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U.S. and Cuban officials have held mid-level discussions in Washington and Havana'We're in talks' with Cuba on a wide range of issues, agreed Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on TuesdayMiddle-men including Latin American diplomats have also been carrying messages back and forth between Washington and HavanaU.S.-Cuba relations have seen an unprecedented thaw since President Obama took office, and a host of lawmakers with Cuban ties are upsetAmerica's 50-year-long trade embargo with the communist nation has been slammed by the UN but embraced by survivors of the Castro regime
As President Obama made his way through a crowd of 90 other world leaders in Johannesburg on Tuesday, he shook a surprising hand: that of Cuban President Raul Castro.Video cameras caught the handshake, which came as Obama reached out to dozens of other leaders during the song that preceded his eulogy of MandelaThe moment was not "a pre-planned encounter," a White House official said. "Above all else, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela, and that was the president's singular focus at the memorial service. We appreciate that people from all over the world are participating in this ceremony."Though undoubtedly a polite gesture meant to honor Mandela's legacy, the handshake also comes not long after Obama indicated a desire to update U.S. policies toward Cuba.
The moment was not "a pre-planned encounter," a White House official said.
He can talk to every thug, despot, and tyrant but he can't talk to the Republicans?
In his mind the GOP is the despots.