Nelson Mandela on a 1988 Soviet commemorative stamp.
I am indebted to the several readers who forwarded me this article: "7 Nelson Mandela Quotes You Probably Won’t See In The U.S. Media." I was particularly drawn to the entire text of quote #4, found here: "Castro Opens National Moncada Barracks Ceremony -- Mandela Addresses Event."Mandela was released from prison in 1990. Wikipedia reports:
Mandela proceeded on an African tour, meeting supporters and politicians in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Libya and Algeria, continuing to Sweden . . . Encouraging foreign countries to support sanctions against the apartheid government, in France he was welcomed by President François Mitterrand, in Vatican City by Pope John Paul II, and in England he met Margaret Thatcher. In the United States, he met President George H.W. Bush, addressed both Houses of Congress and visited eight cities, being particularly popular among the African-American community. In Cuba he met President Fidel Castro, whom he had long admired, with the two becoming friends.
It is in the context of that sideshow of the Cold War that was the Angolan Civil War that Mandela's remarks praising Cuba and its operations in Angola must be understood. The Cubans and their MPLA familiars committed many atrocities. Mandela knew of these since he kept constant track of South African military as well as continental political affairs. He never, to my recollection, condemned them.
In 1992, after a ceasefire and further negotiations, the Buban- and Soviet-backed MPLA government of Angola held elections. In a contest marked by considerable fraud and violence, the Marxists still could get a majority vote. Again, from Wikipedia:
Angola held the first round of its 1992 presidential election on September 29–30. Dos Santos officially received 49.57% of the vote and Savimbi won 40.6%. As no candidate received 50% or more of the vote, election law dictated a second round of voting between the top two contenders. Savimbi, along with eight opposition parties and many other election observers, said the election had been neither free nor fair. An official observer wrote that there was little UN supervision, that 500,000 UNITA voters were disenfranchised and that there were 100 clandestine polling stations. Savimbi sent Jeremias Chitunda, Vice President of UNITA, to Luanda to negotiate the terms of the second round. The election process broke down on October 31, when government troops in Luanda attacked UNITA. Civilians, using guns they had received from police a few days earlier, conducted house-by-house raids with the Rapid Intervention Police, killing and detaining hundreds of UNITA supporters. The government took civilians in trucks to the Camama cemetery and Morro da Luz ravine, shot them, and buried them in mass graves. Assailants attacked Chitunda's convoy on November 2, pulling him out of his car and shooting him and two others in their faces. The MPLA massacred over ten thousand UNITA and FNLA voters nationwide in a few days in what was known as the Halloween Massacre.
As far as I can determine, Mandela never condemned the Halloween Massacre either.
The speech at Moncada Barracks, and Mandela's role in the Cold War in Africa, will not be recalled by the media in the run-up to the collectivist celebration that will be Mandela's funeral. Nevertheless, we should remember.