President Obama's handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro to Neville Chamberlain shaking hands with Adolph Hitler.

“It just gives Raul some propaganda to continue to prop up his dictatorial regime,” McCain told PRI's Todd Zwillich.

“Why should you shake hands with someone who is keeping Americans in prison? I mean, what's the point?

“Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler,” the Arizona lawmaker said, referring to the British prime minister’s handshake with the Nazi leader after Great Britain agreed to Germany’s takeover of the Sudentenland in Czechoslovakia.

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Obama shook hands with Castro at a memorial service in South Africa attended by leaders from around the world. The White House said Obama was merely being polite in greeting the Cuban leader and that it was not a planned moment.

“Above all else, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela, and that was the president's singular focus at the memorial service,” said an administration official. “We appreciate that people from all over the world are participating in this ceremony.”

Cuba has been in the news in recent weeks over the imprisonment of Alan Gross, a USAID worker who has been jailed for four years after it was discovered he helped to set up Internet access for a small Jewish community in the communist nation.

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