Sanders opposes US interventions in Latin America, praises Cuba's social gains

Cuban doctors provide free health care in Haiti in 2013.

In a Democratic presidential primary debate in Miami on March 10, against his rival Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders opposed US invasions, coups and interventions against Latin American nations.

The socialist Senator also strongly opposed the ongoing US embargo against Cuba while praising the island for its social gains in health and education.

TeleSUR English reported that the host tried to catch Sanders out about an old comment he made that former Cuban President Fidel Castro “educated kids, gave them healthcare and totally changed society” in Cuba.

TeleSUR English said that, “to pounding applause”, Sanders responded: “The US was wrong to try to invade Cuba. It was wrong to support people trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. It was wrong trying to overthrow, in 1954, the democratically elected government of Guatemala.'”

The New York Times reported that day that, to applause, Sanders said: “Look, I understand that not everybody in Florida or in the United States will agree with me, but I think we have got to end the embargo. I believe that we should move towards full and normalised political relations with Cuba.”

Sanders insisted: “Throughout the history of our relationship with Latin America we've operated under the so-called Monroe Doctrine, and that said the United States had the right do anything that they wanted to do in Latin America.

“So I actually went to Nicaragua and I very strongly opposed the Reagan administration's efforts to overthrow that government. And I strongly opposed earlier Henry Kissinger and the [plot] to overthrow the [democratically elected socialist] government of Salvador Allende in Chile.

“I think the United States should be working with governments around the world, not get involved in regime change. And all of these actions, by the way, in Latin America, brought forth a lot of very strong anti-American sentiments.”

Stating that he hoped to see more democracy in Cuba, Sanders nonetheless said: “It would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in health care. They are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education. I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans.”

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