de Blasio, Nicaragua, Sandinistas, Cuba, & Communism


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Mayoral rivals Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota teamed up Monday to denounce Iran at the UN — but the unity didn’t last, as Lhota slammed de Blasio’s past as an activist who supposedly embraced “democratic socialism.”

Lhota criticized de Blasio’s travel to Nicaragua to do humanitarian work as an ally of the leftist Sandinista regime in the 1980s, as they fought the U.S.-backed counterrevolutionary Contras.

And he seized on de Blasio’s decision to take a honeymoon trip to Cuba in 1991.

Lhota, a Republican, said de Blasio’s past is “indicative of . . . a core political philosophy” that is relevant today as they run for mayor.

Supporting “the Sandinistas, who were fighting Americans as well as capitalism, was absolutely not the right thing to do during the Cold War,” Lhota said. “Going to Cuba illegally is never a good thing in this country.”

He added, “We do have a very, very different philosophy overall. And, quite honestly, there are words that I don’t like to use, but his own words, in his own words he called himself a ‘democratic Socialist.’ It’s really unfortunate that that’s the level that we’ve come to in this city.”

De Blasio has spoken before of his work in Nicaragua and his Cuban honeymoon, but that part of his past was not widely known until a New York Times story Monday that quoted him as saying in 1990 that he was an advocate of “democratic socialism.”