Ron Ridenour is a U.S. born, Denmark based socialist.
- Ron Ridenour was born in the devil's own country, he rejected the American Dream and became a solidarity and revolutionary activist and writer nearly half-a-century ago.
Ridenour has worked as a journalist-editor-author-translator for three decades. He worked for Cuba's Editorial José Martí and Prensa Latina for eight years, and has published five books about Cuba, as well as Yankee Sandinistas.
- Born in the “devil’s own country” of a WASP military career father, I sought the “American Dream” until I entered the Air Force, in 1956, to fight the “commies”. Here, I witnessed approved segregated barracks in the Yankee base it established in Japan, and imposition of racism in Japanese establishments. I protested and was tortured by my white “compatriots”. This, and the fact that we had orders to shoot down any Soviet aircraft over “our” territory in Japan—which never appeared—while we flew spy planes over the Soviet Union daily, led me to question American “morality”.The first time I exercised my democratic right to demonstrate was in Los Angeles, where I protested with others the Yankee invasion of Cuba, at the Bay of Pigs. Cuba’s revolution, and my hate for racism, led me to become a radical then a revolutionary.
Dorothy Healey and the Communist Party
- Dorothy was my first and most important mentor. More than anyone she brought me into the left movement for justice and equality. I met her following my first demonstration: on April 19, 1961, in front of the U.S. federal building in Los Angeles during the U.S. invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
- In all the many discussions we had in her little home in central L.A. she never once asked me to join the Communist Party. But I did in 1964. I left following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Dorothy remained a sane critic and supporter for a few more years. Never did I consider Dorothy less than a comrade, a friend, a good listener and thus an excellent teacher.
A radical life
During the early 1960s, Ridenour was a college student and joined the budding student movement, the civil rights movement (Mississippi Freedom Summer 1964), the anti-Vietnam war movement, and supported liberation movements by blacks, browns, native Americans, and women, and revolutionary movements throughout Latin American and Africa.
- In the mid-70s, the Southeast Asians, aided by international solidarity movements, won its sovereignty. Soon thereafter, I obtained 1,000 censored pages of dossiers various National Security Council “intelligence” agencies had on me. I began working as a reporter in 1967. I was fired from three dailies for failing to self-censor my reportage and for union organizing efforts, as well as support for the Black Panthers.
- FBI, CIA, Los Angeles Police Department's red squad all tailed and harrassed me, even to the point of forging tax return papers in an attempt to show the left and anti-war movement that I was one of their many spies.
During the 1960s and 70s, Ridenour was jailed a dozen times, once for half-a-year, and spent a week in a Costa Rica prison for trying to travel to Cuba during the October 1962 missile crisis. In 1980, he moved to Denmark. Between 1982 and 1996, he traveled to and lived for several years in Nicaragua and Cuba, where he translated, wrote articles and edited copy.
In Denmark, besides journalism, Ridenour has worked in ecological agricultural, lecturing in schools, social work with refugees, painting houses and other work.
Ron Ridenour is the author of;
"Cuba at Sea", Socialist Resistance, London, May day 2008
"Cuba: Beyond the Crossroads", Socialist Resistance, London, 2006; 2nd edition 2007
"Cuba: a `Yankee´ Reports" (Kuba: ein `Yankee´ berichtet), PapyRossa, Cologne, 1997
"Cuba at the Crossroads", Infoservicios, Los Angeles, 1994
"Backfire: The CIA’s Biggest Burn", Editorial José Martí, Havana, 1991, and in German, Drucktechnik Odenthal, Hamburg, 1994
"Yankee Sandinistas", Curbstone Press, Connecticut, 1986
He is the co-author of;
"Revolutionære Visioner", Foreningen Oktober Forlag, Copenhagen, 2005
"Eyes see what eyes want to see: Western media & the peace movement", International Organization of Journalists, Prague, 1987. Also printed in Danish, "Øjne ser hvad øjne vil se"
"Fredsinvasion: Stemmingsbilleder fra en fredsmarch i mellemamerkia" (Mood pictures from a Central American peace march), Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, Copenhagen, 1986
"Glass House Tapes", Avon, New York, 1973.
2006—Special Cuba correspondent for Morning Star, English daily. “Beyond the Crossroads” series, April to August
1997-2009—Free lance and debate writer in Denmark for: Bornholms Tidende, Arbejderen, Skub, Kommunist Politik, Historie and Samfundsfag, Politiken, Ekstra Bladet, Fagbladet, Kristeligt Dagbladet, Cuba Bladet, and many websites
1967-1996—Staff reporter, editor, correspondent for two score newspapers and magazines, and free lance for some 100 publications
1988-1992—Staff writer and consultant for Cuba’s Editorial José Martí publishing house. Correspondent for Radio Pacifica (Washington DC and KPFK). Correspondent for South magazine (London) and Tierra Nuestra (Mexico-Nicaragua); free lance for Reuters
1980-1988—Free lance based in Denmark, Iceland, Nicaragua and Mexico. Published in US: Duluth Herald News-Tribune, In These Times, Los Angeles Reader, Guardian weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Working Woman; England: New Statesman, The Guardian; Mexico: Mexico Journal; Denmark: Information, Aktuelt, Politisk Revy, Kontakt, København
1984—Senior editor for U.S. national newsweekly Rebel
1979—Labor reporter for U.S. national weekly Hollywood Reporter
1973-1980—Free lance, stringer, editor for scores of U.S. newspapers, news agencies and magazines, such as: Washington Post (free lance),New York Times(debate), San Fernando Valley News, Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram, Guardian, Berkley Barb, In These Times; Pacifica News Service, Liberation News Service, Alternative Feature Service; Playboy, Chic, The Nation, Review of Southern California Journalism, Forum for Contemporary History, The People’s Justice, Juris Doctor, Bookswest, Civil Liberties, Tennis Illustrated, Skeptic, Sevendays, Coast…
1978—Managing editor for weekly Los Angeles Free Press.
1976—News editor and reporter for weekly Los Angeles Vanguard.
1974-1975—Editor for monthly Open Forum and public relations director for its publisher, Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.
1973-4—Political editor, reporter for Los Angeles Free Press
1972-3—City editor and reporter for weekly Los Angeles News Advocate
1971—Reporter for Hollywood weekly Citizen News
1970—Editor local pages for California daily Riverside Press-Enterprise
1969-70—Sports editor and reporter for California daily Hanford Sentinel
- Besides using words in an effort to eradicate racism, inequality and wars, I have been an activist against wars, racism, chauvinism and for socialist solidarity.
Copenhagen climate talks
Ron Ridenour worked with the ALBA countries' delegation at the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009.