At Monday night’s CNN Town Hall, Chris Cuomo asked Bernie Sanders about his recent comments praising Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s literacy program. Sanders said, during a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, that “it’s unfair to simply say everything [Castro did] is bad.”
Said Sanders: “There were a lot of folks in Cuba at that point who were illiterate. He formed the literacy brigade. (Castro) went out and they helped people learn to read and write. You know what, I think teaching people to read and write is a good thing. I have been extremely consistent and critical of all authoritarian regimes all over the world including Cuba, including Nicaragua, including Saudi Arabia, including China, including Russia. I happen to believe in democracy, not authoritarianism.”
Cuomo then went on to point out criticism from Democratic members of Congress who say you shouldn’t praise Castro for anything.
Replied Sanders: “Truth is truth. If you want to disagree with me, if somebody wants to say — and by the way, all of those congresspeople that you mentioned just so happen to be supporting other candidates, just accidentally, no doubt. Coincidentally. But the truth is the truth, and that’s what happened in the first years of the Castro regime.”
CNN adds: “Though no names were mentioned, neither Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell or Rep. Donna Shalala, the two congresswoman who criticized Sanders, have formally endorsed any Democratic primary candidate. Both lawmakers represent areas of South Florida.”