Accuracy in Media

A state Freedom of Information Act request for official information on the foreign travel of University of Illinois Professor Bill Ayers has disclosed trips to Taiwan, Germany, and Amsterdam for “educational” purposes over the last several years, but nothing to Venezuela, which is where we know that he was in 2006, propagandizing for Hugo Chavez. So it appears that Ayers’ trip to celebrate Chavez’s “Socialism of the 21st Century” was financed by someone or something other than the taxpayers who pay Ayers’ $126,000 annual salary at a public university. Did Chavez pick up the tab?

The complete results of several Freedom of Information Act requests to the University of Illinois about Ayers will be discussed at an August 20 conference in Washington, D.C. that I am convening.

We are told that Ayers, a political associate of Barack Obama, has abandoned his activities as a communist terrorist, and that he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, another former leader of the Weather Underground, are now “respectable” academics. Ayers is formally known as a “Distinguished Professor” of Education and “University Scholar,” while Dohrn, a one-time booster of mass murderer Charles Manson, teaches law and discusses “human rights” issues at Northwestern University. But the Chavez regime that they are aiding and abetting is backed by terrorist Iran and directly implicated in the activities of the communist narco-terrorists in Colombia. Perhaps their continuing influence over Obama helps explain why the President has been so accommodating toward Chavez.   

The new book Gringo by Red diaper baby Chesa Boudin, who was adopted by Ayers and Dohrn after his own parents went to prison for murder, includes some incriminating information about what the terrorist couple has been doing abroad. But it goes without saying that Obama Attorney General Eric Holder will probably turn a blind eye to what has been happening.

Boudin, a Rhodes Scholar, writes about working for Chavez in the presidential palace in Venezuela, on subjects such as “Presidential International Relations,” and being involved “in the revolutionary process” and assisting with such projects as the “Third Annual International Conference in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution.” He also “worked as a freelance journalist, an interpreter, and a think tank researcher with ties to the Ministry of Higher Education.”

Boudin, whose real father, David Gilbert, is still in prison for his involvement in a terrorist act which killed two police officers and a security guard, declared, “More often than I liked, I found myself speaking as an advocate for the Chavez government.” But it is obvious that he really did like it. He is a true “Chavista,” a term for the robots who follow the Marxist ruler. 

Being an advocate for Chavez in the U.S., which clearly continues with publication of the book Gringo, seems to be the textbook definition of a foreign agent, who, according to the U.S. statute, provides “propaganda” for a foreign regime for the purpose of “attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws.” Foreign agents are supposed to register as such with the U.S. Department of Justice. But again, Holder, who facilitated the Clinton pardons of Weather Underground members, can’t be expected to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which is under the supervision of the Department of Justice.

A reading of Gringo establishes that Boudin has been actively aiding the Chavez regime “in the belly of the revolution,” as he calls it. Another Boudin book, The Venezuelan Revolution: 100 Questions. 100 Answers, was co-authored with Gabriel Gonzalez, an “analyst for President Chavez’s team of advisers.” Interestingly, this book highlights that Chavez and Castro have “strong relations” in such fields as education, where Ayers figures prominently, and that Venezuelan students are studying in Cuba.  Gringo includes many favorable references to Castro associate and killer Che Guevara, but notes that the concept of armed revolution has given way to “progressives” taking power in countries like Brazil and Venezuela through democratic means. Now, he makes clear, the challenge is to consolidate the revolution in Venezuela.

Ayers and Dohrn have been called upon for their expertise. Boudin explains that “In May 2005, my parents, Bill and Bernardine, were invited down to Venezuela…” He doesn’t say by whom, but the context, because of his own work for the regime, suggests that the invitation-and probably the funding for the trip-came from Chavez. Boudin says that they “gave talks” to various audiences at “universities and cultural centers” and that “The groups they spoke to were primed with screenings of the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Weather Underground. I interpreted for them throughout the trip, including their public appearances.”

This “documentary,” which aired on PBS in the U.S, was a romantic look at a Cuban-supported terrorist group which targeted police stations and killed police officers, supposedly for the worthwhile cause of ending U.S. military involvement in South Vietnam and turning the country over to the communists. Ayers and Dohrn are still under investigation for their reported involvement in a 1970 bombing that killed San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell.

Boudin wrote that “People with a highly developed political analysis saw, in the film and in our presence, hopeful examples of internal resistance to imperialism norteamericano [American imperialism].”

This constitutes an apology for terrorism. This account firmly establishes that Ayers & Company are traveling abroad in order to stir up violence and hatred against the United States by demonstrating that terrorism against America and American interests can succeed.

But another aspect of their subversive campaign involves manipulating education, and that is where Ayers as an “educator” figures prominently. In 2006, Ayers addressed the “World Educational Forum” in Venezuela, a conference that was officially entitled “Bolivarian Education and the Overcome of the Capitalist School.” Ayers said in his remarks this was his fourth trip to Venezuela.

Interestingly, an official Venezuelan announcement of the event identified Ayers this way: “…William Ayers was leader of revolutionary and anti-imperialist group the Weather Underground which brought an armed struggle to the USA for more than 10 years from within the womb of the Empire… He teaches classes on urban reform of schools, problems of the capitalist school, and investigation. He authored and published more than 11 books, including a memoir titled Fugitive Days about the struggle against the government of the United States.”

Labeling communist terrorism an “armed struggle” from “within the womb of the empire” is an indication that this is a foreign government that wants to encourage violence against the U.S. and understand the best way to undermine and ultimately destroy the “imperialist” United States.

Ayers was so proud that he posted a copy of his speech, in which he talked about education as the “motor-force of revolution” and ended with cries of “Viva Presidente Chavez! Viva La Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta La Victoria Siempre!”

The irony of all of this is that the young people of Venezuela, especially university students, reject what Ayers & Company represent and are leading the opposition to Chavez.

At a recent American Enterprise Institute symposium, Venezuelan pollster Luis Vicente León said most young people ages 18-24 are not “Chavistas” and that they are resisting the Chavez drive to transform the country into a version of Communist Cuba. His polling found that 69 percent of the general population opposes the Chavez policy of assigning Cuban Communist administrators to “supervise” the educational system in Venezuela and 83 percent “reject the Cuban model as an example for Venezuela.” 

At a July 15 news conference held at the National Press Club, Venezuelan human rights lawyer Gonzalo Himiob released a 56-page white paper entitled “Bolivarian Rule of Lawlessness,” describing how the Chavez regime is using the criminal justice system to harass, intimidate, and even imprison political opponents and dissidents, many of them students.

In a highly unusual move, a representative of the Venezuelan embassy, Robinson Zapata, showed up to disrupt the event and try to dispute the charges made by Himiob. Zapata’s attempts to defend the Chavez regime were obnoxious and pathetic. He serves as Third Secretary for Political Affairs.

I later emailed Zapata, asking him for details about the travels to Venezuela by Bill Ayers and Peter McLaren, a UCLA Professor who has been “honored” by the Chavez Ministry of Education with a “Chair for the Study of Critical Pedagogy at the Universidad Bolivariana de Venezuela. Zapata hasn’t responded to my request for further information.

McLaren, whose name appears on Ayers’ “blog roll” of favorite sites, has a website which opens with a Che Guevara face and “Che Lives!” slogan on a red flag promising “Hasta La Victoria Siempre!” and inviting people to “Join the Revolution.” McLaren’s latest book carries the subtitle, Education as Revolution, which says all that we need to know about what he is up to.

UCLA issued a press release hailing the Venezuelan “honor” for McLaren and quoting the professor as saying, “I am thrilled to receive such a prestigious honor. I feel that all of my work as a socialist scholar can now be integrated in a revolutionary course that will initiate dialogues and address critical needs in the area of educational advancement.”

The same press release cited praise for McLaren’s work from the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences and his other books, including Capitalists and Conquerors: Critical Pedagogy Against Empire (2005), and Red Seminars: Radical Excursions Into Educational Theory, Cultural Politics and Pedagogy (2005).

In the cases of Ayers and McLaren, their common Venezuelan connection is an individual named Luis Bonilla, who runs something called the Miranda International Centre (CIM), whose purpose is to “coordinate international support for the Bolivarian process.”

Bonilla, whose interviews with Ayers and McLaren appear in YouTube videos, has explained that the CIM’s purpose is “To promote, centralize and empower the work of international advisors and the care and attention given to foreign collaborators, by helping them to coordinate with national networks which are reflecting on emancipatory processes.” He says he wants to “encourage the creation of a network of foreign experts who are interested in the process Venezuela is going through. Marta Harnecker from Chile and Michael Lebowitz, from Canada have been working with us from the very beginning.”

The term “foreign collaborators” is most interesting.

Marta Harnecker and Michael Lebowitz are a husband-wife team who also figure prominently in Chesa Boudin’s book Gringo, as being among his close associates. He describes Harnecker as “a Chilean-born journalist, writer, and radical theorist” who spent much of her life living in Cuba and became an adviser to Chavez. Lebowitz is “a Marxist economist and professor from Canada” whose book, Beyond Capital, features a photo of Karl Marx on the cover.

Bonilla goes on to say that the CIM will work “to publish works that fall into the tradition of revolutionary thinking and to publish the research of intellectuals on subjects vital to the debate on and analysis of twenty first century socialism and the replacement of capitalism.”

All of this just goes to show, as if we needed any more evidence, that Bill Ayers never abandoned his commitment to international communist revolution. The big question is to what degree Obama shares his commitment. It is not reassuring to note that Chavez and Obama are working together these days to destroy the anti-communist government of Honduras.

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


Comments are turned off for this article.