US blocks visa for ANC businessman (and ex prisoner)

In an attempt to add a thread with something other then “the Middle East crises” as a world news subject to GD, here is a story I found interesting:
US blocks visa for ANC businessman in this story the USA has blocked a South African bussinessman from entering the country because of his past:

He was blocked from the US to attend a personal witnessing of the first appearance of the South African mining firm Gold Fields (of which he is a director) on the New York Stock Exchange. However, long time comrade and former South African president Nelson Mandela, was allowed to go through and had to ring the bell to open trading.
Apparently the US gov. made a mistake and it was not deliberate:

While I am a passivist, I know quite a few people who were sent to jail in (Ethiopian ran) Eritrea for various “crimes” (treason and such). Some would consider them freedom fighters while others would call them terrorists (maybe not terrorists, but something along those lines).

What is the SDMB thoughts on this? “throwing a grenade at police while smuggling weapons” is serious, but then again his cause was what most would concider “just” (equal treatment under the law). I doubt that most people would concider him a criminal, but instead a freedon fighter. Any comments?

Not a criminal? Just cause or no, the man is still smuggled guns and threw a grenade.

That said, he may not deserve being blocked out simply because he has little chance of doing to te USA. But it still isn’t kosher, ya know?

However, he was fighting for freedom of his countymen and country against a cruel and racist regime, that fact has to come into play.

The problem is, efrem, that just about everybody who engages in what could be termed “terrorist activity” thinks they’re doing so in the cause of freedom for their countrymen, and there really is no objective means of determining which ones are and which ones aren’t (in fact, in a sense they probably all are, though their definition of “freedom” may seem pretty warped to the rest of us). A policy which states that freedom fighters are allowed entry but terrorists aren’t is a policy that will inevitably favour those “freedom fighters” that the State Department is ideologically sympathetic to.

I’d guess that’s probably the way the visa issue has actually worked in practice, and I’m not sure there is a viable alternative. But it’s not a system I’d want to defend.