Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced a resolution condemning Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his recent positive remarks that praised Cuban communist revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
“I remind the senator and the progressive movement that the Castro regime is a threat, not only by the way to the national security of the United States, but also to all of the democracies in this hemisphere,” Diaz-Balart told reporters in a press conference introducing the resolution. “This regime has been on the list of state sponsors of terrorism for many years for its support of other terrorist states and organized terrorist groups. That is, by the way, why I’m filing, filed a resolution that condemns the blatantly false, irresponsible, ignorant, highly ignorant and hurtful comments of the democratic socialist candidate for president, Mr. Sanders.”
The Florida lawmaker, whose family is relative of Castro is a staunch critic of the late Cuban dictator leadership. He blasted Sanders for his praised and called on him to speak to his constituents about the “devastation of socialism and the tyranny that often is accompanied by socialism.”
“If anybody wants to know the devastation of socialism and the tyranny that often is accompanied by socialism, I invite you to come and speak to some of my constituents, including the thousands – thousands of former political prisoners and the relatives, by the way, of current political prisoners who are languishing in Cuba’s prisons just because they have had the courage to speak for freedom or speak out against the regime Now this is not new, what Senator Sanders said the other day, it’s been kind of like the calling card from the progressive movement in the United States for a long, long time,” Diaz-Balart added.
“If anybody wants to know the devastation and tyranny that often is accompanied by socialism, I invite you to come and speak to some of my constituents.” pic.twitter.com/M5MEfcyfo3
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) February 27, 2020
The 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner in an interview with ’60 minutes’ said it’s “unfair to simply say everything is bad” under Castro leadership, arguing that under his power he had done some good things for his country, including his literacy program that “helped people learn to read and write” and it was a “good thing.”
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know 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, even though Fidel Castro did it?” Sanders said.”
Sanders’ interview drew scores of criticism, from both sides of the aisles and from lawmakers representing districts in Florida. Senator Marco Rubio said the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist is “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.”