Mucarsel-Powell said he opposes “comments that show a hint of sympathy for violent dictators.” However, like Shalala, he refused to criticize Bass directly.
Bass’s Congressional office supported his 2016 comments on Castro’s death, when he said, “I wish to express my condolences to the Cuban people and to the family of Fidel Castro. The death of the commander in chief is a great loss for the people of Cuba. I hope that together, our two nations continue on the new path of support and collaboration between them, and continue in the new direction of diplomacy. “
A Bass spokesman told POLITICO in a written statement that the comments underscore how she had “long defended the best relations with Cuba,” which is why she traveled to Cuba with Secretary Kerry in 2015 when she raised the American flag over our embassy. In the Habana; and separately with President Obama for her historic visit in early 2016. Her statement of condolence, which like President Obama and the Secretary [of State John] Kerry’s statements called for relations to continue on the new path of support and collaboration, consistent with his belief in the power of diplomacy to forge better relations between nations, even in the face of fundamental disagreements with their governments and leaders. “
The night before commenting on POLITICO, the California congresswoman’s office briefly removed the comments from its website. When the site came back online, it also featured comments from Kerry and Obama.
President Donald Trump’s campaign said in a written statement that the Bass controversy was “further evidence that Joe Biden’s pool of potential vice president candidates is a shrinking group of radical leftists who approve of brutal regimes. , socialists and totalitarians “. The names on this list are walking, they are proof that Biden is too weak to face the most extreme limit of his party, including people who fondly remember Fidel Castro. “
Miami Democrats say there is a distinction between Bass’s comments and those of Obama and Kerry: the use of the phrase “commander-in-chief” which seems to many Cuban-Americans to be a term of love.
“His followers called him commander chief so they don’t have to call him ‘G-d’ in public, and his detractors so they don’t have to call him ‘El Diablo’ in public too, ”said State Senator Annette Taddeo, a Miami-area Democrat and Colombian-American he said by text message.
“As someone who was thoroughly vetted before, I can tell you that the words are important, especially if you put them in writing,” said Taddeo, who ran for lieutenant governor in the state in 2014. “As a running mate, there are consequences for what that you say and write, especially in Florida, where no matter what the polls say today, our state will make up its mind in less than one point. ”
Taddeo is not on the ballot, but Fernández and state senator José Javier Rodríguez are. Democrats are four seats away from gaining control of the Florida Senate. A fourth seat in the Miami area, held by a Cuban-American Republican, is in effect in 2022, when the Florida legislature begins the redistricting process once a decade.
Fernández y Rodríguez, who has been a substitute for Biden’s campaign, said Republicans are guilty of hypocrisy in confronting socialist regimes after Senator Marco Rubio’s old friend, former Rep. David Rivera, signed a lucrative deal. with Venezuelan state oil. The company and Trump’s refusal to grant temporary protection status to Venezuelans when he began to turn his back on Juan Guaidó, once recognized by the administration as Venezuela’s legitimate leader over Nicolás Maduro.
“I am confident in the search and verification process for Vice President Biden,” Rodriguez said. “Just as we condemn the abandonment by Trump of Guaidó, the legitimate democratic leader of Venezuela, in favor of the usurper and dictator Maduro, and just as we condemn David Rivera who works for Maduro, we also condemn the statements made by Representative Bass that they do not repudiate the brutal oppression of communism and the Castro regime. “