Nelson Mandela - former president of South Africa (2008)
Credit: The Good News/Wikimedia Commons
Nelson Mandela spoke out on October 6, 1995, about Cuba's participation in fighting against South African forces in Angola's civil war:
Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural experts, but never as colonizers. They have shared the same trenches with us in the struggle against colonialism, underdevelopment, and apartheid. Hundreds of Cubans have given their lives, literally, in a struggle that was, first and foremost, not theirs but ours. As Southern Africans we salute them. We vow never to forget this unparalleled example of selfless internationalism.
We wish also to record our indebtedness to Cuban hospitality. In particular, tens of thousands of young Southern Africans have been trained, and some are still training, in Cuban schools and universities. Today, in many different fields - in the health sector, in government, and in the army - there are many young professionals, contributing to the development of our country, who owe their skills to the generous training provided to them by Cuba.
Many people, many countries, including many powerful countries, have called upon us to condemn the suppression of human rights in Cuba. We have reminded them they have a short memory. For when we battled against apartheid, against racial oppression, the same countries were supporting the apartheid
regime...And we fought successfully against that regime with the support of Cuba and other progressive countries.
They now want to be our only friends, and dare to ask us to renounce those people who made our victory possible. That is the greatest contempt for the morality and the principles which are the basis of our relations, not only with the various population groups in this country, but with the entire world.
And I wanted to make a commitment that we will never let our friends down, friends during the most difficult period of our struggle, especially Cuba.
From a chapter titled “International Aid” in the book “Cuba For The Misinformed” by Mick Winter.
JG: The evil forces of colonialism and imperialism are always defeated in the end. When the people are united nothing can stop them. Nelson Mandela is the greatest African that ever lived. May he live many more years.