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A history professor from a western New York college clashed with Tucker Carlson over the merits of late dictator Fidel Castro's decades-long rule in Cuba.

Rene de la Pedraja told Carlson that much of the anger professed by Cuba toward the United States stems from assassination attempts on Castro stretching back to 1959.

De la Pedraja, a professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, said Castro was often a "symbol throughout the world for people who are seeking freedom or seeking opportunity."

He said the dictator's accomplishments included implementation of a strong education system and the abolition of segregation on the island.

Though recently, Cubans are allowed to leave the island with a visa approved by an accepting nation, de la Pedraja said there were "economic reasons" for the Castro regime to ban emigration from Cuba, including the fact medical professionals educated there can make more money in the United States.

He also said many of those Cubans who have escaped to Miami and other places on the North American mainland did so to "start a new life".

Watch the full debate above and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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