Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985
Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist and it running for president yet again. The 77-year-old Vermont politician mobilized young voters during the 2016 election yet failed to secure enough votes to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. Now, in 2020, Sanders is hoping to lead the Democratic Party to victory and become the next president of the U.S. Yet, one video continues to resurface when then-Mayor Sanders praised Fidel Castro for his work transforming Cuba.
An old interview with Bernie Sanders praising Communist dictator Fidel Castro is making the rounds again.
One of the most quoted moments from the video is Bernie’s excitement for Castro.
“I remember being excited when Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” Sanders said in the interview.
Sanders is referencing the revolution led by Castro that would force 1.2 million Cubans to flee their home country for safety and freedom. Many Cubans relied on homemade rafts to float the 90 miles to the Florida coast to seek refuge from the authoritarian regime that stripped Cuban citizens of their basic civil rights.
Sanders leaned into his support for Castro’s revolution later in the interview.
“You may recall back in, what was it, 1961, they invaded Cuba and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world and that all the Cuban people were gonna rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro,” Sanders said in the interview. “They had forgotten that he’d educated their kids, given them healthcare, totally transformed the society… you know, not to say that Fidel Castro or Cuba are perfect. They are certainly not. But, just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people, does not mean to say that the people in their own nations feel the same way. So they expected this tremendous uprising in Cuba, It never came.”
While the uprising Sanders said was anticipated didn’t materialize, what did materialize was a genuine fear among Cuban people about the safety of their families. Millions of people left everything and everyone they knew behind because the unknown of fleeing Cuba held more promise than staying behind. The Cuban government, led by Castro, took all material possessions from the Cuban people and transformed the lives of millions for the worst.
This isn’t the first time Sanders has been made to answer for his comments praising Castro’s revolution.
The controversial interview made an appearance during Sanders’ 2016 campaign when he was running against Hillary Clinton. During one of the debates, Sanders was questioned about the interview.
“It would be wrong not to state in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care,” Sanders said during the debate.
“They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education,” Sanders said. “I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans and it will help the United States.”
Sanders’ comments about Cuba’s government will continue to follow him, especially on social media.
Socialism has a negative connotations for many Americans who think of Cuba and Venezuela as examples. While those government hide behind the label of Socialism, they are much more Communist. We have seen examples of Democratic Socialism throughout Europe with positive results. However, the label of Democratic Socialist have proved to be difficult obstacles to overcome for both Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
You can watch the full interview below.
The statements by Sanders about the Castro revolution might be steeped in the misconception Cuba has long pushed into the world. It is important to understand that the revolution forced millions of people to leave their homes like we are currently seeing in Central America. Desperate people landed around the world hoping for a better life and the freedom they saw dying in Cuba.
Has Sanders changed his mind about the Castro revolution? Certainly, he will have to answer for this again as he runs for president in 2020.