Politics

Cheney explains his past opposition to sanctions on South Africa

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney explained his past position on Nelson Mandela and his votes while in Congress opposing sanctions on South Africa during an interview on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto” Monday.

During the 1980s, then-Congressman Cheney opposed sanctions on South Africa, including the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, which passed over President Reagan’s veto in 1986. Cheney told host Neil Cavuto that he has “great respect and admiration for Nelson Mandela,” but the question in the 1980s was “whether or not we should embargo American firms from working and doing business in South Africa.”

“The Reagan administration said no. I followed the president,” he said. “Chief Buthelezi … was one of the premier black leaders in South Africa. He urged a ‘no’ vote as well too. The Mandela forces were on the other side. The argument on the Reagan side of it was that the only way a black man in South Africa could get a decent wage was if he was working for an American company.” (Related: Reagan gets a bum rap over Mandela’s death)

See Cheney’s full answer below:

Neil Cavuto: When you were a congressman you had labeled Mandela a terrorist — or at least more to the point, the African National Congress as terrorist [organization]. So how do you feel now?

Cheney: Well, I have great respect and admiration for Nelson Mandela and what he did, the sacrifices he’s made, the 27 years in prison and then what he achieved once he got out. At the time that we were voting back in the ’80s, he was still in prison and the question was whether or not we should embargo American firms from working and doing business in South Africa. The Reagan administration said no. I followed the president. Chief Buthelezi … was one of the premier black leaders in South Africa. He urged a ‘no’ vote as well too. The Mandela forces were on the other side. The argument on the Reagan side of it was that the only way a black man in South Africa could get a decent wage was if he was working for an American company.”

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