Sanders Defends Cuba Remarks: When Dictatorships Do Something Good, You Acknowledge That | Video | RealClearPolitics

Sanders Defends Cuba Remarks: When Dictatorships Do Something Good, You Acknowledge That

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CBS NEWS: Senator Bernie Sanders stated that his opinion on Cuban leadership was similar to that of Barack Obama. "When dictatorships, whether it is Chinese or the Cubans do something good, you acknowledge that, but you don't have to trade love letters with them," Sanders said at the CBS News debate in South Carolina.

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS: --You praised--this--it's on--it's in the same thing, sir. You've praised the Chinese Communist Party for lifting more people out of extreme poverty than any other country. You also have a track record of expressing sympathy for socialist governments in Cuba and in Nicaragua. Can Americans trust that it democratic socialist president will not give authoritarians a free pass?

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: I have opposed authoritarianism all over the world and I was really amazed at what Mayor Bloomberg just said that moment ago. He said that the Chinese government is responsive to the Politburo, but who the hell is the Politburo responsive to? Who elects the Politburo? You've got a real dictatorship there? Of course you have a dictatorship in Cuba. What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba, that Cuba made progress on education. Yes, I think--

(BOOING)

SANDERS: Really? Really? Literacy program--

FORMER SOUTH BEND, IND. MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: --Yes, because there is no comparing those two commentaries--

SANDERS: --(INAUDIBLE) what Barack Obama said is they made--

BUTTIGIEG: --What Barack Obama said was doing was opening diplomatic doors--

SANDERS: --great progress on education--

BUTTIGIEG: --What you are doing is making excuses--

SANDERS: --and healthcare. That was Barack Obama. Occasionally--

BIDEN: --I talked to Barack Obama--

SANDERS: --Excuse me. Occasionally, it might be good idea to be honest about American foreign policy, and that includes the fact that America has overthrown governments all over the world in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran--

(APPLAUSE)

And when dictatorships, whether it is the Chinese for the Cubans do something good, you acknowledge that.

BRENNAN: Time. time, Mr.--

SANDERS: But you don't trade love letters with them.



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