Rep. Karen Bass, D-Caif., a contender for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s functioning mate, is scrambling to explain past opinions praising Fidel Castro and the Church of Scientology.

Bass, who is widely reported to be on Biden’s shortlist, responded Saturday to recently-emerged video clip that showed her talking at a Church of Scientology opening in 2010. The corporation has been accused of acting like a cult.


“The Church of Scientology I know has created a variation, simply because your creed is a common creed and a person that speaks to all men and women all over the place,” Bass explained in the video clip attained by the Each day Caller.

“The text are remarkable of your founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in The Creed of the Church of Scientology: that all folks of what ever race, colour or creed, are established with equivalent rights,” she stated.

On Saturday, Bass introduced a statement noting that she worships at a Baptist church, and claims that at the occasion she “found an space of settlement in their beliefs — where all persons, of no matter what race, coloration, or creed are produced with equivalent legal rights, which is what my remarks had been about.”

“Since then, printed 1st-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this team. Absolutely everyone is now knowledgeable of the allegations versus Scientology,” she mentioned. “Back in 2010, I attended the event knowing I was likely to address a team of persons with beliefs very diverse than my individual, and spoke briefly about matters I think most of us concur with, and on those matters — regard for distinct sights, equality, and preventing oppression — my views have not improved.”

Bass has also had to tackle her past statements in relation to the Castro routine in Cuba — something that could potentially hurt a Biden/Bass ticket with the Cuban-American inhabitants in the critical state of Florida.


Bass traveled to Cuba in 1973 with an business known as the Venceremos Brigade, a joint undertaking in between the routine and remaining-wing U.S. groups that organized trips for Americans to build homes in the nation. During that trip she went to see Castro converse.

In 2016, when Castro died, she referred to him as “commandante en jefe” (commander in main), and claimed his passing was a “great decline to the folks of Cuba.” Those people remarks have been criticized by Democrats in Florida in distinct.

“Praise like the just one that was provided by Bass at the time of Castro’s demise is inconsistent with my family’s working experience with what the regime did — and proceeds to do — to persons on the island, which is to suppress human rights, hold persons underneath a totalitarian thumb and stifle economic development,” Miami condition Rep. Javier Fernandez told Politico in June.

In an article in The Atlantic this week, Basss said she hadn’t entirely realized how Cuba and Castro have been found in Florida, as opposed to California.

“If I had to make that statement above once more, I would not use those people words,” she claimed.

She produced identical remarks to MSNBC: “I have talked to my colleagues in the Dwelling about that, and it’s certainly some thing that I would not say once more. … I have often supported the Cuban folks, and the romantic relationship that Barack Obama and Biden experienced in their administration in phrases of opening up relations.”

In that interview she called the Castro routine “extremely troubling.” She has also claimed that when she visited the communist dictatorship in the ’70s she by now knew then that it was not the utopia many others believed it to be.

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“I didn’t have any illusions that the people in Cuba had the same freedoms I did. I came residence and was protesting all the things I knew that the Cuban persons didn’t have the potential to do that,” she instructed The Atlantic.

In regards to stories that users of the Brigade turned sources for the Cubans, Bass said she was not involved in that possibly. She has because been again to Cuba a selection of instances, and when she frequented the place in 2016, she tweeted out a image from her 1973 take a look at.

Biden has said he will announce his VP decide afterwards this month. Others on the shortlist are thought to consist of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., former National Safety Adviser Susan Rice, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.