Elizabeth Warren needs to publicly disavow Harry Belafonte’s shameful statements and radical views

MASS GOP: ELIZABETH WARREN NEEDS TO PUBLICLY DISAVOW
HARRY BELAFONTE’S SHAMEFUL STATEMENTS & RADICAL VIEWS

BOSTON – Today, Bob Maginn, Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, issued the following statement on Elizabeth Warren’s New York City fundraiser tonight with Harry Belafonte:

“Tonight Elizabeth Warren will be raising money for her campaign at a fundraiser in New York hosted by Harry Belafonte. Mr. Belafonte used to be a singer, but he is now known for his extreme and outrageous views. He has blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks of 9/11, praised the communist dictatorship of Castro’s Cuba and taken the side of left-wing dictator Hugo Chavez against the interests of the United States. Professor Warren needs to break her silence on Belafonte, cancel his involvement in tonight’s fundraiser and publicly disavow his shameful statements.”

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON HARRY BELAFONTE

Belafonte Said Bin Laden Was Reacting To “America’s Hand Of Villainy”

Belafonte Said “Bin Laden Didn’t Come From The Abstract. He Came From Somewhere, And If You Look Where … You’ll See America’s Hand Of Villainy.” “Belafonte said the American government has become arrogant. ‘We are so overwhelmed with our imperial sense of power that we run around the world calling for wars when we want, overthrowing governments when we want,’ he said. ‘But there’s a price to pay for this,’ he said. Sept. 11 ‘wasn’t just Bin Laden. Bin Laden didn’t come from the abstract. He came from somewhere, and if you look where … you’ll see America’s hand of villainy.’” (Sean D. Hamill, “Belafonte Slams Bush,” Chicago Tribune, 1/20/03)

Belafonte Defended Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez

In 2006, Belafonte Met With Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. “Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including the actor Danny Glover and the Princeton University scholar Cornel West that met the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez’s television and radio broadcast Sunday.” (Ian James, “Belafonte Calls Bush ‘Greatest Terrorist,’” The Associated Press, 1/8/06)

Belafonte Accused The U.S. News Media Of Falsely Labeling Chavez As A Dictator. “Belafonte accused U.S. news media of falsely painting Chavez as a ‘dictator,’ when in fact, he said, there is democracy and citizens are ‘optimistic about their future.’” (Ian James, “Belafonte Calls Bush ‘Greatest Terrorist,’” The Associated Press, 1/8/06)

“[Belafonte] Finished By Shouting In Spanish: ‘Viva La Revolucion!’” (Ian James, “Belafonte Calls Bush ‘Greatest Terrorist,’” The Associated Press, 1/8/06)

Belafonte Compared The Department Of Homeland Security To The Nazi Gestapo

Belafonte Compared The Department Of Homeland Security To The Nazi Gestapo. “Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Bush administration’s harshest critics, compared the Homeland Security Department to the Nazi Gestapo on Saturday and attacked the president as a liar. ‘We’ve come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended,’ Belafonte said in a speech to the annual meeting of the Arts Presenters Members Conference. ‘You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no right to counsel,’ said Belafonte.” (Verena Dobnik, “Belafonte Continues Tirade Against Bush,” The Associated Press, 1/21/06)

Belafonte Is Friends With Castro, And Applauded Cuba’s “Experiment With Socialism”

Belafonte Is Friends With Fidel Castro, And Has Been To Cuba Many Times. “Like a modern Galahad seeking the Holy Grail, Belafonte has spent his own money, and sacrificed potential earnings, to visit Third World and other countries. He is friends with Castro and has been to Cuba many times; he is pledged to help change the radical image of Michael Manley, Jamaica’s social democratic prime minister. He visits Trudeau of Canada and Bourguiba of Tunisia.” (Dorothy Gilliam, “Harry Belafonte, Calypso Crusader,” The Washington Post, 11/20/78)

Castro Wrote Belafonte A Letter For His 60th Birthday. “He shows off what he calls his room of treasures. It is filled with letters, postcards and mementos once belonging to people like Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and William Lloyd Garrison, as well as a letter to Mr. Belafonte from Eleanor Roosevelt. There is a similar display in the hallway, which includes a letter from Frederick Douglass to his wife; one to Mr. Belafonte from Winnie Mandela, and another in Spanish from Fidel Castro, toasting Mr. Belafonte on his 60th birthday.” (Felicia R. Lee, “At Home With: Harry Belafonte,” The New York Times, 9/9/93)

In 2000, Belafonte Went To Cuba To Deliver A Tribute To Soviet Spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. “As historian Ronald Radosh noted in these pages last week, Belafonte just two years ago made a pilgrimage to Fidel Castro’s Cuba, where he delivered a tearful tribute to executed atom spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.” (Editorial, “Communist Underground,” The New York Post, 10/30/02)

In 1989, Belafonte Said Cuba Was Going Through One The Most Important Moments In Its History “Trying To Carry Out An Experiment With Socialism.” “Belafonte, who was born in Jamaica, said he came to Cuba because he was interested in what is happening there. ‘I think that this is a country that is going through one of the most important moments of its history, trying to carry out an experiment with socialism,’ he said.” (Belafonte Urges U.S.-Cuba Talk, Slams Plans For Anti-Castro TV,” Reuters, 12/18/89)

Belafonte Said The United States Should Have Backed Castro’s Revolution In Cuba. “He said the United States erred in not backing Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba and drove him to the Soviet orbit after he took power in 1959.” (Wesley G. Pippert, “Entertainer Rips Latin Policy,” United Press International, 7/7/83)

  •  Belafonte: “If I Were Oppressed In Any Of These Countries And Had Come To This Country Seeking Assistance And Aid, And Had Gotten The Kind Of Treatment That Most Of These Countries Are Getting, I Too Would Join The Communist Party. I Too Would Take Up Arms Against An Oppressive Society.” (Wesley G. Pippert, “Entertainer Rips Latin Policy,” United Press International, 7/7/83)

Belafonte Compared Colin Powell And Condoleezza Rice To Jews Who Worked As Leaders In The Third Reich

When Asked If Colin Powell And Condoleezza Rice Serving In The Bush Administration Boost Minority Opinion Of The Administration, Belafonte Said “Hitler Had A Lot Of Jews High Up In The Hierarchy Of The Third Reich.” “Remarks about Adolf Hitler often raise hackles. At a voting-rights march in Atlanta last weekend, singer Harry Belafonte was asked whether former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice boost minority opinion of the Bush administration. ‘Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich. Color does not necessarily denote quality, content or value,’ Mr. Belafonte told Cybercast News Service (CNS).”

The Anti-Defamation League Called Belafonte’s Statement “Ignorant And Offensive,” And Called On Him To Apologize. “The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) labeled Harry Belafonte’s statement that ‘Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich,’ ‘ignorant and offensive’ and called on the celebrity activist to apologize.” (Anti-Defamation League, “Belafonte Hits Sour Note In Using Nazi Imagery And Needs A History Lesson,” Press Release, 8/9/05)

  • Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director: “Comparing Politicians With Whom One Disagrees To Hitler And Nazis Is Insensitive And Demonstrates A Lack Of Knowledge As To Who And What Hitler And The Nazis Were And Did.” (Anti-Defamation League, “Belafonte Hits Sour Note In Using Nazi Imagery And Needs A History Lesson,” Press Release, 8/9/05)

Belafonte Was “Very Much Supportive Of And Engaged With” The Occupy Protests

In October 2011, Belafonte Visited Occupy Wall Street And Told The Protesters He Was “Very Much Supportive Of And Engaged With The Resisters And The Occupiers.” “In fact, Belafonte visited the demonstrators in New York’s Zuccotti Park on Oct. 30, as a snowstorm rolled through the city. He is enthused to see a new generation of activists fighting for the causes he has championed for more than 60 years. ‘I am very much supportive of and engaged with the resisters and the occupiers,’ Belafonte says.” (Jordan Levin, “Harry Belafonte Adds Grace Note To Miami Book Fair International,” The Miami Herald, 11/11/11)

  • Belafonte: “I’ll Do Everything I Can In This Context To Help Make This Rebellion Pay Off.” (Jordan Levin, “Harry Belafonte Adds Grace Note To Miami Book Fair International,” The Miami Herald, 11/11/11)

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