In a tweet on Monday, Pete Buttigieg launched a broadside attack on Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, hitting the Vermont senator in both English and Spanish for his Sunday praise of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“After four years of looking on in horror as Trump cozied up to dictators, we need a president who will be extremely clear in standing against regimes that violate human rights abroad. We can’t risk nominating someone who doesn’t recognize this,” wrote Buttigieg.
In his “60 Minutes” interview, Sanders defended remarks he made in the 1980s praising the Castro regime for bringing high literacy rates to the country.
“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,” Sanders said. “Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”
Anderson Cooper pushed back, noting that Castro was infamous for harshly imprisoning dissidents against his government.
“That’s right,” Sanders said. “And we condemn that.”
In addition to taking heat from Buttigieg and Joe Biden, his chief competitors in the Democratic primary race, Sanders has been bombarded with criticism from Florida congresspeople who know how costly his Castro praise could be for Cuban support in the Sunshine State.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) said that Sanders’ remarks were “absolutely unacceptable.”
“The Castro regime murdered and jailed dissidents, and caused unspeakable harm to too many South Florida families,” she tweeted. “To this day, it remains an authoritarian regime that oppresses its people, subverts the free press, and stifles a free society.”
She was joined in her criticism by Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who 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.”
Sanders also drew criticism from his Republican colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“Likely Dem nominee praised the supposed ‘achievements’ of the Castro regime,” he wrote. “And he’s 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.”
There’s no better time than now for Democrat voters to wake up to the threat currently sitting as the frontrunner for the nomination, but we’re not holding our breath. Democrats have shown themselves to be extremely tolerant towards cultural Marxism, economic socialism, and outlandish forms of identity politics. Why would they draw the line at communist dictatorships?