Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is under investigation from both House Republicans and the agency’s inspector general’s office for conflicts of interest related to recent decisions for which her daughter lobbied. A new report out last month reveals her daughter’s ties to a communist Cuban solidarity group.
In June, House Republicans launched a probe into Secretary Haaland’s decision to close drilling opportunities in areas that surround New Mexico’s Chaco Cultural National Historical Park. The Interior Department implemented a 10-mile radius around the world heritage site, now cut off from new oil and gas development for the next 20 years. The decision is detrimental to the Navajo Nation, now unable to responsibly harvest natural resources in their own backyard to a cost of $194 million over two decades. Haaland’s daughter, Somah, works for the Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA), a far-left Albuquerque-based climate group that prominently opposed drilling in the region.
“Prior to joining the Biden administration as Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Secretary Haaland was evidently involved with the Pueblo Action Alliance,” lawmakers noted. “Secretary Haaland has purportedly met with PAA leaders during her time as Secretary of the Interior to discuss PAA’s opposition to oil and gas production on federal lands.”
Republicans added lawmakers are “concerned with Secretary Haaland’s compliance with ethical obligations and potential conflicts of interest given PAA’s opposition to oil and gas production on federal lands, Secretary Haaland’s involvement with PAA, Somah’s work with PAA to limit domestic energy production.”
Representatives also raised issue with Secretary Haaland’s husband, Skip Sayre, as chief of sales and marketing for the Laguna Development Corporation, the “business arm” of the Laguna Pueblo.
The non-profit government watchdog, Protect the Public’s Trust, filed a separate ethics complaint over the issue with the Interior Department’s inspector general in August. The complaint referenced Secretary Haaland’s prior participation in a video by the PAA narrated by her daughter focused on drilling in New Mexico.
A new report out in September from the bilingual Hispanic website ADN America documents Somah Haaland’s relationship with a Cuban solidarity group linked to the communist regime’s intelligence apparatus.
The PAA, ADN America reported, “openly associates with the Venceremos Brigade (VB), a U.S.-based organization that facilitates trips for young Americans to visit Cuba, where they are reportedly greeted and groomed by Cuban intelligence agents.”
“Somah Haaland began working with the Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA) in 2020, a New Mexico indigenous rights group that openly associates with the VB, and whose executive director, Julia Bernal, traveled with the group to Cuba the year before where it was hosted by the Institute of Friendship Along with the Peoples (ICAP), a regime sponsored organization led by one of Cuba’s most notorious spy, Fernando González Llort–-and a former member of the Wasp Network who was sentenced to prison in the U.S. for espionage.”
According to the Cuban outlet, the Venceremos Brigade has a history of “targeting American activists.”
“Since its inception in 1969, the Venceremos Brigade took aim at influencing Americans interested in politics, particularly those with a sympathetic ear,” the paper reported. “In 1977, the New York Times revealed details from an August 1976 FBI report that found Cuban intelligence agents ‘arranged for American youths to be inculcated with revolutionary fervor and, occasionally, to be trained in practical weaponry by Cuban military officers through the so‐called Venceremos Brigades.'”
Somah Haaland, a New Mexico activist and daughter of the U.S. interior secretary, certainly fits the bill as a top target for the Cuban group. In February, emails discovered by Protect the Public’s Trust revealed the PAA was behind the “insurrection” at the Interior Department two years ago.