Bass: I Know 'an Awful Lot More Now' About Castro's Brutality

Potential VP pick praised Cuban dictator in 2016

August 2, 2020

California representative and potential vice presidential pick Karen Bass (D.) said Sunday that she "absolutely" should not have made a statement mourning the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 2016 because she knows "an awful lot more now" about Castro's brutality.

"I absolutely would have not put that statement out and I will 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," Bass said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

Bass said that she knows "an awful lot more now" about Castro's abuses against the Cuban people since her initial visits to the country in the 1970s and that her perspective has "developed over time."

In 2016, Bass said Castro's death was "a great loss to the people of Cuba" and called the dictator "comandante en jefe."

The potential vice presidential pick praised President Obama for opening up relations with Cuba.

"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 said.

Bass's profile has surged over the past week as Biden prepares to pick his running mate. Bass also recently became embroiled in controversy over comments she made praising the Church of Scientology in 2010.

She said the comments were made before widespread allegations of abuse were leveled against the church, although reports had already surfaced from former members who said the church abused and intimidated members at the time of her comments.