Dem Rep. Shalala: “Senator Sanders’ comments on the Castro regime are misguided, ill-informed, and unacceptable.”
Democrat and #NeverTrump pundits have been unleashing oceans of ink trying to get another Democrat to take down socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). They at least want to get him to moderate his crazy commie worldview and to downplay his disastrous plans for our great nation. If he doesn’t, they justifiably fear, he will lose to Trump.
And for them, beating Trump is all that matters.
Not so much for Bernie. He doesn’t care about Trump; after all, he pondered a primary challenge to Obama in 2012 and gave the Obama-anointed Hillary a good run for the party’s money in 2016. Bernie’s not a partisan, he’s an ideologue, a true believer, albeit a blinkered, deliberately obtuse true believer. Or, as our friend Katya Sedgwick puts it, Bernie is a communist dupe.
All these pleas to drop the “Up with Communism” stuff are confusing to Bernie. After all, he’s already gone as far as he can by trumpeting Scandinavian models of socialism, models these countries’ leaders pointedly refute by noting their economy is market-based and definitely not socialist, thank you very much.
For Bernie, this is the compromise he’s willing to make, calling himself a “Democratic socialist” and evoking Scandinavian entitlements is his version of triangulation. He is entirely befuddled by questions aimed at nudging him toward further moderation; you can almost see it in his body language, his confused glare, his stuttering attempts to defend the indefensible. I’ve already caved to these “electability” demands, Comrades, back off.
We know this because the countries he most admires have always been those with full-blown communism. From his honeymoon in the former Soviet Union to his defense of truly horrific, murderous tyrants like Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Bernie flits along touting the wonder of bread lines and the atrocity-justifying joy of literacy programs.
He is utterly blind to the violence, oppression, and widespread slaughter that rendered once free people either dead or living in utter fear of their own government. When people are willing to launch small vessels, dinghies, even doors into the ocean and try to paddle themselves and their family to the land of the free, Bernie is puzzled. Why would they do that? They have literacy programs! And “free” stuff!
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., doubled down on his remarks praising former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro during a televised town hall on Monday night after he raised eyebrows for complimenting the brutal leader’s education reforms.
“When Fidel Castro first came into power … you know what he did? He initiated a major literacy program. It was a lot of folks in Cuba at that point who were illiterate and he formed the Literacy Brigade … and 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,” Sanders said in response to criticism.
He continued, “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. … China is an authoritarian country … but can anyone deny, I mean the facts are clear, that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history. Why you criticize when I say that — that’s the truth. So that is the fact. End of discussion.”
People with less naive worldviews, including many who have experienced first-hand the “benefits” of the Cuban revolution, are outraged.
Wait, so tens of thousands of Cubans were killed, tens of thousands imprisoned, and one million exiled to raise the literacy rate from 76 percent to 90some percent?https://t.co/pCYKuLnuYH https://t.co/uZp6YriLRohttps://t.co/wkigqWPkBM pic.twitter.com/SkUEaNkQYP
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) February 25, 2020
Who the hell makes that kind of a trade-off? "In exchange for a 15-20 percentage point increase in literacy rates, I will accept death squads, secret police, political prisoners, no free elections, no free speech, mass exiles, and brutal authoritarianism”?
— Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) February 25, 2020
This is a problem for Bernie because Florida, a critical state in any presidential election, has a large Cuban population (and a growing Venezuelan population thanks to that nation’s disastrous dive into socialism).
Florida Democrats are lambasting Sanders for his sophomoric, fantastical view of Castro’s revolution.
Bernie Sanders says he’s the Democrat best-equipped to defeat Donald Trump in November.
But Florida Democrats insist he‘s the worst-equipped after Sanders’ refusal Sunday night to thoroughly condemn the Cuban revolution. His comments on 60 Minutes sent shock waves through the nation’s biggest battleground state, where Democratic members of Congress, state legislators and party leaders warned that his nomination — and Sanders’ self-described “Democratic socialism” — will cost them the biggest battleground state of them all.
. . . . As a state with an influential cross-section of Latinos whose families fled leftist Latin American regimes and violence, Sanders embrace of far-left leaders and his past refusals to wholeheartedly condemn Latin American strongmen and the Soviet Union have long been seen as fatal flaws.
Sanders on Sunday did nothing to allay those concerns in a 60 Minutes interview in which he was asked about his 1985 comments stating that the Cuban people didn’t “rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro” because “he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society.”
There was no mention of the firing squads, political purges and mass arrests that accompanied the 1959 revolution.
There’s a reason he doesn’t mention the “firing squads, political purges and mass arrests that accompanied the 1959 revolution.” Bernie, the true believer, is focused on the ends. How you get there, the means, don’t matter a whit. People aren’t people to Bernie and his ilk; they are worker units who either contribute to the utopian goal or who, for whatever reason, do not and must be purged.
Florida pols on both sides of the aisle are taking notice.
I'm hoping that in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro. https://t.co/Iwvmay9LOH pic.twitter.com/KT9sQ0pfkh
— Donna E. Shalala (@DonnaShalala) February 24, 2020
Democrat Rep. Shalala was so furious that she published the following press release via her House web page:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Donna Shalala (FL-27) released the following statement:
“Senator Sanders’ comments on the Castro regime are misguided, ill-informed, and unacceptable. Over the last six decades, hundreds of thousands of Cubans have risked their lives to escape the tyranny of the Castro regime – a reign of fear, paranoia, and oppression that regularly abuses human rights in order to stifle free thought and democracy in Cuba to this very day.
“I believe Senator Sanders would benefit from taking time to meet with the many survivors of Castro’s Cuba who now live in South Florida. My hope is that after meeting with the exile community, he will recognize that the Cuban regime – and other similar authoritarian regimes across Latin America – are instruments of evil and are not worthy of his praise.”
As the first South American immigrant member of Congress who proudly represents thousands of Cuban Americans, I find Senator Bernie Sanders’ comments on Castro’s Cuba absolutely unacceptable.
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) February 24, 2020
Likely Dem nominee praised the supposed “achievements” Castro regime
And he’s wrong about why people didn’t overthrow Castro. It’s not because “he educated their kids,gave them health care” it‘s because his opponents were jailed,murdered or exiled https://t.co/6i41w7zcDe
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 24, 2020
Shameful ignorance from @SenSanders.
The Castro regime has killed & imprisoned dissidents, oppressed its people and propped up murderous dictators like Maduro and Ortega. https://t.co/ROnmWT9oka
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 24, 2020
Today we remember Carlos, Pablo, Mario & Armando who were killed by the Cuban regime for taking a stand against the oppressive government that @SenSanders praises.
We honor their bravery and we will continue to shed light on the atrocities from this murderous regime. https://t.co/W1NfZM8LdU
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 24, 2020
David Harsanyi at National Review sums up the absurdity of Sanders’ commie fanboy disaster well:
Did you know that infamous Nazi Hermann Göring was a great lover of animals, a protector of birds, and head of the forestry service in Germany? Unless you’re a history buff, probably not. After all, almost no one feels the need to preface their comments about the Third Reich with “Sure, the authoritarianism was pretty bad, but, boy, that Göring was one hell of an environmentalist!”
. . . . Sanders is regurgitating Communist propaganda. Cuba already had the highest literacy rate in Latin America before the revolution, and it basically kept trending in the same direction as every other nation in the region. When Castro triumphantly entered Havana in 1958, he didn’t bring truckloads of books; he ordered thousands of arrests and summary executions. When Castro “came into office,” he canceled elections, terminated the free press, and turned Cuba into the island prison that still exists today.
Cubans haven’t been able to freely read about their own oppression since Castro took power. (Cuba, though, has nearly eradicated the scourge of “inequality,” with most people making around 20 bucks a month.) And the only possible reason any American would feel the need to defend that dictator’s programs — Sanders once said Castro “educated the children, gave them health care” — is because they’re sympathetic to the cause.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.