Sen. Sanders praised Cuban communism for years, while Cubans engage in uprising against it

By Jenny Goldsberry

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) found himself between a rock and a hard place when Cuba, the communist state he’s praised for years, came suddenly under massive protests by its people. Fox News kept a record of all his comments from over the years.

“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders said in a “60 Minutes” interview in 2020. “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?” 

But when protests broke out, he changed his tune. On Monday night, Sanders tweeted “all people have the right to protest and to live in a democratic society.”

Video footage came out last year featuring Sanders recalling fondly the communist revolution in the 1980’s. 

“I remember, for some reason or another, being very excited when [former Cuban dictator] Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” he said, while speaking at the University of Vermont in 1986. “I was a kid … and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people.”

He also came under fire for his comments on bread lines. In an interview he gave in 1985, Sanders, then-mayor of Burlington, Vermont, was asked about the long breadlines in Nicaragua.

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food,” he said. “That is a good thing! In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

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You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.