Democrats grimace at Fidel Castro comments by Biden VP contender Karen Bass

Democrats grimace at Fidel Castro comments by Biden VP contender Karen Bass

June 27, 2020

Some Democrats got a little queasy after they learned Florida Rep. Karen Bass is on Joe Biden’s list of possible running mates.

The Los Angeles Democrat raised eyebrows in 2016 after the death of Fidel Castro, when she referred to the Cuban autocrat as “Comandante en jefe” — an honorific that roughly translates to “commander in chief.”

Republicans often accuse Democrats of being socialists, and the line particularly rankled elected party grandees in Florida — many of whom have large Cuban-American constituencies.

“I disagree with the Congresswoman’s comments on Cuba. I invite people to come to Miami where we can educate them on the tyrannical dictatorship that has decimated Cuba for 60 years,” Rep. Donna Shalala told Politico. “My focus is on helping her and Joe Biden win Florida, the White House, and save our country.”

Miami state Rep. Javier Fernandez called Bass’ comments “troubling.”

“It shows a lack of understanding about what the Castro regime was about,” Fernandez said.

Bass is one of several women who Biden is considering for vice president. His team is scrambling to vet more women of color in response to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and racial inequality.

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