Two days after former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro died in 2016, Pastor Raphael Warnock — now a candidate for U.S. Senate in the Georgia runoff elections — defended Castro’s legacy as “complex,” comparing it to the legacy of the United States of America. Warnock previously worked as assistant pastor at a church that invited Castro to speak in 1995.
“We pray for the people of Cuba in this moment,” Warnock said. “We remember Fidel Castro, whose legacy is complex. Don’t let anyone tell you a simple story; life usually isn’t very simple. His legacy is complex, kind of like America’s legacy is complex.”
Nathan Brand, a communications expert with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) shared the video.
Two days after FIDEL CASTRO's death in 2016, Democrat Raphael Warnock called his legacy "complex," adding "kind of like America’s legacy is complex.”
— Nathan Brand (@NathanBrandWA) December 9, 2020
Brand further raised the question of whether or not Warnock lied to CNN’s Jake Tapper about previously praising Castro.
“Do you understand why so many people view any celebration of Fidel Castro as celebrating something ugly and tyrannical? He was a murderous thug,” Tapper said. “Do you understand why people would be appalled at anyone celebrating Fidel Castro?”
“Absolutely, and I never have,” Warnock insisted. “What I am putting forward in this race is American values. … I am proud of my country.” He went on to say that he loves America.
Yet if Warnock loves America, why did he say America’s legacy is “complex” and go on to compare that legacy to the legacy of a brutal tyrant?
The pastor’s decision to carry water for Fidel Castro in 2016 is consistent with Warnock’s history. He served as assistant pastor at a church that hosted and celebrated Castro in 1995. Warnock’s campaign has claimed that Warnock was not a decision-maker at the church at that time.
“Radical liberal Raphael Warnock has not only celebrated a communist, murderous dictator, but he’s tried to mislead Georgians about it,” Brand said in a statement. “Voters continue to be appalled at Warnock’s praise of dictators, his celebration of Marxism, and his anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks. There is no question that Warnock is too radical for Georgia.”
Warnock’s campaign did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment by press time.
Democrats have struggled to distance themselves from the radicals in their party who openly embrace the term “socialism” and who previously praised big-government dictators like Fidel Castro. Warnock, one of the two Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in the Georgia runoff elections on January 5, seems compromised in this regard.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.