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Bernie Sanders in 2016: ‘Some Very Positive Changes Came About’ in Fidel Castro’s Cuba

By CNSNews.com Staff | February 24, 2020 | 12:56pm EST
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In an interview that took place on Nov. 29, 2016--four days after the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro—Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told “Democracy Now!” that “some very positive changes came about” in Cuba under Castro’s leadership.

“A lot of positive things that can be said: Their health-care system for a Third World country is quite good,” said Sanders.

“It’s universal, all people have health care without any expense,” he said. “The last time I was there I visited a hospital where they do very, very serious and good work.        

“They come up with a lot of new drugs actually in Cuba, I believe,” Sanders said.

“Their educational system is strong,” he said. “But, in truth, their economy is in pretty bad shape. And, in truth, you don’t do very well if you dissent in Cuba.

“So, I think, you know, if you look over Castro’s long life he overthrew a terrible dictator supported by the United States of America—Bautista,” said Sanders.

“Some very positive changes came about,” he said.

In 2006, Fidel Castro passed his governing power to his brother, Raul Castro. The State Department country report on human rights in Cuba for 2005, says: “Cuba, with a population of 11 million, is a totalitarian state led by a president, Fidel Castro, whose regime controls all aspects of life through the Communist Party (CP) and its affiliated mass organizations, the government bureaucracy, and the state security apparatus.”

Here is a transcript of part of Sanders’ discussion of Fidel Castro on Nov. 29, 2016:

Bernie Sanders: “I’ve been to Cuba two or three times. I think Jane [his wife] and I went in 1989 for the first time, and I’ve been back a couple of times, and Jane had some educational work in Cuba. A lot of positive things that can be said: Their health-care system for a Third World country is quite good. It’s universal, all people have health care without any expense. The last time I was there I visited a hospital where they do very, very serious and good work.        

“They come up with a lot of new drugs actually in Cuba, I believe.

“Their educational system is strong. But, in truth, their economy is in pretty bad shape. And, in truth, you don’t do very well if you dissent in Cuba.

“So, I think, you know, if you look over Castro’s long life he overthrew a terrible dictator supported by the United States of America—Bautista. Some very positive changes came about. We could argue until the cows come home to what degree American interference created the kind of society that exists in Cuba today. So you could say that there are some positive things in Cuba, some very negative things.            

“Fifty years after the revolution people still cannot dissent with freedom, the economy is terrible.”

1:47

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