Obama criticises ‘strongman politics’ in coded attack on Trump

Obama criticises ‘strongman politics’ in coded attack on Trump

Obama criticises ‘strongman politics’ in coded attack on Trump

The celebrations of Mandela came as South Africa is still reeling from a corruption scandal that saw former President Jacob Zuma, of Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party, resign in disgrace in favor of Cyril Ramaphosa.

Obama's comments come a day after Trump's comments questioning U.S. intelligence following his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin earned widespread criticism, and as the Trump administration has been under fire for enacting a "zero-tolerance" stance on migrants crossing the Mexican-U.S. border illegally, which resulted in the separation of almost 3,000 children from their parents.

Obama is not expected to make any mention of his successor, President Donald Trump, said Ben Rhodes, Obama's longtime aide and adviser.

Obama has made relatively few public appearances since leaving the White House in 2017, but he has often credited Mandela for being one of the great inspirations in his life.

Obama spoke to a crowd of about 15,000 in a Johannesburg cricket stadium on the eve of what would have been Mandela's 100th birthday.

But Obama reminded the crowd that "we've been through darker times". In his highest-profile speech since leaving office, Obama urged people around the world to respect human rights and other values under threat.

"Just by standing on the stage honouring Nelson Mandela, Obama is delivering an eloquent rebuke to Trump", said John Stremlau, professor of worldwide relations at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg. I believe in Nelson Mandela's vision, I believe in a vision shared by (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Martin Luther) King, and Abraham Lincoln, I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy built on a pretense that all people are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. "If you start saying it's an elaborate hoax, I don't know where to start".

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"I am not alarmist, [I am] just stating facts", the former American leader added.

"We now stand at a crossroads, a moment in time in which two very different visions of humanity's future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world".

When Obama was a USA senator he had his picture taken with Mandela. "Should we see that hope that we had as naïve and misguided?" he asked.

The event started after the Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664, a concert series that benefits AIDS victims referencing Mandela's prison number 46664, first proposed the idea of a worldwide day honoring the work and legacy of Nelson Mandela in April 2009.

"Even in the United States, founded on the declaration that all men are created equal, racial segregation and discrimination was a law in nearly half the country and the norm in throughout the rest", he continued. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

When Obama was a USA senator he had his picture taken with the newly freed Mandela. A former lawyer, Mandela was voted into power after the country's first free and fair democratic elections that witnessed the end of the apartheid system in 1994.

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