Video of Senator Bernie Sanders – who is currently running for president – has emerged showing him praising communist ruler Fidel Castro. Sanders – who was serving as mayor in Burlington, Vermont at the time – was giving a lecture at a university in 1986 where he expressed his support of the Cuban revolution, which was led by Castro.
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“I remember being very excited when Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” Sanders told a room full of students at the University of Vermont.
“It seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against ugly rich people.”
Sanders also told the students that he had become disillusioned by John F. Kennedy during JFK’s presidential run in the 1960s, saying that he wanted to “puke” because of the then-presidential candidate’s anti-communist stance.
“Kennedy was saying Nixon was too soft on communism in Cuba,” said Sanders.
“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.”
Sanders is considered a leading candidate for the Democratic Party in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. He has self-described as a Democratic socialist.
He originally joined the US House of Representatives in 1991, and then shifted to the Senate in 2007.
According to a report by the Daily Mail, this also isn’t the first time footage of Sanders has emerged that features him making controversial statements regarding US foreign policy and communist nations in Latin America.
As he attempted – and ultimately failed – to defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s nomination during the 2016 presidential election, a clip from 1985 where he seemingly praised Castro also made the rounds.
Video of the lecture was posted on Twitter in February and has since been viewed over 321,000 times.
Video: @BernieSanders, University of Vermont, 1986, recalls his excitement watching Castro’s revolution “rising up against the ugly rich people.” & his sick feeling watching JFK speak out against communism in Cuba.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 21, 2019