[Ed. – Some of it is recent.]
In October 1985, a few months after Bernie Sanders traveled to Nicaragua to celebrate the sixth anniversary of that country’s socialist revolution, the Soviet-backed government suspended the civil liberties of its citizens, including the rights to free speech, free assembly and labor strikes.
A few days later, Sanders, then the socialist mayor of Burlington, Vermont, received a pointed letter from a constituent. How, the letter-writer wanted to know, could Sanders continue to embrace a “another [sic] in a long line of dictatorships, whose only true concern is its length of stay in power”?
In a written reply, Sanders — who had praised Nicaragua’s leaders upon his return from the trip — made no apologies. The Nicaraguan government was fighting a “brutal war” funded by the United States, he wrote, which made the situation “complex.” Didn’t the U.S. government, Sanders wrote, intern Japanese Americans during World War II?