The Miami Herald reports:
Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution wasn’t entirely bad, Democratic presidential front runner Bernie Sanders said in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday night. “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but, you know, it’s simply unfair to say everything is bad,” Sanders said in an interview with journalist Anderson Cooper.
The comments — sure to rile Cuban exiles in Miami and escalate arguments from moderate Democrats that Sanders is too far left to beat President Donald Trump — came in response to questions about remarks Sanders ,a self-described Democratic socialist, made in a 1980s interview.
During that interview, a clip of which aired on CBS Sunday night, Sanders counted healthcare and education among the reasons that the Cuban people didn’t rise up and overthrow Castro after his 1959 revolution.
The Insider reports:
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter to reject Sanders’ remarks, writing that Sander was “wrong about why people didn’t overthrow Castro.”
“It’s not because ‘he educated their kids, gave them health care’ it’s because his opponents were jailed, murdered or exiled,” Rubio said in the tweet.
Rubio’s fellow Florida lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala, wrote on Twitter that she hoped Sanders would “take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro.”
The criticism wasn’t just coming from the right. Fernand Amandi, a liberal political consultant and commentator, posted video of Sanders’ remarks and warned his fellow Democrats that “nominating this man will absolutely re-elect” Trump.
Donna Shalala, the former Clinton Secretary of Health and Human Services and current Democratic Congresswoman representing Miami, expressed her exasperation at Sanders’s comments, which she equated to singing “the praises of a murderous tyrant.”
Fidel Castro is #1 on Twitter at this writing.
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 24, 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders offered a partial defense of Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution, potentially alienating some moderate Democrats as he chases the party’s nomination https://t.co/KL8dN7Gy6Z
— CNN (@CNN) February 24, 2020
Did anyone who plans to vote for Sanders watch the 60 Minutes interview last night. HE CANNOT WIN! He presented the future of this campaign via Trump and it will be an epic wipeout. NO, we do not look to Castro and Cuba with affection. Change your mind NOW, it is not to late!
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) February 24, 2020
Here’s the full excerpt from the 60 Minutes interview, in case you’re only seeing tiny pieces. Sanders is explaining that one of the reason that ordinary people didn’t rise up against Castro more was that he put in place widely popular programs in 59-62. That’s 100% true pic.twitter.com/eQCnxMLiYf
— Patrick Iber (@PatrickIber) February 24, 2020
The latest attempt by the media to smear Bernie Sanders is stating that Bernie “praised” Fidel Castro.
NO. What Bernie did is point out to us that despite how bad Cuba was, there were positive elements that we could learn from. Just like Barack Obama pointed out in this video: pic.twitter.com/C7iEhd9wdW
— Nicholas Ivanoff (@NicholasIvanoff) February 24, 2020