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Sun Nov 27, 2016, 10:43 AM

Well done Huffpo - Why Nelson Mandela Loved Fidel Castro

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/nelson-mandela-castro_n_4400212.html
<snip>
Americans generally view Nelson Mandela as a hero and Fidel Castro as a villain. Mandela saw things differently.

The South African leader’s nationalist and anti-imperialist stances collided head on with the world’s superpower and gave him a lot in common with its Cuban archenemy. Mandela embraced the former Cuban dictator because he opposed apartheid and represented the aspirations of Third World nationalists that the United States undermined across the globe during the Cold War.

Mandela’s admiration for the Cuban Revolution only grew with time. Cuba under Castro opposed apartheid and supported the African National Congress — Mandela’s political organization and the current ruling party. Mandela credited Cuba’s military support to Angola in the 1970s and 1980s with helping to debilitate South Africa’s government enough to result in the legalization of the ANC in 1990.

The U.S. government, on the other hand, reportedly played a role in Mandela’s 1962 arrest and subsequently branded him a terrorist — a designation they only rescinded in 2008. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan vetoed the Anti-Apartheid Act.

Given this history, it shouldn’t be surprising that Mandela remained sharply critical of the United States into his later life. When the George W. Bush administration announced plans to invade Iraq in 2003, Mandela said: “If there’s a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.”

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Irie FM is rocking this morning with the JA-Cuba- Africa connections

14 replies, 1424 views

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 10:52 AM

1. So, supporting freedom abroad means you don't have to support it at home?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 11:26 AM

4. Apartheid is racial inequality,

not a lack of whatever it is, that you call 'freedom'.

And of course, the unspoken premise for your view, is that America is motivated in its conduct, by a desire to distribute 'freedom' throughout the world. An examination of the historical record however, reveals exactly the opposite.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 11:36 AM

5. Whatever you call freedom is right

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Response to malaise (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 11:44 AM

6. The word is never the same thing when imposed on others

as that which we demand for ourselves.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 11:47 AM

7. Right to the point, well said

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 12:21 PM

9. Apartheid denied civil rights to 90% of the South African population...

...while Cuba denied them to 100%.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 01:12 PM

10. They had a much lower infant mortality rate after the Revolution,

along with a lower poverty rate, vastly better education and universal health care. There were no "civil rights" before.

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Response to ronnie624 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 01:33 PM

14. No civil rights or social rights

and there was no democracy either

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 01:13 PM

11. Apartheid denied every fugging right to the native populations of South Africa

social and civil - in their own fugging country on their own fugging continent.
I won't even get into the colonial and imperialists attack on African peoples - freedom my black ass - the freedom to loot, rape and plunder is all that ever mattered to Western powers.

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Response to malaise (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 01:31 PM

13. Yeah, but I'll give that poster a '10', for gymnast worthy contortions. n/t

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 10:52 AM

2. Mandela also supported the 40-year war Castro fought in southwest Africa

because that war ultimately helped MK. The people of Angola and Namibia were less enthusiastic about it.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 11:25 AM

3. Depends on which people you speak with

Here's an interesting read

http://sociologicalimagination.org/archives/19019
<snip>
Fidel Castro was one of the political giants of the 20th century. Indeed, he was a ‘Great Man’ of politics. However, the greatness of politicians can be easily lost if we look at their careers from where they end rather than from where they began.

Cuba in 1959 had been a puppet state of the US for sixty years, relatively prosperous by Latin American standards, yet subject to much political corruption, economic exploitation and racial discrimination. US interest in Cuba dated to the mid-19th century as part of the same expansionist strategy that led to the annexation of Texas and California. In fact, the US offered to buy Cuba from Spain on five occasions, but it was only with Spain’s final imperial withdrawal from the Americas in 1898 that it fell into US hands. The US military base at Guantanamo Bay dates from this period.

My mother, who is Cuban by birth, is the same age as Castro. They share something else as well. Their parents were emigres from Europe (Castro’s from Spain, my mother’s from Spain and France) as part of the early 20th century policy of Blanqueamiento – or ‘whitening’. Inspired by eugenics, this policy aimed to attract relatively poor but aspirational Europeans to settle in various Latin American countries that were in ‘danger’ of being swamped by non-White peoples. (Incidentally, an interesting feature of the policy – given today’s resurgence of ‘epigenetic’ thinking — is that the reinforcement of European cultural habits and foods on the non-White natives was included as part of the ‘Whitening’ process.)

Whatever else one wishes to say about Castro, he broke with this history and replaced it with a radically egalitarian society which successfully overcame class and race barriers. Most of the million or so Cubans (about 10% of the island’s population) who migrated to Florida after Castro took over were themselves products of the Blanqueamiento process which had brought Castro’s and my mother’s family to Cuba. They are noticeably richer and Whiter than the people who remained in Cuba. My guess is that this is what these exiled Cubans find most galling about Castro: He was the ultimate class and race traitor – and more power to him for it!

(For what it’s worth, my mother left Cuba permanently in 1952, seven years before Castro’s revolution. She saw no future for herself in an increasingly volatile Cuba as it entered its final corrupt phase. She has always been a Castro sympathiser. My mother’s family left shortly after Castro took over and settled in Miami and were staunch supporters of Nixon and Reagan. We broke relations with them in the late 1980s.)

Castro had a very keen sense of Cuba’s strategic political and economic significance on the world stage, and he leveraged that awareness to finance the most enduring welfare state outside of the developed world. We need to realize that Cuba with its natural resources – most famously cane sugar – was positioned like some of the oil rich countries. (Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela comes to mind as an obvious Castro emulator). However, when Cuba was ‘liberated’ from Spain in 1898 only to become a US protectorate for sixty years, it was prevented from fully developing as an independent nation. Basically, it was forced to give the US highly discounted prices on its resources in exchange for military protection. (We might call that ‘extortion’.) While the US heavily invested in Cuba – with Havana becoming a combination of Miami and Las Vegas by the 1930s – it tended to support any regime that could keep the peace, which is to say, not disrupt the flow of trade between Cuba and the US

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 12:13 PM

8. So we're okay with authoritarian dictators...

 

So long as they are the RIGHT authoritarian dictators.

Fuck Fidel Castro.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 27, 2016, 01:14 PM

12. The US has always been okay with authoritarian dictators, military dictators

whoever will defend their interests - read some history

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