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LaRouche Activist Jose Vega Announces Run for Congress

Jose Vega shown with his campaign poster depicting two scenes of destruction, the Bronx and Gaza, nailing his opponent Ritchie Torres for ignoring the former while funding the latter. Credit: Jose Vega for Congress

On Feb. 3, 2023, LaRouche Youth leader and organizer Jose Vega, well-known for his interventions exposing the lying hypocrisy of such figures as Joe Biden, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Pompeo, Nancy Pelosi, and others, officially announced his 2024 campaign for the U.S. Congress in New York. He will be running as an independent in his home district in the Bronx—New York’s 15th Congressional District—where the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s current lunkhead, Rep. Ritchie Torres, now holds office.

Vega made the announcement live on the Jimmy Dore Show where he was a featured guest. Guest host Russell Dobular (who also hosts the popular YouTube channel “Due Dissidence”) introduced Vega by airing the video of one of his interventions which went viral on the internet. Dobular noted the recent eruption of protests against government officials in support of Israel’s barbaric military campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza. This even includes President Biden himself, who has seemingly not been able to give a speech without the majority of his audience interrupting him to demand a ceasefire. Dobular gave credit to Vega and his cohorts for inspiring these mass actions.

“What I believe electoral politics to be is what we just saw in Chicago,” Vega told the hosts, referencing the Chicago City Council’s passage of a ceasefire resolution on Jan. 31. The successful Chicago vote was the result of a massive mobilization throughout the city, in which Mayor Brandon Johnson broke a 23-23 tie. Many young people, including over 1,000 high schoolers from 10 different schools in the city, had come out to support the resolution, Vega stressed. “Whether you like it or not, you are a U.S. citizen. The actions that your country is doing is a reflection of you,” he added.

Speaking Truth to Power

Over the past two years, Vega has proven that massive political impact is within reach of any American citizen who has a voice and the courage to use it. As such, he has certainly embodied the concept of “speaking truth to power.” His interventions have been seen by hundreds of millions, featured on countless alternative news platforms, and were even played on a few primetime news shows. In an era where the anti-war movement has been asleep at the wheel, Vega’s actions have helped to re-inspire it with the idea that anyone can stand up and hold leading officials accountable. Most importantly, his interventions have helped to break the taboo of “respectfulness” and “decency”—absurd concepts when our leaders are ignoring a genocide, or instigating a world war.

Emphasizing that his campaign is not merely another electoral campaign, but a campaign for action and hope, Vega has encouraged all his would-be supporters and viewers to intervene as he has done and hold their elected officials responsible.

I don’t want people to elect me. I am electing the people of the Bronx to actually stand up and do something. The entire world is calling on the United States to wage peace. Will people actually take up that mantle?

A couple days after his Feb. 3 announcement, Vega addressed a small gathering at a popular café in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the South Bronx. The café, known as “The Boogie Down Grind” is owned by long-time Bronx activist and urban revitalization strategist Majora Carter and her husband James Chase. They both know Vega and gave him the opportunity to speak. The café is a popular spot for many younger residents both in and outside the neighborhood.

Announcing his campaign to the café’s patrons, Vega said that his opponent, Rep. Ritchie Torres, receives enormous contributions from AIPAC and is now publicly endorsing Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza. Vega emphasized that the policy of genocide being implemented by Israel “is the same policy that has existed in the Bronx and the United States [in general] for the past 50 years.”

Vega referenced the policies of planned shrinkage and benign neglect imposed on New York City (NYC) by people such as Lazard banker Felix Rohatyn, whose infamous Big MAC (Municipal Assistance Corporation) Financial Control Board set up a bankers’ dictatorship over the Five Boroughs of NYC in 1975. Under such conditions, New York City Housing Administrator Roger Starr, who advocated population reduction, moved to destroy basic services, such as firehouses, police stations, schools, and subways in order to meet the debt obligations to usurious bankers. These policies, of course, hit Black and Hispanic communities in the South Bronx and other poor NYC neighborhoods the hardest—the targeted communities have not recovered from the deadly effects of those policies to the present day.

Hitting the Pavement

Vega’s campaign is preparing to gear up quickly. He has already been featured on several other talk shows to discuss and grow his campaign. New York state has attempted to prevent the emergence of independent candidates by arbitrarily increasing the number of petition signatures required to get on the ballot for the November election—a significant hurdle that Vega’s campaign will have to overcome. As readers of EIR are aware, LaRouche independent Diane Sare—today running for U.S. Senate against Kirsten Gillibrand in New York—was required to gather 45,000 signatures for ballot-access in 2022 when she ran against Chuck Schumer, an increase from the previous state requirement of 15,000.

Sare will face the same daunting task this year, and while Vega’s requirement is not as high, he will still need to collect at least 3,500 valid signatures to qualify. Vega has announced that he will be participating along with Sare in her petition drive, and has called for 400 volunteers to aid in this effort.

You can find out more about Jose Vega’s campaign at his website In addition, his friends on the Due Dissidence YouTube channel made a special documentary: “RUCKUS: The Making of a Revolutionary—Jose Vega Documentary,” which follows Vega’s political transformation and his association with the LaRouche movement.

As Mr. Vega’s campaign gets going, don’t be surprised if it sparks more into action, not just in New York City, but beyond. Courage in the United States is a rare thing these days, so whenever it does emerge it can quickly become infectious.