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Bernie Sanders Defends Praise for Fidel Castro’s Literacy Program

HeadlineFeb 25, 2020

Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders has faced attacks following his praise of some aspects of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s government. On CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Sanders stated he opposed “the authoritarian nature” of Castro’s rule but lauded Cuba’s literacy program. Sanders reiterated his comments on a CNN town hall Monday night.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “They 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.”

Cuban Americans in Florida hit back at the remarks, as did some of Sanders’s presidential rivals, including Pete Buttigieg, who tweeted, “After four years of looking on in horror as Trump cozied up to dictators, we need a president who will be extremely clear in standing against regimes that violate human rights abroad. We can’t risk nominating someone who doesn’t recognize this.”

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