As thousands of protesters took to the streets of Cuba on Sunday night to demand an end to the country’s communist regime, U.S. lawmakers spoke out on social media in solidarity with the protests.
However, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Who has previously championed some of the policies of Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro, has yet to release a statement.
A spokesperson for Sanders did not immediately return Fox News’ request for comment.
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After his victory in the Nevada caucus in the 2020 Democratic primary, Anderson Cooper asked Sanders during an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” why the Cuban people did not rise up and help the people. United States to overthrow the Castro regime. Sanders replied that the dictator “educated their children, gave their children health care, totally transformed society.”
“We are very, very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know it is unfair to just say that everything is wrong,” Sanders said. “You know? When Fidel Castro came to power you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did?”
Cooper continued to push back Sanders, noting that many political dissidents have been jailed in Cuba.
“It’s true. And we condemn this,” Sanders said. “Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear, you want – I don’t think Kim Jong Un is a good friend. I don’t exchange love letters with a murderous dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine. “
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The defense during the 2020 election season came after Sanders praised the Communist dictator in a resurfaced speech at University of Vermont in 1986.
“I remember, for one reason or another, being very excited when Fidel Castro revolutionized Cuba,” he said at the time. “I was a child… and it seemed right and proper for the poor to rise up against the rather ugly rich.”
His comments provoked reactions from both sides of the political aisle. Sanders’ apparent affinity for Communist politics does not end in Cuba. As was widely reported while the Vermont senator was running for president, he went on a “honeymoon” to the Soviet Union with his wife Jane in 1988.
Sanders is not the only one to remain silent on Cuba.
Fox News has also contacted the White House for comment. Press secretary Jen Psaki referred Fox News to the National Security Council, which then referred to Psaki’s comments on Cuba during an interview with MSNBC. Psaki addressed the lack of basic resources in Cuba during this interview.
Fox News also contacted State Department spokesman Ned Price, but had no response.
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Fidel Castro ceded power to his brother Raúl in 2011 after nearly half a century as head of the island nation; Fidel died in 2016.
On Saturday, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published a column in which she raved about the “rise” of the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist.
“He changed the whole debate in the nation’s capital. He’s the guy trying to get his party back to its working-class roots and steer President Biden in a bolder, more progressive direction,” Dowd wrote.
She continued: “Sanders passionately believes that the only way to undo the damage done by Donald Trump and Trumpism is to show that the government can keep its promises, that good policy can overcome dangerous conspiracy theories and lies. ”
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