One of the key narratives from the Democrats and corporate media after the 2016 election was that “Russian interference,” in particular through the seeding of misinformation and propaganda on Facebook, had been a critical factor in President Trump’s victory.
But what about Facebook’s own foreign employees, who have far more influence on the company than any outside force? The media has paid scant attention to them.
In an interview for #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal the Election, a Facebook source told me that many foreign workers at Facebook see an opportunity to influence U.S. elections.
QUOTE FROM FACEBOOK INSIDER:
In the integrity kickoff meeting shortly after the election, employees fantasized about how they could improve elections here and abroad. Many noncitizen tech workers were upset that they could not vote in the U.S. election when they saw the results. Some saw Facebook’s election efforts as a gateway to [influence] the vote without needing a vote. Facebook is fighting foreign influence with its own foreign influence.
Had the corporate media paid more attention to this problem, they might have discovered that Martin Sanchez, who spent seven years working as an official for the government of Venezuela, and also co-founded a website to promote the ideals of its socialist former leader, Hugo Chavez, is currently employed at the company.
As a consul-general of Venezuela in Chicago and San Francisco, Sanchez spent years working to advance the ideals of “Boliviarian socialism,” an ideology that has been wholly at odds with the United States for decades. Now Sanchez is working at Facebook, a company that has the power to influence elections all around the world.
After working at Microsoft-owned LinkedIn for over three years, Sanchez took a job at Facebook in 2018, which he has held for over two years.
His LinkedIn profile describes his role as follows:
Leading UI [User Interface] at the Feed and Stories Content Classification team.
I work with Data Scientists to build cutting edge Machine Learning and visualization tools to improve Facebook’s content classification.
In other words, Sanchez — a Venezuelan socialist — is training the algorithms that help automatically “classify” your content when you post it to Facebook.
Details on Sanchez’s history with the international communist movement and the Venezuelan regime was provided to Breitbart News by Ariel Sheen, a doctoral student at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia, whose research into Venezuela’s impact on American democracy and elections is funded by the Social Science Research Council.
“I began investigating Martin Sanchez following research into the Venezuelan government’s plan to radicalize the Western Hemisphere and the detection of two patterns: Venezuelan state enterprises employing members of militant anarchist, communist and secessionist organizations – such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation – and Venezuelan ambassadors being present at strategic conferences held by these groups,” said Sheen.
“Sanchez’s position at Facebook is worrisome considering his avowal of Trotskyist politics, indicating a “by any means necessary” approach to achieving revolutionary political change,” he continued.
“Considering his prior role in Venezuela’s irregular warfare efforts at undermining America and Facebook’s commitment to transparency on issues related to political influence, it’s alarming that Facebook would not be forthcoming about his activities there.”
Sanchez got his start in tech when he co-founded the website Aporrea.org, a pro-Chavez site, in 2002.
Venezuelan writer and Breitbart News contributor Christian K. Caruzo describes Aporrea as “one of the first, if not the first pro-Chavez website… Ground zero for Chavista stuff online. This was back before Facebook, Twitter.”
Aporrea is an abbreviation of “Asamblea Popular Revolucionaria” — the Revolutionary People’s Assembly. From its mission statement (translated):
We are a means for debate, denunciation and the generation of ideas, with a view to building Socialism for the 21st Century. We seek to break the media fence imposed by the private media, committed to the coup and counterrevolutionary conspiracy in Venezuela, a manifestation of imperialist globalization, against which we also fight alongside the other peoples of the world.
Aporrea was born in May 2002 as the website of the Popular Revolutionary Assembly, a space for popular-revolutionary articulation, established on April 10, 2002, essentially to confront the coup offensive of the Venezuelan bourgeoisie against the government of President Hugo Chávez
“Aporrea’s declared principles: … becoming a direct instrument of social organizations and movements acting in the revolutionary and transformation process of the country.”
Despite its pro-Chavez socialist stance, Aporrea has fallen out of favor with the Maduro regime, and now claims it is censored in the country. Sanchez left the site to work as a diplomat for the Venezuelan regime in 2004.
Videos from Sanchez’s time as a diplomat speaking at socialist events in the U.S. are still on the internet. Here, Sanchez defends Venezuelan policies, including the appropriation of land from private-sector farmers in the country:
Sanchez isn’t just any socialist. He’s linked to the Trotskyist movement. In 2008, Sanchez spoke at “The Legacy of Leon Trotsky and U.S. Trotskyism,” a three-day conference at Fordham University in New York City.
According to a flyer for the conference posted online at the time, the questions addressed include:
What do developments of the late 20th and early 21st century indicate regarding the value of such concepts as permanent
revolution, workers’ states (and/or workers’ and farmers’ governments), workers’ democracy, the revolutionary potential of the
working class, the revolutionary potential of social movements, Lenin on the vanguard party and democratic centralism, imperialism, the national question, and the relation of democratic struggles to the revolutionary struggle?
And what we should do now? What is the best way to organize for change in the world today? What is the political situation that we face, particularly from the standpoint of those who continue to want to create a socialist society?
One socialist who attended the conference, Paul Le Blanc, wrote “There is no revolutionary party worthy of the name that exists in the United States. But there is a need for one – to help the working-class majority move forward to create the socialist democracy and cooperative commonwealth in which many of us believe. I think there is the possibility for such a party coming into being. It may be that this conference stands as a modest contribution to the process that could generate such an outcome.” [emphasis ours]
“Speaking for myself, I intend to work closely with comrades in several of the groups that were involved in the conference,” wrote Le Blanc.
Trotskyism as it has existed since the end of World War II is notable for its emphasis on infiltrating non-socialist organizations and radicalizing them. The tactic is known in Trotskyist circles as “entryism,” and began with Trotsky’s call for French Trotskyists to dissolve their Communist party and join the more moderate workers’ movement in the 1930s. Entryism was also taken up by Trotskyists in Britain, who joined the Labour party en masse in the 1970s and 80s.
Some questions for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: does he know what entryism is? Has he considered how tempting of a target Facebook must be for its adherents? And if he cares so much about “foreign influence” on Facebook — as he has assured the corporate media he does — how does he explain former operatives of a major U.S. adversary working at his company?
Facebook did not reply to a request for comment before publication.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.