In 1962, the United States' opinion of Nelson Mandela was much different than what was seen after his passing. Mandela was the leader of the African National Congress and was not only considered a communist, but a terrorist as well. Despite being elected to lead South Africa in 1994, he wasn't removed from the U.S. watch list until 2008.
These revelations show how differently people felt about the man who fought systemic segregation a few decades ago. President Ronald Reagan in particular was a fierce opponent of pressuring South Africa to release Mandela."