Today, the 5th August marks 57 years since President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s arrest near Howick, KwaZulu Natal, in 1962. The Apartheid regime was in cahoots with the CIA and the USA regime to effect his capture. Once again the USA government was on the wrong side of history a penchant it seems to pursue to this today.
Quite contrary to this position, the civil rights movement in America as part of the global anti-apartheid campaign stood squarely in the corner of President Mandela and the liberation struggle in South Africa.
Madiba’s arrest followed his return from military training by the Algerian FNLA part of a 16 country tour he undertook to mobilise support for the armed struggle. Upon his return he criss-crossed the country for 17 months briefing leadership often appearing in disguise at gatherings.
We mark this day not only to commemorate the historic deception but also to say to the world that the very regimes that were complicit in his arrest today continue to support Apartheid Israel and an agenda of regime change in the Middle East, Latin America and elsewhere.
The US government and its lackeys in the UK are no friends of peace, justice and equality. They are no friends of the Palestinian people a cause so close to Nelson Mandela’s heart.
As we commemorate Madiba’s arrest we also remember his principled stand on Cuba. During the long years of his incarceration he drew immense inspiration from Commandante Fidel Castro, the broader Cuban leadership and heroic people. We salute the thousands of Cuban heroes who laid down their lives for our freedom and the freedom of many nations all over Africa. We demand an end to the unjust embargo unilaterally imposed upon Cuba by the USA.
President Mandela’s arrest marked a turning point in our struggle for liberation as the Apartheid regime became more brutal in its suppression of the liberation movement. We call on all freedom loving people around the world to work together to end human suffering, poverty and hunger.
We call on all freedom loving people to support the causes that Madiba championed especially the Palestinian struggle, ending the occupation of Western Sahara and the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.
Madiba’s arrest deprived a family, nation and the African continent of a great leader but it failed to crush our resolve to work for a better world.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.