The Democrat’s presumptive nominee Joe Biden will name his running mate as early as next week, and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) is reportedly a top contender for job.
The California Democrat has emerged as the favorite pick of former Sen. Chris Dodd, who serves on Biden’s vice presidential search committee. According a source who spoke with Politico, Dodd has urged Biden to choose Bass because “she’s a loyal No. 2. And that’s what Biden really wants.”
On the surface, Bass’s background as a former medical professional and South Los Angeles community organizer make her an attractive candidate to serve at a time when public health and racial inequality are on the top of voters’ minds.
Her resume bears the hallmarks of a rising political star, starting with her first foray into elected office 16 years ago, when she won a seat in the California State Assembly and later became the first Black woman in the country to serve as the speaker of a state legislature when she assumed the Speakership in 2008. Prior to this, Bass worked as a physician assistant and a left-wing community activist who founded a non-profit in the 1990s called the Community Coalition. She made headlines after the 1992 L.A. riots for her fight to prevent liquor stores from being rebuilt in the neighborhoods destroyed by the uprising.
In 2010, Bass won her U.S. House seat, where her voting record has been typical of a progressive member of a Democratic Party increasingly embracing socialism.
However, a deep dive into Bass’s background reveals that her influences were not just socialist, but hardcore communist.
The VP vetting process brought renewed scrutiny to comments Bass made about Cuba’s communist dictator Fidel Castro. In a statement following Castro’s death in 2016, Bass referred to him as “Comandante en Jefe” and described his death as “a great loss to the people of Cuba.”
The honorific “Commandante en Jefe”—which translates to “commander in chief”—was criticizedby Florida Democrats for being excessively deferential to a dictator with a long history of human rights abuses.
LEADER OF A COMMUNIST FRONT GROUP
Over the years, Bass has spoken frequently about her decades-long involvement with the Venceramos Brigade (VB), starting from the time she was 19-years-old in 1973. She would make eight trips to Cuba as a “brigandista” in the 1970s. Articles about her work with the Venceremos Brigade make it sound like the Cuban equivalent of Habitat for Humanity or any other praiseworthy volunteer organization providing humanitarian assistance in poor countries.
In fact, the Venceremos Brigade was a Cuban communist front group founded in 1969 by Fidel Castro and the radical members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The Brigade was run by the Cuban intelligence service, the General Directorate for Intelligence (DGI).