On Sanders and Cuba

Cuba Mar 03, 2020

Previously, I've looked at Cuba and the remarks of Bernie Sanders. In that vein, I've also looked at Ms. Bodenheimer's claim that Bernie's not wrong. I just wanted some context about things I've heard from Cubans since that was stated...

The banner shows a line of merch that has been gaining in popularity (CubaGreatAgain.com).

Bernie's quote in Spanish, with 2 older Cuban men reading
Not everything Fidel did was bad... He taught them to read. El Nuevo Herald
Bernie in a Cuban military uniform, with the phrase "Somos Continuidad"
Bernie Sanders - we are continuing

In case I need to describe "somos continuidad" it's the phrase that Díaz-Canel famously used. He's the new president of Cuba, after the Castros. He used it to say that the Castro regime will be continuing and signaled that things wouldn't get better (Radio Television Marti).

Cuban Bar Association:

The senator’s comments are inaccurate and devoid of crucial context. The Cuban American Bar Association is happy to provide the background and context that the statements lack.
It is intellectually dishonest to isolate one purported social policy in praise of a dictatorship that has jailed and murdered political dissidents, that denies Cubans their basic human rights, that has stripped the Cuban people of their democratic rights, that has imposed brutal poverty on its people, that has forced tens of thousands to flee its tyrannical grip. Tyranny is tyranny—without qualification. Moreover, this poses the obvious question: what is the social value of a purported “literacy program” if the Cuban government censors what the Cuban people can read, write and say; when it impedes their ability to associate and organize; and when it totally strips them of their economic, cultural, and political freedom?
Further, the “massive” literacy program that has been referenced was not an educational program implemented to augment Cuba’s education system and literacy rate. Rather, the program was one of political indoctrination—it was entirely politically motivated and otherwise censored, preying upon a vulnerable population of mostly undereducated farmers and laborers with the calculated intent of indoctrinating them and consolidating political power. This was not a social welfare program for the benefit of the Cuban people, in order to assist them in advancing themselves economically or otherwise. It was a political machination of a communist dictatorship that was imposing its doctrinaire ideology on the whole of the Cuban people.
Castro wearing a Bernie 2020 button saying, "In Bernie's Defense we did teach them to read before we executed them."
Ramireztoons Twitter

These depictions do fit with what I had discussed with Cubans. But, sure, Cuba's literacy program is the important story.