[Marxism] FBI Grills Professor Critical of U.S. Venezuela Policy

Steven L. Robinson srobin21 at comcast.net
Thu Mar 9 23:13:00 MST 2006

(Note that the "concern" expressed by FBI agents about theVenezuelan
communities "involvement" in terrorism. SR)

Professor Believes FBI Grilled Him for His Political Beliefs

News Report, Elena Shore,

New America Media, Mar 09, 2006

A Pomona College professor who is an outspoken critic of U.S. policy in
Venezuela was questioned yesterday by two agents from the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in what
he calls an act of intimidation.

The detectives visited Miguel Tinker-Salas during his office hours at about
2:40 or 2:45 pm Wednesday. They questioned him for about 20 minutes in his
office at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. The detectives identified
themselves but their names are being withheld at the request of the FBI.

According to Tinker-Salas, the agents told him they were interested in the
Venezuelan community and concerned that it may be involved in terrorism.
They asked him if he had relationships with the Venezuelan embassy or
consulate, and if anyone in the Venezuelan government had asked him to speak
out about Venezuela-related matters.

"They were fishing," says Tinker-Salas, "to intimidate and silence those who
have a critical analysis of U.S. foreign policy."

After they left, several students outside Tinker-Salas' office told him the
detectives had asked them about his background, his classes and his
politics, and even took note of the cartoons on his door.

Tinker-Salas says the detectives told him this was part of a larger policy
to interview people on various campuses. He does not know if other
professors have been questioned. He says the agents who visited him did not
interview the other Venezuelan-born professor at Pomona College.

The FBI declined to comment on the incident.

A Latin American and Chicano histories professor, Tinker-Salas believes he
was targeted as a result of his outspoken politics regarding the U.S. policy
toward Venezuela and Latin America. Tinker-Salas was born in Venezuela and i
s a U.S. citizen, having lived in the United States since high school. A
noted historian and commentator on CNN en Español, he has been open about
his conditional support for the democratically elected government of
President Hugo Chavez and critical of the U.S. attempt to "undermine
democracy" in Latin America.

According to the ACLU of Colorado, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force,
which operates across the country, is violating First Amendment rights by
equating nonviolent protest with domestic terrorism.

"The FBI is unjustifiably treating nonviolent public protest as though it
were domestic terrorism," said Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the
Colorado ACLU, following the release of new documents obtained from the FBI
under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Dec. 8, 2005.

"The FBI's misplaced priorities threaten to deter legitimate criticism of
government policy while wasting taxpayer resources that should be directed
to investigating real terrorists."


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