American Held Prisoner In Cuba Says Bernie Sanders ‘Commended’ Castro Regime While Visiting

An American, who was held prisoner in Cuba for five years during the Obama administration, says Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) complained about how Cuba and its Communist dictatorship were being criticized while on a Congressional visit.
Sanders was in Cuba as part of a Congressional delegation, along with Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Jon Tester (D-MT), which took a side trip to see American Alan Gross who was being held against as a political prisoner. Gross said Heitkamp and Tester were kind, bringing the starving American a bag of peanut M&Ms and speaking with him for an hour, but that Sanders’ only contribution to the one-hour meeting was a brief complaint about how Americans treat Cuba.
“During the one-hour meeting, Sanders told the prisoner that he didn’t understand why others criticized Cuba,” National Public Radio reported, after an interview with Gross Wednesday morning.
“He said, quote: ‘I don’t know what’s so wrong with this country,'” Gross recalled, per NPR.
Gross says he was floored by the comment, particularly because he was being held without cause by the Cuban government, forced to live in a tiny cell with no sunlight, regularly tortured and starved by the very people Sanders was praising.
“Gross, who now says he opposes Sanders’ campaign for president, was arrested in December 2009 after completing a U.S. Agency for International Development subcontract. He was in Cuba working to expand Internet access to the country’s small Jewish community, beyond the restrictive Internet regulations set by the Castro government,” according to NPR. “He spent 1,841 days in detention, during which he lost five teeth and over 100 pounds. He also said his interrogators threatened to pull out his fingernails and to hang him.”
The Obama administration was eventually able to secure Gross’ release, trading him for five Cuban prisoners, held in the United States on charges of spying.
Sanders, Heitkamp, and Tester were supposed to be in Cuba working on Gross’ release, but Sanders, apparently, wasn’t convinced. Sanders brought Gross “an issue of The Atlantic magazine,” rather than food or clean water, and while Gross says he had “a pleasant conversation with Heitkamp and Tester,” Bernie “remained mostly quiet” during the meeting.
Sanders’ team refused to comment on NPR’s story. Heitkamp told the outlet that she “remembered that Sanders seemed to disregard the meeting with Gross and that an uncomfortable exchange occurred, but did not remember the exact remark.”
Sanders is already on record as a fan of Fidel Castro, and has made comments in praise of the despotic leader’s accomplishments, particularly that Castro was able to institute a “literacy program” as part of his Communist takeover — a program that was largely designed to train young Cubans to read and absorb propaganda.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But it’s unfair to simply say that everything is bad,” Sanders said during an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” last week, after winning the Nevada caucus. “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?”
Those comments — and the ensuing outrage on the part of both Democrats and Republicans — likely cost Sanders the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Almost as soon as Sanders’ interview aired, Democrat bigwigs including, reportedly former President Barack Obama himself, mobilized to streamline the primary field, boosting former Vice President Joe Biden.
Gross related his story about Sanders on a podcast back in 2016, but told NPR that he feels compelled to come forward again, now, to keep Sanders out of the White House.
“I mean, it’s relevant now. The guy’s running for president of the United States,” Gross said. “And for him to make those statements demonstrating a basic lack of a grasp on reality is problematic to me. I don’t want to see this guy in the White House.”
American Held Prisoner In Cuba Says Bernie Sanders ‘Commended’ Castro Regime While Visiting American Held Prisoner In Cuba Says Bernie Sanders ‘Commended’ Castro Regime While Visiting Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on March 05, 2020 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.