Submitted by Robert Clarke, Vice President of Peoples Empowerment Party, Clement Payne Movement
The lost of Nelson Mandela is a great lost to humanity. Very few people in the history of the world would have been important in changing world opinion. Nelson Mandela was one of those along with Mahatma Ghandi and our beloved Fidel Castro.
In the heyday of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s, there was only one outstanding humanist besides Nelson Mandela and that was Fidel Castro.
Fidel Castro fought against the corruption of the United States in the Cuban Revolution and for that fight he was arrested, charged and tried. He was sentenced. Castro was sentenced on October 16, 1953 during which he delivered a speech that would be printed under the title of History Will Absolve Me. Castro was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in the hospital wing of the Model Prison (Presidio Modelo), a relatively comfortable and modern institution on the Isla de Pinos.
Similarly, Nelson Mandela, in fighting for world humanity in the 1950s and specifically for humanity in South Africa, which at the time was governed by an Apartheid Government, was arrested, charged and tried by an all white court; white judge, white prosecutor. During that trial, Nelson Mandela, like Fidel Castro before him, made an important speech. In which he stated “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Fidel’s speech on October 16th, 1953 and Nelson Mandela’s speech in 1964 show the humanity of these two great men. One has left us.
During the period of Nelson Mandela’s struggle for the freedom of all South African people which included; Blacks, Coloureds, Indians and Whites, the leading Western Governments including the Presidents of the United States of America from Ronald Reagan to George H. W. Bush agreed on not sanctioning the South African Government and in that way, supported the horrors inflicted by a white Supremist government on all non white persons.
During the early Apartheid days in South Africa, non white South Africans had to be out of the urban areas and return to their townships by 9pm and that position was accepted by among other countries United States of America, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.
Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison and not a word, not a white government moved to change the system in South Africa to allow all South Africans to be equal.
When Africa erupted in its search for freedom, from the 1960s no white country helped them. But in the 1970s, Cuba was of great assistance to the following countries; The People’s Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Benin. Cuban technical, educational and medical staff in the tens of thousands were working in even more countries: Algeria (Tindouf), Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Ethiopia, São Tomé and Príncipe,Tanzania, the Congo and Benin. Up to 18,000 students from these countries studied on full Cuban scholarships per year on the island.
The reason for Nelson Mandela’s freedom is the great military assistance in Angola, in its resistance against the government of South Africa with the help of the Cuban military forces and in no small way the assistance by the government of Barbados in allowing Cuban military planes to land at Seawell Airport for refueling on their way to South Africa with Cuban troops to fight against Apartheid and to assist Angola and Namibia.
In the most important military battle of 1987 against apartheid in which the South African Defence Forces (SADF) fought pitched tank and artillery battles with the Angolan army (FAPLA, the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola) and its Cuban supporters at Cuito Cuanavale the south Africans were defeated. That was the military end of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Secretly the United States of America Government, the British Government and the French Government among others started to negotiate with the African National Congress:
1. A release of Nelson Mandela from prison
2. A transfer of government by democratic means in which all south Africans will have one vote each. This will ensure that the African majority will take over government and that Nelson Mandela would become President.
But there was an underlying position taken by the United States Government, that Mandela would not be released immediately but will only be released after the dismantling of the nuclear facilities in South Africa. The American Government then, as now cannot understand non-white people having Nuclear weapons on their own soil. It took years to dismantle the nuclear facilities in South Africa, and only after that had been achieved, Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
It is also important to note that after Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa, the first country he visited was Libya, to show his recognition of the financial and military help that Muhammar Ghadaffi had given to the African National Congress during all the years of struggle, then he visited Cuba.
To hear Western countries like the Queen of England, Prime Minister Cameron of England, President Obama of the United, President Holland of France now speaking of the greatness of Nelson Mandela in unbelievable but Western history has always had a way of distorting facts.
To the memory of Nelson Mandela and to the honour of Fidel Castro we of the Peoples Empowerment Party and the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados salute you.
It is hoped that the spirit and decency of Nelson Mandela will circulate around the world and help more people become like him. Go I Peace as you did in War.