Nelson Mandela Remembered
While we all have in our thoughts and remember with love and admiration the late freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, who passed today at the age of 95, we should also remember and contemplate the following facts:
1. The US was and remained a close ally and friend to the apartheid regime of South Africa until the very end. Specifically, President Reagan whom President Obama often praises and openly admires, vehemently opposed sanctions against and divestment from South Africa. He and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with whom Reagan had the closest of ties, considered African National Congress which Mr. Mandela helped organize, a terrorist organization. When finally public pressure forced US Congress to impose economic sanctions on the regime, Reagan vetoed it.
2. Mandela often spoke of the other apartheid regime, Israel, which, by the way, was one of the only states in the world which retained its close ties with apartheid South Africa. The other two were the US and United Kingdom. Neither US media, nor President Obama who now disingenuously speaks highly of Mr. Mandela would mention that fact.
3. President Obama said in a speech he gave in 2008 how he supported the divestment movement against South Africa as a young man in late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Yet, he not only has not ever supported the same against apartheid Israel, he, as a perfect model of what a US president does and is supposed to do to maintain the continuity of the policies of the corporate Empire, has increased US aid, especially military aid and new weaponry, to the Zionist regime. Obama was well aware how Mandela felt about apartheid Israel. He said today that he used to read and study his words.
4. While President Obama is now continuing the unjustified and unjust embargo against Cuba, neither he nor the corporate media will ever tell you that when the racist South African state, with the support of Israel and the blessing from the US, invaded Angola to clamp down on progressive revolutionaries there, it was the Cubans who came to the assistance of Angola against South Africa. Mandela never forgot the contribution of socialist Cuba who sent in thousands of troops to fight the apartheid regime and often thanked Fidel Castro for it. That’s why when he went to Miami, Miami’s anti-Castro Cubans protested against him for being “pro-Castro”.
5. Obama never met Mandela as a president. On 29 June of this year, 4.5 years after becoming president, he went to South Africa and visited Mandela’s jail cell. By then, Mandela was ill and in hospital and Obama visited some family member, instead. His only meeting with Mandela was in 2005 when Mandela, while visiting the US, called Obama and asked to see the young black Senator who was rising in stature and fame.
It’s easy to support a people and their struggle for liberation after they have been victorious and achieved freedom. What really matters is to support people and their just struggle while they’re being beaten, jailed and massacred, as they are in Palestine. While, Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading the fight for racial equality and voting rights for blacks, he was pursued, persecuted and finally assassinated. And now, he’s spoken well of by individuals who would want him dead, even today.
Saying nice things about Nelson Mandela and against the South African racist regime while simultaneously giving and increasing economic and military aid to the racist state of Israel is the epitome of hypocrisy exercised by this treasonous president. The words of this two-faced hypocrite who speaks from both sides of his mouth means absolutely nothing. What we the people need to do is to increase our efforts to bring pressure on the only remaining apartheid state until they end the occupation and until all Palestinian refugees return to their homes. Then, we will again have to note for future generations that the corporate Empire of the US and its bought out two-faced politicians were not only not helpful, but did everything to make sure the apartheid and occupation did not end.