The title for this post is the question that President Obama asked in his Nelson Mandela memorial speech. He said that he asks himself this question as a man and as a President. You can read the entire speech by clicking on the first link above. Click on the second link to see the video.
President Obama said that "around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs..." He said that "there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Mandela's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people." This applies, without a doubt, to him, although he went on as if he was obviously talking about others. Did you know that the government of the United States helped the government of South Africa with intelligence information to capture Nelson Mandela? Click here for more on that: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/13/one_of_our_greatest_coups_the
Click here to hear President Raul Castro's speech, and a video when Mandela visited Cuba after he was released from prison in 1991 to invite Fidel Castro to visit South Africa: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/10/cubas_raul_castro_praises_nelson_mandelas
The answer to how well President Obama is applying Mandela's lessons, in my opinion, is not at all! This is especially troublesome when you consider that President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009!
The Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera has been incarcerated in the United States for 32 years for his struggle to decolonize Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States for 115 years. The United States (US) has ignored 32 United Nations (UN) resolutions asking her to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico. Under international law, Oscar has the right to use all means necessary to decolonize his country. Under international law, it is the government of the United States that commits a crime by having Puerto Rico as its colony.
President Obama has thrown away an excellent opportunity to free Oscar López Rivera and decolonize Puerto Rico. He has instead preferred not see what is happening in his own country, and send messages in his speech to other countries that they should free their political prisoners and improve their human rights practices.
Join us to peacefully protest twice a year until Puerto Rico gets decolonized. The first one will be every Abolition of Slavery Day in Puerto Rico (March 22, 2014), and the second, every Monday after Fathers' Day in New York City on the day the UN holds its hearing on Puerto Rico decolonization (June 16, 2014). It is obvious by President Obama's non recognition of Puerto Rico's political prisoner Oscar López Rivera that the United States government does not want to decolonize Puerto Rico. These peaceful protests are essential, because those who practice or accept colonialism do not believe in justice for all!