It’s been only two days since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders scored an emphatic win in Nevada, solidifying his front-runner status for the top of the Democratic ticket over his rivals, but Sanders’ apparent defense of parts of Fidel Castro’s dictatorial reign in Cuba is roiling the big-tent party filled with anxiety over embracing him.
In a CBS “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night, Sanders was asked about his remarks on communism in the 1980s, when he contended that Cubans did not seek to overthrow the late communist leader because he “totally transformed the society.” The self-described democratic socialist on Sunday, once again, pointed to social programs implemented by the dictator as a silver lining within his authoritarian government.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” he said. “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?”