Teresa Heinz Kerry
WASHINGTON – In the latest charges against Teresa Heinz Kerry’s philanthropic work, three Florida Republican members of Congress today accused the presidential candidate’s wife of helping to finance “Fidel Castro’s Internet network.”
Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother Mario and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held a press conference in Miami to cite her foundation’s support for the Tides Foundation and Tides Center, which in turn supports the Institute for Global Communications, a radical communications group with ties to Cuba since at least 1993.
Cuba has been officially designated as a terrorist nation by the U.S. State Department.
The Heinz Endowments have issued approximately $8.1 million in grants in the last 10 years to the Tides organization, a San Francisco-based group that funds, as WND has previously reported, a variety of extremist groups from Islamists, to terrorist-defense law firms, to abortionists, to anarchists.
The Tides Foundation, a 28-year-old grant-making institution, funds to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars radical groups that, among other things, protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq, demand open U.S. borders, provide the legal defense of suspected terrorists and promote the spread of Islamist ideology in the U.S.
About $230,000 of Heinz largesse was issued to the Tides Foundation between 1994 and 1998 and the remainder issued to the Tides Center.
The Heinz Foundations say all grants were issued for environmental and economic development projects in western Pennsylvania, where Teresa Heinz Kerry has spent much of her adult life.
However, donors to the Tides Foundation pay approximately 10 percent above and beyond the amount grant recipients get for administrative fees and overhead to Tides. Therefore, critics say, it is accurate to say that donors to Tides are indeed supporting all of its causes.
The Institute for Global Communications is, in fact, an arm of Tides, housed within its plush San Francisco office complex in the Presidio.
The Heinz Foundation is doing its best to spin the connections as tenuous, explaining that the IGC has had similar Internet projects in the former Soviet Union, Nicaragua, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina, as well as Cuba.
“I seriously doubt that any money from Teresa Heinz Kerry or the Heinz Endowment would have gone to this project,” IGC Director Mark Graham told CNN. “I wish that were the case. We could have used the money.”
“In recent weeks, the Heinz Endowments has been accused of using its funding of the Tides Center of Western Pennsylvania to advance a laundry list of partisan causes and fringe political groups. This accusation is simply wrong,” Maxwell King, president of the Heinz Endowments, said in a written statement.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian in 1997 reported that Tides ”is a clearinghouse: people and institutions that, for one reason or another, don’t want to be publicly identified with a certain cause give money to Tides, and Tides passes the money along to the organizations the donor privately identifies.” It has since broken into two entities, the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center.
While John Kerry criticizes the way President Bush has conducted the war in Iraq, he actually cast a Senate vote to support it. Yet, Tides’ Iraq Peace Fund and Peace Studies Fund supports the War Resisters League and Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center. Clark actually offered to defend Saddam Hussein. His center also sponsored International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice, both of which were run by long-time communist revolutionaries.
Tides also supports the Council on American Islamic Relations, a group that claims to be a Muslim civil rights organization, but one whose leaders have ties to the terrorist group Hamas.
Heinz Kerry not only serves as chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment, she also sits on the board of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment.
The Earth Island Institute is a recipient of Heinz cash. Three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America by Islamists, the group published a statement on its website rationalizing the terrorist actions. Under the headline, “U.S. Responds to Terrorist Attacks with Self-Righteous Arrogance,” the statement explained that the destruction of the World Trade Center, the crash at the Pentagon, the four airline hijackings and the 3,000 Americans killed “was not an ‘attack on all American people,'” but “an act of anger, desperation and indignation.”
On the record, the Tides Foundation says it has worked since 1976 for “positive social change. We put resources and people together –strengthening community-based nonprofit organizations and the progressive movement through innovative grant-making. We define ‘progressive’ as creating a positive impact on people’s lives in ways that honor and promote human rights, justice, and a healthy, sustainable environment.”
One of Tides principal concerns, according to its annual report for 2001-2002 is mobilizing against the death penalty – always a polarizing issue during elections.
“At a particularly conservative time in national politics, the United States seems to be awakening to the economic and racial biases of the criminal justice system,” the report said. “Public support for the death penalty is the lowest it has been since 1981, and the anti-death penalty movement is gaining momentum. To support this growing movement, Tides Foundation launched the Death Penalty Mobilization Fund, which supports progressive coalition building and collaboration at the local, regional and national levels among groups working to reform the death penalty and to abolish capital punishment.”
Another initiative was to promote groups pushing “living-wage organizing.”
“More than 56 local ordinances mandating a living wage have already passed across the country,” the report said.
Tides points out the “economic justice movement” has received only limited funding from other foundations.
Local, state and national groups promoting abortion on demand are supported by Tides. They include Planned Parenthood chapters, the National Abortion Rights Action League and Abortion Access Project.
Homosexual activist organizations, including some of the most extreme, such as ACT-UP, have received Tides funds.
In addition to its support of the National Lawyers Guild, Tides supports many branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Institute for Policy Studies, founded by Robert Borosage, a political mentor of Hillary Clinton.
In addition to its support of CAIR, Tides supports the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Arab American Action Network.
A group called “Barrio Warriors” is also a recipient of Tides grants. This race-conscious Hispanic organization calls for the “liberation of Aztlan,” the American southwest, including California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
Tides supports a variety of gun control groups, controversial needle exchange programs, euthanasia and assisted suicide organizations.