Mala Lengua  
 
AfroCubaWeb
  Home - Portal | Music - Música | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
 
  Mala Lengua
 


What was Al Sharpton doing in Cuba?, 12/1 Andres Petit

Al Sharpton Hooks Up With Fidel
, 11/00

Castro's Open to Rap Invasion, 11/27

Al Sharpton and Cuba

The Reverend Al Sharpton was in Cuba this past November, giving rise to a great deal of commentary from various quarters.  He is rumored to be headed back down in January, so we take this opportunity to round up some of the background.

The Rev. and the Fugitive
, 11/21/88

Sharpton Denies Chesimard Plot, 10/22/88

What was Al Sharpton doing in Cuba?, 12/1/00

Andy Petit, 12/1/00

Recently, the Reverend Al Sharpton was seen in Cuba, paying a very short visit to the World Solidarity Conference in November. Basically, he signaled his presence and left, staying about an hour for a photo op in the front row. He was also looking to develop hip-hop exchanges with Cuba and had lunch with Fidel Castro to promote his plan. This is now coming out in several stories in the New York Daily News and on Rapstation.com. Curious that he should be getting so much attention on it when the fundamental work by Black August in promoting and carrying out numerous exchanges has been so under-reported. Quite an achievement for someone who Newsday and the Village Voice, among others, repeatedly reported was working as an FBI informant.

Al was also recently in Florida. Right wing pundits seized on this as fodder to counter the charges related to the "Bourgeois Riot" that stopped the Miami Dade Canvassing Board from recounting the votes -- after all, if Al Sharpton is raising cain in Florida, what's wrong with a few Republicans doing the same? Except that Sharpton did not shut down any recount effort...

What was the Reverend Al doing in Cuba? As is clear from his recent forays, he is trying to build up a national reputation. The news about the hip-hop ventures may also be seen as an effort to restore credibility on the streets and on the left. The Reverend Al appears to have gained ground in erasing his earlier career as an FBI informant, having lunch with Fidel Castro and organizing a large hip-hop exchange with InterScope records, among others. However, the road has sometimes been rocky: folks in Detroit prevented him from achieving much there by posting these Newsday articles below from 1988. Basically they outline how he was an FBI informant and tried to set up Assata Shakur for capture. The Village Voice also did a piece on him back then, describing how he had extorted 1,000 tickets from Michael Jackson for a NY concert. The FBI got wind of this and used it to sign him up as an informant, getting him to rat on Don King, organized crime, and various New York area black leaders and politicians. 

As Newsday recounts:

One law-enforcement source, who declined to be identified but has detailed knowledge of Sharpton's activities as an FBI informant, said this week that Sharpton was working as an informant at the time he sought to meet Chesimard [Assata]... "It wasn't a big massive operation. It was just a small shot, an everyday deal," the source said. "I would equate it with setting up 10 traps a day trying to catch a fox..."

Sharpton of course denied this:

This week, Sharpton denied assertions by Ahmed Obafemi, a long-time activist, and Kwame Brathwaite, an activist and photographer who says Sharpton asked him to set up an encounter with Obafemi. Both men say that Obafemi acted as the intermediary in the failed discussions with Sharpton to reach Shakur. Sharpton called the men "liars" and said they were possibly "police agents."

We can only note that Ahmed Obafemi is still the respected leader of the Malcom X Grass Roots Movement over 10 years later.

Who says COINTELPRO died?

Cuba eyes embargo-busting rap show, 11/27/00

http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusic/nov27_cuba-can.html

Monday, November 27, 2000

The latest hip-hop concert promoter on the scene could turn out to be Fidel Castro.

New York's Daily News reports that New York African American leader Rev. Al Sharpton recently flew down to Cuba and met with the country's long-lasting ruler to discuss the possibility of organizing a massive hip-hop show in violation of the U.S. trade embargo.

"We talked about the embargo and how we might bring it down," Sharpton told the Daily News.

"If Bill Clinton can go to North Vietnam and bring down those walls, African-Americans should be able to start doing business in places like Cuba. We can bring in concerts, sporting events."

With a follow-up meeting set for after Christmas, Sharpton has already met with Interscope Records -- home of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Jurassic 5, Ruff Ryders, Black Eyed Peas, the late Tupac Shakur and rap-metal fusion titans Limp Bizkit.

"We can do a huge event, a hip-hop concert in Havana, beam it around the world and bring down the embargo," Sharpton told The Daily News.

"It would show the strength of African-Americans in foreign policy. It would tell the world that we are actively going against the embargo."

Sharpton told The Daily News he intends to line up entertainers before holding a second meeting with Castro.

-- JAM! Music

Castro's Open to Rap Invasion, 11/27

Monday, November 27, 2000, New York Daily News
by Mitchell Fink

And the newest member of the hip-hop culture is ... Fidel Castro?

Don't laugh. A large contingent of top-name rappers is soon expected to descend on Havana in an effort to help end the cultural embargo between Cuba and the United States.

The Rev. Al Sharpton was in Havana last week, where he met with Castro and talked about the possibility of bringing a massive hip-hop concert to the island.

"I was in Jamaica for the annual convention of the Carib News," said Sharpton. "Cuba was supposed to be part of the [itinerary], but when [that part of the trip] was canceled ... I went to Cuba on my own."

Sharpton had never been to Cuba, and he asked for a meeting with Castro. The Cuban president agreed and the two had lunch.

"We talked about the embargo and how we might bring it down," Sharpton told me. "If Bill Clinton can go to North Vietnam and bring down those walls, African-Americans should be able to start doing business in places like Cuba. We can bring in concerts, sporting events.

"Castro said he was open to me coming back with suggestions, and we scheduled another meeting for around Christmastime."

For this rest of this story, see
http://www.nydailynews.com/2000-11-27/News_and_Views/Daily_Dish/a-90011.asp

AL SHARPTON HOOKS UP WITH FIDEL, 11/00

AL SHARPTON HOOKS UP WITH FIDEL

There are reports circulating around that indicate Civil Rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton may be leading an army of Hip Hop artists down to Cuba. The New York Daily News is reporting that Sharpton has been in talks with Interscope record executive Steve Stoute to explore ways that the Hip Hop industry and Castro's Cuba could hook up and take the first steps to ending the long standing embargo that exists between the US and Cuba. 

For the rest of this article, see
http://www.rapstation.com
This link actually takes you directly to the article.

The Rev. and the Fugitive

Sharpton tried to set up Chesimard, activists say.
October 21, 1988, Newsday
By Ron Howell. Robert E. Kessler contributed to this story.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who has worked as a federal informant, tried to set up a meeting with black fugitive radical JoAnne Chesimard in 1983, according to activists who said they were approached by Sharpton.

The black activists said they feared Sharpton was trying to deliver Chesimard into the arms of federal agents, but said they had no proof.

One law-enforcement source, who declined to be identified but has detailed knowledge of Sharpton's activities as an FBI informant, said this week that Sharpton was working as an informant at the time he sought to meet Chesimard. The source said that one of Sharpton's assignments was to try to lead agents to Chesimard, who escaped from prison in 1979 after being convicted in the killing a New Jersey state trooper.

"It wasn't a big massive operation. It was just a small shot, an everyday deal," the source said. "I would equate it with setting up 10 traps a day trying to catch a fox . . ." He said Sharpton was not a major participant in the search for the woman, who goes by the African name Assata Shakur.

A top FBI official said that Sharpton was not used in any manner to lure Shakur into a trap. "This is the first I'm hearing of it, it's bull - - - ," FBI Assistant Deputy Director Kenneth Walton, who led the Shakur investigation, said earlier this week.

Sharpton flatly denied trying to make contact with Shakur.

Newsday reported in January that beginning in 1983 Sharpton secretly supplied federal law enforcement agencies with information on boxing promoter Don King, reputed organized crime figures and black leaders and elected officials. And in a two-hour interview, Sharpton admitted to Newsday that he had assisted the government in drug and organized crime cases. He said he also accompanied undercover federal agents wearing body recorders to meetings with various subjects of federal investigations. He said he had allowed the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York to install a tapped telephone in his Brooklyn home.

For the rest of this article, see
http://www.prisonactivist.org/pipermail/prisonact-list/2000-March/003647.html

Sharpton Denies Chesimard Plot

October 22, 1988 Newsday
By Anthony M. DeStefano

The Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday denied that he ever tried to set up a meeting as a federal informant to trap fugitive black radical JoAnne Chesimard in 1983.

Sharpton charged that the report, which appeared in yesterday's New York Newsday, was designed to divide and confuse the black community.

The story cited unidentified law enforcement sources and two black activists, Ahmed Obafemi and Kwame Brathwaite, who claimed that Sharpton tried to reach Chesimard through them.

Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur, has been living in Cuba for several years. She escaped in 1979 from a New Jersey state prison where she was serving a life sentence for the killing of a state trooper.

"If I tried to reach JoAnne Chesimard, I would have called someone like [attorney William] Kunstler," Sharpton said at a news conference in the Manhattan office of attorney C. Vernon Mason.

"Who is Ahmed?" Sharpton said. "Why would I seek people I do not know?"

The story cited Sharpton and a top FBI official as denying that the minister was used to lure Shakur to a meeting.

"Newsday took a page from J. Edgar Hoover in its racism," said Mason, referring to the late FBI director who conducted intelligence gathering operations against black activists.

Mason accused the paper of trying to set up a divisive atmosphere in the black community by publishing the report.

"There is nothing confusing and divisive about this," said Jim Toedtman, managing editor of New York Newsday. "This is a serious issue, involving a public figure whose activities we regarded as important and newsworthy."

Labeling the story "slanderous, scurrilous and libelous," Mason said a lawsuit would be filed over the story and others earlier this year in which Newsday reported that, beginning in 1983, Sharpton secretly supplied federal law enforcement agencies with information about reputed mobsters, black leaders and elected officials.

Sharpton has admitted assisting the government in drug and organized-crime cases but insisted he never turned over information about others.

Mason said that he believed the latest Newsday story was written to divert attention from a number of upcoming events in the black community, such as a showing next week of a videotaped documentary that purportedly will "establish that Tawana Brawley was, in fact, raped, kidnaped, and assaulted by several white men."

Sharpton, Mason and attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. have served as advisers to the Brawley family in the case in which Tawana Brawley said she was sexually attacked by a group of white men in the vicinity of Wappingers Falls, her previous home.

However, a recent state grand jury report said an investigation determined that Brawley fabricated the story about the attack. In addition, state Attorney General Robert Abrams filed attorney disciplinary charges with the appellate division over the actions of Mason and Maddox in the case.

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail
acw_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]

[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]

Copyright © 1997 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.