In July 1985, Bernie Sanders traveled to Nicaragua, where he attended an event that one wire report dubbed an “anti-U.S. rally.”
The leftist Sandinista government was celebrating the sixth anniversary of the revolution that saw it take power from an American-backed dictator, Anastasio Somoza. Sanders was in a crowd estimated at a half million people, many of whom were clad in the Sandinistas’ trademark red-and-black colors and chanting “Here, there, everywhere/the Yankee will die.”
Onstage, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega accused the U.S. government of “state terrorism” for supporting the rebels who were seeking to overthrow him. The Sandinistas and the CIA-backed Contras would fight into the next decade, with allegations of human rights abuses on both sides. At the 1985 rally Sanders attended, Ortega vowed the Sandinistas would “defend the revolution with guns in hand.”
Sanders was being hosted by the Sandinistas as part of a delegation of American “solidarity groups.” He told reporters their decision to show “support” for the Nicaraguan government was “patriotic.”
“We want to show support for a small country trying to be independent, and we want to tell the truth to the American people when we return,” Sanders said.
Sanders was in the midst of a revolution of his own. Four years earlier, in 1981, he won a shocking victory by only 10 votes to become mayor of Vermont’s largest city, Burlington. Sanders was elected on a socialist platform and led a mayoral administration that he boasted was “more radical” than any other in the country.
And he had a vision. Sanders believed his work in Burlington could spread socialism throughout America. In April 1985, the Los Angeles Times published a lengthy interview with Sanders in which he outlined his plan to spark “radical change.”
“I think from one end of this country to the other, people are ripe for political revolution. Fifty percent of the people do not bother voting in the presidential and statewide elections,” Sanders said. “The vast majority of those not voting are low-income people who have given up on America. The whole quality of life in America is based on greed. I believe in the redistribution of wealth in this nation.”
Sanders went on to suggest his mayoral administration had demonstrated “the people’s contempt for conventional old-fashioned Democratic and Republican politics.
“The radical change in America that must come has to begin on a local level, and it is happening now in Burlington. Then it will spread to state and national levels,” Sanders said, adding, “Of all the 50 states, I believe Vermont more than any other has a good chance of electing America’s first socialist governor. Now that I have proven that I am a good mayor, perhaps the time will be ripe … for me to run for the highest office in the state.”
Sanders ran for Congress rather than governor after leaving Burlington’s City Hall in 1989. But today, his dream of bringing his values to higher office and a national audience is closer to fruition than at any time his life.
A two-term incumbent U.S. senator, Sanders is within striking distance of frontrunner Hillary Clinton in this year’s Democratic presidential primary, with recent polls in Iowa showing the two neck and neck and a Sanders lead in New Hampshire.
As Sanders journeyed from the fringes of Vermont’s political scene to the national stage, many aspects of his agenda and even rhetoric have remained remarkably consistent. However, an extensive examination of his statements and views at the beginning of his political career shows Sanders has moderated some of his positions over the years.
Among other things, during the 1970s and ’80s, Sanders regularly called for public takeovers of various businesses, including utilities and the oil industry. Sanders advocated seizing money from corporations and from one of America’s richest families. And, as a mayor, Sanders made forays into foreign policy that included meetings with representatives of hostile nations, rebel groups and Canadian separatists.
Yahoo News first reached out to Sanders’ presidential campaign to discuss this article last week. In addition to inquiring about Sanders’ past support for nationalizing various industries, Yahoo News asked about Sanders’ presence at the Sandinista rally. This included a request for the campaign to confirm whether a report in the alternative weekly Seven Days that claimed the trip to Nicaragua was paid for by the Sandinista government was correct. The campaign declined to comment. Yahoo also contacted the campaign of Sanders’ Democratic primary rival, Hillary Clinton, which has become increasingly critical of the Vermont senator as the race tightens. It declined to comment as well. (end of article)
Article from HERE.
SO…..nationalizing businesses, seizing money from corporations and America’s richest families, hoping to spread socialism across America….and THIS is a Leftwinger’s guy?
And we wonder what the heck’s happening to America and why?