Rep. Ilhan Omar Traveled With Radical Anti-US Group That Supports Cuban, Venezuelan Socialism

Janita Kan
By Janita Kan
February 21, 2019Politicsshare
Rep. Ilhan Omar Traveled With Radical Anti-US Group That Supports Cuban, Venezuelan Socialism
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in Washington on Jan. 10, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is again raising eyebrows after it was revealed she had attended a travel delegation to a South American country sponsored by an anti-American group that supports Cuban and Venezuelan socialism.

The story, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon on Feb. 19, revealed that Omar traveled to Honduras with the radical Witness for Peace group as part of their delegation in November 2017. The organization was formed during the Reagan administration to oppose U.S. policies aimed to stop the spread of communism.

Omar tweeted about the trip in 2017, saying “after traveling to Honduras as part of the Witness for Peace delegation, I’ve returned home with a heavy heart and deep concern for the electoral process and human rights crisis the people of Honduras are enduring.” Shortly afterward, she began urging Congress to end all military and security aid to Honduras.

The Muslim congresswoman’s links with the far-left group are raising more questions about her suitability to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee as Witness for Peace openly supports revolutionary groups in Latin America and the socialist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela. On Feb. 11, President Donald Trump called for her resignation from the committee after she made controversial comments about Israel that have been described as anti-Semitic.

Witness for Peace, which also organizes travel delegations to Cuba, has also called for the return of Guantanamo Naval Base to the country and has described the Trump administration’s tough policies toward the country as an “old unjust, counterproductive Cold War posture of past decades.”

Trevor Loudon, an expert on Marxist groups and the radical left who is a contributor to The Epoch Times, said the group has been supporting revolutionary movements in Latin America since the Reagan era.

“Witness for Peace was there trying to help the revolutionary groups that the American government was trying to suppress. They were working directly to help foreign enemies of America against this country,” he said.

“[They were] sort of an alliance of the religious left, the hard Marxist left, Latin America’s revolutionary movements who are militantly opposed to America.”

NTD Photo
Newly elected congresswoman Ilhan Omar, speaks to a group of supporters at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in a Nov. 2, 2018 file photo. (KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images)

He said it was concerning that Omar attended the travel delegation not long before she was elected to Congress and while she was serving in the Minnesota state legislature.

“Ilhan Omar is connected to many socialist groups in Minnesota but this one is international in scope and very well connected to active revolutionary movements who are working to cause trouble in America,” he said.

“Basically, she has put her loyalty to the revolutionary groups in Latin America over her loyalty to the United States. So how can she be trusted with secrets? How can she be trusted to not promote their policies?”

Board Members Ties With Socialist Groups

Loudon also said many people associated with the group, such as board member Jeanette Charles, have overt ties with Marxists groups and organizations.

“She’s on their board, she’s a member of LeftRoots, which is a front for the freedom socialist organization, [and] she’s openly Marxist, as most of the other people [are],” he said.

Charles, who worked for Witness for Peace Southwest, is only listed as a board member on the Spanish version of the organization’s website. She is also a member of the Chiapas Support Committee, a group that supports Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Nicolas Maduro.

In an open letter she wrote in 2017, Charles said socialism in Venezuela is “our greatest hope against war and capitalism.”

Like Charles, board member Eunice Escobar is listed to also work for the Afro-Colombian Solidarity Network (ACSN) and the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).

According to CRLN’s website, one of its missions is to “dismantle U.S. militarism, neoliberal economic and immigration policy, and other forms of state and institutional violence.” The Chicago-based group has also described the Trump administration’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela as “an attempted coup” against the socialist regime.

The revelation comes after Omar received backlash for perpetuating antisemitic tropes earlier this month. In her comments, she implied a prominent pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), paid off lawmakers for their support of Israel.

Her comments were condemned by both Democrats and Republicans and she subsequently apologized for the social media posts but have not taken them down.

Meanwhile, she also came under fire for attempting to grill the special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, during a House hearing on the Caracas crisis on Feb. 13 and was also criticized for accusing the United States of leading a “coup” against Maduro.

From The Epoch Times

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