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Tribute to Nelson Mandela


Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional leaders to attend Mandela's funeral

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec 9, (CMC) – Several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders were leaving the region today (Monday) for South Africa to attend the funeral of the country's first Black President and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela.

Mandela, 95, died last Thursday, following a prolonged illness. He will be buried on Sunday, December 15.

CARICOM chairman and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar, as well as her Jamaican counterpart, Portia Simpson-Miller are expected in Johannesburg in time for the funeral.

President Donald Ramotar of Guyana and Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie are also attending the meeting.

A Bahamas government statement said that the delegation will first travel to Trinidad where it will "join other CARICOM Heads of Government for the direct flight to Johannesburg via private charter courtesy of the government of Trinidad and Tobago".

The statement said that Nassau had played a prominent role in the release of Mandela after 27 years in jail for his fight to overthrow the apartheid system.

"Once released from prison, Mr Mandela came almost immediately to visit The Bahamas to personally thank former Prime Minister Sir Lynden Pindling for his leadership in securing the release. In fact, Mr Mandela made two trips to the Bahamas," the statement said, noting that "Sir Lynden Pindling was chairman of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 1985 which issued the "Nassau Accords" that led to Mr Mandela's release.

"As a result of this close relationship, Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as the second president of a democratic South Africa, made an official state visit to The Bahamas during his tenure as president in 2002, the statement said.

Nelson Mandela dead at 95

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Dec 5, (CMC) – Caribbean countries were expressing condolences on the death of Nelson Mandela , South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon, who died on Thursday. He was 95. South African Presient Jacob Zuma broke the news of Mandela's death to the nation during a live press conference that began about 8.45am AEDT.

President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela, in the James S. Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama delivered a statement on the passing of former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, calling him "a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice."

"We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," the President said. "So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice."

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Creation Of New High School – THE NELSON MANDELA SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

School will be Located in the Boys and Girls High School campus in Brooklyn that Mandela Visited in 1990

NYC Service to connect New Yorkers with Community Service Projects in honor of Nelson Mandela

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott today announced the creation of the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice, a new high school that will be located in the Boys and Girls High School campus that Nelson Mandela visited in 1990, just months after he was released from serving 27 years of a life sentence for political offences in South Africa. The school, which would open in September 2014, will be named for the former president of South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and transformative global figure devoted to democracy, equality and education, who passed away yesterday. To further honor the legacy and work of Nelson Mandela, Mayor Bloomberg announced New Yorkers can help honor Nelson Mandela's legacy through community service this weekend. Through the City's comprehensive volunteer initiative, NYC Service, New Yorkers can connect to service projects across the five boroughs and share their experiences and commitment on Twitter using the hashtag #ServeMandela. The Panel for Education Policy will vote on the proposal to create the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice at its December 11th meeting. "Equal opportunity and access to education were among the many things Nelson Mandela spent his life fighting for," said Mayor Bloomberg. "President Mandela once said 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.' Renaming the campus he visited shortly after his release from prison, will forever serve as a reminder that our mandate as public servants is to provide our children with the weapons they need for a successful future and help us build a City of inclusion and opportunity that Madiba could be proud of."

"Nelson Mandela visited this building not long after he was released from prison, and we want to ensure that the special bond between the students and this legendary figure will live forever," said Schools Chancellor Walcott. "Every time they enter and exit its doors, our students at this new school will be reminded of the values he personified. A school that bears his name will encourage our students to demonstrate courage, overcome obstacles, and embrace community. His legacy will forever live on in New York City schools, and I hope our students will reflect on, grow from, and emulate this extraordinary man."

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. He was actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement at an early age and went on to direct a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government. He was subsequently arrested and imprisoned for political offenses and remained a prisoner for 27 years until his release in 1990. Three months after his release in June 1990, Mandela visited New York City where he was greeted by hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers at Boys and Girls High School in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, followed by a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan and a welcome ceremony at City Hall hosted by Mayor David M. Dinkins. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the South Africa's apartheid system. The following year Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa's first black and first democratically-elected president. In 2002, Mandela returned to City Hall for a ceremony kicking off the Tribeca Film Festival to support New York City in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In May 2005, Mayor Bloomberg presented Nelson Mandela with a Key to the City, for his commitment to fight inequality and promote peace around the world.

In 2009, the United Nations declared Mandela's birthday, July 18th, as Nelson Mandela International Day to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader's legacy. The motto of Mandela Day "Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day," aims to encourage and inspire individuals and groups to take action to help change the world for good and empower communities around the world. In honor of his passing, NYC Service will provide a centralized resource of community and volunteer organizations planning service events where residents can give back to their communities. Volunteer opportunities can be found on www.nyc.gov.


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Charles B. Rangel issued the following statement to honor the life of Nelson Mandela, who passed away at age 95, on December 5, 2013, after battling with ill health for many years:

"I have long thought of Nelson Mandela to be the epitome of Sainthood. He was a visionary and selfless leader, who was willing to make great sacrifices in the pursuit of freedom and justice. Not many would have the courage and conviction to endure 27 years of imprisonment fighting to free the people of South Africa from the racial oppression of apartheid.

Mandela spent his entire life fighting and suffering for what was right, and he emerged from his battles with grace and good-humor, not anger or bitterness. He is my personal hero and I will never forget how humbled I felt when I first met him. Ever since that day, I have thought to myself: 'God spent a lot of time making Nelson Mandela.'

But that is because Nelson Mandela was one of those special people in human history. He is a true inspiration to anyone who has heard his story. And even on this sad day, I find comfort in knowing that his life and spirit will continue to inspire humankind for generations to come. I hope we can take this period of mourning to reflect on the powerful lessons Nelson Mandela has taught us. We must honor his life by renewing our dedication to social justice, equality, and freedom for all peoples.

Today, I join the people of South Africa and millions across the globe in honoring the life of Nelson Mandela. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones."