Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) gives an opening statement during a markup on H.R. 7120, the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 17, 2020. (Greg Nash/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
By: Trevor Loudon | The Epoch Times
While the Las Vegas bookies still favor California Sen. Kamala Harris to clinch the Joe Biden running mate spot, another Californian, Congressional Black Caucus chair Karen Bass, is rapidly gaining ground.
With Biden’s decision only days away, many eyes are turning toward Bass as a more loyal and trustworthy lieutenant to the Democratic presidential nominee.
But who is Karen Bass? Given Biden’s widely perceived neurological difficulties, it’s possible that Bass could soon become the most powerful politician on the planet. But what do we actually know about her?
Well, just enough to terrify most American voters.
Karen Bass grew up in mainly white liberal West Los Angeles. Well, hard-left West Los Angeles, actually.
Bass told Melina Abdullah and Regina Freer in the book “Black Los Angeles: American Dreams and Racial Realities”:
“It [the white left] played a huge role for me. In Hamilton [High School] for instance, lots of the Jewish parents were activists. Some of them were in the Communist Party. So, I grew up with a lot of red diaper babies. And there were some African American parents who were in the Communist Party. There were teachers who were in the Communist Party. So white radicals were very influential. And at the same time, you have the Panthers and the whole Black movement.”
And according to left-wing journalist Laura Flanders in her book “Blue Grit: Making Impossible, Improbable, and Inspirational Political Change in America,” Bass went on to actually join the Black Panther Party—that’s right Bass was a Panther. She hung around with pro-China, Maoist domestic terrorist revolutionaries—a direct ancestor of today’s Maoist Black Lives Matter organization.
By the mid-1970s, Bass was in San Diego working on anti-Vietnam War activities. But allegedly left town after somebody fired shots into her home.
Back in Los Angeles, Bass became involved in “forces working directly under the guidance of the rectification line/unity with the line,” that is, Maoists who would soon coalesce into a nationwide pro-China communist “Line of March.”
“Call for a Conference on Racism and National Oppression” was a 1980 letter initiated by Marxist-Leninists of “The Trend,” most of whom were Line of March activists, for a national conference on “Racism and National Oppression” to be held in the summer of 1981 in New York or the Bay Area.
Los Angeles signatories to the letter included Line of March comrades Michael Downing, Cyrus Keller, Dan Lund, and Jaime Geaga—plus Bass.
In May 2010, old comrades from Line of March and the closely related Union of Democratic Filipinos including Florante Ibanez, Rose Ibanez, David Kimbrough, and Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough held a grassroots fundraiser to help elect their old friend to Congress.
Bass founded and led for many years the “Community Coalition” in South Los Angeles, a “community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing, and changing public policy.”
The organization was a nest of Maoists, including former Director of Strategic Projects Bob Wing, a veteran Line of March comrade.
Sylvia Castillo, who had once moved in Line of March circles, was district director to California Assembly Speaker Bass and was also a founding leader of the Community Coalition.
Socialists and Communists
By the late 1980s, Bass was hanging around with the Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)—even contributing an article to their “Los Angeles Left” magazine October 1988 issue titled “Gang Violence: A crisis that must not be ignored.”
The West Coast Socialist Scholars Conference 1993, “New Realities, New Identities; Socialism and Empowerment,” was held on April 17, 1993, at the University of California—Los Angeles.
Speakers included Bogdan Denitch, Mona Field, Harold Meyerson, Rudy Torres, and Angie Fa of the DSA, former Line of March leader Irwin Silber, and Bass.
Los Angeles activist Oneil Cannon was the education director in the Southern California District of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), and a member of the party’s Southern California and National Central committees.
Cannon was committed to electing black and Latino representatives at all levels of government, according to the CPUSA’s People’s World publication. He helped to elect congress members Augustus Hawkins, Ed Roybal, Diane Watson, Maxine Waters, and Bass.
When Cannon died in January 2017, a few days shy of his 100th birthday, Bass placed a tribute into the Congressional Record to her “friend and mentor.”
“Oneil was instrumental in supporting my own work as a community organizer early in my life, and without his help, my life would have taken a very different path. …
“I would like to salute Oneil Cannon for his longstanding commitment to serving and uplifting others, and for a century of fighting to make the world a better place.”
In April 1995, Bass and others, including the Greater Los Angeles Committees of Correspondence (a Communist Party spinoff), supported a memorial for late South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo at the Kingsley Hall in South Los Angeles.
Slovo had been the head of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the terrorist wing of the African National Congress, and reputedly a colonel in the Soviet KGB, but that did not deter Bass.
On March 11, 1998, Los Angeles DSA leader Steve Tarzynski wrote an email to another Los Angeles DSA leader Harold Meyerson.
Tarzynski listed 25 people whom he thought should be on an “A-list” of “25 or so leaders/activists/intellectuals and/or ‘eminent persons’ who would gather periodically to theorize/strategize about how to rebuild a progressive movement in our metropolitan area that could challenge for power.”
Tarzynski listed himself, Meyerson, Bass, and her staffer Sylvia Castillo as key invitees.
Others on the list included former Maoist and prominent lawyer Barry Litt, far-left businessman Aris Anagnos, labor leader and future California legislator Maria Elena Durazo, ex-Communist Workers Party leader Kent Wong, and Bill Gallegos of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Those listed were the cream of the Los Angeles far left, and Bass was right at the top.
This group evolved into the Progressive Los Angeles Network. Bass served on the group’s advisory board.
Bass is a Cuban patriot. She has visited the communist island at least a dozen times and has publicly praised the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro (though, she has recently renounced her 2016 comments).
She has also worked tirelessly through the very pro-Cuba Congressional Black Caucus to remove U.S. trade and travel restrictions on the totalitarian state.
In July 2015, a crowded party celebrated as the flag was raised over the newly re-established Cuban embassy in Washington on 16th Street NW.
“It’s an amazing moment,” Phyllis Bennis, a former Line of March comrade, told the Washington Post. “In the decades-long effort to normalize relations with Cuba, to stop the U.S. attacks and hostility toward Cuba, we have not had so many victories. Suddenly we have a victory. The flag going up—that’s huge.”
Guests included Bass.
The guests were jubilant because Cuban communism had been near collapse. Diplomatic recognition and the easing of trade and travel restrictions by President Barack Obama had saved communism in Cuba.
In 1973, Bass traveled to Cuba for the first time under the auspices of the Venceremos Brigade, which is reportedly used by Cuba’s intelligence service to assess and recruit spies and “agents of influence.”
Bass traveled to Havana, Cuba, on June 5, 2011, accompanied by senior Democratic Party operative Donna Brazile, former congresswoman Jane Harman, and Sara Stephens of the pro-Cuba “Center for Democracy in the Americas”—which picked up Bass’s $2,915 tab.
“On Nov. 17, 1962, the FBI cracked a plot by Cuban agents that targeted Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos [1,102 pounds] of TNT,” wrote Humberto Fontova in FrontPage Magazine. Had those detonators gone off, the death toll would have been almost certainly far greater than the 9/11 attack.
Two of those arrested were Cuban intelligence officers Elsa Montero and Jose Gomez Abad.
Sweig’s book “Inside the Cuban Revolution” contains this acknowledgment: “In Cuba, many people spent long hours with me, helped open doors I could not have pushed through myself and offered friendship and warmth to myself during research trips to the island. … Elsa Montero and Jose Gomez Abad championed this project.”
In addition, Sweig thanked the “warm friendship and championship of” Ramon Sanchez Parodi, Jose Antonio Arbesu, Fernando Miguel Garcia, Hugo Ernesto Yedra, and Josefina Vidal for their “warmth, their friendship and their kindness in opening Cuban doors,” according to Fontova.
All the above have been identified by Lt. Col. Chris Simmons (retired), America’s top Cuban spy-catcher, as veteran Cuban intelligence officers.
Unsurprisingly, Simmons has named Sweig as a Cuban “agent of influence,” according to Fontova.
Bass went back to Cuba with the Center for Democracy in the Americas in January 2018. In May the same year, Bass was a guest of honor at a Center for Democracy in the Americas Cuban cultural event on Capitol Hill.
According to former Vice President Biden, Bass is being thoroughly vetted as a potential presidential running mate.
If that vetting process is legitimate, there’s no way Bass could be approved. She couldn’t pass the most superficial background check to work in the Post Office, let alone in the White House.
I’m betting, though, if Bass doesn’t get the job it won’t be because of her communist background.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics. He is best known for his book “Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” and his similarly-themed documentary film “Enemies Within.” His recently published book is “White House Reds: Communists, Socialists & Security Risks Running for U.S. President, 2020.”