Florida Democrat likens Sanders's Cuba remarks to Trump's Charlottesville response

A Democratic Florida lawmaker is likening Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Judge slams Wisconsin governor, lawmakers for not delaying election amid coronavirus outbreak The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden offers to talk coronavirus response with Trump MORE’s (I-Vt.) comments about former Cuban leader Fidel Castro to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE’s widely criticized response to the Charlottesville, Va. protests. 

“Saying a murderous dictator wasn’t so bad because of a literacy program is like saying ‘there were very fine people, on both sides,’” state Sen. Annette Taddeo tweeted Monday. 

Her comments included a clip of a “60 Minutes” interview in which Sanders said “it's unfair to simply say everything is bad” in regards to Castro’s authoritarian rule of Cuba. 


“We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know it's unfair to simply say everything is bad,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in the interview, which aired late Sunday. 

“You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” he added. 

He also condemned Castro’s imprisonment of dissidents and said that “unlike Donald Trump,” he “won't trade love letters with a murdering dictator.” 

Taddeo’s tweet references Trump’s comments in the wake of the violent 2017 protests in Charlottesville, when white supremacists marched with torches chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. One woman was killed when a car rammed into a crowd of counterprotesters at the rally.  

Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” during a press conference at the time. 

Taddeo is one of several Florida lawmakers, including some Democrats, to call out Sanders for his comments in the interview.