Bernie Sanders Hit with Backlash Over Long History of Praising Communist Cuba
Sanders then criticized the U.S. for its trade embargo on the island country
Socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was awkwardly silent amid the mass protests in Cuba against the country's communists regime, and there was a reason for it.
Sanders faced backlash for initially remaining silent on the protests but later issued a statement urging the Cuban government to refrain from violence.
Sanders then criticized the U.S. for its trade embargo on the island country.
Sanders once praised deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 2020, which caused a massive backlash.
"We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but, you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad," Sanders said in a "60 Minutes" interview.
"You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program."
"Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?"
Sanders then doubled down by claiming Communist China took “more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history.”
Cuba later returned the compliment with the Communist Party newspaper, Granma, giving Sanders a feature and praised him for ‘some of the social programs implemented by the history,' The Miami Herald reported.
A video also surfaced last year of Sanders recalling his excitement for the communist revolution in the 1980s.
While speaking at the University of Vermont in 1986, Sanders said:
"I remember, for some reason or another, being very excited when [former Cuban dictator] Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba."
"I was a kid ... and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people."
Sanders also claimed the USSR was not a socialist country.
“As someone from Russia, a country that was greatly impacted by the negative effects of socialism, what assurances can you offer myself and other people impacted by socialism that democratic socialism will not have the same effects?" an audience member asked Sanders.
"What happened and existed in the Soviet Union was not socialism, it was authoritarian communism," Sanders said.
Sanders added that Finland is a “very democratic society with strong democratic socialist principles.”
Videos have gone viral of Cubans marching in the streets, protesting the impoverished conditions and lack of freedom under the regime.
The irony is the protestors used “Liberty” and “Freedom” as their slogans and waved American flags.