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Far-left U.S. Rep. Karen Bass tried to walk back her past praise of Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro now that she is apparently on the shortlist of those under consideration to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, the Los Angeles Democrat disavowed a November 2016 statement that Castro’s passing was a “great loss” for the Cuban people.
When Wallace pressed her on what took so long for her to see the light, Bass, 66, implied that Florida lawmakers educated her about what Cuba looked like under the communist regime.
“I absolutely would have not put that statement out, and I can tell you that after talking to my colleagues who represent the state of Florida, raised those concerns with me — lesson learned, would not do that again for sure,” she told Wallace.
Wallace also questioned her being a frequent flyer to Cuba in the 1970s, amounting to eight trips.
(Source: Fox News)
Bass earlier in the conversation explained that her perspective about Cuba “has developed over time” and that her Cuba visits were benign.
“When I went to Cuba over 40 years ago when I was in my teens and early 20s, I went to help the Cuban people; we were building houses. The other reason why I went was to meet and work with Americans from around the country that were involved in a lot of different social issues. I think that over the past 20 years, my involvement in Cuba has centered on healthcare and promoting democracy.
“Do I know an awful lot more now? Do I understand that the Castro regime did not have the same freedoms as we do in the United States, was a brutal regime, they don’t have freedom of press, freedom of protest — which was kind of ironic, because when I went in my youth, the majority of us that were there were anti-war activists, we were protesting against police abuse and understood then and now that the Cuban people did not have the same freedoms — but what I also believe is that the best way to deal with change is to have relations, and so I support what President Obama and Vice President Biden did in opening up relations with the island of Cuba that’s 90 miles away…”
She added that Cuba has developed drugs to treat diabetes and cancer, and she is working on bringing those medicines to the U.S. as part of her work on healthcare exchanges between America and the island nation.
Bass expressed similar sentiments on Meet the Press on Sunday.
WATCH: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) says "lesson learned" about how she described Fidel Castro. #IfItsSunday #MTP
Bass: I 'don’t consider myself a Castro sympathizer' pic.twitter.com/xbUX7yhrfu
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 2, 2020
Bass has also come under scrutiny for praising the Church of Scientology in a 2010 Los Angeles ribbon-cutting ceremony while she was still a state legislator as well as in letter that was read at another local Scientology facility opening in 2011 after she was elected to Congress.
In a Tweet, she explained that this was another lesson learned because these events occurred before the various allegations about Scientology emerged.
Just so you all know, I proudly worship at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South LA. pic.twitter.com/1sEpF5KpRF
— Karen Bass (@KarenBassTweets) August 1, 2020
Some on Twitter reacted with skepticism to Bass’ change of heart about Cuba.
Karen Bass wants us to believe by the age of 62, after a lifetime of radical activism, she was still unaware communism was bad, but know she knows
What a jokehttps://t.co/GM9UgFZXHR
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) August 2, 2020
Give it up Karen…the Scientology endorsement killed your chances…now the back pedal on Castro???
— Tom Guidry (@TomGuidry4) August 2, 2020
This can’t be real. They have to be floating her name so Kamala or Susan rice don’t seem so bad after her
— Tommyw (@tomw3809) August 2, 2020
How does she explain doing it the first time? It’s not like Castro’s evil was a big secret.
— Today in Danistan (@RealDanLee) August 2, 2020
If she didn’t know Communism was bad Then she’s not qualified to be VP
— Joy Carson (@JoyCars84009260) August 2, 2020
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