DeSantis slams Obama,Castro handshake at Mandela memorial service

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Daytona Beach Congressman and Tea Party Rising star Ron DeSantis, sent out a release slamming President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro. The two were in South Africa for the Nelson Mandela memorial ceremonies.

Here is a statement from the freshman House Rep,

The excitement exhibited in some liberal quarters regarding the embrace of Raul Castro by President Obama ignores the millions of victims of the totalitarian Castro regime. I urge the President to secure the release of American Alan Gross from Castro’s prisons. The Cuban people have been denied liberty for more than 50 years and U.S. policy must be geared toward the establishment of a free and democratic Cuba.”

Alan Gross is a contractor that was arrested 4 years ago, and sentenced to 15 years for bringing satellite phones and laptops, to members of the Cuban community without a permit. His health is reportedly deteriorating and is being denied proper care.

The handshake with Castro wasn’t the only controversy to come out of the ceremonies. President Obama’s “selfie” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Smith and British Prime Minister David Cameron, went viral and set off a debate online over the appropriateness of the gesture.



Frank Torres is the Orlando-area writer for Florida Politics. He is a U.S. Army veteran who grew up in Central Florida and has covered politics in the region since 2009. Torres serves as a regular contributor to several news and radio organizations in the area and features original photography from many of the events he covers. He can be reached at