While some have downplayed the significance of President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, at least one former U.S. president hopes the gesture is a harbinger of things to come.
Former President Jimmy Carter told CNN that the handshake “was something significant” and expressed hope that it “will be an omen for the future”:
JUST IN-Jimmy Carter to CNN on Castro/Obama: “I think it was something significant…I hope that will be an omen for the future.”
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) December 10, 2013
Shortly before he eulogized Mandela at FNB Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, Obama shook hands with Castro, along with other world leaders.