Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a Democratic presidential candidate, argued that his support for “democratic socialism” is not the same as the form of socialism that the government has imposed in countries such as Venezuela and Cuba.
Sanders made his comments during the presidential debate on Thursday evening. The senator was asked why he hasn’t called Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro a dictator and if his socialist policy proposals are different from the socialist policies in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
“Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make — can create their own future. In terms of democratic socialism, to equate what goes on in Venezuela with what I believe is extremely unfair. I’ll tell you what I believe in terms of democratic socialism,” Sanders said.
“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. I believe that every worker in this country deserves a living wage and that we expand the trade union movement,” he added.