“I was disappointed to view the handshake between President Obama and the Cuban dictator Raul Castro at what was amoving service to memorialize Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela stood for everything that the Castro regime has taken from the Cuban people over that past 50 years; freedom, equality, and human rights. Not only was this particular gesture not in harmony with Mandela’s philosophies, it was not in accordance with our national strategy in dealing with the Communist regime.
"During his remarks at the service, President Obama spoke eloquently about the hypocrisy of those foreign leaders who associate themselves with Mandela’s principles, yet cannot provide the basic freedoms for their people such as the freedom of speech or assembly. Instead of making grand gestures that only validate tyrannical regimes, the United States should be working tirelessly to bring Cuban prisoners, like Alan Gross, home safely, as well as support those striving for democracy in the face of oppression. Such action to bring innocent victims to freedom would truly serve Mandela’s legacy.”
Congressman Sires takes aim at Obama for handshake with Castro