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Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro: 6 Quotes Illustrate Friendly Relationship

By    |   Tuesday, 09 February 2016 05:29 PM

Former South African President Nelson Mandela and Cuba’s former Prime Minister Fidel Castro had a relationship based on admiration, inspiration, and respect.

Castro’s efforts during the Cuban revolution inspired Mandela’s political movement in South Africa. Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevera and their guerilla army overthrew the corrupt Batista regime. According to the book “Nelson Mandela: Ending Apartheid in South Africa,”this revolution encouraged Mandela’s efforts to promote a political revolution in South Africa, despite Castro’s communist ties.

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Mandela praised Castro for Cuba’s fight against the spread of apartheid. Cuba sent troops to defeat successive invasions in Angola by South Africa’s apartheid regime during the mid-1970s and late 1980s.

In July 1991, Mandela visited Cuba right after his release from prison. He gave a speech at the national ceremony commemorating the Moncada Barracks attack. The following quotes show Mandela’s admiration for the efforts made during Cuba’s revolution.

• "We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in face of the vicious imperialist-orchestrated campaign to destroy the impressive gain made in the Cuban Revolution. We too want to control our own destiny."

• "The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom, and justice unparalleled for its principled and selfless character."

• Mandela met with Fidel Castro during his trip. He thanked him for his support and asked him to visit South Africa. "And our friend Cuba, which had helped us in training our people, gave us resources to keep current with our struggle, trained our people as doctors, and SWAPO, you have not come to our country. When are you coming?"

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• In September 1998, President Mandela gave a speech at a banquet in honor of Castro, and he shared with the audience the support his country would offer Cuba. “South Africa is committed to working with Cuba to help build a better life for millions of people across both our continents and beyond. As we enter the millennium, South Africa gladly takes your hand in partnership for peace, prosperity, and equity.”

• Castro expressed his sentiments toward Mandela in an open letter, calling him an “old and revered friend.” Upon learning of Mandela’s death in the winter of 2013, Castro’s brother, President Raul Castro, said: “We profoundly respect and admire him, not only for what he did for his people, but also for his proven friendship to our country.”

• During Nelson Mandela’s memorial, Raul Castro shared Fidel Castro’s appreciation for Mandela. “Fidel has said – and I quote – ‘Nelson Mandela will not go down in history for the 27 consecutive years he spent incarcerated without ever renouncing his ideas. He will go down in history because he was capable of cleaning up his soul from the poison that such an unfair punishment could have planted there, and for his generosity and wisdom, which at the time of victory allowed him to lead with great talent his selfless and heroic people, knowing that the new South Africa could not be built on hatred and vengeance.’”

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela and Cuba's former Prime Minister Fidel Castro had a relationship based on admiration, inspiration, and respect.
nelson mandela, fidel castro, friendly, quotes
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 05:29 PM
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