During the Wednesday-night Democratic debate, Univision moderator Maria Elena Salinas confronted Bernie Sanders with a decades-old clip of him heaping apparent praise on former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Sanders, who has identified himself as a democratic socialist, had earlier in the debate called for "full and normalized political relations with Cuba" — a position he shares with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner.
"I think at the end of the day, it will be a good thing for the Cuban people," Sanders said. "It will enable them, I think, when they see people coming into their country from the United States, move in a more Democratic direction, which I what I want to see."
Salinas then brought out a video clip from 1985 showing Sanders apparently defending Castro, who was a leader of the Cuban Revolution and whose rule led the small island country to become a one-party, communist state.
In the clip, Sanders said:
You may recall way back in, what was it, 1961, they invaded Cuba. And everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world, that all the Cuban people were going to rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro. They had forgotten that he had educated their kids, given them healthcare, totally transformed their society.
"In south Florida, there are still some open wounds among exiles regarding socialism and communism," Salinas told Sanders. "So please explain, what is the difference between the socialism that you profess and the socialism in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela?"