Cuba to mark "Nelson Mandela Day"

13:41, July 16, 2010      

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles at Soccer City stadium during the closing ceremony for the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg July 11, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The Cuban parliament Thursday decided at an extraordinary session to mark the first international "Nelson Mandela Day" which falls on Sunday.

In response to a call of the UN General Assembly in 2009 to laud the former South African president, the country's first black president, Cuban lawmakers decided to make the "Nelson Mandela Day" a national holiday celebrated across the country, said the Foreign Relations Committee of Cuban People's Power National Assembly in a statement.

The document highlighted "the example of resistance and the indomitable spirit of Mandela who never gave up his principles during his 27 years in prison and dedicated his life to serve the humanity."

It also stressed the close friendship between Mandela and Fidel Castro, former top Cuban leader and the Cuban people's admiration for the South African leader.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on November 10, 2009 to commemorate every year starting in 2010 on July 18 -- Mandela's birthday -- to recognize the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's contribution to resolving conflicts and promoting racial reconciliation and human rights.

After 27 years of imprisonment under the then-Apartheid government in South Africa, Mandela managed to reconcile with his oppressors and lead the country peacefully through the transition from 46-year racial segregation.

Source: Xinhua


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