Bernie Sanders defends Cuba comments

“The View” co-hosts react to the backlash the presidential candidate received over an apparent defense of parts of Fidel Castro’s dictatorial reign in Cuba.
6:12 | 02/25/20

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Transcript for Bernie Sanders defends Cuba comments
Welcome to "The view." So tonight -- tonight Bernie's on TV again tonight. Bernie Sanders is already a big target for his rivals as the front-running candidate, but he just left himself wide open for doubling down on his praise for Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Take a look. It's unfair to simply say everything is bad, you know? When Fidel Castro came into office, do you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing even though Fidel Castro did it? You know, teaching people to read and write is a good thing. I have been extremely consistent and critical of all authoritarian regimes all over the world. The truth is the truth, and that's what happened in the first years of the Castro regime. So what is he saying? Well, what he should be saying -- Uh-huh. Is yes, they learned to read, but it's an oppressive dictatorship that has 0% growth, that the people have no upward mobility there, that 40% of the professionals are leaving the island. Doctors are leaving in droves because there's nowhere to go there. I have been there. I went there I think three or four years ago. I don't think you can go anymore. I kind of slipped in there. You can't go anymore. The infrastructure is horrible there. I don't know what the inside of the house is. But the outside of the houses are dilapidated. You can't stop and have a coke at a restaurant because the only restaurants are in people's houses. You have to go into people's houses to go to a restaurant. It's a dictatorship. The quality of life is awful. That's what they have. Executions, show trials, punishment of artists and journalists. S a crow denied the red cross access to Cuba to investigate the conditions there. Any American has seen Cuban refugees trying to flee to come to Florida, and a lot of Cuban refugees live in Florida right now, and they're seeking a new life, and this will not play well in Florida. I want to say one more thing about the ub cooens though. Sure. They were the most lovely people. Oh, yeah. They're living in an opressive regime. Their music and art is just beautiful. Very -- I mean, they're way ahead of everybody in art in my opinion. The situation is horrible there for those people. That's the thing. This is the same thing that Bernie has been saying for a long time. This is nothing new, and he just doubled down on it, and the suggestion that Castro came in and taught people how to read without saying more, without saying what all of you are saying that it's such an opressive regime, I mean, killing political diss departments. There's no freedom of speech there. Latinos from Cuba that are there in Florida, they hear this word revolution. They don't hear it in English. They hear it in Spanish and it reminds them over and over again of what happened in Cuba, and I think, you know, if Democrats -- the democratic nominee is Bernie and he's saying these things and he's this democratic socialist, that is not going to do well in Florida, a swing state for that Latino contingent. They are not going to forgive him for this position. It's a dictatorship. There is nothing groovy about a dictatorship. Yeah. I mean -- It's just nothing good about a dictatorship. For journalists, for anybody. Wherever it is in the world, we bitched at people for getting next to people -- oh, it's not so bad. It is so bad. Does this concern you for Republicans in particular, the trying to sort of reanimate, and re-establish what socialism means. People are saying, oh but it's like Europe. It's like Sweden, but the problem is, like, he's saying Castro did good thigs, and he defended maduro, a dictator and he considered Juan gaido the legitimate leader of the country. He's saying they're good guys. It's concerning Republicans that trump is dealing with dictators also. That's the real problem. Let's not lose sight about this. You can't what aboutism is this? My problem is I have heard rightly so, Democrats saying what you are saying. Dictatorships are bad. His coiness with Putin and I thought your party was supposed to be better than this then. So did most Democrats. So did most Democrats. If you are talking about maduro is a good guy, and Castro, that's different than saying hitler was good. It's that insane. It's exactly what it is. I think that's -- Say that one more time. They say mussolini did this, and they were rounding up Jews, and that's not a good thing. We're going to hear it over and over again, and we should also hear about his NRA record, and we should also hear about how he's going to pay for medicare. Yes. He's the front-runner, baa these are real questions. To not care about Florida and Cubans in Florida, and cuban-americans in Florida. He said he was a bad guy. All he was saying was there was this one thing they did. American voters don't understand nuance. There's no way around that. This is as bad as you know who saying there were good people on both sides. It's the same. Yep. It's the same. I don't agree. I do. Once you start saying well, you know, hitler wasn't so bad because he -- He didn't say that. No, he didn't say that, but to a Cuban person -- Yeah. It's just as bad. I agree. It's just as bad for the Cuban refugees who lost everything in Cuba because of Castro. Yeah. It's as bad. It's as bad. I don't care about his literacy program, and not highlight this. We're all on the same page with this. What a day. He is dead. His brother will be dead soon. The whole thing is going to change very soon. Hopefully. Let's hope so. Let's hope so.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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