CubaBrief: Anti-Israel activists behind Columbia university protests trained in Cuba for years. Diaz-Canel returns to Moscow to celebrate Putin’s sham victory and hold bilateral talks.

Manolo de los Santos of The People’s Forum with Miguel Diaz-Canel in September 2023, and on October 8, 2023 celebrating Hamas terror attacks against Israel.

Father Roger Landry, a Catholic chaplain at Columbia University, said on May 2, 2024 that the protests making national headlines at the New York City school are being organized in part by “explicitly communist” outside forces, reported The Catholic Register. Journalist Gelet Martínez Fragela in a detailed article published yesterday in ADN America outlining Havana’s connections to anti-Israel protests in the United States confirming Father Landry’s observation.

It is important to remember the timeline of the protests.

In a formal statement released on October 7, 2023, the same day of the terror attacks, the Cuban Foreign Ministry blamed Israel and its “accomplice,” the United States, for the violence. In doing so, it continued to spread a false narrative that originates in Soviet-era anti-Israel propaganda.In this case Havana was blaming the victims of a terrorist attack perpetrated by their longtime allies Hamas.

On October 8, 2023, one day after Hamas terrorists massacred 1,200 people in southern Israel, militant leftists organized a protest in Times Square to celebrate the killings as an act of resistance and waved signs with anti-Semitic slogans and images. The Center for a Free Cuba took notice of this protest at the time, and how official Cuban media was promoting it at the time. On October 11, 2023, The People’s Forum (TPF) issued a statement defending their October 8th rally in Times Square, doubling down on their support for the terrorist attack.

The group’s co-executive director, Manolo De Los Santos, is a longtime researcher at the Marxist Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and was “based out of Cuba for many years,” where he “worked toward building international networks of people’s movements and organizations,” according to his biography at the anti-Israel group Black Alliance for Peace. In July 2022, Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, received De los Santos and executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Vijay Prashad with the aim of “elaborating a new consensus, based on theory and according to the different experiences of social movements and countries, on the path of socialism.”

On January 24, 2024 Manolo De Los Santos spoke the quiet part out loud at The People’s Forum in New York City: “When we finally deal that final blow to destroy Israel. When the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism.”

De Los Santos is echoing Karl Marx’s early formulation of communism which is antisemitic and offers a “solution” to the “Jewish Problem.”

“Money is the Jealous God of Israel, beside which no other God may exist. Money abases all the gods of mankind and changes them into commodities. The god of the Jews has been secularized and has become the god of the world. In emancipating itself from hucksterism and money, and thus from real and practical Judaism, our age would emancipate itself…by destroying the empirical essence of Judaism, the Jew will become impossible.” Source Karl Marx-Engels Collected Works (London 1975ff),vol. iii, pp146-74

“The People’s Forum” (TPF) is funded through Goldman Sachs and linked to the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL). Both its executive directors Manolo De Los Santos and Claudia De La Cruz are PSL members, and active supporters of the Cuban communist dictatorship. TPF put out an advertisement in The New York Times in October 2022 that repeated numerous propaganda claims by the Cuban dictatorship, and was rebutted by the Center for a Free Cuba. The New York Post provided the following description of the TPF leader on May 6, 2024.

The head of a radical activist group who urged anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University to channel the deadly Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 is a career agitator who spent “years” in the socialist haven of Cuba, The Post can reveal. Manolo De Los Santos, the 35-year-old leader of the Midtown-based nonprofit The People’s Forum (TPF), came to The Bronx from his native Dominican Republic at age 5 and has made a career of spurring protests on the streets of New York City. He first traveled to Cuba in 2006 and was there as recently as March to demand an end to the US blockade against the socialist state which has been in place since 1962. As TPF’s executive director and de facto mouthpiece — a role he’s held since 2018, according to his Facebook — the writer, organizer and public speaker is as known for his zealous support of left-wing causes as he is for his repugnant public statements. De Los Santos, who declined to speak to The Post when approached outside his Hell’s Kitchen home Monday, has in the last year alone hailed Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack as “heroic,” called for Israel to be “erased from history” and eagerly welcomed the impending “defeat” of the “US empire.”

Goldman Sachs offers a charity for clients’ to give, and in this case the individual donating millions to TPF is a Maoist tech mogul Neville Roy Singham, who has profited from his relationship with Huawei and other Chinese companies His father  Archibald W. Singham was a leftwing academic, of Sri Lankan origin, who was photographed with Fidel Castro, and involved in the Non-Aligned Movement who died in 1991 from a brain tumor. He was married to Shirley Hune, an academic in Asian Studies at Hunter College, but Neville Roy Singham ‘s mother is identified as Cuban, and the tech mogul was born in the United States in 1954.

The Cuban dictatorship has spent decades slandering Israel. Fidel Castro personally equated the Jewish state with Nazi Germany, and the communist regime has promoted antisemitic tropes, and discriminated against Cuban Jews.

What of the libels against Israel?

Numbers do not lie, but the communist regime in Havana does.

 In 1933 there were 9.5 million Jewish people living in Europe. Following the Nazi holocaust, the Jewish population in Europe in 1950 was reduced to 3.5 million. The world Jewish population in 1939 was 16,728,000, and in 1945 it had shrunk to 11,000,000.

Palestinians and the Castro dictatorship for decades have accused, and continue to accuse, Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide”.

In 1948 there were 1.4 million Palestinians living in what is today, Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Today there are 7 million Palestinians living there, and 7.05 million living in the diaspora.

The Palestinian population under 75 years of Israeli “occupation” has grown five fold, and the total world population has grown. This is the antithesis of what happened to Jewish people during the Nazi regime both in Europe, and worldwide.

Since the 1960s Cuba’s communist dictatorship has trained terrorists to attack Israel. In 1973 the Castro regime sent 3,000 Cuban troops to Syria, and invaded Israel on October 6, 1973.

It is not surprising that hours after Hamas terrorists entered Israel on October 7th killed 1,200 Israelis, wounded over 3,360, launched over 6,300 rockets, murdered, raped, and kidnapped civilians; Havana and The People’s Forum blamed the victims.

Nor is it surprising that The People’s Forum and Havana who both claim to care about Palestinians say nothing critical about the Assad regime in Syria, and it’s murder of thousands of Palestinian refugees.  However, it is disturbing how their pay master  Archibald W. Singham has funded efforts to engage in Uyghur genocide denial.

Meanwhile, Miguel Diaz-Canel returned to Moscow to celebrate Vladimir Putin taking office for another term in what the Cuban president called “a record-breaking voter turnout,” and thousands of Cuba soldiers in Russian uniforms fought in the Russian dictator’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Tass Russian News Agency, 7 May, 16:53

Cuban president hails Putin’s taking presidential office for another term

“March election demonstrated a record-breaking voter turnout,” Miguel Diaz-Canel said

HAVANA, May 7. /TASS/. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has congratulated Vladimir Putin on being sworn as Russian president for another office term.

“On behalf of the party, Cuban government and people, we hail the inauguration of our dear friend Vladimir Putin as Russian president for another office term after being reelected with 87.28% of the vote during the March election, which demonstrated a record-breaking voter turnout,” he wrote on his X account.

The Cuban president arrived on a working visit in Moscow on Monday. Before his departure, Diaz-Canel said that he planned to discuss with Putin top-priority issues on the bilateral agenda. Apart from that, in his words, we will lead the Cuban delegation to a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

https://tass.com/world/1785337

The Ohio Star, May 7, 2024

Anti-Israel Activists Behind Columbia University Protests Trained in Cuba for Years

by Gelet Martínez Fragela

Some of the anti-Israel protests taking place at U.S. college campuses, including the recent demonstrations at Columbia University, have been supported by organizations that traveled to communist Cuba to receive resistance training, an ADN investigation has uncovered.

ADN’s investigation coincides with a recent Sunday report published by the New York Post that revealed a radical NYC based organization known as The People’s Forum familiarized anti-Israel activists with Black Lives Matter protest techniques just hours before they stormed Hamilton Hall at Columbia University, and that the group was incited by Manolo De Los Santos – a radical activist organizer with deep ties to communist Cuba.

De Los Santos, who has long been the subject of past ADN investigations, has a lengthy, storied history of working with some of Cuba’s top communist party leaders including its president, Miguel Diaz-Canel.

This past weekend the former seminarian turned radical leftist activist urged pro-Palestinian Columbia student protestors to “give Joe Biden a hot summer” and criticized Columbia’s “Zionist” administration for wanting to “resemble its masters in Israel.” He praised demonstrators for “deciding that resistance is more important than negotiations” and incited protesters to “make business as usual in this country unsustainable.”

Hours after Monday’s meeting was convened, dozens of protesters broke into and illegally stormed into Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall, seizing control of the university building in a standoff with education officials – the culmination of decades of Cuba promoting anti-Israel sentiment within U.S. based radical leftist organizations – and De Los Santos was credited for recreating “the summer of 2020,” a reference to the Black Lives Matter violence that besieged northern U.S. cities after the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

The People’s Forum: Sympathies to Communist China, Cuba and Hamas

The People’s Forum is known for having sympathies to the Chinese and Cuban communist parties, and describes itself as “an incubator of movements for the working class and marginalized communities,” and has been a cornerstone of anti-Israel protests since Hamas’ attack on the Jewish state on Oct. 7, 2023.

One day after Hamas’ attack on southern Israel, TPF organized a protest in Times Square where attendees celebrated the terrorist organization and waved signs with anti-Semitic slogans and images.

According to a New Lines investigation conducted by journalist and foreign influence researcher Alexander Reid Ross, TPF’s operations are largely made possible by a $12 million donation from pro-China tech mogul Neville Roy Singham, through the People’s Support Foundation (PSF).

New Lines also reported that Singham is in a relationship with Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans who also serves on PSF’s board, which occupied the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. to protest against opposition leader Juan Guaidó, and organizes pro-Cuban regime initiatives in the U.S.

Manolo De Los Santos: A TPF leader who was “based out of Cuba for many years”

The group’s co-executive director, Manolo De Los Santos, is longtime researcher at the Marxist Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and was “based out of Cuba for many years,” where he “worked toward building international networks of people’s movements and organizations,” according to his biography at the anti-Israel group Black Alliance for Peace.

At least since 2016, De Los Santos has been documented in Cuba with delegations of U.S activists received by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), whose current director was prosecuted and convicted by the U.S. for espionage as part of the infamous WASP network in the 1990s.

Cuban intelligence Officer (DGI) Juan Reyes-Alonso has said that about 90 percent of ICAP personnel are thought to be DGI-affiliated, according to a 2009 Washington Times column by DIA officer Chris Simmons.

Manolo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His family moved to the South Bronx, New York when he was five years old. He first visited Cuba in 2006 with the organization, Pastors for Peace. Pastors for Peace is a member of the National Network on Cuba (NNOC) in the United States, a coalition of U.S groups who support the Cuban regime.

He later studied in Cuba at the Matanzas Evangelical Seminary in the area of Marxist-driven liberation theology on the island, an ideology that former Romanian intelligence officer Ion Mihai Pacepa says was created by the KGB “to enroll Latin leaders” in the Soviet Union’s espionage operations.

Inspiring Marxist revolution and race riots in the U.S.A.

While in Cuba De Los Santos also represented the U.S. based radical leftist Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO).

Founded in 1967 by the Reverend Lucius Walker, Jr. and a number of fellow progressive church leaders and activists, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) is an ecumenical agency whose mission is “to help forward the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination” through its “support of community organizing.”

In 1968, the IFCO helped establish Operation Connection, which dispatched teams of activists into American cities that had been struck by race riots, “to open dialogue and work through alternatives to violent confrontation.”

The IFCO has served as a fiscal sponsor for numerous activist organizations including the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, a group that advocated for the liberation of Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal an activist convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner.

In 2018, after living in Cuba, De los Santos assumed the role of founding director of the NYC based People’s Forum, a group that identifies itself as “serving as a movement incubator for working-class communities to foster unity across historic lines of division both domestically and internationally.”

He has been traveling to Cuba since at least 2009, and has been prominently featured in the Cuban-regime press for almost a decade. Reports indicate that back in the U.S he organized rallies in the U.S. to support the Cuban regime and that he is a staunch admirer of Fidel Castro.

“Fidel for us is a great example,” he said in 2016. “I wish all leaders were like him, and many of them had the dignity and integrity of the Commander.”

De los Santos has also expressed admiration for former Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, recalling multiple times when the late leader returned to power after a coup attempt against him in 2002.

“It’s always good to remember how the Venezuelan people defeated a U.S.-backed coup and returned Chavez to power in less than 3 days!” De Los Santos wrote on social media in April.

In July 2022, Cuba’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, received De los Santos and executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Vijay Prashad with the aim of “elaborating a new consensus, based on theory and according to the different experiences of social movements and countries, on the path of socialism.”

In May 2023, over 300 activists from the United States, who traveled with the People’s Forum to the island, met with Cuban-appointed president Miguel Diaz-Canel, as reported by Cuban-state press (Granma). Palestinian flags were visible in the pictures of the meeting.

“Our commitment upon returning,” De los Santos said during an interview, “will not only be to raise our voice, but to organize a different political project in the United States, and we will always be by Cuba’s side.”

For decades the Cuban regime has been training radical groups in the United States under the auspices of ‘solidarity movements,’ such was the case of the Weather Underground, a militant antiwar organization, in the late 1960’s.

In February 2023, De Los Santos, spoke in Havana during one of the intermissions of the sessions of the First International Meeting of Theoretical Publications of Leftist Parties and Movements that took place in Cuba at the Casa de las Américas.

The Palestinian pro-Cuba connection

This year, Cuba held a second theoretical meeting. Among the panelists at the meeting was Watam Jamil Alabed, whom Granma identifies as a “young Palestinian doctor,” but who studied in Cuba and is the representative in Cuba for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated as a terrorist organization by the European Community, the United States, and Israel.

NGO Monitor has documented the PFPL role in the Oct. 7 attacks.

According to the Center for a Free Cuba, “Havana under the Castro regime, has trained and provided logistical support to Palestinian guerrillas and terrorists beginning in the early 1960s, and continues to do so to the present day.”

This Monday, De Los Santos was using its social media to promote a Havana-based rally in support of Palestine where Watan Jamil Alabed was present. The PFLP is responsible for a string of attacks on Israeli civilians, and is closely allied to both Hamas and Hezbollah. Students from the NYU encampment sent videos to Havana expressing their gratitude for its support.

During the pro-Palestine protest in Havana, Jamil Alabed said: “The students are in the vanguard and they believe in the victory of our cause, because they know that to fight for Palestine is to fight for the world.”

He was followed by Shaquille Fontenot, a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba (NNOC) in the United States. She demanded that President Biden “stop spending money on wars and use it on health and the desperately needed building of affordable homes for our people.”

The NNOC, is an umbrella of more than 72 Cuban regime solidarity groups in the U.S that Mr. De Santos has been linked in the past to anti-Israel protests.

American activist Calla Walsh, a co-chair of the NNOC was arrested last year for attacking the offices of an Israeli company in New Hampshire. The former Disney actress and her associates were recently indicted in February by the New Hampshire Justice Department for spray-painting the building, smashing windows, and setting off incendiary devices.

Ms. Walsh has also reportedly traveled to Cuba for years with the Venceremos Brigade.

According to the FBI, Cuba’s intelligence apparatus played a significant role setting up the Venceremos Brigades. The federal law enforcement agency has said the Brigade’s objective “is 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.”

Ms. Walsh has previously promoted the infamous “Mapping Project” on social media, which lists the names and addresses of nearly 500 institutions in Massachusetts, many of them linked to the Jewish community or Israel. Additionally, she has shared online that “there is no ‘peaceful solution’ under military occupation” for Palestinians.

Other U.S based activists connected with anti-Israel groups in the U.S have also been traveling to Cuba for “exchanges” and “workshops.”

Promoting pro-Palestinian antisemitism within the radical Black community

Onyesonwu Chatoyer, who is on the National Coordinating Committee of the Venceremos Brigade and the All African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) in the U.S said “There has never been a moment where we questioned the necessity of a struggle to smash Zionism,” referring to A-APRP and other “Black revolutionary movements.”

About her trips to Cuba, Chatoyer has said: “Participating in the Brigade for just two weeks provided me with several years’ worth of political growth. It is a remarkable opportunity for leadership development and political education and the building of political maturity.

Getting as many U.S. organizers as possible to participate in work-based solidarity delegations to Cuba would produce a qualitative leap forward in the organizing of movements for justice in the U.S. and to the global movement to end the U.S. blockade and U.S. attacks against the Cuban revolution.”

Since 2024, the A-APRP have been building work study circles across the state of Florida, “recruiting organizers we have been working in coalition with to participate in the next contingent of the Venceremos Brigade, and organizing seminars, webinars, workshops, and any kind of educational space.”

Onyesonwu is also a member of the Black Alliance for Peace, a group that has been organizing anti-Israel meetings across campus and claims to have led an “International Coalition” condemning Israel.

On Oct. 11, the Black Alliance for Peace, a self-described human rights-focused group led by former Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, released a statement condemning “the murderous assault on occupied Palestine” committed by “the illegal Zionist settler-colonial, apartheid state” and declaring “that a colonized people have a right to resist occupation and fight for self-determination by any means necessary!” according to the ADL.

Onyesonwu Chatoyer, an editor of the Marxist publication “A Hood Communist,” was part of a “delegation that attended and presented at The Second International Meeting of Theoretical Publications of Left Parties and Movements in Havana, Cuba, along with co-editor, Erica Caines.

At that meeting was also present, Watan Jamil Alabed, representative of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP has also been involved in some of the “seminars” with Columbia University students.

In April, Khaled Barakat, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) spoke to members of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest Group in a 2 hour seminar called “”Resistance 101,” according to the New York Post.

Barakat has also participated in forums with ICAP discussing how “Palestine, Cuba & Venezuela are at the frontline of anti-imperialist struggles.”

During the pro-Palestine protest in Havana, Jamil Alabed said: “The students are in the vanguard and they believe in the victory of our cause, because they know that to fight for Palestine is to fight for the world.”

He was followed by Shaquille Fontenot, a co-chair of the National Network on Cuba (NNOC) in the United States. She demanded that President Biden “stop spending money on wars and use it on health and the desperately needed building of affordable homes for our people.”

The NNOC, is an umbrella of more than 72 Cuban regime solidarity groups in the U.S that Mr. De Santos has been linked in the past to anti-Israel protests.

American activist Calla Walsh, a co-chair of the NNOC was arrested last year for attacking the offices of an Israeli company in New Hampshire. The former Disney actress and her associates were recently indicted in February by the New Hampshire Justice Department for spray-painting the building, smashing windows, and setting off incendiary devices.

Ms. Walsh has also reportedly traveled to Cuba for years with the Venceremos Brigade.

According to the FBI, Cuba’s intelligence apparatus played a significant role setting up the Venceremos Brigades. The federal law enforcement agency has said the Brigade’s objective “is 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.”

Ms. Walsh has previously promoted the infamous “Mapping Project” on social media, which lists the names and addresses of nearly 500 institutions in Massachusetts, many of them linked to the Jewish community or Israel. Additionally, she has shared online that “there is no ‘peaceful solution’ under military occupation” for Palestinians.

Other U.S based activists connected with anti-Israel groups in the U.S have also been traveling to Cuba for “exchanges” and “workshops.”

Promoting pro-Palestinian antisemitism within the radical Black community

Onyesonwu Chatoyer, who is on the National Coordinating Committee of the Venceremos Brigade and the All African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) in the U.S said “There has never been a moment where we questioned the necessity of a struggle to smash Zionism,” referring to A-APRP and other “Black revolutionary movements.”

About her trips to Cuba, Chatoyer has said: “Participating in the Brigade for just two weeks provided me with several years’ worth of political growth. It is a remarkable opportunity for leadership development and political education and the building of political maturity.

Getting as many U.S. organizers as possible to participate in work-based solidarity delegations to Cuba would produce a qualitative leap forward in the organizing of movements for justice in the U.S. and to the global movement to end the U.S. blockade and U.S. attacks against the Cuban revolution.”

Since 2024, the A-APRP have been building work study circles across the state of Florida, “recruiting organizers we have been working in coalition with to participate in the next contingent of the Venceremos Brigade, and organizing seminars, webinars, workshops, and any kind of educational space.”

Onyesonwu is also a member of the Black Alliance for Peace, a group that has been organizing anti-Israel meetings across campus and claims to have led an “International Coalition” condemning Israel.

On Oct. 11, the Black Alliance for Peace, a self-described human rights-focused group led by former Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, released a statement condemning “the murderous assault on occupied Palestine” committed by “the illegal Zionist settler-colonial, apartheid state” and declaring “that a colonized people have a right to resist occupation and fight for self-determination by any means necessary!” according to the ADL.

Onyesonwu Chatoyer, an editor of the Marxist publication “A Hood Communist,” was part of a “delegation that attended and presented at The Second International Meeting of Theoretical Publications of Left Parties and Movements in Havana, Cuba, along with co-editor, Erica Caines.

At that meeting was also present, Watan Jamil Alabed, representative of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP has also been involved in some of the “seminars” with Columbia University students.

In April, Khaled Barakat, a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) spoke to members of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest Group in a 2 hour seminar called “”Resistance 101,” according to the New York Post.

Barakat has also participated in forums with ICAP discussing how “Palestine, Cuba & Venezuela are at the frontline of anti-imperialist struggles.”

Cuba and the Democratic Socialists of America

Cuba has one of the most sophisticated intelligence services and regularly conducts influence campaigns in the U.S. One such group that has promoted U.S. protests with close Cuban ties is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which has been running candidates in local elections to oust mainstream, moderate Democrats.

The DSA’s ties with Havana are so prevalent, that its New York chapter even held a soccer match in May 2023 with Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has been a longtime hub for Cuban intelligence to recruit agents of influence and future assets. Still, the the FBI’s New York field office has 12 counterintelligence squads dedicated to Russia, it only has one for Cuba, according to a recent report published by the Wall Street Journal.

In September 2019, two members of New York Cuba’s Mission were expelled from the U.S. for conducting influence campaigns, according to the State Department.

“The Department of State notified the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the United States requires the imminent departure of two members of Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations for abusing their privileges of residence,” the State Department wrote in a statement.

A few months before an unnamed representative of the Cuban Mission in New York was at an event at the People’s Forum on a panel discussion supported by several anti-Israel groups such as the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, which provides legal support to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements.

Other groups organizing rallies are chapters of the Peace Action Network, such as the Massachusetts Peace Action Network (MAPA) which have also taken activists to Cuba on “solidarity trips.”

Among the U.S. groups supporting the protests, those who have included “young leaders” in delegations to Cuba to learn about revolutionary movements include The Palestinian Youth Movement (“PYM”) and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Cuba has one of the most sophisticated intelligence services and regularly conducts influence campaigns in the U.S. One such group that has promoted U.S. protests with close Cuban ties is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which has been running candidates in local elections to oust mainstream, moderate Democrats.

The DSA’s ties with Havana are so prevalent, that its New York chapter even held a soccer match in May 2023 with Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has been a longtime hub for Cuban intelligence to recruit agents of influence and future assets. Still, the the FBI’s New York field office has 12 counterintelligence squads dedicated to Russia, it only has one for Cuba, according to a recent report published by the Wall Street Journal.

In September 2019, two members of New York Cuba’s Mission were expelled from the U.S. for conducting influence campaigns, according to the State Department.

“The Department of State notified the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the United States requires the imminent departure of two members of Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations for abusing their privileges of residence,” the State Department wrote in a statement.

A few months before an unnamed representative of the Cuban Mission in New York was at an event at the People’s Forum on a panel discussion supported by several anti-Israel groups such as the National Lawyers Guild International Committee, which provides legal support to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements.

Other groups organizing rallies are chapters of the Peace Action Network, such as the Massachusetts Peace Action Network (MAPA) which have also taken activists to Cuba on “solidarity trips.”

Among the U.S. groups supporting the protests, those who have included “young leaders” in delegations to Cuba to learn about revolutionary movements include The Palestinian Youth Movement (“PYM”) and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

– – –

Gelet Martínez Fragela is the founder and editor-in-chief of ADN America. She is a Cuban journalist, television producer, and political refugee who also founded ADN Cuba.
Photo “Anti-Israel Protesters at Columbia” by
The People’s Forum.

https://theohiostar.com/news/anti-israel-activists-behind-columbia-university-protests-trained-in-cuba-for-years/adn-america/2024/05/07/

New York Post, May 6, 2024

Who is Manolo De Los Santos? Leader of Hamas-cheering radical NYC group has ties to Cuba

By Jack Morphet and Chris Nesi

Published May 6, 2024, 4:56 p.m. ET

The head of a radical activist group who urged anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University to channel the deadly Black Lives Matter riots of 2020 is a career agitator who spent “years” in the socialist haven of Cuba, The Post can reveal.

Manolo De Los Santos, the 35-year-old leader of the Midtown-based nonprofit The People’s Forum (TPF), came to The Bronx from his native Dominican Republic at age 5 and has made a career of spurring protests on the streets of New York City.

He first traveled to Cuba in 2006 and was there as recently as March to demand an end to the US blockade against the socialist state which has been in place since 1962.

As TPF’s executive director and de facto mouthpiece — a role he’s held since 2018, according to his Facebook — the writer, organizer and public speaker is as known for his zealous support of left-wing causes as he is for his repugnant public statements.

De Los Santos, who declined to speak to The Post when approached outside his Hell’s Kitchen home Monday, has in the last year alone hailed Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack as “heroic,” called for Israel to be “erased from history” and eagerly welcomed the impending “defeat” of the “US empire.”

He has been a longtime advocate for Cuba, which he first visited as a teenager with a progressive religious group called Pastors for Peace and which he was later based out of for “many years.”

When he wasn’t denouncing “US hegemony” from the shores of Cuba, De Los Santos was causing trouble across the Big Apple, participating in numerous disruptive street protests and giving provocative speeches laced with incendiary anti-Israel rhetoric.

“When we finally deal that final blow to destroy Israel, when the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism in our lifetime,” De Los Santos said in January in front of a cheering crowd in a now-viral video.

His remarks were so vicious that South Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) denounced the speech as “Nazi rhetoric,” and called for Goldman Sachs, whose philanthropy arm used to direct funds to TPF, to cut ties with the organization — which also has links to the Chinese Communist Party.

“Thousands of Israelis were massacred, maimed, mutilated, abducted, raped, and tortured at the murderous hands of Hamas,” Torres wrote, referring to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

“[Hamas] espouses the kind of genocidal ideology that The People’s Forum has been caught promoting as ‘the final blow,’ which is strikingly similar to Nazi rhetoric about a ‘final solution,’” he continued.

Shortly after, De Los Santos penned a defiant missive on the TPF website in which he refused to apologize and dismissed the media’s labeling of his words as hate speech as “a propaganda trick by the apologists for genocide.”

Less than two weeks later, on Jan. 27, De Los Santos was among 10 protest leaders cops busted on a day of anarchy across the city in which hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators descended on Manhattan, partially blocking the Brooklyn Bridge and attempting to “flood” JFK Airport in Queens.

In between street marches and railing against the evils of capitalism, De Los Santos uses his extensive social media presence — which includes more than 31,000 followers on X — to post glory shots of Hamas members accompanied by reverent missives lauding the terror group’s actions.

On Oct. 7, the day Hamas launched its bloody terror attack against Israel that killed more than 1,200 men, women and children, De Los Santos shared a Hamas propaganda video showing terrorist paratroopers gearing up for the cowardly assault against the Jewish home state.

A few weeks later as the battle in Gaza raged on, he posted an image of Hamas fighters raising automatic weapons in celebration.

“Victory to those who resist Zionism! Victory to those who fight as the bombs fall in Gaza! Victory to those who defend their people from Israel’s war crimes! Victory to all who mobilize, march & act in solidarity with Palestine! Resistance until Victory! Palestine will win!” he wrote accompanying the image.

Reached by email late Monday afternoon, De Los Santos didn’t directly address any of The Post’s questions about what if any role he played in fomenting campus unrest at Columbia.

Instead he offered a deflective statement rejecting characterizations that the campus protests were violent, blaming the police for being the true “source of the violence.”

He also praised student demonstrators for their “courage” in risking “suspension, expulsion, arrest, loss of housing and so much more.”

“They are seeing their own schools and tuition money supporting an ongoing genocide and doing everything they can to stop it.”

https://nypost.com/2024/05/06/us-news/who-is-manolo-de-los-santos-leader-of-hamas-cheering-radical-nyc-group-has-ties-to-cuba/

National Catholic Register, May 4, 2024

Columbia’s Catholic Chaplain: Campus Protests Were Pushed by ‘Explicitly Communist’ Outsiders

According to Father Landry, nearly half of the approximately 300 protesters arrested were non-student activists.

Peter Pinedo/CNA Nation May 4, 2024

Father Roger Landry, a Catholic chaplain at Columbia University, said on Thursday that the protests making national headlines at the New York City school are being organized in part by “explicitly communist” outside forces.

“There is an instrumentalization of what’s going on in Gaza to advance an agenda,” he said. “And that is to deconstruct our present world order at which the United States is considered the top of that order.”

Speaking on EWTN’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, Father Landry said that he had been walking through the encampment nearly daily, conversing with student protesters and other “outside agitators.”

While he said he believes that many of the protesters were genuinely concerned for Gazan civilians, there was a sizable percentage of whom were “explicitly in favor of Hamas” and “definitely antisemitic by their language and their actions.”

What is Going on at Columbia?

The Columbia demonstration began on April 17 when a large group of students set up dozens of tents to occupy the university’s main quad. Protesters at the encampment said they were standing against Israel’s “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

Many videos circulated online of protesters shouting antisemitic chants and calling for the destruction of Israel, and some Jewish students have reported being threatened by protesters.

Clad in riot gear, officers from the New York City Police Department cleared the encampment in a Wednesday raid that resulted in several hundred arrests.

Similar protests and encampments on campuses across the country, many of which are still ongoing, have taken place since the demonstration at Columbia began.

Marxist Ideology at Heart of Protest

According to Father Landry, nearly half of the approximately 300 protesters arrested were non-student activists.

He said these outside forces are “explicitly communist groups” who have been distributing Marxist materials attacking the state of Israel since the Hamas Oct. 7, 2023, terrorist attack.

Father Landry said that these materials attempt to justify the Hamas attack “out of this neo-Marxist, ‘oppressor versus oppressed’ ideology that says whatever somebody in the category of ‘oppressed’ wants to do against a so-called ‘oppressor’ is justified, even killing way more than a thousand innocent people at a party.”

“This divide and conquer class warfare that comes from Marx and Lenin is the exact antithesis of what Jesus Christ himself taught,” he continued. “So, I try to get the Catholic students aware of that problem so at least they’re inoculated to that intellectual virus.”

Catholic Students Act as Peacemakers

Father Landry said he was proud of the many Catholic students who have “stepped up” to be peacemakers amid all the hatred on campus.

He said that student Mass attendance has increased on campus. A Catholic student group sent symbolic olive plants to both Jewish and Muslim leaders at Columbia to show the “solidarity and peace of Christ,” he said.

“Transcending the moment but also incarnating ourselves in the moment, [we] are trying to bring the peace we have received from Christ that our world and our campus very much need,” he said.

Watch the full interview with Landry on The World Over below.