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Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II in 1995
Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II in 1995
Worldcrunch

Two farewells for a pair of towering figures in world history: the 2005 funeral of Pope John Paul II and Tuesday’s mass public ceremony to mark the death of Nelson Mandela.

Not since the global public outpouring in Rome more than eight years ago to pay respects to the Polish pontiff has the world come together to mark a life that shaped our times.

Though the personal biographies are quite different, the Roman Catholic monarch and South African freedom fighter shared that unique mix of political and spiritual leadership that extended far beyond their own respective flocks.

Tuesday’s memorial for Mandela is also a chance to take stock in what has and hasn't changed since John Paul's passing: the global economic crisis and election of the first African-American president, the Arab Spring, Afghanistan and Iraq, exploding Facebook and Twitter, imploding Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.

Here are some points of comparison:

Location

St. Peter’s Square

Soweto's FNB Stadium

Attendance

John Paul II: 300,000

Mandela: 94,000

Notables: The Vatican funeral in 2005 was limited to official political and religious dignitaries — while such celebrities as Bono, the Spice Girls, Charlize Theron and Oprah Winfrey are on hand for Mandela’s farewell.

Here are the officials who showed up, then and now:

John Paul II funeralNelson Mandela memorial

[rebelmouse-image 27087610 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

France

President Jacques Chirac.

President François Hollande and
former President Nicolas Sarkozy
are attending, although they did not
travel together.

[rebelmouse-image 27087611 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai.President Hamid Karzai.

[rebelmouse-image 27087612 alt=""flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

Egypt

Minister of Culture
Farouk Hosni.
No representative.

[rebelmouse-image 27087613 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

Syria

Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma. No representative.

[rebelmouse-image 27087614 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

Ukraine

President Viktor Yushchenko. No representative.

[rebelmouse-image 27087615 alt=""flag" original_size="30x16" expand=1]

U.S.

George W. Bush with his wife Laura,
George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton.
Barack Obama, George W. Bush,
Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter.

[rebelmouse-image 27087616 alt="""" original_size="514x339" expand=1]

American dignitaries at John Paul II's funeral — Photo: White House


[rebelmouse-image 27087617 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x21" expand=1]

Brazil

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.President Dilma Rousseff.

[rebelmouse-image 27087618 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

Italy

President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

[rebelmouse-image 27087619 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x15" expand=1]

United Kingdom

Charles, Prince of Wales, Tony Blair
— but not the Queen.
Charles, Prince of Wales
and Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Queen wished to attend but
has been advised against it by doctors.

[rebelmouse-image 27087620 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x17" expand=1]

Iran

President Mohammad Khatami. Although President Hassan Rouhani was rumoured to go, he tweeted Monday that his VP for Executive Affairs Mohammad Shariatmadari would be attending the memorial.

[rebelmouse-image 27087621 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x15" expand=1]

Palestine

Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.President Mahmoud Abbas.

[rebelmouse-image 27087622 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x15" expand=1]

Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe.Robert Mugabe.

[rebelmouse-image 27087623 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x20" expand=1]

South Africa

Vice President Jacob Zuma. President Jacob Zuma.

[rebelmouse-image 27087624 alt="""" original_size="125x83" expand=1]

China

No representative. Vice President Li Yuanchao.

[rebelmouse-image 27087626 alt=""Flag" original_size="30x22" expand=1]

Israel

President Moshe Katsav.President Shimon Peres is not attending,
citing health problems. Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu won't be there either,
citing high travel costs.

[rebelmouse-image 27087627 alt=""flag" original_size="30x15" expand=1]

Cuba

President of the National Assembly
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada.

President Raul Castro.

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Ideas

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

American and Southwest Airlines have been refusing to allow Cubans on board flights if they've been blacklisted by the government in Havana.

How U.S. Airlines Are Doing Cuba's Dirty Work On American Soil

Boarding a plane in Camaguey, Cuba

Santiago Villa

On Sunday, American Airlines refused to let Cuban writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez board a Miami flight bound for Havana. It was at least the third time this year that a U.S. airline refused to let Cubans on board to return to their homeland after Havana circulated a government "blacklist" of critics of the regime. Clearly undemocratic and possibly illegal under U.S. law, the airlines want to make sure to cash in on a lucrative travel route, writes Colombian journalist Santiago Villa:

-OpEd-

Imagine for a moment that you left your home country years ago because you couldn't properly pursue your chosen career there. It wasn't easy, of course: Your profession is not just singularly demanding, but even at the top of the game you might not be assured a stable or sufficient income, and you've had to take on second jobs, working in bars and restaurants.

This chosen vocation is that of a writer or journalist, or perhaps an artist, which has kept you tied to your homeland, often the subject of your work, even if you don't live there anymore.

Since leaving, you've been back home several times, though not so much for work. Because if you did, you would be followed in cars and receive phone calls to let you know you are being watched.

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