Can you believe that despite Nelson Mandela’s struggle to free his people and his commitment to the rule of law, the Nobel Prize winner and former president was still on the U.S. terrorism watch list as in 2008? This is an issue we should not forget as we hold a Memorial Service for him today in South Africa, attended by almost all world leaders.
Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the US foreign and Security policies…
The WashingtonPost writes;
The Reagan administration also followed South Africa’s lead on characterizing the ANC, naming it a terrorist group in the 1970s and forcing Mandela to get special State Department clearance to enter the U.S. in 2008. (“It’s frankly a rather embarrassing matter,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at the time.)
Eventually, of course, the U.S. did pass economic sanctions, which are widely credited for helping topple — at least in part — the apartheid regime. Mandela went on to praise Reagan (as well as President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev) for his role in ending apartheid.
But it was Mandela’s outspoken wife, Winnie, who probably best expressed the frayed relationship between the two world leaders — and, for a time in the ‘80s, between the anti-apartheid movement and the United States. In 1986, after Winnie’s home was firebombed and burned down, the Reagan administration offered her $10,000 to rebuild it. She refused.