Obama, Castro shake hands at historic summit

Christmas in August

Handout picture released by the Panamanian Presidency showing Cuban President Raul Castro (2-R) and US President Barack Obama (L) shaking hands moments before the opening ceremony of the VII Americas Summit, in Panama City on April 10, 2015US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro shook hands on Friday at the Summit of the Americas, a new milestone in efforts to shed decades of animosity between the two countries. The two leaders — who briefly shook hands once before, at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service in Johannesburg in 2013 — exchanged a few words as UN chief Ban Ki-moon and regional leaders looked on, before taking their seats at a Panama City convention center. The sight of Obama and Castro in the same room instantly became a potent symbol of their bid to renew diplomatic ties that were severed in 1961. It was the first time that a Cuban leader attended the summit in its 21-year history.

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