Was this not released previously because he wasn’t the Democrat nominee?
Politico has viewed three-and-a-half hours of footage from Bernie and Jane Sanders’ 1988 ‘honeymoon’ to the Soviet Union, and judging by their description, it looks like the footage might make it difficult for Sanders to distance himself from his support for Communist regimes both the USSR and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, where he also visited.
In the footage, Sanders, often seated under or near portraits of Vladimir Lenin, would extol the virtues of Soviet life.
The hours of footage include a scene of Sanders sitting with his delegation at a table under a portrait of Vladimir Lenin. Sanders can also be heard extolling the virtues of Soviet life and culture, even as he acknowledges some of their shortcomings. There are flashes of humor, too, such as his host warning the American guests not to cross the KGB, or else.
Sanders and his entourage visited three cities, Yaroslavl, Moscow and Leningrad as they worked to establish a ‘sister city’-type relationship between Yaroslavl and Burlington. The trip happened in 1988, as Sanders was nearing the end of his second term as Burlington’s mayor.
The video also paints a fuller picture of why Sanders ventured to the land of America’s No. 1 enemy in the midst of the Cold War, the anti-war idealism that fueled his journey, and what he found when he got there.
Over the course of 10 days, Sanders, who was then the mayor of Burlington, and his dozen-member delegation traveled to three cities: Moscow, Yaroslavl and Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. Their goal was to establish a “sister city” relationship with Yaroslavl, a community along the Volga River home to about 500,000 people.At the time, the Soviet Union was beginning to open itself to the world, if only slightly — and Sanders was a self-described socialist with an unusually large interest in foreign affairs for a mayor.
“It wasn’t as outlandish as it looks in the pictures,” William Pomeranz, the deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, said after hearing a description of the footage. “It’s the height of Glasnost and Perestroika, where there are genuine efforts by Americans to reach out to Soviet cities and try to establish these relationships.”