NY Times Hypocrites Worry About Bernie's Praise of Cuban Literacy Under Castro

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After Sen. Bernie Sanders doubled down on his past praise for aspects of the Communist regime of Cuba, Patricia Mazzei reported “Florida Democrats Try to Limit Harm From Sanders’s Castro Comments” in Tuesday’s New York Times.

But the paper’s sudden concern about Sanders praising high literacy under Fidel Castro’s dictatorship look hypocritical, considering how oftenTimes reporters have embraced this factoid in defense of the island regime. That suggests the newfound  concern is motivated more by fears of Trump in 2020 than of communism.

Comments from Senator Bernie Sanders praising aspects of the Communist Cuban revolution drew a forceful rebuke on Monday from Cuban-Americans, Florida Democrats and several of Mr. Sanders’s opponents, who cast him as too extreme in his views to represent the party as its presidential nominee.

Mr. Sanders’s remarks threatened to undercut his candidacy in the nation’s largest presidential battleground state as he seeks to build momentum on a broader scale after a series of early primary victories. In Florida, Mr. Sanders stands to alienate not just Cubans but also a far more diverse group of Latinos....


In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night on CBS, Mr. Sanders said he opposed “the authoritarian nature” of the Cuban regime.

“But you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Mr. Sanders told the host, Anderson Cooper. “When Fidel Castro came to office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”


The comments ricocheted across Miami, a bastion of Cuban exiles where any defense of Mr. Castro is considered a disqualification for those seeking public office. Many Cuban-Americans are Republicans, but those who are Democrats have been increasingly worried that Mr. Sanders’s views on authoritarian leaders in Latin America could cost the party support among Hispanic voters...

The paper was far more dismissive of Florida's anti-Communist Cuban Americans after Obama established full diplomatic relations with Cuba, comparing them to “dinosaurs.”

Mr. Sanders doubled down on his comments in a CNN town hall on Monday night, arguing that many people in Cuba were “illiterate” when Mr. Castro came to power.


Miami Democrats expected grainy video clips of Mr. Sanders’s most objectionable commentary to resurface during the campaign. What galled Mr. Caraballo and others was that Mr. Sanders made new remarks showing no evolution on his opinions, in spite of decades of hardship in Cuba.

(Scott Whitlock noticed the media’s anti-Communist surge: “Now, conveniently, reporters see praising Fidel Castro and cheering socialism as a problem.”)

Reporter Kirk Semple fawned grossly upon the dictator’s death: 

In conversations across the country last week, many spoke about the country’s free health care and educational systems, the high literacy rate, the low infant mortality rate and the government’s efforts to combat racism. But Mr. Castro’s greatest legacy may well be the deep and unyielding national pride he cultivated....

More Times paeans to Cuba’s literacy rate can be read here, here, and here

2020 Presidential Education Cuba Communists Liberals & Democrats 60 Minutes New York Times Patricia Mazzei Kirk Semple Bernie Sanders Fidel Castro
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