Exiled Cuban: Bernie Sanders seeks socialist votes 2:23
(CNN) – Fidel Castro is back. From beyond the grave, the socialist icon that confronted Uncle Sam for 50 years is casting his spell on another American election campaign.
The pointer in the race for Democratic presidential candidacy Bernie Sanders, author of his own softer leftist revolution, refused to completely repudiate the past praise he made about the Cuban leader in an interview on the “60 minutes” program during the end of week. “We oppose the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” Sanders said in the interview. “But it is unfair to say that everything is bad, you know?”RELATED
Given the historical power of the Cuban diaspora, it is worth seeing how this plays in the crucial state of Florida, defined in 2016 by only about 100,000 votes. Several legislators from the sunny Democratic state have already spoken out, a sign of how politically radioactive Sanders’ comments could be. And the president of the United States, Donald Trump, who threw back the Obama administration’s approach to the island, will not hesitate to use them to paint “Crazy Bernie” as a Cuban-Venezuelan-style socialist who would destroy the economy.
But how powerful is Castro’s letter in 2020? Memories of his regime are receding among American voters and Trump himself, who is no stranger to hypocrisy, has a much more recent history of relating to authoritarian leaders. He is flexible with the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin; He can’t stop boasting about his friendship with the Chinese Xi Jinping and has confessed to having “fallen in love” with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
60 years have passed since Castro provoked a heated exchange between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy in one of the first televised debates of the campaign. If Trump and Sanders face each other in the fall, the Americans will be faced with the strange spectacle of two candidates with a dictator problem. And the Commander could have one last chance to look at the presidential elections in the United States.