(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com) – Bernie Sanders’ recent comments about former Cuban leader Fidel Castro have gotten him in some hot water with people around the country. Now, legislators in Florida are speaking out against his words, calling them unacceptable.
On “60 Minutes,” Sanders said he was against authoritarianism in Cuba, but that “it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad, you know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing?”
Those comments naturally upset a lot of people, since he was basically defending a Communist dictator. But this isn’t anything new for Sanders. During the Cold War, he was a constant supporter of Castro, saying he was “very excited and impressed by the Cuban Revolution.” Cuba certainly wasn’t “perfect,” he said,” but it “solved some very important problems.”
In response, three congresswomen from Sanders’ own party in Florida slammed him, questioning why he would ever defend the Cuban dictator.
In a tweet, Donna Shalala, a congresswoman from Miami, said: “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. C’mon, bro.”
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a representative from the state, also tweeted: “I find Senator Bernie Sanders’s comments on Castro’s Cuba absolutely unacceptable. The Castro regime murdered and jailed dissidents, and caused unspeakable harm to too many South Florida families. To this day, it remains an authoritarian regime that oppresses its people, subverts the free press, and stifles a free society.”
The third legislator, Stephanie Murphy, tweeted that Sanders’ comments were “ill-informed & insulting to thousands of Floridians. Castro was a murderous dictator who oppressed his own people. His ‘literacy program’ wasn’t altruistic; it was a cynical effort to spread his dangerous philosophy & consolidate power. Whether the subject is Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Israel or other foreign policy challenges, [Sanders] has consistently taken positions that are wrong on the merits and will alienate many Florida voters now and in the general election if he is nominated.”
That last point from Murphy — a freshman congresswoman — is a poignant one. Florida is likely to be a key swing state in the general election, as it was when President Donald Trump first won election back in 2016. If Democrats truly want a candidate who has a chance to take down Trump, then they’re going to need someone who is projected to do well in Florida.
While he’s currently leading the race for the Democratic nomination — at least after the first three primaries/caucuses — Sanders probably doesn’t project to fair too well in Florida. The state has a huge Hispanic population, with many people from various Latin American countries including Cuba. Comments like the ones defending a dictator that has split up families — at the very least — don’t seem to bode well for Sanders’ chances.