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 . . .(APPLAUSE). . . 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.
Elsewhere from National Review:
Washington was a surveyor, Lincoln worked on a riverboat, Reagan was a lifeguard. And how did young man Sanders pass his days? In 1963, he worked on a kibbutz in Israel. The Sanders campaign has never said which, but in a 1990 interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Sanders gave the name: Shaar Haamakim. This was a hard-left kibbutz, founded by a movement of Marxist Zionists: Ten years before Sanders went there, they had mourned Stalin’s death; in his day, they still flew the red flag and sang “The Internationale.” It recalls the youthful follies of half the founding editors of National Review — except they repented their delusions while Sanders barely modified his: running for office in Vermont as a Socialist, taking his second wife on a honeymoon in the Soviet Union. The most Sanders appears to have learned about his past is to hide it. That old red magic’s got me in its spell . . .