Friday 6 December 2013

Vale, Nelson Mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela is grieved by every human being who has ever cared for decency and political progress. 

There are virtually no other political leader in history who can rank beside him. Western leaders such as Winston Churchill who earned a place in history were milk compared to Mandela. 

Even Australia’s conservative politicians who publicly branded Mandela as a terrorist are now voicing their respect for his life and work. The present British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had to rely on an echo of the words of Nehru following the death of Mahatma Ghandi. Few world leaders have a vocabulary of such sensitivity to describe the man and his values.

To evaluate Mandela would require the stature of a Mandela. They don’t exist. We are floundering in the flotsam of bean counters.

For members of ACFS, and in fact, anyone who has ever been interested in Cuban history will remember the glorious scenes when Mandela visited Fidel and demanded the Cuban leader make an official tour of South Africa. Fidel accepted the invitation and in an emotionally charged filming, Fidel addressed the South African Parliament and to be given a roaring-dancing, standing-effervescent ovation. Everywhere Fidel went in South Africa he was followed by vast crowds of cheering and forever-dancing black and white Africans. Unfortunately, respect for both men did not overflow into Australia.

The former Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Downer, constantly defended the savagery of the Apartheid regime to keep Mandela in Jail. Downer declared that all Mandela had to do was to renounce terrorism and he would be set free. We hope he chokes on the memory of his puerile words. Long after the memory of Downer, Howard and Abbott are gone from history, the name Nelson Mandela will shine like a lighthouse through the gloomy seascape of their time. 

The political brotherhood of Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela will validate, and guide, our need to change the world - away from the money-polluting systems under which we now exist. 

Tony Abbott and John Howard will mouth platitudes about Nelson Mandela. It is their duty to do so.

We will grieve the passing of Nelson Mandela from the profound keep of our being.

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