1. WS Africa National Congress leader Nelson Mandela and President George H.W. Bush at podiums, Bush finishes remarks and shakes hands with Mandela
2. Push CU Mandela begins remarks
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Nelson Mandela, African National Congress leader:
"Mr. President, it is an honor and a pleasure for my wife, my delegation, and I to be welcomed by you. This is a continuation of the rousing welcome which we have received from the people of New York and Boston, of black and white. That welcome has far exceeded our wildest expectations. We look forward to visiting Atlanta and other cities because we are confident that the warm welcome we have received is not confined to New York, Boston, and Washington. That mood expresses the commitment of all the people of the United States of America to the struggle for the removal of apartheid.
One thing that is very clear, and it has been made even more clear in the remarks by the President, is that on the question of the removal of apartheid and the introduction of a nonracial democracy in our country we are absolutely unanimous. That is something that we have always known because the people of America and the President, in particular, have spoken in this regard in very clear and firm terms. And this has been a source of great encouragement to our people. To receive the support of any government is, in our situation, something of enormous importance; but to receive the support of the Government of the United States of America, the leader of the West, is something beyond words. If today we are confident that the dreams which have inspired us all these years is about to be realized, it is, in very large measure, because of the support we have got from the masses of the people of the United States of America and, in particular, from the Government and from the President.
There are very important political developments that have taken place in our country today, and it is my intention to brief the President as fully as possible on these developments. We are doing so because it is necessary for him to understand not only in broad outline what is happening in our country, he must be furnished with the details which may not be so available to the public so that the enormous assistance that he has given us should be related to the actual developments in the country.
I will also ask the President to maintain sanctions because it is because of sanctions that such enormous progress has been made in the attempt to address the problems of our country.
I will also inform him about developments as far as the arms struggle is concerned. The remarks that he has made here are due to the fact that he has not as yet got a proper briefing from us. I might just state in passing that the methods of political action which are used by the black people of South Africa were determined by the South African Government. As long as a government is prepared to talk, to maintain channels of communication between itself and the governed, there can be no question of violence whatsoever. But when a government decides to ban political organizations of the oppressed, intensifies oppression, and does not allow any free political activity, no matter how peaceful and nonviolent, then the people have no alternative but to resort to violence.
There is not a single political organization in our country, inside and outside Parliament, which can ever compare with the African National Congress in its total commitment to peace. If we are forced to resort to violence, it is because we had no other alternative whatsoever. But even in this regard, there have been significant developments which I hope to brief the President on. I am also going to brief the President on the key role which the ANC now occupies in the country as a result of his efforts to mobilize the entire country around the question of peace."
President George H.W. Bush welcomed African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela at a sun-splashed ceremony on the South Lawn amid applause and cheers from a crowd of several hundred. As Mandela waved, his wife Winnie gave a clenched-fist salute. Mandela told a news conference that he and President George H.W. Bush disagree over the use of armed struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, but the president understands his position that blacks may have no alternative to violence. He explained to the president the stand of the African National Congress. Bush urged Mandela to pursue his goals through peaceful means.
Legislature , Government and politics , Racial and ethnic discrimination , Political organizations , Discrimination , Human rights and civil liberties , Social issues , Social affairs , Racial and ethnic discrimination , Race and ethnicity
Nelson Mandela , George H. Bush
South Africa government, United States Congress, United States government