The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Cheney explains his past opposition to sanctions on South Africa

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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