Ayers played a primary role in the Venceremos Brigades


By —— Bio and Archives October 28, 2008

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Raul, Fidel Castro, William AyersUnrepentant terrorist former leading Weather Underground Organization (WUO) member William Ayers was aided by Fidel Castro’s Cuba in the 1970s, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report. 

  The 400-page report, a copy of which was obtained by the New York Times, revealed that Cuban intelligence officers in the General Directorate of Intelligence (known by its initials in Spanish as the DGI, Cuba’s equivalent of the CIA) set up the Venceremos Brigades in which WUO members participated.

  “The ultimate objective of the DGI’s participation in the setting up of the Venceremos Brigades was “the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. Government, which would provide the Cuban Government with access to political, economic and military intelligence.” (Italics CFP’s).

“Three years before militant members of the students for a Democratic Society split off to form the Weather Underground Organization in 1970, North Vietnamese and Cuban officials were influencing radical antiwar strategy through foreign meetings.  Many of those meetings were held in Communist countries, including Hungary, Czechoslovakia and North Vietnam,” said the report.
 
“After the Weathermen went “underground” in 1970 when many of them were being sought by the FBI on criminal charges, Cuban intelligence officers were in touch with them from both the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York and the Cuban Embassy in Canada.”
 
In fact according to the report, Ayers played a primary role in the Venceremos Brigades, a role revealed courtesy of Larry Grathwohl, a man publicly described as the “most effective informer the FBI ever placed among the Weathermen.” 
 
It was Ayers who told “fellow underground WUO member Grathwohl that if communication could not be made through specially arranged Canadian numbers to flee American authorities, an individual should get in touch with the Cuban Embassy in Canada in order to establish contact with other members of the WUO.
 
“To do this an individual should use the code name “Delgado” when referring to himself and the person with whom he desired to make contact,” the report said.
 
The report was prepared in August 1976 after the Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into charges that bureau agents had committed burglaries and carried out illegal mail openings and wiretaps in their attempts to apprehend Weathermen fugitives.
 
Closely held, only 10 copies of the report were sent to the bureau director, Clarence M. Kelley.
 
The following were some of its key points:

  • The conduit for contact in the United States was a group of intelligence agents assigned to the staff of the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York.  These agents arranged for American youths to be inculcated with revolutionary fervor and, occasionally, to be trained in practical weaponry by Cuban military officers through the so-called Venceremos Brigades.
  • Cuban officials helped several Weather Underground adherents who feared arrest in the United States to travel to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and then to reenter the United States surreptitiously.
  • It also reported that contact with the Cubans in the United States was made at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations on East 67th Street in Manhattan.  Several top officials stationed at the Embassy in 1969 and 1970 were identified in the report as Cuban espionage agents.
  • In another incident, the report said, four Weathermen who had been in Cuba with the Venceremos Brigades were sent back to the United Stares through Czechoslovakia rather than through Canada with other brigade members to lessen their chances of being arrested by the United States authorities.  The four wanted to get back to the United States safely after the explosion of a house in Greenwich Village killed two members of the Weather group, Dianna Oughton and Ted Gold, and the Cubans “obliged” them by making the European travel arrangements.
  • Ayers and his wife, former WUO member Bernadine Dohrn were back in Cuba this September as part of “Team Havana”, a conference on “Useful Art”, or art that includes aspects of social activism. 
     
    Sponsored by Cathedra de Arte Conducta, an arts program hosted by the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, the project was conceived by Cuban visual artist and University of Chicago faculty member Tania Bruguera.
     
    According to Janice Misurell-Mitchell, writing in CUBE Circuits, part of Team Havana’s work was to “present lectures and informal sessions, films and videos and performances.”
     
    Published twice a year, the Chicago-based CUBE is partially sponsored by grants from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the NIB Foundation, the Argosy Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and by a CityArts Program 1 grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.
     
    Meanwhile, for some the 1970s Cuban strategy to “someday obtain a position, elective or appointive, somewhere in the U.S. government, which would provide the Cuban Government with access to political, economic and military intelligence” rings with a certain irony.
     
    Given Ayers ties to Presidential frontrunner Barack Hussein Obama we can only hope that “someday” won’t be now.
     
     

     


    Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives |

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    Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.

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