In 1986, many American congressmen voted to condemn apartheid in South Africa and call on the nation to free Nelson Mandela. But future vice president Dick Cheney was not among them.
Cheney voted against the bill - America's Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act - which passed with wide bipartisan support. Mandela was then in the 23rd year of his 27-year prison sentence.
Reagan vetoed Congress's vote, choosing to leave South African apartheid alone. Then in a totally unprecedented event, Congress overturned Reagan's veto. It was the first time a presidential veto on foreign policy had been overturned.
Very few currently-sitting members of Congress have said they stand by this particular vote, which is now viewed as a vote for apartheid. But Cheney said in 2000 that he stands by it entirely."The ANC was then viewed as a terrorist organization," Cheney said brusquely on ABC's This Week. "I don't have any problems at all with the vote I cast 20 years ago.''
"The ANC was then viewed as a terrorist organization...Nobody was for keeping Nelson Mandela is prison. Nobody was for supporting apartheid."