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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba"

Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report

Westlake Legal Group biden-vp-hopeful-karen-bass-slammed-over-past-praise-for-fidel-castro-report Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 93cf1424-cbbd-58de-b22a-5a2d73cb63be

Past praise for the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has some Miami-area Democrats worried about a lawmaker said to be in the running to join the Joe Biden ticket.

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat who heads the Congressional Black Caucus, referred to Castro as “comandante en jefe” after he died in 2016 – and called his passing “a great loss to the people of Cuba,” Politico reported.

The phrase Bass used translates to “commander in chief.”

KAREN BASS: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BIDEN’S POSSIBLE DEMOCRATIC VP CONTENDER

Democrats speaking out against Bass’s apparent admiration for the late dictator – who led the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s and was a thorn in the side of U.S. presidents for a half-century – include U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., and Miami state Rep. Javier Fernandez.

Westlake Legal Group bass-castro-split Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 93cf1424-cbbd-58de-b22a-5a2d73cb63be

U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., is facing backlash from Miami-area Democrats over her past praise of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Both Shalala and Fernandez represent an area with a high number of exiles from communist and socialist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua – a constituency that has a history of opposing candidates who express even the slightest amount of sympathy for Castro, who ruled in Cuba as president until 2008 and as Communist Party leader until 2011 before dying five years later at age 90.

AMY KLOBUCHAR WITHDRAWS FROM BIDEN VP SELECTION TO MAKE ROOM FOR ‘WOMAN OF COLOR’: REPORT

“I disagree with the Congresswoman’s comments on Cuba. I invite people to come to Miami where we can educate them on the tyrannical dictatorship that has decimated Cuba for 60 years,” Shalala, who served in former President Bill Clinton’s administration, told Politico.

“I invite people to come to Miami where we can educate them on the tyrannical dictatorship that has decimated Cuba for 60 years.”

— U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla.

Westlake Legal Group Shalala-black Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 93cf1424-cbbd-58de-b22a-5a2d73cb63be

U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla.

“The comments are troubling,” Fernandez told the outlet. “It shows a lack of understanding about what the Castro regime was about. So I have to learn more about her position and perspective on Fidel Castro.

“Praise like the one that was given by Bass at the time of Castro’s death is inconsistent with my family’s experience with what the regime did — and continues to do — to people on the island, which is to suppress human rights, keep people under a totalitarian thumb and stifle economic growth.”

Bass’s congressional office told Politico the congresswoman’s remarks in 2016 were similar to those uttered by former President Barack Obama, who at the time was seeking better relations with Cuba as the country prepared to transition from the leadership of Castro and his brother, Raul Castro, now 89, who remains a Communist Party leader there after succeeding Fidel Castro as president from 2008-2018.

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Biden’s campaign declined to comment to Politico about Bass’s remarks.

The news outlet noted that former Biden primary opponent Bernie Sanders was heavily criticized in Florida for making pro-Castro comments during a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS in February, after being asked about previous pro-Castro remarks attributed to him in 1985.

Westlake Legal Group bass-castro-split Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 93cf1424-cbbd-58de-b22a-5a2d73cb63be  Westlake Legal Group bass-castro-split Biden VP hopeful Karen Bass slammed over past praise for Fidel Castro: report fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio article 93cf1424-cbbd-58de-b22a-5a2d73cb63be

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Gaetz, adopted son respond to ‘offensive’ comments by Rep. Richmond about raising minority children

Westlake Legal Group gaetz-adopted-son-respond-to-offensive-comments-by-rep-richmond-about-raising-minority-children Gaetz, adopted son respond to 'offensive' comments by Rep. Richmond about raising minority children fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c9c75a99-c95f-5335-8da3-3b5164034036 article
Westlake Legal Group Video-2020-06-18T210624.734 Gaetz, adopted son respond to 'offensive' comments by Rep. Richmond about raising minority children fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c9c75a99-c95f-5335-8da3-3b5164034036 article

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday alongside his adopted, Cuban-born son Nestor one day after Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., claimed that Gaetz and his Republican colleagues do not understand what it’s like to raise minority children.

“It is certainly offensive to have someone tell you that you don’t know what a certain experience is like when they know nothing about you,” Gaetz told host Tucker Carlson. “Nestor is the light of my life. I couldn’t imagine loving him any more if he was my own flesh and blood.

“I’ve raised him for the last six years, and he is the most remarkable young man,” Gaetz added. “I am proud of him.”

Gaetz and Richmond clashed during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the Justice in Policing Act Wednesday after Gaetz asked Richmond why he assumed that his Republican colleagues had non-white children.

“I already know that there are people on the other side that have black grandchildren. It is not about the color of your kids. It is about black males, black people in the streets that are getting killed,” Richmond said as Gaetz attempted to interject. “And if one of them happens to be your kid I’m concerned about him too, and clearly I’m more concerned about him than you are.”

“Excuse me,” Gaetz shot back. “You’re claiming you’re more concerned for my family than I do. Who in the hell do you think you are?”

Later in the exchange, Gaetz told Richmond to “take those words down” while committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., insisted that Gaetz yield back to Richmond.

“Was that a nerve?” Richmond asked at one point.

“Yeah, you’re d–n right it was a nerve,” Gaetz answered.

On Thursday morning, the 38-year-old Gaetz posted a picture of him and 19-year-old Nestor on his Twitter account.

Carlson noted that in normal times, Richmond may have been censured for such pointed remarks toward another lawmaker, while Gaetz admitted that the former Congressional Black Caucus chairman will likely go unpunished.

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“I am honestly embarrassed for the United States Congress that we have resorted to criticizing each other based on our race and the race of our children and I wish that we could be more productive going forward,” he said.

For his part, Nestor said that he did not see Richmond berating his father live on television, but instead saw it several hours later.

“I woke up to seeing all these tweets and I was like what is going on?” he said.

“I think it’s unfair to tell someone that they don’t understand because of their racial color,” Nestor continued, saying that it is hypocritical to claim to fight for equality while dividing by race.

“I cannot believe,” Gaetz concluded, “that it’s acceptable in the United States Congress for someone to tell someone else that they are fighting for their children more than they are.”

Westlake Legal Group Video-2020-06-18T210624.734 Gaetz, adopted son respond to 'offensive' comments by Rep. Richmond about raising minority children fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c9c75a99-c95f-5335-8da3-3b5164034036 article  Westlake Legal Group Video-2020-06-18T210624.734 Gaetz, adopted son respond to 'offensive' comments by Rep. Richmond about raising minority children fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c9c75a99-c95f-5335-8da3-3b5164034036 article

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Ali Pardo: Trump supports freedom for Cuban people, while Biden would abandon US commitment to freedom

Westlake Legal Group ali-pardo-trump-supports-freedom-for-cuban-people-while-biden-would-abandon-us-commitment-to-freedom Ali Pardo: Trump supports freedom for Cuban people, while Biden would abandon US commitment to freedom fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/world fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/foreign-affairs fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Pardo 3c2ced59-0f67-5840-a8aa-870ccbc89e05
Westlake Legal Group AP20134737450476 Ali Pardo: Trump supports freedom for Cuban people, while Biden would abandon US commitment to freedom fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/world fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/foreign-affairs fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Pardo 3c2ced59-0f67-5840-a8aa-870ccbc89e05

For over 60 years, May 20 – the original Cuban Independence Day – has served as a reminder of what was lost in Cuba: liberties that many paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to regain. To this day, the Cuban people remain censored and abused by their own government, while much of the world tragically turns a blind eye.

In April 1961, the Cuban exile troops of Brigade 2506, which included my grandfather, embarked on a failed attempt to free their country from dictator Fidel Castro, who stripped their fellow citizens of their rights.

This group of men bravely attempted to give their homeland, their neighbors and their families the freedom we enjoy in America. This year – and especially on this day – just months after losing two of my grandfathers, my heart aches thinking of these heroes and their loved ones who will never see their people freed.

TRUMP CAMP HITS BIDEN OVER COMMENTS ABOUT RESTORING OBAMA POLICY TOWARD CUBA

But losing their homes and their country was only the beginning of their story. In America, they found freedom and a better, safer home for themselves and their children.

The story of my family fleeing Cuba is what drives my love of country and liberty. The determination of my grandfather’s generation to fight back and overcome adversity in pursuit of a better future for their children embodies the American Dream.

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Cuban Americans like me used to take solace in the fact that, unlike the rest of the international community, American presidents stood up for the human rights and freedom of the Cuban people.

But now an emerging wing of the Democratic Party coddles socialist autocracies like Cuba and cheers on as communism runs amuck in Latin America. What was once a fringe policy position now seeps dangerously into the mainstream of the Democratic Party.

There was a time when Democratic leaders were wise enough to keep the leftist ideologues within their ranks in check. But now the far-left wing of the Democratic Party – led by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who famously praised Castro’s “literacy programs” – has taken control of the party’s policy agenda.

Though Sanders has dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden – the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee – is embracing much of Sanders’ radical agenda.

Just last month, when Biden was asked if he would return to the failed, Obama-era policy of appeasing the Cuban dictatorship, he quickly responded “yes I would.”

Biden’s double-down of President Barack Obama’s Cuba policy is another example of his willingness to sell out America’s longstanding commitments to freedom in Latin America, in order to win over the far-left wing of today’s Democratic Party.

In contrast, President Trump has taken decisive action to combat the oppressive regime in Cuba. He has imposed strong sanctions on the Cuban military, which funnels vast swaths of Cuba’s wealth into the hands of the nation’s oppressive leaders and their cronies.

Biden, on the other hand, proposes appeasement – a dangerous proposition.

Obama’s failed policy enriched corrupt officials and enabled human rights abuses in Cuba and also propped up other socialist dictators in Latin America. This resulted in conflict, famine and mass migration across the region.

The Nicolas Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, supported by Cuba, is harboring Hezbollah terrorists. These actions are not only a threat to the security and welfare of the region; they threaten the well-being of Americans.

Recently Biden has attempted to pivot and adopt a tough-on-Cuba stance in preparation for the 2020 election, but this bears little resemblance to his actions as vice president.

Just last week, Biden tried to join in opposition to Cuba being named to the United Nations Human Rights Council. But the Obama-Biden administration attempted to appease the communist regime with lax sanctions and diplomatic overtures. And Cuba served on the U.N. Human Rights Council three separate times during Biden’s tenure.

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Clearly, Biden cannot be trusted to hold Cuba’s government accountable for its horrendous actions.

Rather than taking the bold decision to confront such abuse, Biden is focused on winning over American socialists. As vice president, he sold out American workers to communist China while his son Hunter made lucrative deals in Beijing. Now he is proposing we abandon the Cuban and Venezuelan people to advance his personal political interests.

Come November, we cannot stand idly by while Joe Biden sells out the Cuban people and our core American values. My story is just one of many. We cannot allow the sacrifices of families like mine to have been made to be in vain.

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Now more than ever we need to lean into the very values that make us uniquely American –freedom, liberty and the understanding that every human life is a gift from God.

To move forward, we must remember our shared past, build on the present, and fight for our future. And we need President Trump leading that charge.

Westlake Legal Group AP20134737450476 Ali Pardo: Trump supports freedom for Cuban people, while Biden would abandon US commitment to freedom fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/world fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/foreign-affairs fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Pardo 3c2ced59-0f67-5840-a8aa-870ccbc89e05  Westlake Legal Group AP20134737450476 Ali Pardo: Trump supports freedom for Cuban people, while Biden would abandon US commitment to freedom fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/world fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/foreign-affairs fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article Ali Pardo 3c2ced59-0f67-5840-a8aa-870ccbc89e05

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Trump camp hits Biden over comments about restoring Obama policy toward Cuba

Westlake Legal Group image Trump camp hits Biden over comments about restoring Obama policy toward Cuba fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 4b4acd98-ab20-5100-bc65-ea9d7a11caf3

The Trump campaign on Tuesday slammed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden‘s comment that he would restore the Obama administration’s diplomatic détente with Cuba despite the nation’s close ties with Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro.

In a statement, the Trump campaign’s deputy communications director, Ali Pardo, said Biden “would follow Bernie Sanders’ lead and side with socialist dictatorships over our country’s values.”

“It’s bad enough that as vice president, Biden never lifted a finger to stop Maduro as he starved his own people and that his administration praised Raúl Castro, giving the Cuban government a pass despite its horrific human rights record,” Pardo said. “Now, just like Biden sold out Americans while his son Hunter made millions doing business with communist China, he’s selling out the Cuban and Venezuelan people to win over the ​chavista wing of the Democrat Party.”

FLORIDA MEN HELP FOSTER FAMILIES AMID CORONAVIRUS: ‘JUST A WAY TO BLESS THEM’

Biden told a local CBS station in Miami during an interview on Monday that “in large part” he would go back to the Obama administration’s more open policy toward Cuba.

“What’s happened with this is more than about Cuba, it’s about all the Caribbean, and it’s about all of our allies and friends, which are in Latin America,” Biden said. “And when we did when we changed the policy, we began to be open up and get so much more support within the region. And that’s what we should be doing now there’s no reason to continue a policy that wasn’t that presidents put in place.”

The Trump administration has rolled back many of the policies his predecessor implemented that led to the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. Among the rollbacks, the administration has restricted non-family travel to the island and limited the amount of remittances a person in the U.S. can send to family in Cuba to $1,000 per quarter.

Trump has also banned all flights to Cuba except for those to Havana and the Commerce Department took direct aim last year at Cuba’s tourism industry by restricting airlines’ abilities to lease aircraft. It also said the U.S. will expand sanctions to include more foreign goods that are made of American content.

All flights to Cuba have now be temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cuba is closely allied with Maduro’s troubled Venezuela.

Home to the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela was for decades an economic leader in the Western Hemisphere and, despite a massive gap between rich and poor, was a major destination for neighboring Colombians and other Latin Americans fleeing their less prosperous and more troubled homelands.

But in 1999, with the rise to power of Hugo Chávez – whose social and economic reforms initially endeared him to the poor but also set up an unsustainable system of state spending – Venezuela’s economy began to creep toward a crisis. The situation has been exacerbated by Maduro, Chávez’s successor, who took power in 2013, and by a plunge in global oil prices in 2015.

Venezuela has been gripped by widespread malnutrition, disease and violence, and critics accuse Maduro of unfairly winning an election last year for a second six-year term by banning his popular rivals from running and jailing others.

Today, an estimated 4.5 million Venezuelans have emigrated from the country of 30 million, leaving behind crumbling infrastructure, broken hospitals, power failures and gasoline shortages with mile-long lines at filling stations across much of the South American nation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Trump camp hits Biden over comments about restoring Obama policy toward Cuba fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 4b4acd98-ab20-5100-bc65-ea9d7a11caf3  Westlake Legal Group image Trump camp hits Biden over comments about restoring Obama policy toward Cuba fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 4b4acd98-ab20-5100-bc65-ea9d7a11caf3

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Flights between US, Cuba suspended over coronavirus, officials say

Westlake Legal Group flights-between-us-cuba-suspended-over-coronavirus-officials-say Flights between US, Cuba suspended over coronavirus, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us fox-news/travel fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article a71ddcae-0db1-59d4-9950-defc69fbda2b
Westlake Legal Group AP20082656373543 Flights between US, Cuba suspended over coronavirus, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us fox-news/travel fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article a71ddcae-0db1-59d4-9950-defc69fbda2b

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Flights between Cuba and the United States were suspended on Wednesday in the latest attempt to restrict travel and stop the spread of coronavirus.

The last flight out of Cuba departed to Miami at 12:55 p.m., ahead of the April 2 deadline to suspend all flights.

RUSSIA SENDING PLANE FILLED WITH MEDICAL EQUIPMENT TO US AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“U.S. citizens in Cuba who normally live in the United States should arrange for immediate return with American Airlines today or be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” the U.S. Embassy in Cuba said in a statement.

The embassy also said that any Americans with future travel plans to Cuba should postpone them until after the coronavirus pandemic is under control.

Cuba is on lockdown until the end of April, and those in the country are advised to quarantine at home. Only Cuban citizens or foreign residents returning home are allowed entry the country but are being monitored by health officials at quarantine centers for two weeks.

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Currently, there are 186 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cuba, the country’s Health Ministry reported on Tuesday. Eight people have died.

Westlake Legal Group AP20082656373543 Flights between US, Cuba suspended over coronavirus, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us fox-news/travel fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article a71ddcae-0db1-59d4-9950-defc69fbda2b  Westlake Legal Group AP20082656373543 Flights between US, Cuba suspended over coronavirus, officials say Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/us fox-news/travel fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/travel fnc article a71ddcae-0db1-59d4-9950-defc69fbda2b

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House Republicans plan to attempt procedural vote condemning Bernie Sanders’ Castro comments

Westlake Legal Group SandersDebate022620 House Republicans plan to attempt procedural vote condemning Bernie Sanders' Castro comments fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc e427dd7b-6b89-5616-b655-274b925d9773 Brie Stimson article

House Republicans reportedly plan to attempt a procedural vote Thursday on legislation condemning Sen. Bernie Sanders’ recent praise of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s 1960s literacy campaign.

Sanders lauded Castro’s “literacy brigade” on ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday and said that although he’s “very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba…it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”

“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?” he said.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., the chief sponsor of the proposal, is a Cuban-American whose family fled Castro’s regime. His aunt was Castro’s first wife, according to Politico.

The vote could complicate reelection efforts for vulnerable Democrats in tight House races, especially for those concerned having Sanders at the top of the ticket could cost them their seat in November.

BIDEN BLASTS SANDERS OVER CASTRO DEFENSE: ‘I DON’T THINK YOU SHOULD EVER GIVE PRAISE TO DICTATORS’

“Do they stand with Bernie or do they stand for freedom?” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said when making the announcement.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., said she found his remarks “unacceptable,” according to Politico.

“Stalin doubled literacy in the Soviet Union, even as he murdered tens of millions of people,” Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., tweeted. “Apologists for dictatorship – Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia – always say ‘they do some bad things, and some good things.’ It’s a way of making them seem just like us. It’s utterly wrong.”

Both Democrats are in swing districts.

At Tuesday evening’s debate, Sanders defended his comments, saying they were similar to what former President Obama “said in terms of Cuba — that Cuba made progress on education.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden told Sanders Obama “did not in any way suggest that there was anything positive about the Cuban government” and he has “never embraced an authoritarian regime.”

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Biden also told Fox News this week, “I don’t think you should ever give praise to dictators.”

Westlake Legal Group SandersDebate022620 House Republicans plan to attempt procedural vote condemning Bernie Sanders' Castro comments fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc e427dd7b-6b89-5616-b655-274b925d9773 Brie Stimson article  Westlake Legal Group SandersDebate022620 House Republicans plan to attempt procedural vote condemning Bernie Sanders' Castro comments fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc e427dd7b-6b89-5616-b655-274b925d9773 Brie Stimson article

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Dem field gangs up on Sanders over Cuba comments in debate

Westlake Legal Group image Dem field gangs up on Sanders over Cuba comments in debate fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc ee1d67f9-d7d3-5e7e-bdef-c9a65b3e32ea article Andrew O'Reilly

Bernie Sanders defended on Tuesday evening his past comments praising the Cuban government’s strides on education and healthcare under the Castro regime, saying he has opposed authoritarian regimes across the globe but that sometimes they “do some things good.”

Sanders, the Vermont senator currently leading the Democratic presidential primary field, drew widespread criticism over the weekend for the comments he made during an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” said Sanders, I-Vt., in a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday night, “but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”

He added: “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, a self-described democratic socialist, has refused to back down from his comments – arguing during Tuesday night’s debate in South Carolina that former President Barack Obama had once praised the Castro regime’s progress on education and healthcare. The Vermont lawmaker said there is a reticence among Americans to look back at Washington’s own history of overthrowing foreign governments and supporting dictators.

“It might be a good idea to be honest of American foreign policy and that is the American government helped overthrow governments in Chile, Nicaragua, and Iran,” Sanders said in reference to U.S. support in overthrowing leaders in those countries in the 1970s and 80s.

Sanders’ reference to Obama did not sit well with former Vice President Joe Biden, who claimed that his boss “never embraced an authoritarian regime,” while former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg lamented that the candidates were debating about Cold War-era policies.

“This is not about what coups happened in the 1970s and 80s, this is about the future,” Buttigieg said.

Sanders’ comments about the Castro regime could play a large role in how he fares in Florida’s March 17 primary.

Sanders’ socialist identification and his willingness to praise leftist regimes have given his Democratic opponents ammunition to question his electability in a state with a large Cuban American population that remains fiercely skeptical of leftist governments.

In Florida, where Hispanics account for nearly one in every five voters, that skepticism could present a major hurdle for Sanders in the state’s primary, and for Democrats hoping to win Florida’s 29 electoral votes in November.

According to an Associated Press survey, about a third of Cuban American midterm voters identified as Democrats.

However, Democrats hardly have a lock on that vote in battleground Florida, particularly among the nearly 2 million Floridians of Cuban, Venezuelan and Nicaraguan origin.

In 2018, Republican Ron DeSantis narrowly won Florida’s governor’s mansion. While more than two-fifths of Florida Latinos voters favored DeSantis overall, a clear majority of Cuban American voters — 57 percent — cast their support for the Republican.

Critics say Sanders needs to more strongly disavow Cuba and other authoritarian regimes.

“It’s not just about Cuban American voters, it’s Hispanic voters as well, many of whom would never consider voting for an avowed socialist …,” said Fernand Amandi, a Cuban American pollster based in Miami.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Dem field gangs up on Sanders over Cuba comments in debate fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc ee1d67f9-d7d3-5e7e-bdef-c9a65b3e32ea article Andrew O'Reilly  Westlake Legal Group image Dem field gangs up on Sanders over Cuba comments in debate fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc ee1d67f9-d7d3-5e7e-bdef-c9a65b3e32ea article Andrew O'Reilly

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Mike Gonzalez: My family came from Cuba — Sanders should educate himself on Cuban suffering

Westlake Legal Group image Mike Gonzalez: My family came from Cuba — Sanders should educate himself on Cuban suffering Mike Gonzalez fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d44573e3-d723-58d2-a7f9-f7ed14b68706 article

In a “60 Minutes” segment that aired on Feb. 23, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., once again praised the supposed achievements of the Castro family’s communist rule over Cuba since 1959. His remarks were ill-informed, as I can attest.

“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 told 60 Minutes host Anderson Cooper.

Such comments demonstrate at the very least a lack of sympathy for the victims of the Castro regime.

DNC SPOKESPERSON SAYS PARTY ‘VERY CLEAR’ IN OPPOSING DICTATORSHIPS AFTER SANDERS’ CASTRO DEFENSE

They are of a piece with something Sanders told an audience at the University of Vermont in 1986: “I remember, for some reason, being very excited when Fidel Castro made the Revolution in Cuba. I was a kid and I remember reading that, and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people.”

All of this gets it backward. Marxists and Marxist sympathizers have always insisted that the ends justify the means, which may account for the contempt for Castro’s victims. But the results of Castro’s Cuba do not justify the savaging of a culture.

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Let’s first take the comments about the “ugly rich people.” At first blush, one would think he is talking about people like my parents, who were fresh off the University of Havana’s Law School when the revolution triumphed, and who suffered greatly later in the 1960s.

But actually, both my parents were elated when the dictator Fulgencio Batista fled on New Year’s Eve, 1958. Like most of their lawyer friends, they enthusiastically backed Castro and his movement.

One of the reasons was that they knew Castro from law school. Though they did not approve of his gangsterish ways, he promised elections and said he was not a communist (he lied). Besides, nobody could be worse than Batista.

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The young professionals detested Batista because of his corruption, but so did the elites, for an entirely different reason that always elides Castro supporters: racism. Batista was a colored man, blackballed from at least one country club because of his race. Castro, the son of a Spanish soldier who did well in Cuba, was white. Black and mixed-raced Cubans tended to be poorer and were much more likely to support Batista and be members of his police.

Deriding the opponents of the Castro regime as the “ugly rich” is thus baseless. It is also in itself what’s ugly. My maternal grandfather was an electrician, an immigrant from Asturias. My grandmother’s parents were poor immigrants from Galicia. My grandparents worked up to gain a comfortable life and send their daughter to law school. Did they deserve to lose everything?

Did my parents deserve the constant fear of arrest after the revolution because they refused to embrace communism? All they wanted was to have freedom of speech and be able to offer my sister and me a religious education without fear of retribution. As an altar boy in the 1960s, I can tell you that practicing Catholicism took guts. I was eight or nine.

Did my father deserve to die from diabetes at 44 because he could not get the diet or medication he needed? Had he not walked out of the University and refused to teach law in 1961 he might still be alive. When he died in hospital, the only piece of equipment that could have saved his life was being used on a Russian diplomat; our father did not have access to it.

And all this human suffering, all these broken eggs, for what kind of omelet? For all the vaunted gains in literacy, Cubans today cannot read what they want, only what the party says.

Cuba was a fairly advanced country before 1959, which is why Europeans — like five of my eight great-grandparents — emigrated there.

According to data that anyone could have easily Googled, Cuba in 1959 had the fourth-highest literacy rate in Latin America. Of course, those people could read whatever they wanted. My own paternal grandfather was an anti-Batista columnist and lawyer; there are copies of his opposition columns at the University of Miami library. (He also regularly excoriated Batista on a radio show — try doing that with Raul Castro in Havana today).

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Cuba also had the lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America and the 13th lowest in the world. In per capita food consumption, it ranked third in Latin America. In per capita television sets, it ranked first in Latin America and fifth in the world.

All of this has been crushed by 60 years of communism. No European or American in his right mind would immigrate to Cuba today. Rather than scorn, anti-communist Cubans deserve respect.

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Westlake Legal Group image Mike Gonzalez: My family came from Cuba — Sanders should educate himself on Cuban suffering Mike Gonzalez fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d44573e3-d723-58d2-a7f9-f7ed14b68706 article  Westlake Legal Group image Mike Gonzalez: My family came from Cuba — Sanders should educate himself on Cuban suffering Mike Gonzalez fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc d44573e3-d723-58d2-a7f9-f7ed14b68706 article

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Joe Scarborough mocks Sanders’ defense of Castro: ‘Like saying Mussolini had the trains running’

Westlake Legal Group Scarborough-Bernie-Sanders-Getty-AP Joe Scarborough mocks Sanders' defense of Castro: 'Like saying Mussolini had the trains running' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/morning-joe fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-scarborough fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2f7e3c6d-6e38-542d-be49-92e7aad6ea3c

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough blasted Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Tuesday, likening his defense of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to praise for Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

His comments came after Sanders appeared to defend Castro for his support of a “literacy brigade” on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday.

“They helped people to read and write,” Sanders told interviewer Anderson Cooper. “You know what, I think teaching people to read and write is a good thing.”

“That’s like saying Mussolini had the trains running,” said Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida. “You cannot talk about Fidel Castro’s literacy programs, you just can’t — not in American politics — and shouldn’t be able to without talking about the long laundry list of evils committed by Fidel Castro against his own people over decades.”

BERNIE SANDERS SEEN IN UNEARTHED 1986 VIDEO RECALLING EXCITEMENT OVER CASTRO’S REVOLUTION IN CUBA

Earlier in the program, Scarborough acknowledged that Castro “had a literacy regime, but he also had a regime who tortured Catholics, tortured people who worshipped God in a way he didn’t like, tortured students that had newspapers, kept people locked up for years, killed people.”

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Scarborough then predicted that the comments meant that “Bernie Sanders will get wiped out in South Florida, which means he will never — like I’m talking about in the general election — I don’t know how he’ll do in the primary there. Kiss Florida goodbye.”

BERNIE SANDERS’ DEFENSE OF CASTRO’S CUBA EVOKES SOCIALISM’S BRUTAL HISTORY

In remarks at the University of Vermont in 1986, Sanders — then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s largest city — recalled “being very excited when Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba.”

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“I was a kid … and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people.”

During that speech, Sanders said he almost had to “puke” when he saw John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon “talking about which particular method they should use about destroying the revolution” during a 1960 election debate.

“For the first time in my adult life, what I was seeing is the Democrats and Republicans … clearly that there really wasn’t a whole lot of difference between the two,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Scarborough-Bernie-Sanders-Getty-AP Joe Scarborough mocks Sanders' defense of Castro: 'Like saying Mussolini had the trains running' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/morning-joe fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-scarborough fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2f7e3c6d-6e38-542d-be49-92e7aad6ea3c  Westlake Legal Group Scarborough-Bernie-Sanders-Getty-AP Joe Scarborough mocks Sanders' defense of Castro: 'Like saying Mussolini had the trains running' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/shows/morning-joe fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-scarborough fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/media fnc article 2f7e3c6d-6e38-542d-be49-92e7aad6ea3c

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Meghan McCain tries to shut down Behar as she defends Cuba’s literacy program: ‘Lets not’

Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-joy-behar-getty Meghan McCain tries to shut down Behar as she defends Cuba’s literacy program: 'Lets not' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/media fnc article 430d7a6c-8c36-5c46-b8f7-f8794f9afc82

“The View” co-hosts unanimously panned Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Tuesday but co-host Joy Behar ruffled some feathers in how she defended the  2020 candidate and his comments about Cuba’s dictatorship.

At one point, Behar seemed to try and tout Cuba’s literacy program, which Sanders similarly used as a way to defend former dictator Fidel Castro’s regime.

“I believe the literacy rate did jump quite a bit,” Behar said. McCain responded: “Ok, let’s not. Let’s not.”

Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary had described the literacy initiative as a “re-education” program. After Behar’s comment, he said that he wasn’t sure Cubans were getting a “good dose of world history” in the program.

BERNIE SANDERS’ DEFENSE OF CASTRO’S CUBA EVOKES SOCIALISM’S BRUTAL HISTORY

“Do they get that here?” she asked, apparently knocking the U.S.’s education system.

Behar and co-host Whoopi Goldberg differed over just how bad the senator’s comments were about Cuba.

“There’s no way around that. This is as bad as you-know-who saying there were good people on both sides – it’s the same thing,” Goldberg said, referring to President Trump’s comments during the racially charged protests in Charlottesville, Va.

Co-host Meghan McCain agreed, but not everyone was on board. “I don’t agree,” Behar responded.

Goldberg suggested that Sanders’ comments about dictator Fidel Castro were like downplaying how bad Adolf Hitler was.

Behar eventually seemed to downplay the threat posed by the Castro regime, saying: “Fidel is dead, his brother will be dead soon. The whole thing is going to change very soon.”

Their conversation came after Sanders defended Cuba’s leadership. “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?” he asked, noting that he was opposed to the regime’s “authoritarian nature.”

Co-host Sunny Hostin predicted that Sanders’ comments would hurt his popularity among Latinos.

“He’s saying these things and he’s this democratic socialist. That is not going to do well in Florida – a swing state – for that Latino contingent. I mean, they are not going to forgive him for this position,” she said.

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“It’s a dictatorship!” Goldberg added. “There is nothing groovy about a dictatorship.”

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Behar also criticized Sanders’ comments, arguing that he should have pointed out the country’s many flaws.

“What he should be saying is yes, they learned to read but it’s an oppressive dictatorship that has zero percent growth, that the people have no mobility, upward mobility there,” she said. She added that the infrastructure in the country is “horrible” and that the “quality of life there is horrible.”

Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-joy-behar-getty Meghan McCain tries to shut down Behar as she defends Cuba’s literacy program: 'Lets not' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/media fnc article 430d7a6c-8c36-5c46-b8f7-f8794f9afc82  Westlake Legal Group meghan-mccain-joy-behar-getty Meghan McCain tries to shut down Behar as she defends Cuba’s literacy program: 'Lets not' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/world-regions/cuba fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/entertainment/the-view fox news fnc/media fnc article 430d7a6c-8c36-5c46-b8f7-f8794f9afc82

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