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IT IS RIDICULOUS TO LABEL MANDELA A COMMUNIST

I am writing in response to the June 23 letter "Mandela was trained by Communist forces," in which the writer attempted to discredit Nelson Mandela by asserting that receiving aid from Communist countries was and is tantamount to being an actual Communist.

Nelson Mandela is not and never has been a Communist. To assert that receiving aid from Communist countries makes one a Communist is a non sequitur. It is true that there has often been close cooperation between the African National Congress and the Communist Party. But cooperation is merely proof of a common goal -- in this case the removal of white supremacy -- and is not proof of a complete community of interests.

Nobody would dare to suggest, for example, the cooperation between Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union in the fight against Hitler turned Churchill or Roosevelt into Communist tools. In fact, as a young man, Nelson Mandela moved for the expulsion of Communists from the ANC.

PAUL J. COLUCCI
Kenmore

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