Protesters wait for Obama near Nelson Mandela’s hospital

Pretoria demonstrationAn estimated 200 demonstrators awaited President Obama’s South African arrival, chanting and carrying signs to protest what they perceive as his “arrogant, selfish and oppressive” foreign policy. The crowd maintained their vigil just a few blocks from the hospital treating civil rights leader and former president Nelson Mandela.

President Obama’s inauguration brought to the demonstrators expectations of greater things, and they now feel disappointed, according to The Washington Times.

The protesters expressed dissatisfaction with the president’s drone policy as well as his failure to fulfill certain campaign promises, most notably the closing of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility.

“Mr. Mandela is in critical but stable condition,” The Times’ Cheryl Chumley noted. “Doctors say his condition improved somewhat late Wednesday evening, various media reported.”

As the protesters chanted near Mandela’s hospital and Air Force-One was nearing Johannesburg, the president entered the aircraft’s press room.

The first question posed by the press had nothing to do with the long string of scandals plaguing the White House, but was more of a “what will you do on your summer vacation” kind of query.

”Sir, looking forward to your trip in South Africa comes at a time when, obviously, a lot of people in the region are focused on the ailing health of Nelson Mandela,” the reporter asked according to The Weekly Standard.  “I know you have a relationship with him — do you hope to visit him?  Do you think that your message there will change?”
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the president said he wouldn’t be visiting the ailing Mandela. Hans Nichols, White House reporter for Bloomberg tweeted the following:


Nicholas Johnston, from Bloomberg’s Washington First Word desk, confirmed with his own tweet:



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