Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to welcome Nelson Mandela with a day in his honor, but one board member called on the black South African leader to repudiate his support of Yasser Arafat, Moammar Kadafi and Fidel Castro.
Supervisor Mike Antonovich blamed the three leaders for much of the “bloodshed” in the Middle East and Africa, and urged the African National Congress leader to distance himself from them.
But Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who introduced the motion, told Antonovich that Mandela has repeatedly explained his support of the Palestinian, Libyan and Cuban leaders. Mandela has noted that they supported the ANC at a time when few leaders in the world would.
Despite the debate, the board voted to proclaim Friday--when Mandela visits Los Angeles--"Nelson Mandela Day.”