Luis Zuniga, a former Cuban political prisoner imprisoned for his opposition to communism, responded to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) praise for dead Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in an interview on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour.
Sanders, a self-described “democratic socialist,” celebrated Castro’s “literacy program” and healthcare system in an interview with Anderson Cooper for CBS’s 60 Minutes. His comments were then promoted in Granma, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Cuba.
“I am amazed [and] I never expected in the United States to be able to see a presidential candidate being a socialist after so much damage [and] so much destruction around the world,” Zuniga said. “Every country that suffered socialism has gone through the most horrible ordeal anyone can believe.”
Zuniga lived “the whole extent” of Cuba’s communist revolution as a teenager at its onset. He was later expelled from Cuba’s education system, arrested, and jailed as a political dissident.
“I went to prison because I had to fight against that horrible system,” Zuniga stated. “I spent 19 years in prison suffering tortures, beatings… even forced labor. It was horrible.”
Zuniga explained how the “literacy program” praised by Sanders was a state-driven political indoctrination apparatus.
“It’s interesting that after so many executions [and] beatings, [Bernie Sanders] just remarks about the literacy program,” Zuniga noted. “The literacy program was not needed in Cuba. Cuba had an 87 percent [literacy rate]. That program was aimed at peasants in rural areas. Of course, Cuba was an underdeveloped country, and was in the process of development, so the rural areas were somewhat backward in development.”
“This program was a tool for political indoctrination,” Zuniga said, “Marxist, communist indoctrination,” adding, “It was not aimed at literacy.”
Zuniga noted the aphorism of there being no such thing as a free lunch. “[Cubans] have to laugh at these programs of Bernie Sanders. They offer everything free in Cuba. Everything free, as Bernie Sanders is doing, because that is the socialist lure for innocent people.”
Within six years of the enforcement of socialist governance, “Cuba was broken down economically, completely,” said Zuniga. “Cuba was ruined in less than six years because of those programs of free education [and] free health care.”
“The healthcare system became trash,” Zuniga recalled, noting the resulting shortages of medical supplies, medicine, and diagnostic equipment in Cuba after the communist takeover.
Zuniga added, “There were no drugs. So even if you are able to have a diagnosis, you cannot cure yourself because there are no drugs to cure your disease. So that’s the disaster of the healthcare system in Cuba.”
Cuba’s education system was also corrupted by communism, Zuniga said.
“It is political apartheid in education, but of course Bernie Sanders will not mention that because he wants to lure innocent Americans into believing that everything is going to be fine,” remarked Zuniga.
Zuniga highlighted Sanders’ choice to honeymoon in the Soviet Union as evidence of the Vermont senator’s affection for communism.
“When [Bernie Sanders] says that his socialism is like that of Sweden [and] Denmark, he’s lying and he knows he’s lying,” Zuniga determined. “You know why he’s lying? Because Scandinavia has a democratic political system [with] elections every four or five years. They have a parliament, [division of] powers, and so on, [but] socialism is a totalitarian system. There is no [separation of] powers, the powers are submitted to the executive, the communist party, as usual. In Sweden, Denmark, [and] Norway, the economic system capitalism.”
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