Sanders Praises Castro, Rolls Out New Free Program on 60 Minutes
If 2020 Democratic Party frontrunner Bernie Sanders is eager to distance himself from criticism that paints him as a closet commie, he’s got a funny way of creating that daylight. In an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Sanders was asked specifically about praise he’s given in the past to the Soviet Union, Communist Cuba, and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas.
Interviewer Anderson Cooper played a clip of Sanders from the 1980s, where he was explaining why the Cuban people don’t rise up and depose dictator Fidel Castro.
“He educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society, you know?” Sanders said at the time.
Back in the present, Sanders clearly has not had a change of heart.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders told Cooper. “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?”
“A lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba,” noted Cooper.
“That’s right. And we condemn that,” Sanders said. “Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear, you want to– I do not think that Kim Jong Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”
Well, there’s quite a vast gulf between praising the actual conditions in a destitute, struggling country because you have an affinity for the ideology, and engaging in diplomacy for the sake of moving forward with a U.S. agenda. Has Trump crossed the line a time or two when it comes to defending Putin and Kim? Maybe, but we never believed for a second that he was betraying his secret feelings for the men. The same cannot be said for Sanders, who really comes off as someone who would transform the U.S. into a communist nation in a heartbeat if he had the chance.
His stance on Cuba alone is sending waves of dismay throughout the Democratic Party. In an interview with MSNBC this weekend, Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar said that if Bernie Sanders is at the top of the ticket in November, Democrats will forfeit any chance of winning Florida.
“We can all agree is you can kiss Florida goodbye,” she said. “I say that Floridians — Latinos that have fled socialism, they have fled and they are in Florida, and they have sensibilities that are different from the rest of the Latino community.”
Back on “60 Minutes,” Sanders used the platform to reveal that, in addition to the other plans he has no idea how he’s going to pay for, he’s introducing a new one: A program that would guarantee free child care and Pre-K for every kid in the country up to the age of four.
“So what we are calling for is universal childcare,” Sanders said.
“How are you going to pay for this?” Cooper asked.
“We have a tax on wealth to pay for that,” Sanders said.
Sure you do, Bernie. But once you’ve taxed the wealthy to pay for Medicare-for-All, and you’ve taxed them to pay for free college, and you’ve taxed them to pay for the Green New Deal, there may not be much left to tax once you get around to free childcare.
And that, folks, is when Bernie Sanders is going to reveal that his definition of “wealth” is extremely flexible.
We have a feeling that a lot of his definitions are like that, actually.