Bernie Sanders, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has long billed himself as a democratic socialist, citing the peaceful governments of Denmark and Sweden as his inspirations. But back in the 1980s, as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders often endorsed a different strain of leftist government – praising violent socialist revolutionaries as well as economic policies like forced land redistribution, according to a Fox News review of archived footage and documents. Asked about the comments today, Sanders’ campaign highlighted other aspects of the now-presidential candidate’s 1980s-era views, saying he was prescient to warn against U.S. intervention abroad. “Our foreign policy will focus on diplomacy, not endless war,” the campaign said in a statement. In the 1980s, Sanders spoke of socialist Nicaraguan revolutionaries known as Sandinistas so often that one local paper called it a “favorite Sanders topic.” The Sandinistas overthrew a dictator in the Central American nation in 1979, and then began to impose socialist policies. That sparked a rebellion from Nicaraguans who opposed socialism, who became known as “Contras.” Tens of thousands were killed in the fighting. The Soviet Union and Cuba sent weapons and economic support to the Sandinistas, while the U.S. led by President Ronald Reagan sent arms and funding to the Contras. The U.S. involvement appalled Sanders. As soon as he became mayor of Burlington in 1981, his pro-Sandinista views began to make headlines in local papers. The Burlington Free Press reported in 1981 on a speech Sanders gave that year, stating that Sanders “exhorted his audience ‘to take control of your own lives’ as the ‘struggling masses’ did in Chile, Cuba and Nicaragua.” In 1983, Mayor Sanders penned a letter to Reagan slamming U.S. foreign policy. “I am appalled that you are using taxpayers’s [sic] money to destroy the government of a small nation,” Sanders’ letter read, according to the Burlington Free Press in 1983. By 1984, Sanders got Burlington to create a “sister city” relationship with Puerto Cabezas, a Nicaraguan city. Sanders later wrote that Vermonters provided “a significant amount of material help” to the Nicaraguan city through the program. The next year, the Nicaraguan government invited Sanders to an expenses-paid trip to attend the first formal inauguration of their president, Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega. Sanders accepted, recounting in his 1997 autobiography that “I was – believe it or not – the highest-ranking American official present”. Also present at Ortega’s inauguration were Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Vice President of the Soviet Union Vasili Kuznetsov, and Yugoslavian President Veselin Đuranović, according to a U.S. Army report done for the Library of Congress in 1993. Sanders has separately praised Cuba, with recently unearthed footage showing Sanders recalling his excitement surrounding the Cuban revolution in the 1950s. “I remember, for some reason or another, being very excited when [former Cuban dictator] Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba,” he said, while speaking at the University of Vermont in 1986. “I was a kid … and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly rich people.” Sanders stated in a 1981 interview that he was not a supporter of the Soviet Union, which he called “authoritarian and totalitarian.” But Sanders also encouraged student exchange programs with the Soviet Union during the 1980s and spent his honeymoon there in 1988. While stopping short of full-scale Soviet-Cuban-style collectivization, the Sandinista government confiscated and redistributed many private farms and businesses in the early 1980s. Upon returning to Vermont from Ortega’s 1985 inauguration, Sanders praised Sandinista economic policies including land redistribution.
No, you are NOT reading The Onion.. And to think this raving socialist might actually win the DNC nomination should horrify every freedom-loving American. What a lunatic! For more, click on the text above. Unreal..