Nelson Mandela is no longer physically among us, but his legacy of sacrifice, perseverance and freedom will endure forever.
Despite first espousing violence during the early days of his activism, Mandela's life journey demonstrates the transformational power of peaceful, civil disobedience.
During his 27-year imprisonment, Mandela never relented on his dream of a free, representative and democratic South Africa. He not only lived to see his dream come true, but led his country through its liberation and post-democratic process of national reconciliation.
His passing is also a reminder of the sacrifice of the world's historic political prisoners, such as Cuba's Eusebio Penalver Mazorra, the longest serving political prisoner of African descent in modern history, having served 28-years. Sadly, Penalver passed in 2006, without seeing his beloved homeland free.
Along with former Czech leader Vaclav Havel, Mandela is the ultimate representation of a political prisoner-turned-freely elected leader. From Cuba to North Korea, his extraordinary life gives endless hope to the democratic aspirations of dissidents, political prisoners and activists throughout the world.
Rest in peace and freedom.
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