Address at a special meeting of the General Assembly in observance of the International Anti-Apartheid Year, UN by Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
11 October 1978, New York
It was with deep humility and a profound sense of history and its obligations that I accepted the invitation to address this Assembly, at this particular moment in the struggle against apartheid and for the final liberation of southern Africa. Even as we meet here, we feel the presence of the spirit of the martyrs who died at Sharpeville and Soweto. We feel that Steve Biko is a witness to these proceedings. Even as I speak, millions of young lives are being warped and crushed in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and their blighted hopes stand as a monumental reproach to all mankind.
I dare to speak, not in my own right, but as a part and product of a process of the struggle in Jamaica and the entire Caribbean. We look at our tormented brothers in southern Africa from a unique historical perspective; ourselves the victims of every outrage still perpetrated in South Africa, we are the products of a slave system which was the foundation for a unique colonial experience. We have known genocide, racism, oppression and exploitation as colonialism and later neo-colonialism have dominated our lives. Equally, we have struggled for our own liberation and have always recognized that our labours were a part of a world experience and very particularly linked to Africa`s struggle.