PINAR DEL RIO


support babalú


Your donations help fund
our continued operation

do you babalú?

what they’re saying


bestlatinosmall.jpg

quotes.gif

activism


ozt_bilingual


buclbanner

recommended reading





babalú features





recent comments


  • Humberto Fontova: Another valuable Babalu exclusive (in English.)

  • asombra: Arenas wrote this soon after he managed to get the hell out of the Castro corral in 1980. The book “Necesidad de...

  • asombra: In the penultimate sentence of the third paragraph, the phrase “this star of communism” is my translation for...

  • asombra: You know what “Gabo” looked like? A vulgar little man, which he ultimately was. His writing, like Alicia...

  • asombra: Oh, but Woodruff “gets” it better than all those protesting Venezuelans, just as any and all media types...

search babalu

babalú archives

frequent topics


elsewhere on the net



realclearworld

“Nelson Mandela’s Trial has been properly conducted. The judge has been scrupulously fair.”

BIO-MANDELA-COOK

From NPR:

His (Nelson Mandela's) cell became a private home with a swimming pool, complete with white servants. In this picture Nelson Mandela chats with his former chef Jack Swart outside the house he spent the last years of imprisonment....Upon his release from the hospital Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison...where he had a secluded cottage with the pool. When he arrived, he was greeted by Coetsee, the justice minister, bearing a case of wine..."The cottage did in fact give me the illusion of freedom," Mandela wrote. "I could go to sleep and wake up as I pleased, swim whenever I wanted, eat when I was hungry...It was altogether pleasant, but I never forgot that it was a gilded cage," Mandela said of his final prison."

This post's title comes from Anthony Sampson, one of the dozens of international observers at Nelson Mandela's trial for terrorism in 1964.

South Africa's apartheid regime was no model of liberty. But even its most violent enemies enjoyed a bona fide day in court under a judge who was not beholden to a dictator for his job (or his life.) When Nelson Mandela was convicted of "193 counts of terrorism committed between 1961 and 1963, including the preparation, manufacture and use of explosives, including 210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate," his trial had observers from around the free world. "The trial has been properly conducted," wrote Anthony Sampson, correspondent for the liberal London Observer. "The judge, Mr Justice Quartus de Wet, has been scrupulously fair." Sampson admitted this though his own sympathies veered strongly towards Mandela. (Indeed, Sampson went on to write Nelson Mandela's authorized biography.)

In sharp contrast, when Ruby Hart Phillips, the Havana correspondent for the flamingly Castrophile New York Times, attended a mass-trial of accused Castro-regime enemies, she gaped in horror. "The defense attorney made absolutely no defense, instead he apologized to the court for defending the prisoners," she wrote in February 1959. "The whole procedure was sickening." The defendants were all murdered by firing squad the following dawn.

In 1961 a Castro regime prosecutor named Idelfonso Canales explained Cuba's new system to a stupefied "defendant," named Rivero Caro who was himself a practicing lawyer in pre-Castro Cuba. "Forget your lawyer mentality," laughed Canales. "What you say doesn't matter. What proof you provide doesn't matter, even what the prosecuting attorney says doesn't mater. The only thing that matters is what the G-2 (military police) says!"

A reminder:

According to Anti-Apartheid activists a grand total of 3,000 political prisoners passed through South Africa’s Robben Island prison in roughly 30 years under the Apartheid regime, (all after trials similar to the one described above by Anthony Sampson.) Usually about a thousand were held. These were out of a South African population of 40 million. Here's what Mandela's "jail cell" looked like towards the end of his sentence.

According to the Human Rights group, Freedom House, a grand total of 500,000 political prisoners have passed through Castro’s various prisons and forced labor camps (many after trails like the one described by R.H Phillips above, others with none whatsoever. ) At one time in 1961, some 300,000 Cubans were jailed for political offenses (in torture chambers and forced-labor camps designed by Stalin's disciples, not like Mandela's as seen above.) This was out of a Cuban population in 1960 of 6.4 million.

So who did the wold embargo for "injustice?" and "human-rights abuses?"

Mandela's Castrophilia was simple loyalty to someone who had helped out his terrorist group when it most needed help. Actually, I can't get too worked up over Mandela's Castrophilia. Loyalty is (usually) a noble human quality, and he owed Castro big-time.

But how about the Castrophilia of the hundreds of other politicians and world "leaders" (many in the U.S.: George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, etc., etc.)???

There's something really perverse there.

2 comments to “Nelson Mandela’s Trial has been properly conducted. The judge has been scrupulously fair.”

  • antonio2009

    Bill O'Reilly called Mandela a "Communist" on his program tonight, but omitted mentioning his conviction for terrorism. Hypocrisy on the left and on the right.

  • asombra

    I expect Mandela was genuinely grateful to Fidel for his help, which obviously implies he didn't see it for what it was, or what truly motivated it. Maybe it was a case of not looking a gift horse in the mouth. At any rate, Mandela had no problem whatsoever with the millions of people, in and out of Cuba, whom Fidel did NOT help but seriously screwed over. This explains the monumental insensitivity he displayed on his visit to Miami, which he knew to be the capital of Cuban exiles, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was deliberately offensive. I'm sure Fidel enjoyed the gesture and thanked him for it. As I said elsewhere, I had serious problems with how the two previous popes behaved with respect to the Castro tyranny, so my feelings about Mandela should be easy enough to figure out.