Saul Landau

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Saul Landau


Saul Landau is a member[1]of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies and an IPS Fellow.

Early activism

Saul Landau became active on the left during his time at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in the late 1950s.

At Madison, Landau helped edit[2] Studies on the Left.

Studies on the left...begun in the fall of 1959 at the University of Wisconsin...stood with one leg in the old progressive camp.....Also in the balance of influence was the old Communist Party Left, a tradition viewed by the editors as relevant, but very uncomfortable heritage...the editors [included] Saul Landau...

Landau was editor of Studies on the Left, from 1959 to 1960. SOTL was a publication which "helped to revive radical scholarship in the United States and to create a new radical understanding of the American political economy. Second, Studies contributed to the consciousness and ideological development of the New Left."

Sandau later worked[3] with leftist economist Paul Baran.

".....A center [at Stanford] for the study of the region [Latin America]...influence of Stanford's Marxist economist Paul Baran, attracted a number of students who came with or developed a Left perspective... included...Saul Landau.

Fair Play for Cuba

In the early 1960s Landau was involved[4] in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee {FPCC}.

Within six months, the FPCC had 7000 members in 27 "adult chapters" and 40 student councils on various college campuses with emerging student leaders such as Saul Landau and Robert Scheer.

Landau and Castro

Saul Landau befriended Fidel Castro[5]in 1960 and made a film about him.

Bringing the revolution home

Landau is open[6]about wanting to bring the revolution home.

For me...Cuba was not a terribly attractive model. The stuff that seemed exciting me 25 years ago - revolution - doesn't seem exciting now. I want to get out of Nicaragua and into America.

George Miller Friendship

Miller and landau, in Miller's Congressional office

George Miller was a long time personal friend of the late pro-Cuban Institute for Policy Studies activist Saul Landau.[7]

According to Edith Bell of Pittsburgh;

My fond memories are of a very young Saul, an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, long before he became a well-known author and filmmaker. End of summer 1955 my husband Sid Bell and I were standing on University Ave. in Madison, Wis., map and "for rent" classified section of the Capitol Times in hand. A young man approached us "looking for an apartment?", he said. He gave us an address, and after looking at several advertised places, we encountered him again. "Been to my place yet?" So we had a look at Saul's place, where his wife Nina was taking care of baby Greg, just a few weeks old. They explained to us that they were moving back to New York City. We liked the place and rented it. A year later Saul and Nina came back and moved into the apartment below us.
After Saul got his MA , he soon went with C.Wright Mills to Cuba which appears to have gotten him hooked.
We kept in touch on and off through the years. He visited us, when we lived in West Virginia, bringing newly elected Congressman George Miller with him. [8]

Mr. Landau helped investigate human rights abuses in Chile for Rep. Miller in the 1970s.

“In a show of his persistence and tenacity,” Miller said in a statement, “he helped bring Augusto Pinochet to justice more than 30 years later.”[9]

Because Landau had deep ties in Chile, in 1975 he arranged a trip to the country for U.S. congressmen Tom Harkin, Toby Moffett and George Miller, who were looking into human rights violations under the Pinochet regime. Landau and Miller would become close friends.

"He was a wonderful friend and wonderful adviser and a great person to bounce some things off," said Miller (D-Martinez).

Miller visited with Landau days before his death, and found the filmmaker was still able to trot out his wry sense of humor.

"I said, 'Saul, you know, what do you think if we end up going to war in Syria?' " Miller recalled. "And he just said, 'It has been such a long time since we had a war, it may be good.' "[10]

Letelier case

Larry Barcella center, Saul Landau right

On September 21, 1976, Institute for Policy Studies colleagues Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt were killed by a car bomb in Washington, DC. The FBI later determined that Chilean secret police agents working with "far right wing Cuban exiles had carried out this heinous act of terrorism".

After the Justice Department indicted five Cubans, plus four Chilean top intelligence agents, a trial took place in Washington. Lawrence Barcella, who died in 2010 of cancer, was one of two U.S. prosecutors who won the first case. Three Cubans got convicted, two of conspiracy to assassinate a foreign dignitary; the other for aiding and abetting and perjury before a Grand Jury.

An appeal overturned the verdict and Barcella lost the second case. He was deeply upset. Saul Landau recalls the scene in the courthouse corridor when Barcella shook his head in disbelief that a jury could have acquitted the three Cubans. The scene became especially dramatic for Landau when one of the Cubans, Guillermo Novo, "threatened to get me and I maturely responded by extending a finger upwards at him"

Barcella remained emotionally attached to the case for decades. In the mid and late 1990s he worked with Spanish attorney Juan Garces (a former Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow) and Saul Landau , along with former FBI Special Agent Carter Cornick and John Dinges (who co-authored the book Assassination on Embassy Row with Landau) and others to get the U.S. government to release massive files on Pinochet and the Chilean government’s involvement in the Letelier-Moffitt assassination and other crimes.

He also wrote op eds and letters to keep the case alive — to get Pinochet indicted and the information about his involvement made public.[11]

Assisting Presidential hopeful

During the 1984 Democratic primaries, Institute for Policy Studies founders Marcus Raskin and Richard Barnet advised George McGovern and Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), and IPS fellow Saul Landau, an Emmy-winning filmmaker, shot some of McGovern's spots.[12]

Race & Class

In 2009, the Editorial Working Committee of Race & Class, published on behalf of the UK based Institute of Race Relations, included John Berger, Lee Bridges, Victoria Brittain, Jan Carew, Jeremy Corbyn, Basil Davidson, Avery Gordon, Barbara Harlow, Saul Landau, Neil Lazarus, Manning Marable, Nancy Murray, Colin Prescod, Barbara Ransby, Cedric Robinson, Bill Rolston and Chris Searle[13].

References