Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) really loved this one politician in 1985. Not Ronald Reagan (obviously), not former presidents John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson, or even former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The politician that Sanders adored: Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
At the time, Sanders was the mayor of Burlington and was interviewed by the Center for Media & Democracy’s Channel 17/Town Meeting Television about his trip to Nicaragua. In the interview he made comparisons between Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega and Castro. Sanders just could not get enough of Castro:
“In 1961, [America] invaded Cuba, and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world,” said Sanders.
“All the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society,” he said.
“You know, not to say Fidel Castro and Cuba are perfect – they are certainly not – but just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people does not mean to say the people in these nations feel the same,” continued Sanders.
But they do feel the same. That’s why there are many Cubans who have defected to the U.S.
Of course, by saying Castro wasn’t “perfect,” Sanders seemed to dismiss the fact that the Castro regime has brutally murdered over 112,000 people through a number of gruesome methods, including torture, machine guns, drowning and prison beatings. In addition, 500,000 Cubans have been victims of the brutal torture chambers and gulags in the Castro regime.
Cuba is also a dirt-poor country, where Cubans make a maximum wage of $20 per month and the economy is reliant upon Venezuela. City-Journal’s Michael Totten visited Cuba and described what he saw:
Outside its small tourist sector, the rest of the city looks as though it suffered a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Katrina or the Indonesian tsunami. Roofs have collapsed. Walls are splitting apart. Window glass is missing. Paint has long vanished. It’s eerily dark at night, almost entirely free of automobile traffic. I walked for miles through an enormous swath of destruction without seeing a single tourist. Most foreigners don’t know that this other Havana exists, though it makes up most of the city—tourist buses avoid it, as do taxis arriving from the airport. It is filled with people struggling to eke out a life in the ruins.
Sure, Cuba has a high literacy rate. But as Totten points out, every police state needs to have its workers have the necessary skills—and was a police state necessary to increase the literacy rate from 80 percent to 100 percent?
Cuba also suffers from a heavy shortage in teachers because their salaries are so low to the point that classes are taught by videotaped lectures.
Cuba’s healthcare system has been envied by the left for quite some time. Michael Moore raved about Cuba’s healthcare system in his film Sicko. But what Moore and the left don’t realize is that Cubans have to bring their own medicine, sheets, and iodine to the hospital, most of which they have to get on the black market. John Stossel in ABC 20/20 special destroyed Moore on Cuba’s healthcare system:
And yet Sanders completely gushed about Castro. If the media wasn’t biased, they would ask Sanders about his previous love for Castro. Does he still feel that way about Castro? Do other Democratic candidates admire Castro as well? Unfortunately, the media seems content letting Sanders get away with his false claims about socialism and cozying up to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instead. Viva la revolución!