Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is in hot water after he sat down for an interview where he appeared to praise Fidel Castro's brutal regime.
In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Sanders said he opposed "the authoritarian nature" of the Cuban regime.
"But you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad," Mr. Sanders told the host, Anderson Cooper. "When Fidel Castro came to office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?"
He continued, "Unlike Donald Trump, let's be clear, I do not think that Kim Jong-un is a good friend," Sanders added, "I don't trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine."
Following his remarks, many Cuban-Americans slammed his insensitive remarks and felt that Sanders should not be able to run for public office. But speaking to CNN, Sanders doubled down on his comments.
"When Fidel Castro first came into power ... you know what he did? He initiated a major literacy program. It was a lot of folks in Cuba at that point who were illiterate, and he formed the Literacy Brigade ... and they went out, and they helped people learn to read and write You know what? I think teaching people to read and write is a good thing," Sanders during a televised town hall in response to his critics.
"I have been extremely consistent and critical of all authoritarian regimes all over the world, including Cuba, including Nicaragua, including Saudi Arabia, including China, including Russia. I happen to believe in democracy, not authoritarianism. ... China is an authoritarian country ... but can anyone deny, I mean, the facts are clear, that they have taken more people out of extreme poverty than any country in history. Why you criticize when I say that -- that's the truth. So that is the fact. End of discussion."