Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that it is “simply unfair to say everything is bad” about Cuba’s authoritarian nature. 

In the interview, Sanders said, “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but, you know, it’s simply unfair to say everything is bad.” 

The comment came after Sanders was questioned about another interview where the self-described democratic socialist said that healthcare and education were some of the reasons why Cubans didn’t revolt against their government after the 1959 revolution. 

“You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” Sanders told Cooper. “Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” Cooper responded, “There are a lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba.”

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“That’s right. And we condemn that,” Sanders said before comparing other authoritarian leaders to President Donald Trump

“Unlike Donald Trump — let’s be clear — I do not think that Kim Jung Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin: not a good friend of mine.”

Sanders has shown an appreciation for left-leaning authoritarian leaders such as Castro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, whom he called “an impressive guy.” He recently banned all newspapers from buying ink or paper. 

These comments are sure to upset Cuban exiles throughout the country and will allow more moderate Democrats to attack his views on socialism. Many believe the comments made in the 60 Minutes interview will cause a lot of damage for Sanders in South Florida ahead of their primary on March 17. South Florida is home to more than one million Cuban-Americans.

“Democrats, nominating this man will absolutely re-elect Donald Trump and end our Constitutional republic,” tweeted Democratic strategist and pollster Fernand Amandi.

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