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Awkward Gesture Ends Obama News Conference in Cuba

by Matthew Nighswander /
Image: CUBA-US-OBAMA-CASTRO
Cuban President Raul Castro raises President Barack Obama's hand during a meeting at the Revolution Palace in Havana on March 21.NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP - Getty Images

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Diplomacy can be an awkward business. Stiff handshakes and forced smiles are all par for the course but President Obama and Cuba's President Raul Castro upped the ante at the end of their joint news conference Monday, with an awkward gesture that has already become a Twitter sensation.

After refusing to answer a question about political prisoners, Castro abruptly ended the news conference. The two leaders shook hands and then Castro took Obama's arm by the wrist, lifting it into the air. Perhaps Obama didn't want to appear too enthusiastic while posing with the controversial communist leader, but for whatever reason, he let his let his hand dangle loosely, like a dead fish, creating the uncomfortable moment captured in the above photo.

Related: Che Guevara Mural Looms Large Behind Obama During Cuba Visit

Related: Tense Cuban Leader Raul Castro on Political Prisoners: Give Me Their Names!

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