American Maoists are working to support the embattled regime of illegitimate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and to strengthen ties with Latin American communism.
In mid-July, the militant Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) sent a delegation to Caracas to build “solidarity” with socialist Venezuela. According to delegation leader and CTU charter school organizer Richard Berg:
“We are interested in show[ing] solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan people and at the same time we want to interact with Venezuelan labor union leaders with [a] focus on teacher unions to learn from them how they have counter[ed] US sanctions and to inform them about our recent victories in the US, like the recent strike CTU organized in Chicago.”
Berg was referring to the successful May CTU strike against Chicago charter school owners. Three of the five delegates—special education teacher Sarah Chambers, English teacher Fabiana Casas, and math teacher Valeria Vargas—were strike captains during the May industrial action. The delegation was led by Berg and Maria Moreno, the financial secretary of the CTU.
The CTU is heavily influenced by America’s largest openly Maoist grouping: Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). Chambers, CTU area vice president and prominent strike leader, is close to the FRSO, as is Moreno. Berg has been heavily active in midwestern Maoist politics since he was president of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization in the early 1980s.
The trip came straight after a CTU official resolution calling for “an end to U.S. intervention in Venezuela.”
Chambers told FRSO’s FightBack! News that Venezuela’s dictators care more about education than do Chicago’s Democratic Party leaders:
“Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”
As FightBack! News reported, “The teachers’ delegation met with leaders from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Communes, Ministry of Education, Adult Education Teachers, and students, as well as on-the-ground activists.”
The delegation also sat down with Vladimir Castillo, the Venezuelan director of international affairs. They learned that Hugo Chávez only “started to talk [openly] about socialism in 2005, at the World Social Forum” in Brazil, a full seven years after becoming president. For many years, Chávez, like Fidel Castro before him, denied being a socialist—a lesson for U.S. voters in 2020.
Delegates also had the “amazing opportunity” to meet with Jacobo Torres de León, the president of the Bolivarian Socialist Workers Central Union. Torres de León spoke about his journey alongside Maduro, his “union brother,” and how they “worked together to improve the rights of workers and unions.”
São Paulo Forum
From July 25 to 28, delegates from the FRSO participated in the 25th “São Paolo Forum,” a conference held this year in Caracas, Venezuela. More than 1,000 delegates from around the world attended, under the slogan “For Peace, Sovereignty and the Prosperity of the People: Unity, Struggle, Combat and Victory!”, according to FightBack! News.
The FRSO delegation was led by Tom Burke (also known as Tomas de Bourgha), the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based organization secretary of the FRSO.
Founded in 1990 by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Brazilian Marxist labor leader Lula da Silva, the São Paolo Forum united communist, terrorist, and socialist parties from all over Latin America. The São Paolo Forum was explicitly established “to save what had been lost of Communism in Eastern Europe and the old USSR.”
The São Paolo Forum-led “Pink Tide” swept across Latin America, bringing da Silva and Chávez to power in Brazil and Venezuela, respectively, together with leftist regimes in Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.
“The so-called Pink Tide began, and many of the wide-ranging political parties of the Forum found themselves elected into government. Many believed that the dark days of U.S. dominance were a thing of the past, and that the masses could now democratically determine their own future. Venezuela played a leading role, directing part of its oil revenue to support these new progressive governments.”
Today, many of those left-wing governments have been removed, notably in Brazil, which—after 16 years of socialism—elected anti-communist President Jair Bolsonaro last year. However, the left is still very strong throughout Latin America and had a major victory in 2018 when long-time São Paolo Forum supporter Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known widely as AMLO) won the Mexican presidency.
The FRSO sees a new communist resurgence in Latin America, built around the remaining socialist/communist strongholds of Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
“Today, only the governments of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua remain firm against imperialism. All others have been defeated. The Bolivarian Revolution stands out, for while the imperialist counter-offensive came crashing down around them, the Venezuelan masses deepened their revolutionary process. Socialism is their horizon. President Nicolás Maduro says that a new popular offensive must sweep Latin America, one more radical and profound than the last—a ‘Red Tide’ perhaps? And as Latin America’s left-wing forces gather once again, the Venezuelan movement plans to lay the groundwork for such an offensive.”
And according to Orr, the FRSO will be helping out:
“FRSO will be there, building relations with the revolutionary forces of our hemisphere for the common goal of ending U.S. imperialism and building a future that belongs to the masses.”
The FRSO is working from U.S. soil to aid and abet the revolutionary process in Venezuela—a country currently under U.S. sanctions.
If Venezuelan communism is allowed to arise from near destruction, there will be a Russian, Chinese, and Cuban-backed revolutionary resurgence across the entire continent—and probably Mexico.
This will be disastrous for Latin America and for U.S. interests in the whole Western Hemisphere.
Why are American Maoists allowed to openly assist Venezuelan revolutionaries against the best interest of their own country?
Isn’t there a word for that?
Now is the time to increase pressure on the Maduro regime and to clamp down on those Americans openly supporting Venezuela’s tyrannical and subversive regime.
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.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.