Sanders Says It’s Appropriate to Express Condolences After Fidel Castro’s Death

• November 27, 2016 1:33 pm


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union that it was appropriate for President Obama to express his condolences after the death of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Host Dana Bash asked Sanders about Obama's statement of condolences and whether he thought it was appropriate.

"Is it appropriate for the leader of the free world to offer condolences of a brutal dictator who killed his own people as well as Americans?" Bash asked.

Sanders instead spoke to the current status of U.S.-Cuba relations and his hope that the bilateral relationship would continue to improve.

Bash then asked again about Obama offering condolences and whether Sanders would do the same.

"So you're okay with him offering condolences? If you were president, would you have said something similar?" Bash asked.

"Yeah, yes I would have," Sanders said.

In the past, Sanders, who identifies himself as a Democratic Socialist, has praised Castro's Cuba, a communist state, for its health care and education despite there are being few freedoms for the people there.

"They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids healthcare, totally transformed the society," Sanders once said.

Much of Sanders' opposition to American actions against Cuba and other communist regimes was part of his opposition to then-President Ronald Reagan while he was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. His past comments came up during a presidential primary debate against Hillary Clinton.