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Georgia Senate Candidate Worked for Church Who Hosted Fidel Castro

Reverend Raphael Warnock’s campaign responded briefly to the controversy early in the week.

While there is still plenty of drama to be had in Washington DC this week, the center of the American political universe will almost certainly be headed south in the coming days.

That’s because the balance of the incoming Senate hangs on two runoff races in the state of Georgia, where Democrats and Republicans will soon be converging for a battle royale.  In that regard, we’re about to learn a whole lot about Democrats like Rev. Raphael Warnock.

Georgia Senate Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock worked as an assistant pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York in 1995 when Cuban dictator Fidel Castro gave a speech there.

Castro was hosted after an appearance at the United Nations and received a warm welcome at the gathering, including “rhythmic chants” of “Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!”

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The leader discussed Cuba’s involvement in the African revolutionary communist movements; the church crowd praised his speech, saying, “Viva Cuba!”

Calvin Butts, the current pastor at the church and Warnock’s boss at the time of the Castro speech, said in 1995, “We have one of the great leaders of the world [Castro] with us today.”

Butts defended the decision to host Castro, claiming it was “in our tradition to welcome those who are visionary, who are revolutionary, and who seek the freedom of all people around the world.”

The Warnock campaign responded to the news by stating that Rev. Warnock was a “youth pastor” at the time of the speech, and was not involved in the decision-making process at the church.

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