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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro during the official memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Over 60 heads of state have travelled to South Africa to attend a week of events commemorating the life of former South African President Nelson Mandela. Mr Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home in Houghton at the age of 95. Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in jail for his activism against apartheid in a racially-divided South Africa.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama's gestures during Mandela memorial scrutinized

Yahoo NewsDecember 10, 2013

An unexpected handshake. A selfie. A seat change.

President Barack Obama's gestures at Nelson Mandela's memorial service in Johannesburg were widely scrutinized on the world's stage Tuesday.

First, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro as the U.S. president approached the podium at the soccer stadium to address Mandela's mourners. The brief exchange, captured on video and photographs, sparked an immediate reaction online and on TV, with cable news pundits and Twitter users debating the significance of warmth shown between leaders of countries that have not had formal diplomatic relations since 1959.

The handshake also drew some sharp GOP criticism. Sen. John McCain likened it to shaking hands with Adolf Hitler. (Yahoo News)