Oh, dear. Seems that President Obama’s Spanish speaking skills may not be as good as we thought they were. Seems that Cuba is not as ready to talk about “everything” as we thought it *said* it was:
Fidel Castro said Tuesday that President Obama “misinterpreted” his brother Raul’s sentiments toward the United States and bristled at any suggestion Cuba should free political prisoners or reduce official fees on money sent to the island from the U.S.
Raul Castro touched off a whirlwind of speculation that the U.S. and Cuba could be headed toward a thaw in nearly a half-century of chilly relations last week, when he said Cuban leaders would be willing to sit down with their U.S. counterparts and discuss “everything,” including human rights, freedom of the press and expression, and political prisoners on the island.
I can’t help it, I must say that it amuses me to think of the trouble that Raul must be in right now. How badly did he screw that whole thing up? We can blame it on “misinterpretation,” but you know Fidel is threatening to keep him hidden in an attic room somewhere now.
I don’t think anybody really knows what to do with Obama’s extended hand rhetoric. Chavez is shaking hands with Obama, Raul is offering to talk, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is talking to resident flake, George Stephanopoulos… Obama is making world leaders look like total assholes if they don’t also extend a hand–but hell, who really wants to extend a hand when you can be a macho anti-U.S. crusader?
It will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming years when the newness of Obama rhetoric wears off.