Florida Republican introduces resolution condemning Sanders's Castro remarks

Florida Republican introduces resolution condemning Sanders's Castro remarks
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartBottom Line House chairwoman diagnosed with 'presumed' coronavirus infection Capitol officials extend suspension of tourist access until May MORE (R-Fla.) introduced a resolution Wednesday condemning Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president MORE (I-Vt.) for his positive remarks about Cuba under the late dictator Fidel Castro.

Sanders this week said it would be "unfair to simply say everything" under Castro was bad, pointing to the high literacy rate when the Cuban leader was in power. The comments, which Sanders later doubled down on, were criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Diaz-Balart — a relative of Castro's and a staunch critic of Cuban leadership — blasted Sanders’s remarks Wednesday.

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“I remind the senator and the progressive movement that the Castro regime is a threat, not only by the way to the national security of the United States, but also to all of the democracies in this hemisphere. This regime has been on the list of state sponsors of terrorism for many years for its support of other terrorist states and organized terrorist groups,” he told reporters at a press conference.

“That is, by the way, why I'm filing, filed a resolution that condemns the blatantly false, irresponsible, ignorant, highly ignorant and hurtful comments of the democratic socialist candidate for president, Mr. Sanders,” Diaz-Balart added.

The Florida Republican alleged that Sanders is an "apologist of the Castro regime," noting the hardships faced by the Cuban people under the authoritarian government.

Sanders’s comments have come under fire not just from Republicans but also from a number of Democrats, including fellow White House hopefuls.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics MORE rejected Sanders’s assertion that his comments echoed those of former President Obama’s. Biden argued at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in South Carolina that Obama never spoke highly of the communist regime.

The resolution is expected to be brought on the House floor Thursday.