Declassified CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn

Declassified CIA files reveal American spies kept tabs on Jeremy Corbyn’s links to a Soviet-backed trade union that supported violent Marxist guerrillas. Guido can also reveal for the first time that in 1986 Corbyn embarked on a tour of Latin American regimes, attended a Soviet-backed conference monitored by the CIA and accepted travel assistance around Cuba from the communist military dictatorship. It is no surprise that he was on the CIA’s radar…

In November 1986, the US Embassy in San Salvador sent this cable to Washington noting Corbyn’s support for the El Salvadorian trade union Fenastras. The trade union was of interest to the US authorities because of “its guerrilla and WFTU connections.” The WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) is widely considered to have been a Soviet front. The US government considered Fenastras a front for political party and armed guerrilla rebel organisation the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). The FMLN, armed and supplied by the Soviet Union and Cuba, fought a bloody civil war between 1979 and 1992 against the authoritarian right-wing regime. Guido can reveal that between 8-17 November 1986 Corbyn travelled to the Fenastras Conference, with his trip funded by the El Salvador Solidarity Committee. You can see why Corbyn and his fellow travellers would have been of interest to American intelligence – he had endorsed and visited a Soviet front group with guerrilla connections.

Corbyn’s constituents in Islington didn’t see much of their MP in 1986, if his Register of Interests is anything to go by. When he wasn’t meeting Jan Sarkocy in London, Jezza was jumping on a plane to the Cold War frontline. As well as two trips to El Salvador, in January and November, in August Corbyn travelled to Cuba and Nicaragua. He discloses in his register entry that he accepted “travel assistance from the Cuban government” – in other words he was welcomed and hosted by a ruthless military dictatorship that according to Human Rights Watch punished all forms of dissent, denied entire generations political freedoms and brutally repressed homosexuals. August 1986 was the month Castro celebrated his 60th birthday. Clearly Jezza couldn’t let the date pass without being in the country to wish his comrade many happy returns. 

Elsewhere in the CIA documents Corbyn’s name appears on a global media monitoring list dated 14 March 1984. CIA spies took an interest in an interview with Corbyn where he is “quoted on his visit” to Grenada:

Corbyn was visiting hostile Marxist regimes across Latin America at the height of the Cold War, attending conferences of Soviet front groups and accepting hospitality from the Cuban dictatorship. Wonder how many more “diplomats” he met on his travels…




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