On public-access TV in 1985, Bernie Sanders defended an element of Fidel Castro’s regime: It was rarely mentioned that Castro provided health care to his country. Sanders grumbled that the same could not be said of then-President Reagan.
The comment came back to haunt Sanders in the wake of Castro’s death. On Sunday on ABC’s This Week, host Martha Raddatz played the old clip and then asked Sanders if he was aware that “this was a brutal dictatorship despite the romanticized version that some Americans have of Cuba.” She reminded Sanders that Castro rationed food and punished dissidents, then hit him with the big question: “So have you changed your view of Castro since 1985?”
Sanders said he didn’t exactly remember the context for his comment (being 31 years ago) but that Cubans “do have a decent health-care system.”
Many consider it more than decent. After a visit to Havana in 2014, the director-general of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan called for other countries to follow Cuba’s example in health care. Years before, the World Health Organization’s ranking of countries with “the fairest mechanism for health-system finance” put Cuba first among Latin American and Caribbean countries (and far ahead of the United States).
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Source Credits: James Hamblin in The Atlantic