Charlie Rangel (D-NY 13) – KeyWiki Progressive/Marxist Profiles

By: Trevor Loudon
Editor: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

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Election Facts for 2014:

• Party – Democrat
• State – New York
• Location – New York 13
• First Elected – 1970
• Candidates in 2014:
Charles B. Rangel – D

Charles B. Rangel is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 13th District of New York. Rangel was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus and served at one time as its Chairman. He is also a long-time member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.


Charlie Rangel was born in New York on June 11, 1930. Raised by his mother and maternal grandfather, an elevator operator, Rangel grew up in the streets of New York. After dropping out of high school, Rangel served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, where he was seriously wounded in battle and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

After his return from Korea, Rangel enrolled at New York University, earning a B.A. in 1957 and receiving his law degree from St. John’s University Law School in 1960.

In 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy appointed Rangel Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 1967, Rangel won election to the New York State Assembly and in 1971, he ran against the famous Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in an historic election. Rangel’s victory inaugurated the first of his more than 40 years of consecutive terms as Harlem’s Representative to Congress.


In 1987, Rangel, one of the leading opponents to South African apartheid, pushed the Internal Revenue Service to eliminate tax credits for taxes paid to the apartheid government of South Africa. In 1995, he helped to create a federal “empowerment zone” in Manhattan and authored the low-income tax credit to stimulate the development of affordable housing in urban areas.

Early in 2003, Rangel proposed the reinstatement of the military draft as a way to deter the use of force and promote a peaceful resolution to the War in Iraq. In 2007, Rangel became the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Communist Connections

Harlem 5

One time New York City Mayor David Dinkins rose through the Democratic Party organization in Harlem and became part of an influential group of African-American politicians that included Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson, Denny Farrell and Charles Rangel. The group ran Harlem politics for decades. Of the five, Dinkins and Farrell (a senior New York state legislator) have been members of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), while Sutton, Patterson and Rangel leaned more towards the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

National Conference of Black Lawyers

Charlie Rangel was a founding member of the National Conference of Black Lawyers.
According to the National Conference of Black Lawyers website:

In 1968, young people of African descent in America were growing impatient with the slow pace of social change. Despite modest advances brought on by two decades of non-violent resistance, from one end of the country to the other, the cry for Black Power was raised in the midst of a sea of clinched fists. At the same time, this new militant spirit had moved many to don black berets and carry rifles. On street corners in practically every Black community, passers-by heard demands for Nation Time and Power to the People!

The National Conference of Black Lawyers and its allied organization, the National Lawyers Guild, are the U.S. affiliates of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

The IADL was a “front” for the former Soviet Union and is still dominated by communist and socialist lawyers and legal organizations.

First Annual Fannie Lou Hammer Awards Dinner

According to an article, “Plan awards dinner to honor activists,” in the CPUSA’s Daily World, Feb. 19, 1983, page 4:

Women for Racial and Economic Equality will honor civil rights activists Julia Wilder and Maggie Bozeman at its First Annual Fannie Lou Hammer Awards dinner on Saturday, February 26.

Joining WREE will be city and state officials; leaders from civil rights organizations and liberation movement, and representatives from church and women’s groups.

Women for Racial and Economic Equality was a CPUSA front. Representative Charles Rangel was among the participants.

Communist Party Award Ceremony

On November 4, 1999, New York State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (a Communist Party supporter) presented State Assembly citations to honorees, including Elizabeth Hall, a member of the National Committee of the CPUSA and her comrade Bobbie Rabinowitz, a Founder of the New York City Labor Chorus, at the People’s Weekly World 75th Anniversary celebrations at the Henry Winston Unity Auditorium in New York.

U.S. Representative Charles Rangel sent a letter regretting that he was unable to attend, but congratulated the honorees and the World.

2000 People’s Weekly World Award Luncheon

On October 22, 2000, the People’s Weekly World held its 4th annual celebration luncheon in New York at the Henry Winston Auditorium.

Speakers included City Council members Bill Perkins and Christine Quinn, Assembly member Richard Gottfried, State Senator Tom Duane, Larry Moskowitz of the CPUUSA and Working Families Party, and Elena Mora for the Communist Party.

U.S. Representative Charles Rangel sent greetings.

Henry Winston’s Centenary Celebration Greeting

A standing room only crowd gathered in Winston Unity Center, New York, on the occasion of Henry Winston’s centenary celebration. Winston, who was born in 1912, was the National Chairman of the Communist Party for two decades until his death in 1986.

The multi-media celebration of this great African American leader included speeches, music, a slideshow and greetings from former coworkers and friends – including one from New York Congressman Charles Rangel.

Socialist Connection

DSA Endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Charles Rangel (NY-15) in that year’s Congressional elections.

Foreign Policy/National Security

World Peace Council

Rangel was associated with the Soviet front World Peace Council (WPC).

The first official WPC conference in the U.S. was the Dialogue on Disarmament and Détente held January 25-27, 1978, in Washington, D.C.

It was sponsored by a small committee including World Peace Council Presidium member CPUSA functionary and Amalgamated Meatcutters Union Vice-President, Abe Feinglass.

A luncheon was held to honor WPC President Romesh Chandra that was attended by California Congressmen Philip Burton, Don Edwards, Ron Dellums and New York Representative Charles Rangel.

WPC delegation members included President Romesh Chandra, KGB Colonel Radomir Bogdanov and Oleg Kharkhardin of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union International Department.

Voted Against Support for “Contras”

The Congressional Record of February 3, 1988, shows that Charlie Rangel was one of several leading Democratic Party Congressmen who voted against aid to the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters – the “Contras” – then fighting against the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

“Congressional Pink Caucus”

In October of 1989, Nicaragua’s Marxist-Leninist Sandinista Government announced that they would no longer comply with the 19 month-old cease-fire agreement with the Contras. This had been considered a prime step forward for the “peace process” that was progressing slowly as part of the Arias Peace Plan.

A resolution was introduced in Congress deploring the Sandinistas’ action. The Senate voted unanimously in favor, but in the House the vote was 379-29. All of the 29 Congressmen voting against the resolution were Democrats.

The Council for Inter-American Security dubbed these 29 people the “Congressional Pink Caucus.” Charlie Rangel was, of course, one of them.

Cuba Recognition Drive

Charlie Rangel has long been one of communist Cuba’s best friends in the U.S. Congress.
In 1972, a coalition of Congressmen, radical activists and some communists spearheaded a drive to relax relations with Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

Under the auspices of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator Harold Hughes (D-IA), a two day conference of liberal scholars assembled in April, in the New Senate Office Building to thrash out a fresh U.S. policy in Cuba.

Charlie Rangel was among the Congressional sponsors of the event.

Secretary of the New York State Communist Party, Michael Myerson, was among the observers.

Cuba Bill

In mid-1993, a meeting of the radical National Network on Cuba in Chicago endorsed a call for strong lobbying support for HR 1943, the Free Trade with Cuba Act, introduced into Congress by Charlie Rangel.

Peace for Cuba Appeal

In 1994, Charlie Rangel was an initiator of the International Peace for Cuba Appeal, an affiliate of the Workers World Party dominated International Action Center.

Other prominent initiators included Cuban Intelligence agent Philip Agee, DSA academic/activist Noam Chomsky and Congressman John Conyers.

Charlie Rangel, Fidel Castro

Welcoming Castro

Charles Rangel attended an October 1995 meeting in Harlem to welcome Cuban leader Fidel Castro to New York.

According to CPUSA paper People’s Weekly World:

Almost 1,600 Harlemites and solidarity activists packed the Abyssinian Baptist Church to give a hero’s welcome to Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba.

The mainly African American audience, which included New York Democratic representatives Charles Rangel and Nydia Velazquez, enthusiastically greeted the Communist leader with a 10-minute standing ovation. Chants of “Cuba si, Bloqueo no!” resounded from the rafters and sent a strong message of protest to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and President Clinton for excluding the Cuban leader from their sponsored events.

The audience erupted in shouts of “Fidel, Fidel” when Elombe Brath, head of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition and chair for the meeting, asked the audience, “Who would you rather come to Harlem, Fidel or Giuliani?”

Controversial Cuba Trip

Representative Charles Rangel, a frequent critic of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, met with Fidel Castro on a trip to the island in 2002, but only acknowledged that the Cuban government picked up part of the tab when pressed on the issue.

Rangel changed his travel disclosure form for the April 2002 trip and reimbursed the Cuban government and a New York grocery store owner $1,922 for his son’s expenses after the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan group that focuses on open records, raised questions about the trip. House ethics rules permit private sponsors of lawmakers’ trips to cover the cost of the member of Congress and one relative – in Rangel’s case, his wife Alma, who also went on the trip.

The government watchdog group, which released an extensive review of Congressional travel, noted that Congressional travel disclosure forms “are supposed to make the sponsor and purpose of privately funded trips transparent to the public.”

But according to the group, Rangel initially listed a group that was conducting a bird study in Cuba at the time, the Minneapolis-based Sian Ka’an Conservation Foundation, as the sponsor of the trip. On an amended form – filed in April – Rangel added the Cuban government and grocery store owner, John Catsimatidis, as sponsors.

In 2009, John Catsimatidis of the Red Apple Group; turned up on the board of the leftist Drum Major Institute.

Rangel’s Chief of Staff, George Dalley, told the center that Rangel and his staff did not know the Cuban government had paid for part of the trip until they were contacted by the group.

“The most important thing is that Rangel corrected the mistake he made,” Dalley said.
Rangel, who met with Castro as far back as 1988 as part of a Congressional trip, reported the 2002 trip was for “education and fact finding.”

Supporting Medical Training in Cuba

In 2004, there were 88 U.S. students at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana – a school sponsored by the Cuban government and dedicated to training mainly Marxist doctors to treat the poor of the Western hemisphere and Africa.

The Bush administration’s restrictions on travel to Cuba had been added to the program from the beginning. Since the Cuban government paid the students’ room, board, tuition and a stipend, the ban was not initially applied to them. But the “Bush administration’s further attempts to curtail Cuban travel threatened the students and sent their families looking for political help.” Representatives Barbara Lee and Charles Rangel led a campaign of protest and 27 members of Congress signed a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell asking that the ELAM students be exempted from the ban. In August, the administration relented and granted the students permission to remain in Cuba.

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This research is part of’s ongoing efforts to expose Progressives throughout our political system. Funding for KeyWiki furthers our efforts to bring true transparency to American politics and hold our leaders responsible for their past actions. Donations can be made at Trevor Loudon’s site: New Zeal – More information on the Enemies Within can be found in Trevor Loudon’s latest book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.” Trevor’s books can be purchased at

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