PPSÉ: Condolences on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

PPSÉ: Condolences on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

Páirtí Poblachtach Sóisalach na h-Éireann (Irish Republican Socialist Party) wishes to express our condolences on the passing of the heroic freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s inspiring commitment to his beliefs while suffering a brutal imprisonment, and his refusal to condemn armed resistance helped lead his movement to victory over apartheid.

Predictably left out of the media narrative is that this victory would not have been possible without the widespread support of other anti-imperialists and the international communist movement. Mandela credited Cuba with helping to end apartheid: Cuba’s military intervention in Angola against South Africa led to the end of the apartheid regime.

The sickening outpour of hypocritical tribute from the same politicians who worked against Mandela, and in the case of Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron, actually called for his brutal execution, should not pass without comment. Such is the low quality of contemporary “leaders” that the can only elevate themselves by parasitically attaching themselves to the legacy of their revolutionary foes.

That his movement, the African National Congress in time abandoned all commitment to socialism and social welfare, deserves criticism. Despite the ANC’s remarkable achievements in democratizing South Africa, workers there still face brutal repression, such as the massacre of 34 striking miners in 2012.

Yet Mandela deserves our praise for remaining a foe of imperialism for the remainder of his life, frequently criticising US aggression and maintaining his support for socialist Cuba, Gaddafi’s Libya and Palestine. Republicans in Ireland actively supported the armed campaign against Apartheid, and Nelson Mandela in turn was a close friend of republicanism and supported Ireland’s long struggle for freedom.

More importantly, at a time when such examples are desperately needed, Mandela’s heroic example proves that revolutionaries can create lasting change.