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Keith Ellison, Favorite to Run the DNC, Praises Castro for Defeating 'Apartheid Forces'

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spoke with SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter about the death and legacy of Fidel Castro.

Keith Ellison
Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison. Natasha Mozgovaya

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spoke with SiriusXM’s Karen Hunter about the death and legacy of Fidel Castro. During the interview Ellison offered praise for Castro, saying that, "His Cuban forces took on the South Africa apartheid military forces and defeated them ... he confronted people with a lot of power on behalf of people that didn’t have any."

Ellison also said that Castro's legacy was a "mixed bag."  "He also did jail people who were political critics of his, he also did not allow… free speech," continued Ellison. Ellison's candidacy to replace interim chair Donna Brazile as head of the national Democratic Party has received harsh opposition from critics concerned about his time in the Nation of Islam in the 1990's. 

Ellison renounced the organization in 2006 letter writting, “I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic statements and actions of the Nation of Islam."

In the interview Ellison also laid out his vision for how to rebuild the Democratic Party after Hillary Clinton's surprise defeat to Donald Trump, saying, "We have to have a top-to-bottom reform movement that puts the Democratic voter in charge. Voters first. That’s what we need to do."