By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
If President Obama’s handshake with Cuban dictator Raul Castro is news, Castro’s featured presence at the Nelson Mandela memorial service and what the South African government said about him are equally newsworthy. South Africa was described as “joined at the hip” to Cuba and in its debt for “liberation.”
Yet, this part of the memorial service has been carefully edited out of most of the “mainstream media” coverage of the event.
The service was organized and orchestrated by officers of the African National Congress (ANC), the ruling party of South Africa which operates as a front for the South African Communist Party. Baleka Mbete, ANC chairperson, introduced Raul Castro’s speech by saying, “Comrades, we will now get an address from a tiny island—an island of people who liberated us, who fought for our liberation in Cuito Cuanavale—the people of Cuba.”
Cuito Cuanavale refers to the foreign intervention of thousands of Cuban military troops on behalf of communist Angolan government forces in Africa under the guidance of Soviet military officers during 1987 and 1988. This was a critical time when communist forces backed by the Soviet Union, Cuba and China were determined to crush the non-communist pro-freedom movement UNITA (The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola).
As part of his effort to turn the tide against communism in Africa and elsewhere, the “Reagan Doctrine,” President Ronald Reagan strongly supported UNITA and its leader, Jonas Savimbi.
In the end, the communists solidified control of Angola, assassinated Savimbi (shot 15 times, twice to the head and once to the throat), and then took over Namibia and South Africa as the white population—fearing extinction in the face of the onslaught—made deals with the communists.
Mandela, in commemorating the 20th anniversary of the battle in 2008, referred to it as “a turning point for the liberation of our continent and my people.” This helps explain why the Cuban regime is held in such high regard by the South African government. The ANC and SWAPO (the South West Africa People’s Organization) communists in Namibia greatly benefitted from the Cuban imperialistic intervention. Of course, Mandela’s communist movement also enjoyed the support of Libya and the PLO.
After Raul Castro’s speech, during which he highlighted Mandela’s visit to Cuba to meet with and thank Fidel Castro, ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said, “Thank you President Castro. We thank you for all the support and help that we continue to get from the people of Cuba during our years of struggle, and our countries continue to be joined at the hip in the areas of development…”
AIM noted in our column about current South African President Jacob Zuma that he traveled to Cuba in 2010 to receive the top Communist award from Raul Castro himself. Zuma also told a meeting of young communists in South Africa, “Work begins today in earnest to improve the quality of life of all our people and to build Cuban-style patriotism and internationalism within our ranks.”
Of the 6 “foreign dignitaries” listed on the official Mandela memorial service program as giving a tribute to Mandela, five are known Marxists: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (a former terrorist herself); Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao; Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba; Cuba’s Raul Castro; and of course President Obama. The other speaker was President Pranab Mukherjee of India, described as a “close friend” of Marxists in India who has “remained a friend” of the Communist Party of India during his political career and leadership in the United Progressive Alliance. Indeed, he has been labeled a “communist agent.” The Indian delegation to the memorial service included Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
Earlier in the memorial service, Andrew Mlangeni, identified as a Mandela “family friend,” spoke on Mandela’s behalf. Now considered an “elder statesman” in the ANC, he had studied “military science” and “guerrilla theory” in China. The Stephen Ellis book, External Mission, confirms that Umkhonto we Sizwe, which became the military arm of the ANC, was launched by the South African Communist Party after negotiations with Chinese Communist mass murderer and dictator Mao Tse-tung. The cover of the book, which also reveals that the East German secret police trained the ANC’s security personnel, shows a photograph of Mao Tse-tung meeting with SACP leader Yusuf Dadoo, a Muslim Indian South African communist.
Mandela ran Umkhonto we Sizwe, which carried out violence and terrorism, and he went to prison as a result. He was never a “political prisoner.” He refused to renounce violence in order to be released early. He could have been hanged for his conviction for terrorism.
Although Mandela is being widely praised for his spirit of “forgiveness” and “reconciliation,” the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), led by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, was never fully accepted as a legitimate partner and actor in South African politics by Mandela’s ANC. The IFP advocated the abolition of apartheid, or racial segregation, but refused to engage in violence and terrorism against innocent people. It also had an anti-communist orientation.
“The armed struggle, and Inkatha’s refusal to engage it, had driven a wedge between our organizations,” Buthelezi says. “Propaganda against me and Inkatha was rife and there were many attempts on my life.”
But the U.S. government under Obama is in complete support of the South African government and provides an estimated $500 million a year in foreign aid to the regime.
The United States ambassador to South Africa, former Democratic Party operative and radical organizer Patrick Gaspard, recently announced that American taxpayers would provide an additional $100,000 in U.S. government funding for the purpose of the “preservation of documents” relating to Mandela. The money was given to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the official home of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. This is the same group offering a poster featuring a quotation of Mandela under an image of communist murderer and Castro henchman Che Guevara.
In supporting South Africa, the U.S. is supporting Cuba. Obama’s handshake with Castro only confirms this fact.