How Mandela's left-wing rhetoric spooked Washington

He was removed from the US government's terrorist watch list as late as July 2008, writes Niall Stanage.

8th December, 2013
Mandela pictured in the early 1950s in the offices of the law practice he set up with fellow anti-apartheid activist Oliver Tambo. Picture: Jurgen Schadeberg/Getty

History is written by the victors, Winston Churchill is reputed to have said.

Fresh proof came last week in Washington, as politicians and pundits of all stripes came together to pay tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela after his death at the age of 95.

However, American attitudes to Mandela were not always so positive and unequivocal. President Ronald Reagan, in particular, fought fiercely to resist calls for economic sanctions against the apartheid regime...

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