Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked about the difference between his embrace of socialism and the failed socialist nation of Venezuela during the ABC News Democratic debate Thursday — and he called the comparison “extremely unfair.”
“You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still, you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictator,” Jorge Ramos said. “Can you explain why? And what are the main differences between your kind of socialism and the one being imposed in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua?”
“Well, first of all, let me be very clear. Anybody that does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant,” Sanders responded.
“What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can create their own future. In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair,” he said.
“I’ll tell you what I believe in terms of democratic socialism. I agree with what goes on in Canada and in Scandinavia, guaranteeing health care to all people as a human right. I believe that the United States should not be the only major country on Earth not to provide paid family and medical leave,” the Vermont independent continued.
“I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement.”
Sanders has been a strong voice for socialism in the 2020 Democratic primary race. He has previously said that Americans would be “delighted” to pay more taxes in order to fund a government health care plan.
The 78-year-old has also stated that communist China has “made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization.” (RELATED: CNN Interviews America’s Leading Socialist, Doesn’t Ask About Venezuela)