Why Is Bernie Sanders Silent on Comrade Fidel Castro’s Death?

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By Lukas Mikelionis | 4:50 pm, November 26, 2016
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Saturday’s slowest reaction to news award goes to the one and only Bernie Sanders. Many hours after the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was announced, yet Sanders still hasn’t said a word about his comrade’s death. Why is that?

It’s not like Bernie Sanders is busy — his Twitter account has been active (see below) and most political leaders squeezed some time in for at least one statement about Fidel Castro’s death. While you think it’s just interns writing tirelessly over the Thanksgiving weekend to bring us the progressive utopia through social media, most leaders also managed to release a statement.

Perhaps Sanders’ reluctance to denounce Castro is because of his controversial remarks back in 1985. They were somewhat sympathetic to Castro because he provided education, health care, and “totally transformed society.”

In an interview on a local public access channel, the CCTV Center for Media & Democracy in Burlington, Sanders said: “In 1961, [America] invaded Cuba, and everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world.”

“All the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They forgot that he educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society,” he added.

Sanders then slammed Ronald Reagan for demonizing Cuba, claiming: “You know, not to say Fidel Castro and Cuba are perfect — they are certainly not — but just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people does not mean to say the people in these nations feel the same.”

Or maybe, Sanders just wants to avoid the potential minefield that comes with denouncing Castro? After all,  Sanders has carefully built his persona of honest and trustworthy socialist, who doesn’t compromise his ideals. More importantly, Castro is a much-beloved figure in America’s radical university departments, where he’s seen as a bulwark against American influence.

Heat Street has approached Bernie Sander’s press office asking whether he’s planning to release a statement on Castro’s death.