De Blasio: Activist past won't hurt mayoral bid

Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio shown at

Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio shown at a news conference in front of the quarters of FDNY Hook and Ladder Company 8 in Manhattan. (Sept. 25, 2013) (Credit: Charles Eckert)

New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who has deflected questions during the past week about his 1994 honeymoon in Cuba, Friday faulted its Communist government for its "undemocratic" policies.

De Blasio, 52, defended his humanitarian work in the 1980s on behalf of the leftist Sandinista revolutionaries in Nicaragua, saying, "I certainly don't think people are going to judge me negatively because of the work I've done in the past."

On Spanish-language WADO 1280 AM, host Ino Gomez pressed de Blasio about his impressions of Cuba's regime.

De Blasio said he found the Communist country "undemocratic" and anti-free press.

He added, however, that there "were some good things happening with that government," such as its health care system. Gomez, who is Cuban-American, disagreed.

The Democrat brushed off Republican rival Joe Lhota's charge that his activist history makes him unfit to lead the city. His experiences, de Blasio said, will help him close the gap between rich and poor.

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