(A framed portrait of former president Nelson Mandela and flowers are placed outside Mandela’s Johannesburg home Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 after the freedom fighter passed away Thursday night after a long illness. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell))

“Humanity in the face of inhumanity” – Latinos remember Mandela

The passing of Nelson Mandela at age 95 elicited responses from Latinos who said their lives – and their world – were forever changed by the civil rights icon and South Africa’s first black president.

“My meeting with President Mandela in South Africa years ago left me humbled by his humility and inspired by his fortitude – it was a moment that I never will forget,” said Senator Robert Menendez , D-N.J., who chairs the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

“Nelson Mandela taught us about humanity in the face of inhumanity, and left an unjust world a more just place. He ended apartheid and united a nation, while demonstrating almost supernatural gifts of inner strength, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Mandela died Thursday after a long illness setting off mourning throughout the world. He spent nearly three decades in prison because of his efforts to bring equality to South Africa.

Congressman Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said via statement, “Nelson Mandela had every reason to be bitter, but in every way he lived as a leader for the ages. We are most grateful for his immortal example of perseverance, reconciliation and dialogue.”

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., echoed a similar sentiment, saying Mandela “showed South Africans and the entire world what the power of forgiveness truly means and can accomplish.”

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had this to say about the death of one of modern history’s most iconic figures.  “He stood firm for decades on the principle that until all South Africans enjoyed equal liberties he would not leave prison himself, declaring in his autobiography, ‘Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me.’ Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.”

In the world of entertainment, Ricky Martin said via Tweet:

Pitbull said:

Eva Longoria also stated the world had lost one of its greatest leaders.  “Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela.”

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