Georgia Senate Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock worked as an assistant pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York in 1995 when Cuban dictator Fidel Castro gave a speech there.
Castro was hosted after an appearance at the United Nations and received a warm welcome at the gathering, including “rhythmic chants” of “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!”
The leader discussed Cuba’s involvement in the African revolutionary communist movements; the church crowd praised his speech, saying, “Viva Cuba!”
Calvin Butts, the current pastor at the church and Warnock’s boss at the time of the Castro speech, said in 1995, “We have one of the great leaders of the world [Castro] with us today.”
Butts defended the decision to host Castro, claiming it was “in our tradition to welcome those who are visionary, who are revolutionary, and who seek the freedom of all people around the world.”
Castro’s attendance at the church at which Warnock was an assistant pastor at the time raises questions about his ties to radical leftists.
Warnock is headed for a runoff Senate election in January against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA).
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Democrat Raphael Warnock advanced to the Georgia Senate runoff election on Tuesday, according to projections. https://t.co/W9vQPxKgFp
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 4, 2020
Terrance Clark, a spokesperson for the Warnock campaign, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Twenty-five years ago, Reverend Warnock was a youth pastor and was not involved in any decisions at that time.” Clark declined to an additional comment request from Fox News over whether Warnock attended Castro’s address.
Loeffler’s campaign charged this report serves as the latest instance of Warnock’s “far-left” positions.
Stephen Lawson, the communications director for Loeffler’s campaign, said in a statement on Tuesday:
Raphael Warnock celebrating Fidel Castro and welcoming him to his church is just the latest example in a long line of his radical, far-left, socialist positions,” said Communications Director Stephen Lawson. “Georgians need someone like Kelly Loeffler who has a record of results creating jobs and opportunities for hardworking families – not a radical socialist who cozies up to brutal dictators.
Warnock also defended Jeremiah Wright’s “God Damn America” sermon and called Wright a “prophet.”
Warnock also compared law enforcement to gangsters, thugs, and bullies during a speech in 2015.
Loeffler blasted Warnock’s criticism of law enforcement in September, charging that it serves as an incitement of violence against police officers.
“It’s anti-cop radicals like Raphael Warnock who are turning our police officers into targets and inciting violence across our country,” Loeffler added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.