Cuban President Raul Castro received a tremendous public relations boost from his handshake with President Barack Obama, says Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and senior editor at National Review.
"There's a reason previous presidents have avoided this sort of gesture. It is something that the regime wanted and should have been withheld," Ponnuru told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"[There] is a PR benefit. [Cuba] wants to be treated as a legitimate government . . . and not as a tyrannical dictatorship," he said Tuesday.
"And that handshake sort of communicates that the administration's willing to meet him part-way."
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