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OAS Secretary General says “Mandela was a Hero of our Time”

WASHINGTON, DC – The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza today expressed his “deep sorrow” over the passing of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

“Mandela is a hero of our time,” said Insulza, “a man who marked an unsurpassed milestone of dedication and consistency in world history, and who defended his ideas with no regard for the physical pain or the consequences to his health of the punishments he received as a result.” “Perhaps because he loved life, he was able to offer it up to achieve freedom and human dignity,” he said.

The OAS leader added that Nelson Mandela “will be remembered not only for his leadership in the liberation of his people and the African continent, but also for his message of tolerance and humanity, an example for all those around the world fighting for freedom, democracy and respect for human rights.”

The OAS Secretary General sent “to his wife, his family and the government of South Africa my heartfelt condolences” on his own behalf and that of the Organization he represents.

He added finally that “we greet the South African people with great affection, and thank you for having given to mankind the life of a man as illustrious and necessary as Nelson Mandela.”

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