Republicans in Congress plan to attempt a procedural vote today on legislation which would condemn Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his recent remarks about Communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
In a “60 Minutes” interview which aired on Sunday, Sanders praised Catro for his “massive literacy program” in Cuba.
“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. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy announced Republicans’ plans on the vote and said Democrats face a decision: “Do they stand with Bernie or do they stand for freedom?”
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.
Swing district Democrats reacted to Sanders’ comments, with Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) tweeting, “As the first South American immigrant member of Congress who proudly represents thousands of Cuban Americans, I find Senator Bernie Sanders’ comments on Castro’s Cuba absolutely unacceptable.”
The freshman lawmaker flipped a Republican seat in 2018.
Swing district freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) tweeted, “Stalin doubled literacy in the Soviet Union, even as he murdered tens of millions of people. 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.”
It is well known that Sanders is not liked among establishment Democrats, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that she will “embrace enthusiastically” the Democratic nominee. When asked if she was comfortable with a Sanders nomination, she simply replied, “yes.”