From the Thursday Morning Jolt:
Only Half the Democratic Field Sees Castro’s Regime as a Bad Thing
If you caught last night’s Democratic debate, watching increasingly bitter Democratic infighting is a really pleasant change of pace from increasingly bitter Republican infighting.
One of the night’s most surprising joys was tough questioning from Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas. She showed the audience and candidates video from 1985, where Bernie Sanders praised Fidel Castro:
Sanders also commented on Fidel Castro, pointing to the lack of resistance to Castro as proof that Americans would be “very, very mistaken” to expect a popular uprising against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
“In 1959 . . . everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world and all of the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro,” said Sanders. “They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society.”
“So they expected this tremendous uprising in Cuba,” Sanders continued, but “it never came. And if they are expecting a tremendous uprising in Nicaragua, they are very, very, very mistaken.”
Then, when given to chance to attribute those comments to the naïve, foolish thoughts of an . . . er . . . 44-year-old, Sanders just kept going:
SALINAS: In retrospect, have you ever regretted the characterizations of Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro that you made in 1985?
SANDERS: The key issue here was whether the United States should go around overthrowing small Latin American countries. I think that that was a mistake . . .
SALINAS: You didn’t answer the question.
SANDERS: . . . both in Nicaragua and Cuba. Look, let’s look at the facts here. Cuba is, of course, an authoritarian undemocratic country, and I hope very much as soon as possible it becomes a democratic country. But on the other hand, on the other hands, it would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care. They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education.
It was up to Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton! – to point out what the Castro regime actually does:
He praised what he called the revolution of values in Cuba and talked about how people were working for the common good, not for themselves. I just couldn’t disagree more. You know, if the values are that you oppress people, you disappear people, you imprison people or even kill people for expressing their opinions, for expressing freedom of speech, that is not the kind of revolution of values that I ever want to see anywhere.
Cuban Americans are increasingly shifting to the Democrats. You have to think that Hillary Clinton will do pretty well among this demographic in Florida’s Democratic primary.