The socialist Sanders is the current leader in the race for Democratic nomination for president. He has praised Fidel Castro and doubled down on his praise for the murderous communist dictator. Then Monday night Bernie went on to praise communist China.
Bernie has said ‘It is unfair to say that everything is bad with the way that Fidel Castro ruled in Cuba.’ Monday he provided clarification and emphasis saying,
“The response was when Fidel Castro first came to power … he initiated a major literacy program… There was a lot of folks in Cuba at that point who were illiterate. He formed a literacy brigade, they went out and helped people learn to read and write. You know what? I think teaching people to read and write is a good thing.”
Sanders then praised communist China.
“China is an authoritarian country becoming more and more authoritarian. But can anyone deny, I mean the facts are clear, that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history… Do I get criticized because I say that? It’s the truth. So that is the fact, end of discussion.”
Where to begin, where to begin? When Fidel first came to power he did not initiate a major literacy program. The first thing he did was purge the opposition, then he suppressed free speech and disarmed the people. Now later he did provide a literacy program. If you censor the press, limit free speech and control the distribution of information literacy has limited value.
Now, as to praising communist China; we know they have been extremely tyrannical. Under Mao they murdered tens of millions of their own people. Some estimates run to over 60 million. They made people live in some of the poorest conditions on the planet. Even today they have over a million of their own people in concentration camps… and that was before coronavirus.
As to the claim that China has “… taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history…” That claim is patently false. What has happened is the Chinese government junked the communist economic policies of Chairman Mao. They opened their economy to free markets. The freeing of the Chinese markets have allowed the economy to grow. The people have benefited from the rising standard of living. That was not a function of China or of communism. It was the result of free markets.
Communist propaganda as campaign talking points
The Blaze reports Sanders was promoting debunked communist propaganda with his misleading claims:
While it is true that Castro implemented a reading program on the island after seizing power in a bloody revolution in 1959, Cuba’s literacy rate was already high for a Latin American nation at the time and its educational gains have been comparable to those of its peers in the years since.
As attorney Hans Bader noted in an August 2016 article, nearly eight out of 10 Cubans already knew how to read by 1950. This figure was similar to that of Costa Rica, which also achieved 100 percent literacy over the following decades — except Costa Rica and other countries did so without the kind of authoritarian dictatorship that Cubans have endured under the Castro regime for over 61 years.
Sanders also falsely claimed that the Democrats who have attacked him over his pro-communist comments are backing other candidates. Reporter Josh Kraushaar notes: “… At CNN town hall, Bernie Sanders said the FL Dem members of Congress criticizing his Castro comments all endorse other 2020 candidates. That’s false: Reps. Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell did not endorse anyone in the Dem primary…”
Local fellow Democrats respond
Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, who is of South American descent responds to Bernie via Twitter,
“The Castro regime murdered and jailed dissidents, and caused unspeakable harm to too many South Florida families… To this day, it remains an authoritarian regime that oppresses its people, subverts the free press, and stifles a free society.”
But this is just par for the course in this year’s Democrat primary which has featured no paragons of veracity and many purveyors of mendacity. Still, Bernie continues praise for Castro and now he’s adding praise for Communist China. To what should America’s children aspire?