>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s navy approves permanent redeployment of warships overseas; Medvedev, Assad discuss Israel’s Gaza offensive

>Russian Military Undeterred by Failed Test Launch of Bulava MIRV-able SLBM on December 23, Testing to Continue Throughout 2009

Although the Russian Navy is a shadow of the old Soviet Navy, yesterday Russia’s military brass approved a plan to permanently station warships at friendly ports around the world. “The General Staff has given its position on this issue and it fully supports the position of the (Navy’s) main committee,” Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, is quoted by Novosti and Reuters as saying, “Nobody can predict where problems could flare up. What we need are permanent bases, but these are very costly. They need to be considered very carefully.”

Pictured above: The Sukhoi Su-25 close support aircraft was introduced to the Soviet Air Force in 1981. A squadron of these warplanes is stationed on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (see below), presently carrying out a drill near NATO member Greece.

The Kremlin has already reactivated and is in the process of modernizing its two Soviet-era naval facilities in Syria, Tartus and Latakia. Incidentally, on Saturday Syrian President/Tyrant Bashar al-Assad conversed by telephone with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, at which time the allies discussed Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist government, which expanded into a full-blown ground invasion on the same day.

In recent months, the Moscow Leninists have also expressed an interest in redeploying warships to Soviet-era ports at Aden, Yemen, and Cam Rahn, Vietnam, which was closed down as recently as 2002. In North Africa long-time Soviet ally Muammar al-Qaddafi has offered the port of Tripoli to Russian warships, while in Central America Moscow, Tehran, and Caracas have pledged to dredge a deep-water port at Monkey Point, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. The pro-Soviet Sandinista National Liberation Front returned to power in Nicaragua’s 2006 elections. This past summer, the neo-Soviet leadership indicated that it wishes to build a naval port in Sukhumi, Abkhazia, the Russian-occupied region on Georgia’s Black Sea coast.

In another sign that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is no longer united as an effective bulwark against Soviet militarism, two warships of Russia’s Northern Fleet, the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier and the Admiral Levchenko destroyer, reports Novosti, arrived at the Turkish naval base of Aksaz today for a four-day visit. Aksaz is near the Greek island of Rhodes. Over the weekend, fighter jets based on the Admiral Kuznetsov completed the first of several exercises near the Greek island of Rhodes, while additional exercises will take place near Crete later this week. Although the carrier remained in international waters, its deck-based fighter jets flew in Greek airspace, a scenario that obviously required permission from the Greek Defense Ministry. Taking into account the wider geopolitical picture, the flagship of the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, not so coincidentally, is only a hop, a skip, and a jump across the Mediterranean Sea from Israel and Gaza.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy reveals that the Admiral Chabanenko, which paid visits to Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, and Cuba last month, is plying the waters of the North Atlantic back to its base in Murmansk. The nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, to which the Admiral Chabanenko was assigned during Russia’s combined war game with Venezuela, is making waves through the South Atlantic, where it will pay an historic visit at Cape Town this Friday, en route to joining an Indo-Soviet naval drill in the Indian Ocean. South Africa fell under communist domination in 1995 after the first post-apartheid election, while communists hold the balance of power in the Indian parliament.

In summary, the Russian Navy, apart from many years of proposed but expensive expansion, is no match for its US counterpart. However, the Kremlin is sending a significant political message to Washington: Russia has allies worldwide, while America is surrounded by enemies.

Meanwhile, Colonel-General Nogovitsyn yesterday brushed aside the failed test launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, which took place on December 23 from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine, then submerged in the White Sea. The latest test launch was Bulava’s tenth and the fifth failure. “The missile will be a success. We see what we started from and at which stage of development it is now. This is a big contrast,” Nogovitsyn pontificated. The previous test of the Bulava missile occurred on November 28. The launch, which successfully engaged a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, was also carried out by the Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea.

In earlier announcements, the Russian Navy stated that the Bulava would enter service in 2009, but more test launches will be carried out this year before a final decision is made to admit the SLBM into service. The Bulava (SS-NX-30) carries up to 10 nuclear warheads, boasts a range of 5,000 miles, or 8,000 kilometers, and is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Putin’s warning to West; Russian warplanes to use Greek airspace for exercise, Turkey buys 32 Havoc gunships

>Poking the Soviet Bear: USA Signs Strategic Accords with Ukraine and Georgia as Russia Subverts NATO’s Southern Flank

Neo-Soviet Russia continues to probe for cracks between NATO member states. A crack has definitely emerged along the military coalition’s southern flank, as evidenced by Russia’s latest naval aviation exercise in Greek airspace and pending sale of military helicopters to Turkey. While both Greece and Turkey belong to the Western Alliance, hatreds fester between the two nations, especially over Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus in 1975. Last February a slavishly pro-Moscow communist, Dimitris Christofias, was elected president of the Republic of Cyprus and promptly took up the torch of reuniting Greek and Turkish Cypriots under one state.

Regarding the Kremlin’s baleful influence over Greece, Novosti and Reuters report that aircraft based on Russia’s sole carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will utilize Greek airspace and the skies near the capital Athens with the approval of the Greek National Defense General Staff. “The exercises will take place on January 3-4 and on January 8-10 southeast of Rhodes Island and on January 11 south of Crete,” explained the Greek Defense Ministry, which has apparently taken leave of its senses as well as patriotism. “The Kuznetsov, which is sailing in the southeast Mediterranean, asked Greece’s civil aviation authority to operate within the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR),” the ministry related in a statement. “The request was granted. Sukhoi 25 and Sukhoi 33 fighter aircraft will take part in the operations, as well as Kamov helicopters. It is the first time that such a request was made.”

The Admiral Kuznetsov has begun a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea in a bid to re-project Russia’s naval presence overseas. The aircraft carrier itself will remain in international waters. In view of Greece’s capitulation to the Soviet long-range deception, we must pose the following question: Will the Kremlin be requesting use of US airspace next to test its Strategic Missile Forces?

Last month Greece was rocked by violent, communist-led protests against the faux rightist New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. In April 2008 Karamanlis travelled to Moscow where he signed a deal that will involve Greece’s participation in Gazprom’s South Stream project, increasing Russia’s grip on European natural gas supplies. This is the same Gazprom, incidentally, that turned off the natural gas tap to Ukraine yesterday, just as it did in January 2006. The Kremlin’s energy imperialism, however, will not stop the Greek army from taking delivery of 420 Russian-built BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles in a deal inked last October.

Across the Agean Sea, Turkey has given up attempts to purchase US-made Cobra and SuperCobra helicopter gunships and, instead, plans to buy 32 used Mi-28 choppers in an arms package worth US$1 billion. Pictured above, the Mi-28 enjoys the NATO designation “Havoc” and is manufactured by the Rostvertol plant in southern Russia. Novosti reports: “Russian helicopters will tide Turkey over until deliveries of Agusta A-129 Mangusta helicopters, co-produced with Italy’s Agusta Westland, are received by the Turkish Armed Forces. The Italian company won a tender for the production of 52 helicopters in 2007.” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov made an official visit to Turkey last November.

Pictured here: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice holds a joint press conference with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, whom we suspect is a tool of the Moscow Leninists.

The two communist superpowers, Russia and China, continue to close ranks in their new, “post”-Cold War military coalition, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, by implementing a hotline that will for the first time permit Russian and Chinese military leaders to directly converse without first negotiating multiple layers of bureaucracy. The first-ever Sino-Soviet war game took place in 2005, a second transpired in 2007, and a third is slated for later this year. Ostensibly billed as “anti-terrorism drills,” Peace Mission 2005 and Peace Mission 2007 clearly represented the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ intention of eventually confronting the USA and its few remaining allies.

The latest growlings from Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, prove this point. On December 20, which is Chekist Day in Russia, Putin addressed a meeting of top security and intelligence officials. At this time he warned his colleagues in the Federal Security Service (FSB) that unnamed foreign enemies were still seeking to “destabilize” Russia, a theme that Putin raised at least four years ago after the FSB’s provocation in Beslan, North Ossetia:

Any attempts to weaken or destabilise Russia, damage the country’s interests and its citizens will be toughly suppressed. We are counting on your efforts to preempt the very possibility of carrying out terror acts in Russia, as well as on your active work in other priority directions too. These are countermeasures against corruption, organised crime, fighting narcotics aggression against the country’s citizens. And also protection of economic security.

The primary unnamed enemy of Russia, of course, is the USA, which is perceived as the aggressor in view of Washington’s new strategic parternships with “former” Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia. Along the same theme, in November Leonid Kagansky, senior adviser for European affairs to deceased Soviet tyrant Leonid Brezhnev, was quoted as saying: “The USA will be at war with Russia within five years.” Kagansky, who lives in retirement in Israel, “believed the US will be drawn into a battle for control over these former communist countries.” In the 17 years since Eastern European communism “collapsed,” the Soviet strategists have not been idle in portraying America as the world’s most dangerous “terrorist state.”

>Red Terror File: India Daily: Chinese military intelligence aided Mumbai attackers with weapons, speedboats; Beijing protecting Pakistan’s top general

>In our first post on the November Mumbai terrorist attacks we considered the “Kremlin trace” behind the “Deccan Mujahideen,” the mysterious (possibly fictitious) organization that claimed responsibility for the four-day bombing and shooting spree in India’s financial capital. New Delhi, however, attributes the attacks to Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist outfit based near Lahore, Pakistan, and elements of Islamabad’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Pictured above: On New Year’s Eve Indian police guard Mumbai’s Taj Majal Hotel, which terrorists stormed on November 26.

Yesterday the Indian media adopted a new tack, intimating that Chinese military intelligence was also behind the Mumbai atrocities. “The shadow ISI, the unofficial intelligence militia of [General] Kiani,” reports India Daily, “may have received direct help and intelligence from Chinese secret military intelligence in carrying out the Mumbai massacre.” The same source adds: “Some very advanced intelligence organization helped the terrorists and their sponsors to cause maximum panic and destruction with a limited resource. Pakistan’s ISI is not that capable just alone working with its mediocre intelligence and espionage personnel.”

Specifically, the India Daily points out that the terrorists from Pakistan used Chinese-made arms and ammunition, and alleges that Red Chinese operatives in India may have provided the terrorists with the rubber speedboats used to enter Mumbai harbor. The same source insists that Beijing is protecting Pakistan’s top general General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, spelled “Kiani” above, under a shroud of lies, denials, and inaction. In a previous post we noted that on December 15 of last year Pakistan’s General Tariq Majid travelled to China on a weeklong official visit, during which time he met with General Chen Bindge, Chief of the PLA General Staff.

Incidentally, Chinese military intelligence is carried out by the Second Department of the General Staff Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army. “The PLA Institute of International Relations at Nanjing,” relates the Federation of American Scientists’ Intelligence Resource Program, “comes under the Second Department of the General Staff Department and is responsible for training military attaches, assistant military attaches and associate military attaches as well as secret agents to be posted abroad.”

“Sooner or later,” concludes India Daily perceptively, “RAW and CBI will find out the secret Chinese connections but Indian public will be kept in the dark for international political reasons.” RAW refers to Research and Analysis Wing, India’s foreign intelligence agency, while CBI refers to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The theory advanced by the Indian media is very possible since Pakistan is openly allied with China, which is openly allied with Russia, which is openly allied with India, which is Pakistan’s archenemy. Confused? The Moscow-Bejing Axis isn’t. The two communist superpowers are simply stirring the pot of strife so that New Delhi and Islamabad are either sorely tempted to nuke each other into oblivion or, better still, seek peace and security through full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

>Middle East File: Russia brokers peace deal after Lavrov, Mashaal confer: Hamas to halt missile attacks against Israel if Gaza blockade lifted

>Russia is the only member of the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet, which includes the United Nations, European Union, and the USA, to recognize Hamas as a legitimate political entity. Today, reports CNN, Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of this terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, spoke by telephone from his Damascus base with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. During this conversation, he outlined Hamas’ position on the resumption of the Middle East “peace process.” In exchange for Israel ending its economic blockade of Gaza, Mashaal related to Lavrov, Hamas will stop lobbing missiles at southern Israel.

Pictured above: After being drafted, Israeli reservists carry kit-bags as they leave an army base in the southern city of Beersheba today. The Israeli government announced on Wednesday that the defense forces would continue to prosecute Operation Cast Lead against Gaza militants after a Hamas rocket hit a (fortunately empty) Beersheba kindergarten.

Mashaal cozied up to Russia years ago. In a previous phone conversation with Lavrov that took place in July 2007, the Hamas leader reassured the Russian foreign minister that there were “no obstacles for cooperation between Fatah and Hamas in creating a Palestinian state. At the time Mashaal acknowledged Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian National Authority’s legitimate president. Earlier still, in March 2006, the Hamas leader, upon KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin’s invitation, actually flew to Moscow where Lavrov scolded the archterrorist:

We are counting on Hamas … making a contribution to the full and all-embracing fulfillment of all former agreements. Hamas will have no future if it fails to transform itself into a political institution. There is a need for Hamas, having been elected to a political body, to transform itself into a political party and to be sure that the military wing of Hamas becomes a legitimate part of the Palestinian security structures.

At the time, the Kremlin urged Hamas to reverse its policy of non-recognition of Israel but Mashaal retorted: “The issue of recognition of Israel is a decided issue. We don’t intend to recognize Israel. Israel must withdraw to the 1967 borders, abide by Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return if it wants peace.” Apparently unwilling to totally ruin diplomatic relations with Jerusalem, Putin decided against personally meeting the Palestinian delegation. “Hamas won’t listen to Russia because Moscow has no real levers of influence over them,” opined Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. “This is not the time of the Soviet Union, when we had real clout in the region.” That may be so, but be assured that the Kremlin will endeavor to reassert control over the Islamo-Marxist groupings throughout the Middle East.

In April 2005 Putin visited both Israel and the Palestinian territories, the first-ever Soviet/Russian leader to do so. At the time he offered to sell 50 armored personnel carriers and two helicopters to the Palestinians, to replace vehicles destroyed during more than four and one-half years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Two years later Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, over the prudent objections of his own security forces and the livid denunciations of the country’s rightist opposition, authorized the transfer from Russia to Palestinian security forces of 25 APCs, 1,000 rifles, and 2 million rounds of ammunition.

>Middle East File: IAF pounds Hamas militants in Gaza for 4th day, Abbas scurries to Moscow before Israel’s offensive, Russia evacuates nationals

>Israeli Defense Forces Post Video Footage of Operation Cast Lead on YouTube.com (link)

Fed up with countless breaches of a worthless truce declared by Hamas in June and seeking to protect its southern cities from rocket attack, Israel launched a crushing military operation against Hamas strongholds in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. Intense warfare continues today, reports Fox News, with the Israeli Air Force targeting a government complex, security installations, and the homes of Hamas commanders. Nearly 300 militants have been killed under the Israeli aerial bombardment. Since collateral damage is nearly impossible to avoid in all military combat, a fact exploited by the Palestinian terrorist leadership, more than 60 Gazan civilians have tragically been killed. “Hamas is targeting deliberately kindergartens and schools and citizens and civilians because this is according to their values. Our values are completely different. We are trying to target Hamas, which hides among civilians,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni explained.

Pictured above: A rocket fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip heads for a target in southern Israel today.

From 2001 through May 2008, Fox News relates, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks against Israeli targets. Since Saturday, three days of IAF strikes have largely crippled Hamas’ ability to launch rockets, but the group still managed to fire dozens yesterday, deep into southern Israel. One medium-range rocket fired at Ashkelon killed a man and wounded several others. This was the second fatality in Israel since the IDF offensive began, and the first person ever to be killed by a rocket in Ashkelon.

The White House rightly acknowledged that in the midst of the current warfare Hamas was flying its “true colors as a terrorist organization.” National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe stated: “In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire.”

Pictured here: Israeli soldiers stand on tanks at a staging area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip today.

Not surprisingly, the usual suspects–offended Islamic regimes, terrorist outfits like Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and their allies among the confused leftists and pacificists of the world–have taken to the streets to express dismay and horror that Israel would dare defend itself from the terrorist enemy poised on its border. Unmoved, a senior Hamas official based in Damascus, Moussa Abu Marzouk, insisted that his organization has the “right to strike everywhere in Israel” and demanded that Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel, namely Egypt and Jordan, promptly trash those agreements. This sustained, vicious propaganda, however, has not prevented Israelis from extending mercy to their Arab neighbors by treating wounded Gazan civilians in Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital, the staff and equipment of which relocated to a bomb shelter on Sunday.

From Russia with a Smile: Higher Education the KGB Way

Meanwhile, yesterday Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev ordered the foreign ministry to evacuate 200 citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States residing in Gaza. “The evacuation lists,” relates Novosti, “contain 122 Russians, four Belarusians, 38 Ukrainians, 30 Moldovans and five Kazakhs.” The Russian envoy to the Palestinian National Administration (PNA) acknowledged that thus far there were no reports of casualties among Russians in Gaza. “We have an evacuation plan in case of an emergency. If we think that the situation is becoming a threat, we will evacuate them via Jordan as we did before,” Sergei Kozlov explained. The same source continues by noting that there are “250 Russian citizens in the Gaza Strip, most of them wives and children of Palestinians who studied at Russian universities.” Palestinians who studied at Russian universities? What meaneth this?

During the Cold War the Palestine Liberation Organization, which presently controls the “West Bank” (Judea and Samaria), sent its followers to study at the Patrice Lumumba University (PLU) in Moscow, where the KGB indoctrinated future leaders of the Third World’s “national liberation” movements in Marxism-Leninism and guerrilla tactics. Two of those future leaders were Ilich (“Carlos the Jackal”) Ramirez Sanchez, still cooling his heels in France’s Clairvaux Prison, and Mahmoud Abbas, the PNA President.

The Cold War is over, we are told by the sages in dot.gov, but PLU, known as People’s Friendship University of Russia (PFUR) since 1992, continues to attract students from Russia’s client states in the Third World. The rector of PFUR, Vladimir Filippov, is unapologetic about the institution’s legacy of mass producing terrorists. In 1996 he was quoted as saying: “I always tell visiting journalists and ambassadors: where you are sitting once sat the chief terrorist of the Arab world, Yasser Arafat. And in that seat was South Africa’s leading terrorist who spent more than 20 years in prison, Nelson Mandela. Now they are statesmen and holders of the Nobel Peace Prize, both very respectable people.” Respectable communists and terrorists, indeed!

Last Monday respectable terrorist Abbas scurried to Moscow where he met Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who backed the Fatah leader in his low-level civil war with Hamas. “We support Mahmud Abbas’s effort to maintain Palestinian unity despite many provocations,” Lavrov informed a news conference. Both Abbas and Lavrov indicated that they “looked forward” to the summit of the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet that Moscow will host next year. Barely hours after Abbas conferred with his masters in Moscow, Hamas instigated another barrage of rocket attacks on Wednesday.

>EU File: Belgrade, Moscow finalize deal for Gazprom to acquire state-run Serbian Petroleum Industry; "ex"-red Socialist Party holds key cabinet posts

>- Belgrade’s Precarious Balancing Act Juggles Strategic Partnership with Russia and Integration with European Union

- Serbia’s “Ex”-Communist Deputy Prime Minister Portrayed Himself as “New” Josep Tito on 2004 Presidential Election Billboards

After an eight-year interregnum, prompted by the 2000 Bulldozer Revolution that ousted warmongering communist chief Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia’s “ex”-reds again hold key posts in Belgrade’s pro-European Union coalition government. Cadres of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) in Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković’s cabinet include: Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia, Minister of the Interior, SPS leader; Milutin Mrkonjić, Minister of Infrastructure; Žarko Obradović, Minister of Education; and Petar Škundrić, Minister of Energy and Mining. Serbia is Russia’s number one ally in the Balkans, while the leadership of the SPS, formerly Slobodan Milosevic’s League of Communists of Serbia, is closely aligned with the Moscow Leninists.

As Interior Minister, the 42-year-old Dacic is in charge of law enforcement throughout Serbia, including local and federal police units, special police like the Anti-Terrorism Unit (PTJ) and Special Anti-Terrorism Unit (SAJ), surveillance and community relations, and martial law implementation. The Serbian Interior Ministry’s jurisdiction does not extend to Kosovo, which is administered by the United Nations and European Union although, ironcially, many UN and EU states do not recognize Kosovar independence.

Pictured above, right: Dacic attends press conference in Belgrade today, at which time, according to Serbia’s B92 news source, he commented on Friday’s police raids that led to the arrest of 10 former Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas in southern Serbia.

In 2004 Dacic ran for the Serbian presidency on the SPS ticket. Nenad Lajbenšperger describes Dacic’s attempt to portray himself as a new Josip Tito, the founder of communist Yugoslavia, during the campaign:

Ivica Dacic, candidate for president in front of Serbian Social Parti (SPS), had a different slogan: “In the name of all off us”. These words are from one very famous song in Serbia. They meant that the older generations should count on younger generations. Song was glorifying values of communism and devotion to Tito and our former communist country. Picture of Dacic on the billboards vas very interesting too, and it was strongly suggesting on Tito. It was remodeled so that looks like picture of Tito. Picture which was put on large boards. Signature of this candidate was referring to Tito’s signature too. It is very obvious that his campaign counted to attract voters who remembered Tito’s time as a good time.

For his part, PM Cvetković belongs to Serbia’s Democratic Party, itself a member of the Socialist International, the parties of which are unwavering in their support for European integration. Due to its warmongering in the 1990s the SPS, unlike other “ex”-communist parties in the Not-So-Former Soviet Bloc, was prevented from joining the SI until this year.

Following months of negotiations between Serbia and Russia, last week officials from both countries finalized a deal for Kremlin-run Gazprom to acquire a controlling interest in state-run Serbian Petroleum Industry (NIS). SPS cadres are intimately involved in handing over Serbia’s oil monopoly to the Soviet strategists. On November 26 Deputy PM Dacic led a delegation to Moscow where the Serbians hammered out the details of the Gazprom-NIS deal during two days of talks with Russia’s Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu and other representatives of the Russian-Serbian intergovernmental committee. Pictured above: The Russian delegation is seated on the far side of the table, with Shoigu second from right, while the Serbian delegation is seated with their backs to the camera, with Dacic apparently second from right.

On December 24, reports Reuters, Serbian President Boris Tadic and Energy Minister Skundric, like Dacic an SPS cadre, arrived in Moscow to actually sign the agreement.

Incidentally, “ex”-CPSU cadre Viktor Zubkov, father in law of Russia’s defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, sits at the helm of Gazprom, while Shoigu is related by marriage to August 1991 anti-Gorbachevist coup mastermind Oleg Shenin. In short, Zubkov and Shoigu are well plugged into the neo-Soviet hierarchy.

SPS founder Milosevic, who was also formerly president of Yugoslavia and Serbia, died at The Hague in March 2006 while on trial before the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Milosevic groupies insist their leader was murdered. This is possible, although we would speculate that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB), rather than NATO or the ICTY, was the culprit. If that is so, then it may be that the Kremlin feared that Milosevic, wittingly or not, would expose the long-range Soviet strategy for the Balkans under interrogation. Upon learning of Milosevic’s death, Dacic lamented, “Milosevic’s death is a great loss for Serbia, for the entire Serb nation and for the Socialist party. Milosevic was carrying out not only his own defense but also the defense of Serb honor. The entire country must thank him for this.”

In February 2008 then Serbian Justice Minister Dusan Petrovic signed an extradition request for Milosevic’s family currently living in Russia. The ex-president’s widow, Mirjana Markovic, known as “The Red Witch,” and son, Marko Milosevic, are wanted in Serbia for organizing a cigarette smuggling ring in the early 1990s, which investigators charge netted the family several million dollars. Milosevic’s brother Borislav, who was Yugoslavia’s ambassador to Russia, also lives in Moscow. “Taking into account that Milosevic and Markovic were granted political asylum in Russia, the justice minister decided to send a request for their extradition,” Serbia’s Justice Ministry related in a statement.

Pictured here: Dacic walks past a portrait of his predecessor at an SPS congress.

In another story that exposes Dacic’s ambivalent attitude toward Yugoslavia’s communist past, this past summer the newly appointed interior minister admitted that the State Security Agency (SDB) protected Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic during part of his 12-year run from international justice. According to Axis Information and Analysis, Karadzic obtained a false identity from the SDB in 1998. The founder of Bosnia’s Serbian Democratic Party was finally arrested on July 18, 2008.

“Karadzic’s arrest,” explained AIA in another story, “placed Dacic, the interior minister and head of the late president Slobodan Milosevic’s Socialist party, in an awkward position.” Appearing eager to wash his hands of the matter, Dacic was quoted by the Belgrade Daily Press as saying: “BIA had protected him and BIA has now turned him over.” The Serbian Intelligence Agency, or BIA, is the new name that the SDB adopted in 2002. The AIA continues: “Dacic seemed to blame former Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who was ousted by president Boris Tadic’s pro-European coalition in the May election for dragging his feet on arresting Karadzic.” “What Dacic says is basically right,” analyst Misa Brkic informed Inter-Press Service, continuing:

The secret police that provided Karadzic with a false identity, and his financial supporters were slowly leaving him since 2000. They were apparently the creators of the myth that Karadzic hid in the eastern Bosnian or Montenegrin mountains for years. It is only the secret police that could have given him the new identity, places to work, a magazine to write a column in. Until the coming of the new government, there was no political will in Serbia for the arrest.

Like the deceased Milosevic, Karadzic is now awaiting trial before the ICTY. Former military commander Ratko Mladic, one of Karadzic’s colleagues and an ardent communist, is still on the run.

In reaction to the February 2008 declaration of Kosovo independence, Dacic called for a ban on all political parties and non-governmental organizations in Serbia that recognize Kosovo’s independence. According to BalkanInsight.com, “Dacic singled out Natasa Kandic, a human rights activist and director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, who attended the Kosovo Parliamentary Session where ethnic Albanian leaders proclaimed independence last Sunday.”

Seeking reconciliation with the West and participation in a new government, in May Dacic modified his rhetoric and travelled to Athens to meet Socialist International President George Papandreou. The latter is also president of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, Greece’s main party of the democratic left. In Athens Dacic indicated that his party was finally ready to join the SI, a request that was received favorably by Papandreou. Earlier this month, reports B92, Dacic airbrushed his party’s communist legacy by supporting Serbia’s bid for integration into the EU:

I don’t think that the SPS’s acceptance into the Socialist International is of seminal importance, but for us it’s symbolic. We belong there, not with the right-wing or communist parties. If there’s no room for us in the world family of socialist parties, then the essence of our existence, as a socialist party in this country, is pointless.

[EU Enlargement Commissioner] Olli Rehn told us that the EU supported the European path that the SPS had taken and our membership of the Socialist International, regardless of the fact that Rehn is not a socialist. After many years, an SPS official was in Brussels, in the EU, which was certainly a historic moment for the SPS.

In the same breath, Dacic’s continued sympathy for the Milosevic clan, though, is evident in the following comment:

Mirjana Marković’s request to inherit Milošević’s pension is not an issue of a pension, per se, because it is a symbolic issue. We believe that regardless of the person in question, the law needs to be respected, and the issue should be resolved as soon as possible. She, like any other widow, has a right to receive her late husband’s pension, if it’s larger than hers.

Only two weeks later, reports B92 in another story, SPS official Branko Ružić revealed that despite his party’s attempt to cozy up to the EU, the Serbian government’s foreign policy will remain staunchly pro-Russian:

The SPS has never turned away Russia, and I think that we have proven the wisdom of our insistence the whole time on maintaining good relations with Russia. By returning to Russia, we are returning balance to our foreign policies. If the Russian Federation and the EU have a common denominator which is mutual interests, why wouldn’t we satisfy our interests with both Russia and the EU.

Russia has never questioned, indeed it has always strongly affirmed Serbia’s wish to join the EU, and the EU has never questioned the need for countries to protect their individual state and national interests, or to focus on partners that are most compatible for achieving these interests. The gas-energy agreement is not just an economic issue, but also a political and security issue.

Thus, we see that Russia supports Serbia’s absorption into the EU because the federalization, socialization, and neutralization of Europe was, as we documented several years ago, a project of the Moscow Leninists to begin with. At the time we quoted former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky as revealing:

In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central Committee secret documents which have been classified, and still are even now, for 30 years. These documents show very clearly that the whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project which Gorbachev in 1988-89 called our “common European home.

>Latin America File: Cuba’s communist dictator Raul Castro to visit Moscow in early 2009, Russian firms to develop Nicaragua’s energy sector

>Notwithstanding the global credit crunch and decline in crude oil prices, which have also adversely affected Russia, the Kremlin is moving ahead quickly to restore Cold War-era links with Cuba and Nicaragua, as well as expand its new relationship with Venezuela. Together we view the last three countries as Latin America’s communist troika, providing a nucleus for the region’s Red Axis. Other important countries in that hemispheric bloc of socialist nations include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador.

Pictured above: Not a nice man: Cuba’s President/Tyrant Raul Castro gestures at the plenary session of the National Assembly of People’s Power in Havana yesterday.

Reciprocating Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s trip to Cuba last month, President Castro, reports state-run Novosti, will dutifully journey to Russia next year to receive orders in person from his Moscow masters. There Raul and Dmitry will no doubt address each other as “comrade,” just as Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega and the Russian president did a little more than one week ago.

On December 26 Russia’s ambassador to Cuba, Mikhail Kamynin declared: “Russian-Cuban relations will serve as the starting point to advance Russia’s interests in the entire Latin American region. Cuba holds a key role in Russia’s foreign policy because Cuba has much authority and a lot of influence in the region. Cooperation with Cuba is not simply bilateral, but more of a starting point for Russian interests in Latin America and the Caribbean.” From vantage of the long-range Soviet deception strategy “Cuba holds a key role in Russia’s foreign policy” because the island is merely 90 miles from the Florida Keys. Kamynin elaborated on the restored relationship between the Soviets and Cuba:

In January, there is already an intergovernmental session planned in Moscow and preparations for a Russian Federation Council delegation to visit Havana, headed by the chair of the Audit Chamber, Sergei Stepashin. There will also be an official visit by Cuban President Raul Castro to Moscow in early 2009. During 2008 there was an increase in joint cooperation between the two countries in energy, transportation, tourism, pharmaceuticals, mining and construction, among other spheres.

Reflecting on the visit of the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko’s visit to Havana last week (see previous link), the first such occurrence since the Cold War, the good ambassador reflected: “This was a huge political event that supplemented other important events within the framework of bilateral relations and demonstrated that Russia has returned to Cuba with all seriousness and for a long time to come. Kamynin then confided that during the port of call President Castro expressed a wish that such visits become “regular occurrences.”

Finally, pining for the good ol’ days of Soviet glory, the ambassador noting that nearly 100,000 Cubans received their education in the Soviet Union between the 1960s and 1980s. “Back then, Russian was taught as a foreign language in all of the Cuban schools,” Kamynin lamented.

Meanwhile, Comrade Ortega’s first-ever “post”-Cold War trip to Moscow followed the controversial visit of the Admiral Chabanenko to Nicaragua. The presence of the Russian warship off the Caribbean port of Bluefields, another “first-ever post-Cold War event,” was controversial because the foreign military vessel was not welcomed by Nicaragua’s political opposition, which probably remembered a previous attempt by the Soviets to subvert the country in the 1980s. In any case, Ortega was forced to issue an executive order permitting the Russians to offload “humanitaian aid” to the Nicaraguan military and police.

Among the raft of agreements signed by Ortega and Medvedev several days later was the Kremlin’s pledge to develop Nicaragua’s meager energy sector. “Russian companies will assist Nicaragua in building hydroelectric and geothermal plants,” Ernesto Tiffer, president of the Nicaraguan Electricity Company, informed the country’s TV Channel 4 this past Tuesday, an interview later picked up by Novosti. Tiffer, who accompanied Ortega to Moscow, added: “At least two power generating plants, with capacities of 150 MW and 100 MW, are under consideration in Nicaragua’s volcanically active parts.” During the first four months of 2009, he explained, Nicaraguan and Russian “experts” will assess potential construction sites. “This is Russia’s gesture of solidarity, and the Nicaraguan government will obtain 10% of the generating companies’ shares without investing a single centavo,” Tiffer gushed.

Oh great, just what the USA needs: Russian “experts” in Central America . . . again. Unless Oliver North steps out of retirement, however, there will be little support for Nicaragua’s beleaguered anti-Sandinista opposition.

>Middle East File: Kremlin denies shipping S-300 air defense system to Tehran; Russia, NATO unload arms on Hezbollah-infiltrated Lebanese military

>Yesterday, state-run Novosti reports, Russia’s deputy foreign minister denied that his country has supplied S-300 air defense systems to strategic partner Iran. “I am very surprised by the fuss this story has caused recently,” huffed Sergei Ryabkov, “I think this is due to a lack of interesting international news in the run-up to the holidays that many of our Western neighbors are celebrating. This causes an influx of interest in information, which has nothing to do with anything that is going on or will happen.”

Last Sunday, the Islamic Republic News Agency–quoting Esmaeil Kosari, deputy chairman of the parliamentary commission on national security and foreign policy–asserted that Moscow has already begun delivery of components of the surface-to-air missile system to Tehran. Iran’s Foreign Ministry neither denied nor confirmed the report.

Pictured above: In this TV snapshot taken on December 25 by Britain’s Sky News, Iranian President/Tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers an alternative Christmas message to rival Queen Elizabeth II’s annual address. Presuming to speak for his Creator, Ahmadinejad declared: “If Jesus Christ were alive today, he would oppose ill-tempered and expansionist powers.” Quite possibly, but the Son of God would also no doubt oppose the bloodthirsty religion of Islam and its deity, the Arabian moon god Allah.

Since the S-300 system is an effective defense for thwarting air strikes, during his October meeting with Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pressed his concern over a possible sale of this hardware to Tehran. “We dealt with weapons sales, or the possibility of weapons sales,” Olmert was quoted as saying by the Moscow News Weekly after the Kremlin meeting. Olmert continued: “The highest levels of Russian government understand well the Israeli position and are aware of the ramifications that such sales would have on stability in the region.”

The Kremlin was noncommital, seemingly leaving open a door for a future sale of the S-300 system. “We consider Israel a friendly country and we have good, sound relations although we were concerned by their military aide to Georgia,” Sergei Karaganov, director of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy. He added: “We have underlined that we don’t want weapons proliferation in Iran. But we are not interested in ostracizing Iran either.”

Iran, according to the Novosti report above, recently took delivery of 29 Russian-made Tor-M1 air defense missile systems under the terms of a US$700 million contract inked in late 2005. The contract obligated Russia to train Iranian Tor-M1 specialists, including radar operators and crew commanders.

The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1 (SA-20 Gargoyle), boasts a range of more than 150 kilometers (100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes. The latest development in Soviet air defense systems, reports Novosti in another story, is the S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler), with a range of 250 miles. The S-400 was first tested last year, is currently being deployed with air defense units according to Russian Air Force commander Colonel General Alexander Zelin, and will be fully deployed across 18 battalions between 2020 and 2025.

Meanwhile, Russia and NATO are in a race to rearm the failed state of Lebanon, the government of which is dominated by Hezbollah, the avowed purpose of which is to annihilate Israel, while the military of Lebanon is reportedly infiltrated by the same Iranian/Syrian-backed terrorist party. Following a December 16 meeting with Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov in Moscow, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr announced that Russia will “donate” at a discount rate 10 MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters to the Lebanese air force. In a troubling admission, Serdyukov stated: “The fighter deliveries will provide a fresh impetus to military cooperation between our two countries.” The Kremlin media describes the state of the Lebanese air force as “deplorable” and possessing no airworthy craft among its US-built, 1950s-era Bell UH-1 Iroquois combat helicopters and Robinson R44 Raven II civilian helicopters. In 2007 Beirut received nine SA342L Gazelle helicopters from the United Arab Emirates.

At the same time the US Department of Defense is preparing to ship 66 M60 tanks to the Lebanese army by May 2009. “The M60 main battle tanks are capable of defeating enemy forces,” explains the Lebanese media, “They are suitable as an assault weapon in offensive operations and can also be employed at night and under conditions of limited visibility.” Next month, reports Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency, a German military delegation is slated to arrive in Beirut and hold discussions with pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel President Michel Suleiman, at which time the Germans will offer to sell 50 Leopard tanks and to the Lebanese.

Since 2006 the USA has sold $410 million dollars of light weapons and vehicles to Beirut. Revealing their gross deficit of strategic acumen, Trend states: “Western countries believe that strengthening the Lebanese army is a key element to enhance political stability in Lebanon.” In November Suleiman travelled to Tehran, where he requested “medium arms” from the Iranian dictatorship for the Lebanese army “to help combat terrorism and maintain national security.”

In July, following its abortive coup d’etat against the “pro”-Western regime of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, Hezbollah was awarded veto power over Lebanese cabinet decisions. Moreover, in 2006 The Telegraph revealed: “American officials believe the Lebanese military has been complicit in allowing arms shipments from Iran into Lebanon and that the large number of Shias in its ranks has led to it being infiltrated by Hezbollah.”

Thus, we see the following geopolitical portrait emerge in the Middle East: 1) Lebanon’s pro-terrorism president asks one of the world’s most notorious state sponsors of terrorism for assistance in defeating home-grown terrorism, while 2)
NATO member states equate “enhanced political stability” in the region with re-arming Lebanon’s Hezbollah-infiltrated regular armed forces. Brilliant, just brilliant.

>WW4 File: New Delhi imposes December 26 deadline for Islamabad to crack down on Mumbai attack plotters, US prepares for "worst-case" scenario

>- Indian Government Holds “War Room” Meeting This Past Saturday, Top General Kapoor Arrives in Jammu and Kashmir Today to Assess Operational Preparedness of Troops

- Pakistani Warplanes Carry Out Second Day of Patrols over Lahore, Rumors of Joint Indo-Israeli Air Strikes Provoke Civilians to Panic

- Chief of General Staff Kayani Rejects US Admiral Mullen’s Reported Plea to Permit Indian Air Force to Bomb Terror Bases on Pakistani Soil, Warns Islamabad Will Retaliate against such Military Action “within Minutes”

- Pakistan and China Sign Defence Cooperation Agreement, Taliban Threatens to Hurl “Hundreds” of Suicide Bombers at Indian Forces

- Collateral Damage: Nuclear Exchange between India and Pakistan Could Possibly Place 32,000 US Troops in Afghanistan in Harm’s Way, Troop Strength to Double in 2009

According to a report from today’s edition of Stratfor, following the November 26 Mumbai terrorist attacks India imposed a 30-day deadline on Pakistan to crack down on the plotters and accomplices. New Delhi attributes the bloody plot that killed 173 people to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and elements of Islamabad’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The Stratfor report was subsequently picked up by the ARY Television Network, which is owned by Dubai-based Pakistani businessman Haji Abdul Razzak Yaqoob (“ARY”). ARY One World states:

The report said India using time to prepare its military forces, and waiting when the time comes to act. However, the report said, it is still unclear how far India will take this military campaign and to what extent the US operations in Afghanistan will be affected. The intelligence publisher reported that the US, knowing its “limitations” of the relationship with New Delhi, is already preparing for “a worst-case scenario.”

Pictured above: The Taj Mahal Hotel, which was stormed and occupied by terrorists from Pakistan on November 26, burns in Mumbai.

Although we previously blogged that the Indian government is pursuing a policy of “opaque mobilization” with respect to preparing air strikes against LeT camps in Pakistan, the Pakistani media is finally reporting on Indian troop movements near the common border. These are apparently related to the Indian Air Force’s endeavor to strengthen the country’s air defenses. Yesterday’s edition of India Today picked up the Pakistani story:

India has started deploying troops along Rajasthan border facing Pakistan and tightened security in and around Indian defence airstrips, a leading Pakistani online portal Geo News claimed on Monday quoting unnamed sources.

In a Jaisalmer-datelined despatch, the portal said the security around places of strategic importance has been stepped up. More radars and quick reaction teams have been deployed along the India-Pakistan border.

The Indian defence authorities didn’t confirm the reports on the troop build-up in the Rajasthan sector or any other location along the India-Pakistan border.

The portal said the Indian Air Force had initiated these measures to strengthen its air defence to face any eventuality at a short notice. Additional hangars and runways have been prepared and all the radars have been put on high alert. Tight radar surveillance is being maintained to keep a watch on any suspected movements along the border.

Indian forces were on regular firing exercises at locations like Lathi Firing Range in Jaisalmer, Mahsan in Bikaner, Suratgarh and Ganganagar.

These military deployments, Pakistan’s Nation reports, follow Saturday evening’s four-hour “war room” meeting chaired by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. Present at the meeting were Defence Minister A.K. Antony, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, and the chiefs of all three military branches and India’s intelligence agency. Meeting participants evaluated the country’s security and troop response preparedness, and selective strikes on terror camps across the border.

Today, reports the Times of India, army chief General Deepak Kapoor arrived at Siachen Glacier and “forward areas” of Jammu and Kashmir to assess the operational readiness of the troops, before returning again to New Delhi with a report to the Indian government. “Since the Mumbai carnage, Army units along the borders with Pakistan have been maintaining a close vigil,” the news source relates, “Some of IAF fighter aircraft squadrons in bases in forward areas have been on a ‘cockpit alert’ under which the force remains ready for military operations.” The same source confirms that PM Singh and senior government ministers held deliberations with top brass at the Prime Minister’s Office in South Block this past Saturday. As a result of that meeting DM Antony ordered that all military leave will be cancelled until April 2009 “in view of the situation along the borders.”

The Times of India also reports today that there is heavy aerial traffic around Chandigarh Air Force Station, primarily Soviet/Russian-built Il-76 and AN-32 troop transports en route to Jammu and Kashmir: “Sources in [the Indian Air Force's] Western Air Command said on Monday that the latest moves have been taken to maintain ‘optimum operational preparedness’ and added a consistent increase in average flying effort had contributed to this.”

In Islamabad, the Indian media reported yesterday, rumors of an imminent military attack from India are circulating in the wake of a warning pronounced on Monday by Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar Chaudhry: “If India tried to thrust war, then the armed forces of Pakistan have all the potential and right to defend the country. The defence of Pakistan is in strong hands. India would never want war because if it breaks out, then god forbid the situation might develop into a nuclear war.”

On Monday Pakistani Air Force (PAF) warplanes, whose pilots are on high alert, flew over the cities of Lahore and Rawalpindi, igniting fears that India had already launched attacks against LeT sites. Flights bound for Dubai from Lahore and another from Quetta were cancelled while all entry passes at Lahore airport have been revoked. These measures were apparently taken to permit PAF aircraft flying over Lahore and Rawalpindi to land in case of any emergency. However, Pakistani officials denied that PAF fighter jets were flying to counter Indian attacks. PAF warplanes continued to patrol the skies over Lahore today, reports Pakistan’s GEO TV.

According to “reliable sources” cited by Pakistan’s Post today, the reason for this flurry of flights by the PAF was a report that the Indian and Israeli air forces allegedly planned to attack the country’s nuclear installations on Monday: “Pakistan’s Nuclear Control and Command Authority was directed to take necessary measures to deal with any emergency situation.” Yesterday, Pakistan’s Nation presented a similar scenario, sans Israeli involvement:

Indian Air Force intends to hit certain target in Lahore and Azad Kashmir during the next 24 hours in the same way as the US Air Force is doing in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the sources confided. As per source Pakistan military leadership has refused to accept US pressure and deployed F-7 fighter jets at Lahore Air-base which are fully capable of not only intercepting Indian strikes but also counter-attacking effectively. All the air-force stations have been put on high alert and military leadership has made it clear on the US that in case of Indian attack, Pakistan will at once discontinue logistic support to US and shift it army from the western front to the eastern.

The tense situation between India and Pakistan is further complicated by Islamabad’s alliance with Beijing and the stateless Taliban, ousted from Afghanistan in October 2001 and now operating from bases in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. On December 15 Pakistan’s General Tariq Majid travelled to China on a weeklong official visit, during which time he met with General Chen Bindge, Chief of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army. After the talks, both countries signed an agreement that reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism and enhance military cooperation. PLA General Chen “appreciated Pakistan’s role in war against terrorism and assured China’s full support.”

No doubt Pakistan appreciates China’s support, but the Pakistani government is probably not so eager to accept the endorsement of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. In a telephone interview from an “undisclosed location” with Pakistan’s The News, Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the outlawed and exiled terrorist government, threatened to hurl hundreds of suicide bombers at invading Indian forces:

Hundreds of our fighters have been given suicide jackets and explosive-laden vehicles for protection of the border in case of any aggression by the Indian forces. The time has come, to wage a real jihad that the Taliban had been waiting for. We know very well that the visible and invisible enemies of the country have been planning to weaken this lone Islamic nuclear power. But the mujahideen will foil all such nefarious designs of our enemies.

The Taliban may have already infiltrated India and Pakistan’s armed forces, as revealed in a story filed by New York Times journalists based in southern Asia, where it is already December 24:

The police in Indian-administered Kashmir announced Tuesday the arrests of three suspected suicide bombers who they said were Pakistani nationals using fake Indian identity cards. The men were found at a hotel in Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir state. The police declined to say how they were tipped off. Kuldeep Khoda, the state director general of police, told reporters in Jammu that they were members of the banned Jaish-e-Muhammad organization, based in Pakistan. Indian police described one of the men as a Pakistani soldier.

Meanwhile, in an effort to thwart another Indo-Pakistani war, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, hastened today to Islamabad, where he met with President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, and national security head Mehmood Ali Durrani. During these meetings, contends the Pakistani media, Mullen urged the country’s leadership to stand down in the event that the Indian Air Force bombs terrorist bases on Pakistani soil. Unimpressed by such a suggestion General Kayani rumbled that his forces will retaliate against Indian surgical strikes “within minutes.” “The armed forces are fully prepared to meet any eventuality, as his men are ready to sacrifice for their country,” General Kayani assured President Zardari.

This is Mullen’s second trip to Pakistan this month. No doubt he is also concerned about the presence of 32,000 US troops in neighboring Afghanistan, fighting the Tablian insurgency, should a nuclear exchange occur between India and Pakistan. Incoming President Barack Hussein Obama has pledged to support a troop surge in Afghanistan that will double the number of US soldiers on the ground by redeploying them from Iraq.

>Blast from the Past File: Three more "Grenada 17" plotters released; Austin, McBarnett, Ventour belonged to People’s Revolutionary Government

>Just in time for Christmas, Radio Jamaica reports, three former members of the “Grenada 17,” convicted for killing the island’s Marxist prime minister Maurice Bishop in 1983, were released on December 18. On the advice of the country’s Mercy Committee, former army general Hudson Austin, Colville “Kamau” McBarnett, and John “Chalkie” Ventour walked free after 25 years behind bars (pictured above, left to right). “Prison reports show all three men have given leadership to the prison population during their incarceration at Richmond Hill,” intoned a government statement published in the Caribbean media. These men, however, were also members of the Marxist People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) that ruled Grenada with Soviet and Cuban assistance between 1979 and 1983, until the Reagan Administration hurled the US military at the regime in Operation Urgent Fury.

Seven members of the Grenada 17, including plot mastermind and former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, a devout Stalinist, remain in prison. Earlier this month Coard, interviewed in jail, buttered up Grenada’s current prime minister Tillman Thomas: “This man has put those things that were done to him aside to work with people who had previously put him in jail. He does not talk reconciliation, it’s his way of life.” Tillman was incarcerated for two years under the New Jewel Movement (NJM) regime. Fellow jailbird and former NJM/PRG Minister of Mobilization Selwyn Strachan chimed in: “I had to do that because I was a part of a government that put Mr. Thomas in prison for his beliefs. Now I have cleared my conscience.” The flattery emanating from “ex”-reds seeking release from prison is highly suspect.

Where Latin American communism failed to conquer the region by armed insurgency in the 1980s, former insurgents now govern by way of fraudulent elections and neo-Soviet Russia brazenly sends her warships to the Caribbean Sea to flout US influence in the region. Yesterday, reports the AFP news agency, Cuban President/Tyrant Raul Castro welcomed the crew of the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, under the command of Vice Admiral Vladimir Koraliov, to Havana Bay. Also present at the meeting were Cuba’s most senior military officers and Moscow’s envoy to Havana. “The meeting took place in an environment of friendship … that characterizes relations between the people, governments and armed forces of Cuba and Russia,” Cuban state-controlled television announced.

“What’s interesting for us about how Russia is engaging in the region is that this is not the Soviet Union,” US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon sighed yesterday, totally oblivious to Moscow’s multi-decade perestroika deception. He added: “They do not bring an ideological purpose to their engagement. This is really an engagement based on interests and a big part of those interests are commercial.” No ideological purpose behind the policies, actions and business of the neo-Soviet leadership? No ideological purpose? Hello, Earth to State Department, Earth to State Department. So why did Russian and Nicaraguan Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Daniel Ortega, meeting in Moscow last week, address each other as “comrade”?

Although everyone in the “Free” World, especially the US State Department, wants to put the Cold War behind them, Grenadian authorities would be well advised to keep an eye on the activities and associations of the supposedly repentant “Grenada 17″ communists.

>Middle East File: Ortega swings by Libya after panhandling mission to Moscow; Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua discuss cooperation at Tehran ALBA ag fair

>Following President Daniel Ortega’s first “post”-Cold War mission to Moscow last week, Nicaragua’s head of state swung by old ally Libya on Friday evening, the second such trip to Tripoli that Ortega has made since re-assuming the presidency in January 2007. There the long-time leader of the Sandinista National Liberation Front conferred with long-time Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi, “Leader and Guide of the Libyan Revolution” since 1969. In the 1980s Qaddafi visited Managua in a show of solidarity with the first Sandinista regime. Envio Digital, a publication of the University of Central America that promotes liberation theology, notes that between his electoral defeat in 1990 and electoral “victory” in 2006, Ortega made “annual” visits to Tripoli. Both dictators, in turn, are staunch Soviet allies. Today Ortega is slated to depart for another staunch Soviet ally, Iran, which he also visited last year on an aircraft provided by Qaddafi.

Not surprisingly, the MSM is absolutely silent on Ortega’s second visit to Libya and Iran in as many years, which will coincide with an agricultural fair in Tehran sponsored by Latin America’s socialist bloc, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). Only the Libyan state media and FSLN website are covering Ortega’s sidetrips to Tripoli and Tehran. “In his meeting with the Libyan leader,” reports La Voz del Sandinismo:

Ortega stressed the importance of integration and cooperation among the countries of Latin America and Africa to the total breakdown of the capitalist economic system. He also stressed the significance of the recent summit of presidents and heads of state of Latin America and the Caribbean held in Brazil, where he met Fidel Castro’s dream of seeing united in a single bloc all those nations.

The summit to which Ortega refers took place last week and actually featured meetings of four international organizations, the First Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development, the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the new Union of South American Nations (Unasur), and the Rio Group.

Both Russia and Iran are seeking closer ties with ALBA, which consists of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, and three Caribbean island states. The compatibility between Iran’s Islamic revolution and the Red Axis in Latin America was revealed in November when Tehran and Caracas teamed up to found the “University of Civilizations,” a postsecondary program inculcating socialist principles at Venezuela’s Bolivarian University.

Pictured here at left: Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, a center-left politician but not left enough for Nicaragua’s past and present communist dictator Ortega.

Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s membership in ALBA has the potential to complicate Ortega’s temporary presidency over the Central American Integration System (SICA), which he was handed on December 5. “We need to go further than integration, toward a unification of the Central American region and from there toward a unification of Latin America and the Caribbean. We are already advancing in this direction with initiatives such as ALBA, where Central American countries are participating,” Ortega urged his Central American colleagues during the SICA summit in Honduras. Nicaragua’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations, Manuel Coronel Kauz, also reveals the true intent behind regional integration ala ALBA:

Our experience in ALBA is what makes us want to continue in relations that we are creating with other countries in the world, both bilaterally and regionally. In ALBA, we have found an element of solidarity that doesn’t normally exist in relations with other countries. This has an enormous effect on relations because it creates great confidence. ALBA has two projects: One project is to create a platform of solidarity between the countries of ALBA; and the other is to expand the group of countries so that we can create our own OAS [Organization of American States], our own organization, and not be in an organization where the [US] empire is managing all the decisions. What we want is to be our own leaders.

Kauz also revealed that the neo-Sandinista regime hopes that El Salvador will be the next Central American country to join ALBA, assuming that front-running Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front candidate Maurico Funes wins the presidential elections in March. In previous posts we reported on the possible presence of FMLNistas among the Sandinista thugs who terrorized Nicaragua’s opposition after the contested results of the November 9 mayoral elections.

However, Guatemalan President Colom is not convinced that joining ALBA is the right policy for his country. During the SICA summit in Honduras he declared: “We have been categorical. We are in PetroCaribe but not in ALBA.” Costa Rica has also declined to join ALBA. Incidentally, Petrocaribe is another Caracas-led initiative providing subsidized oil to the Caribbean Basin’s impoverished countries so Colom’s attempt to hold Chavez at arms length is destined for failure.

>Latin America File: Russian destroyer sails into Havana Bay, navy’s 1st "post"-Cold War visit to Cuba; Medvedev, Ortega refer to other as "comrade"

>Medvedev and Ortega Issue Joint Statement Denouncing US Blockade of Cuba, Interference in Nicaragua’s Internal Matters

Following last month’s joint naval exercise with Venezuela, a first-ever transit of the Panama Canal since the Second World War, and ports of call at Panama City and Bluefields, Nicaragua–all countries under the thumb of communist and allied regimes–the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko sailed into Havana Bay today. “During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had a significant military presence in Cuba,” relates Reuters, “and Soviet warships were a common sight in Havana Bay.” This is the Russian Navy’s first “post”-Cold War visit to Cuba, 90 miles south of Florida, and signals yet another attempt by Moscow to poke a finger in Washington’s eye.

“In public statements, U.S. officials have placed little importance on the Russian naval visit to Latin America,” the same source adds. Dot.gov’s nonchalant response to Kremlin saber-rattling in the Caribbean Basin, however, fails to take into account the dangerous and devious objectives of the Soviet long-range strategy. The latter includes the construction of a coalition of hostile, leftist regimes throughout the Western Hemisphere, underway even at this time. “A series of Russian officials have come to Cuba in recent months, including President Dmitry Medvedev who stopped in Havana on November 28 after visiting Venezuela, Brazil and Peru,” Reuters reports. At the time Medvedev described Russian-Cuban relations as “especially intense” after talks with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro and his older brother Fidel, still the leader of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Meanwhile, Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega wrapped up his first “post”-Cold War journey to Moscow today by issuing a joint statement with President Medvedev. Ortega, who is rapidly subverting Nicaragua’s fledgeling democracy, founded in 1990, is a vocal supporter of the communist regime in Havana. Like neo-Soviet Russia and nearly all of the states in Latin America, he opposes the US economic blockade against the island country. Today, reports the Cuban News Agency, Ortega and Medvedev denounced the nearly five-decade embargo and condemned all “external pressure,” whether political, economic, or financial, against Nicaragua itself, an obvious reference to Washington’s threat to discontinue monetary aid to Managua following the November 9 municipal elections. These are widely perceived as having been rigged by the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front. “Russia hasn’t criticized Ortega for Nicaragua’s democratic breakdown,” the Costa Rican media observes, moreover, “and has instead chided the U.S. government for meddling in domestic Nicaraguan affairs.”

Although the MSM frequently refers to heads of state like Ortega and Medvedev as “former communists,” any real journalist who does just a little research will soon discover that the leaders of Nicaragua and Russia are still committed to world revolution. “We had dense and substantive negotiations with the President of Nicaragua, Comrade Daniel Ortega,” gushed Medvedev today, adding: Their main outcomes are reflected in the joint declaration we just signed and I hope that after the visit we will be able to conclude that Russian-Nicaraguan cooperation is growing much more actively and dynamically, and that we are achieving new and positive results.” The Russian president concluded: “Nicaragua is a key strategic partner in Latin America for Russia.” For his part, the visiting Ortega enthused: “Thank you dear brother, Comrade President Dmitry Medvedev!” Nicaragua’s president then expounded on the importance of Russia’s proposed participation in Latin America’s socialist bloc called the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA):

And President Medvedev’s visit to Latin America, his meetings with the presidents of countries that belong to ALBA – all this constitutes the best proof that we are now experiencing a new era in international relations, and a new era in relations between Russia and Latin America. Never before in the history of the former Soviet Union and Russia were we able to create such optimal, favourable and extremely positive conditions as the present ones.

Upon assessing the intense networking taking place these days between the leaders of Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other Communist Bloc states, the USA’s profound strategic failures should be apparent to any unbiased observer. How much more proof is needed to demonstrate that the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe 17 years ago was a total sham?

>Breaking News: Damaged undersea cables near Egypt disrupt 70% of intercontinental phone/Internet traffic; similar incident took place in January

>There is a reason the Internet is as slow as molasses today. Egyptian authorities have acknowledged that submarine communications cables in the Mediterranean Sea were damaged today. Alexandria, Egypt was in fact the site of another Internet cable failure this past January. “The incident,” reports The Guardian, “comes less than a year after a similar outage brought a halt to communications between Europe, Africa and Asia. Those problems were believed to have been caused by ships’ anchors ripping through another section of the same cables, but were exacerbated by simultaneous damage in lines throughout the Middle East.”

Prior to the Communist Bloc launching a military assault against the West, expect a massive, intentional disruption of the Internet, effectively shutting down a major source of news for millions. A regional disruption might take place in the event that Israel decides to take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities. In both instances, military communication links will probably remain secure.

We can only speculate at this time on the origin of today’s incident: Scuba-diving jihadists? Spetsnaz frogmen? A large, hungry, but disoriented fish?

>USSR2 File: Ortega begins talks with Soviet leadership, St. Petersburg communist group urges naming of Moscow subway station in honor of Sandinistas

>- MSM Blackout: Central America’s New Cold War

- Nicaraguan President Ortega Expresses Wish to Visit Georgia’s Breakaway Regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

- Nicaragua, Along with Cuba and Venezuela, to Possibly Join Russia’s Satellite-Based Navigation System GLONASS

- Russian Destroyer to Dock in Havana Harbor Tomorrow in Symbolic Port of Call, First Such Visit since “Collapse” of Communism

- There Goes the Neighborhood: Mexico’s Faux Rightist Government Praises Cuba’s Admission to Rio Group, Revitalized Soviet Influence in Latin America

Yesterday Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega arrived in Moscow on his first state visit to Russia since 1987 (although some news sources are reporting 1985). Today, in the Green Parlor of the Grand Kremlin Palace (pictured below), Ortega began official bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. Russia’s “president” is a Soviet Komsmol graduate and frontman for KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, who is himself a frontman for the covertly ruling Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union, as we have copiously documented at this blog.

Pictured above: Far away from his tropical homeland, President Ortega salutes while reviewing an honor guard, after a wreath laying ceremony at Moscow’s Tomb of Unknown Soldier. The 63-year-old former guerrilla commander is chief of Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front.

At the Kremlin Ortega addressed his host as “brother” (comrade?), thanked Medvedev for the “humanitarian aid” delivered by Russian warship to Nicaragua this past weekend, and with a swipe at the USA, declared: “Multi-polarity is a reality despite what some countries may think. Latin America isn’t a backyard of any superpower.” The Nicaraguan media reports that the country’s top general, Omar Hallesleven, a Sandinista, is part of Ortega’s retinue.

Ahead of the presidential meeting, Russian and Nicaraguan officials prepared a package of agreements on cooperation in power generation, agriculture, telecommunications, space exploration (of all things), and other areas. The results of the talks will be announced in a joint statement of the two presidents. “Intensive contacts between the two countries began in 1979,” relates state-run Itar-Tass, “In 1979-1990 Nicaragua had been second most important strategic partner of the Soviet Union after Cuba.”

Soviet delegations headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin visited Managua in September and November of 2008. In October a group of Russian experts arrived in Nicaragua to inspect locations for large-scale joint projects, such as an interoceanic canal and the renovation of the never-used military runway at Punta Huete. The anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, which weighed anchor near the Caribbean port of Bluefields last Friday unloaded a gift from the Russian Defense Ministry to Nicaragua’s army, police, and hospitals, namely, US$200,000 worth of electric generators, computers, office equipment, medical equipment, and medicine.

In the 1980s, the last widely recognized decade of the Cold War, commerce between Russia and Nicaragua amounted to more than US$230 million. After Ortega was democratically ousted from power in 1990, mutual trade dropped almost thirty fold. Last year bilateral trade turnover was a mere US$6.8 million and over the first nine months of 2008 totaled US$5.6 million. Russian exports to Nicaragua mainly include machinery, equipment, and transport vehicles, and chemical products, while Nicaraguan exports to Russia mainly include foodstuffs and tobacco products.

According to Novosti and Russia Today, Ortega and Medvedev also discussed Russian participation in Latin American integration, in particular the Havana-Caracas-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA); visa-free travel between Russia and Nicaragua, a new policy that will no doubt facilitate the unmolested entrance of numerous Soviet military and civilian personnel into Central America; Nicaragua’s participation, along with communist allies Cuba and Venezuela, in Russia’s satellite-based navigation system GLONASS; and Ortega’s request to personally visit Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Managua recognized on September 5. Of the last the Nicaraguan dictator enthused today: “I am sure that we will visit the two fraternal countries in the near future. We fully support Russia’s stand on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We have solidarity with those peoples.” Ortega also invited Medvedev to visit Nicaragua at a time convenient for both parties.

Incidentally, Russia’s invitation to Latin America’s communist troika to join GLONASS is one of several reasons we believe that Moscow is assembling a Red Dawn-style military coalition in Latin America. In September Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov denied, incredibly in our opinion, that the proposed construction of ground-based space communications facilities in the Western Hemisphere has military application.

Russia Today quotes journalist Vladimir Travkin as referring to Ortega as “a man of compromise,” which is not usual for a communist, since reds will resort to pragmatism to advance revolution. Travkin contends that compromise enabled Ortega return to office in 2007. “He created a coalition,” Travkin writes, “First he reconciled with the Catholic Church. Nicaragua is extremely religious. Then his candidate for vice president was the leader of Contras, the U.S. backed guerillas who fought against Ortega and his counterparts. And he softened his anti-American rhetoric.” After re-securing Nicaragua’s executive office, Ortega quickly removed the social democratic mask and once again presented himself as an ardent foe of “capitalist tyranny” and the “North American Empire.”

Meanwhile, a small communist group based in Putin’s hometown, the Communists of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, is urging authorities to name one of three new subway stations in Moscow “Nicaragua” or “Sandinista.” A statement released by the group announced that bestowing this honor on the Central American country would be “a sign of Russia’s recognition and serious intentions to return to Latin America. We communists are convinced that such a decision would get the full backing of people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” The St. Petersburg communist group, which is separate from the much larger CPRF, would like the Kremlin or Moscow’s “ex”-CPSU mayor Yuri Luzhkov to issue such an announcement before Ortega leaves Russia on Friday.

Yesterday, Eduardo Montealegre, former leader of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance, sent a letter to Medvedev via Russia’s ambassador in Managua, protesting the unconstitutional presence of the Russian Navy in Nicaraguan waters and outlining Ortega’s dictatorial response to his critics.

“Mega-Summit” in Brazil Promotes Regional Integration in Latin America, Unasur Founds South American Defense Council

Elsewhere in Latin America, the Admiral Chabanenko will dock in Havana harbor tomorrow, the first such visit by a Russian warship since the First Cold War (1945-1991). Cuban President/ Tyrant Raul Castro recently completed his first state visit to Venezuela. There he conferred with reliable revolutionary protege Hugo Chavez on December 14 and 15, before attending the First Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development underway this week in the northeastern Brazilian resort of Costa de Sauípe (pictured above).

Actually, Costa de Sauípe was the site of a four-organization “mega-summit” that also included meetings of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the new Union of South American Nations (Unasur), and the Rio Group. At these historic meetings, Unasur, which unites the countries of South America in an EU-style architecture, formally inaugurated the South American Defense Council to coordinate national military policies. The SADC, which was heavily promoted by Brazil, will hold its first meeting in Chile next month. It is not clear how Venezuela’s proposed ALBA Defense Council, limited obviously to the eight members of ALBA, will interact with Unasur’s newly born defense council.

On the sidelines of the summit, an emergency meeting of the Rio Group formally received Cuba into membership and urged the US government to lift its 46-year-old economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island state. “We welcome Cuba to the Rio Group. We are certain that your participation will strengthen this policy-coordinating forum,” the Rio Group’s current head, faux rightist Mexican President Felipe Calderon trilled. The Rio Group is widely viewed as a counterweight to the Washington-led Organization of American States.

The Mexican government also recently praised Russia’s revitalized influence in Latin America. “It is important for Mexico that more countries including Russia have closer ties with Latin American countries and that’s why we are saying to Moscow: welcome to Latin America,” Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Minister Maria de Lourdes Aranda Bezaury said last week, adding: “We think that the world’s leading players should be present in this region. This concerns both political, trade and economic spheres, that’s why we see no obstacles in Russia taking its deserved place in Latin America.” In October Russia’s communist-controlled rubber stamp parliament condemned the US embargo against Cuba in a formal resolution.

The presidents of Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru, the Western Hemisphere’s three top US allies, were conspicuously absent from all four summits.

>USSR2 File: Ortega in Moscow on 1st "post"-Cold War trip, will discuss Russia’s accession to ALBA, renovation of Soviet-built Punta Huete air base

>Documenting Neo-Soviet Russia’s Incipient Red Dawn Military Coalition in Latin America

In an historic event, reports state-run Itar-Tass, Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega made his first “post”-Cold War visit to Moscow today. This event was initially floated in April 2007, several months after Ortega’s re-inauguration, but failed to materialize. Tomorrow he will confer with Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev, with whom Ortega last met in Caracas on November 26, on the sidelines of a summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). As far as we can determine, the last time Ortega undertook a state visit to Moscow was in November 1987. At the time Ortega, then known for his penchant for designer sunglasses, gushed: ”Undoubtedly it would have been difficult to defend our revolution without the rifles the Soviet Union has given to our people.”

High on the agenda for Ortega and his long-time Soviet masters, 23 years later, will be Nicaragua’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia’s accession to the socialist ALBA bloc, developing Nicaragua’s infrastructure, including an interoceanic canal, and the renovation of a Soviet-built air base north of Lake Managua, Punta Huete. Completed in 1986 but never used, the 10,000-foot runway, the longest in Central America, can accommodate Russia’s Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber. From that location, Blackjacks can reach the coast of Southern California or Texas in less than 90 minutes after Moscow issues an order to attack the USA.

The arrival of the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko at Bluefields, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, this past weekend, sparked the outrage of the country’s opposition, which demanded that the Nicaraguan military repel the Russians. Due to a political stalement in the National Assembly, President Ortega was required to issue an executive order to permit foreign warships in Nicaraguan waters.

Pictured below: “The Man Who Makes Reagan See Red”: A previous incarnation of Nicaragua’s head of state. Will incoming socialist US President Barack Hussein Obama “see red” when dealing with the neo-Sandinista regime in Managua? A leader of Ronald Reagan’s character and convictions is sorely needed by the disunited states of the “Free World” today.

Nicaraguan president arrives Russia on official visit
17.12.2008, 22.33

MOSCOW, December 17 (Itar-Tass) — President Daniel Ortega Saavedra of Nicaragua arrived in Moscow on an official visit on Wednesday for talks with President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss bilateral cooperation and international issues.

The talks between Ortega and Medvedev will be held on December 18, the presidential press service said.

The Nicaraguan leader told Itar-Tass in Managua earlier he would like “to discuss with Russian leaders the contribution we could make to the cause of relaxing tension, to the pooling of our efforts within the United Nations to build up a new multi-polar world, to draw up a comprehensive and fair agenda for international commercial negotiations in order to surmount the protectionism of European countries and of the United States”.

The two leaders may discuss Abkhazia and South Ossetia because Nicaragua is the only country, except for Russia, that ahs officially recognised the independence of these republics and has established diplomatic relations with them.

Ortega stressed Nicaragua’s readiness “to promote bilateral relations with Russia in every area, including economy, trade, culture, sports, science, technology and military-technical cooperation”.

Possible projects may include the modernisation of the Pachito aerodrome in Punta-Huete, built in the 1980s with the help of Soviet specialists.

Nicaragua also needs investments in port infrastructure, including on the Atlantic coast.

The country is also interested in buying Russian trucks and buses. Specialists believe that oil and gas prospecting projects in Nicaragua’s offshore fields may hold promise.

The task has been set to increase the number of Nicaraguan students studying in Russia. There are also plans to open a Russian centre in Managua.

Medvedev had a meeting during his Latin American tour at the end of November with members of the ALBA group, Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, who had gathered at that time in the Venezuelan capital. The leader of Nicaragua took part in it side by side with the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia, Honduras, and Ecuador. During that meeting the Russian president raised the question of promoting Russia’s cooperation with these countries.

Medvedev did not exclude then the possibility of Russia’s accession to the ALBA Association.

“We are also ready to discuss our participation in the work of the Association maybe as an associated member or in some other way, provided it is of benefit to the development of Latin American countries and in line with our vision for a multi-polar world and division of labour,” he stated.

The ALBA group was formed at the end of 2004 on the initiative of Cuba and Venezuela to counterweight the abortive U.S. proposal to establish a Free Trade Zone for the Americas.

Russian-Nicaraguan cooperation is steadily gaining strength. A squadron of warships of the Russian Northern Fleet, consisting of the big submarine killer craft “Admiral Chabanenko” and two auxiliary vessels has called at the Bluefields port of Nicaragua. President Ortega had specially decreed to give “the green light” to the visit of Russian warships to that Nicaraguan port and to the participation of up to 650 Russian navy men in a joint military exercise to practice methods of humanitarian operations. The country’s president is expected to come to Bluefields to meet the Russian sailors.

The ships have brought humanitarian aid, including medicines, computers, office supplies, and power generators.

Responding to Washington’s threat last month to cut monetary aid to the Central American country, Ortega lashed out at the USA yesterday: “A Latin American nation is under attack … [by] the decision of the Yankee government and the Europeans to suspend financing for Nicaragua. Nicaragua has been singled out because it does not accept orders from the capitalist tyranny.” Clearly, Ortega has not changed his communist stripes in 20 years.

During last month’s four-nation tour of Latin America, President Medvedev made the startling admission that Russia is contemplating membership of some sort in ALBA, Latin America’s new socialist political-economic-cultural bloc. ALBA consists of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica. Ecuador’s membership is pending. In January, at a previous meeting of ALBA leaders, Venezuela’s Marxist dictator Hugo Chavez and ally Ortega revealed their plan to transform ALBA into an anti-USA military coalition called the ALBA Defense Council. Chavez elaborated:

The countries of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, and now Dominica should work to form a joint defense strategy and start joining our armed forces, air forces, armies, navies, National Guards, and intelligence forces, because the enemy is the same, the empire. The defense ministers of each ALBA member-nation must begin preparation for an ALBA Defense Council, to unite our military forces and have the nations of ALBA united. If [the USA] messes with one of us, they are messing with all of us, because we will respond as one.

Ortega chimed in: “If they touch Venezuela, it will light up the region. No one is going to stand idly by, because to touch Venezuela is to touch all of Latin America.”

There is no single army in Central America, South America, or the Caribbean Basin that can take on the USA’s military might, overcommitted though it may be in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Even a combination of Latin American militaries would probably be no match for the US Armed Forces. However, the following scenario appears to be under contemplation by the Communist Bloc: 1) a nuclear decapitation strike executed by the Soviets against high-value political-military targets in the Continental USA, followed by 2) a Russian ground invasion of Alaska, and 3) a Sino-Latin American ground invasion of California and Florida via Cuba and possibly the Chinese-owned container transshipment facility in Freeport, Bahamas.

No doubt the Soviet strategists will publicly rationalize their rapid re-penetration of Central America by pointing to the USA’s alleged “aggressive” designs in Central Asia. “American military bases are dotted throughout the world,” Novosti quotes General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, as saying yesterday. Makarov added: “The U.S. has opened bases in Romania and Bulgaria, and according to our information plans to establish them in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.” Thus we see, without exaggaration, the formation of a Soviet-led Red Dawn-style alliance that, although in its incipient stage, currently involves the modernization and expansion of the participating armed forces and, in the near future, multinational exercises along the lines of Ven-Rus 2008.

The US Departments of Defense and State, though, are not impressed by Russia’s muscle-flexing in America’s backyard. US Navy Rear Admiral Tom Meek, deputy director for security and intelligence at Southern Command, opined: “I don’t think that Russia and Venezuela are really serious about putting together a military coalition that would give them any kind of aggregate military capability to oppose anybody. Frankly, the maneuvers they conducted down here were so basic and rudimentary that they did not amount to anything, in my opinion.”

In an interview with the AP news agency this past Monday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sighed: “A few aging Blackjacks flying unarmed along the coast of Venezuela is — I don’t know why one would do it, but I’m not particularly going to lose sleep over that.” That may be so, but the US Air Force’s fleet of B-52 and B-1 bombers is also aging, while the airframes of some of Russia’s propeller-driven Bear bombers were constructed as recently as the 1990s. Expect dot.gov’s interest in neo-Soviet subversion in Latin America to dwindle even more under an Obama Presidency.

>USSR2 File: OPEC, Russia coordinate oil production cut, boost price; OPEC head urges Russia to join group, Moscow still coy about membership

>- Communist Allies Russia and Venezuela Dump the Dollar in Bilateral Trade, Opt for Ruble and Bolivar

- Back in the USSR:

1) Prime Minister Putin’s Cabinet Drafts Law Defining All Opposition to Government Policy as “Treason,” Punishable by up to 20 Years Imprisonment

2) New Soviet-Style Bill Follows Legislation Ending Jury Trials in Treason or Terrorism Cases, and Extension of Presidential Term from Four to Six Years

3) CPRF Chairman Zyuganov Threatens to Use Russian Economic Woes to Build Case for Ousting (Crypto-Stalinist) United Russia Regime

In Oran, Algeria today delegations from the 13 member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, one of which, Ecuador, recently defaulted on its foreign debt payments, combined with Russia, the world’s largest oil producer outside OPEC, to slash production and boost world oil futures. Russia, The Telegraph reports today, has been under pressure from OPEC leaders to cut as many as 300,000 of the 9.75 million barrels produced each day.

Pictured above: Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin attends today’s opening of the 151st Extraordinary Meeting of OPEC in the Algerian city of Oran.

Yesterday, OPEC President and Algeria’s Minister for Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil was quoted by India’s Economic Times as confiding: “We have always wanted Russia to join OPEC. Russia would be of special importance to group if it joined, as it would increase OPEC’s strength in terms of production share, raising it to about 50 per cent of world output, from the current level of 40 per cent.” The same source goes on to say: “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia was ready to join forces with OPEC to stem a plunge in oil prices. Earlier, Khelil had said that Russia would be represented at the forthcoming OPEC meeting in Oran by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, at the head of a delegation consisting of 20 members.” Clearly, the Soviet strategists consider the coordinated manipulation of world oil prices as a bludgeon to use against the capitalist economies.

In 2005 Randy Kirk, writing for the Energy Bulletin, stated: “Russia, (to the author’s knowledge), has not stated the size of their reserves, but at a daily consumption of oil of 2.6 million bpd, a SPR sufficient for a 30 day consumption would equal 78 million barrels. At a rate of 100,000 bpd, this would require 2.1 years to achieve.” It is unlikely that the Soviets, who sent their long-range bomber fleet aloft again last year, have neglected the development of a strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), especially for military consumption.

Last week, state-run Novosti admitted that the Russian economy is in recession and faces at least two quarters of economic decline. Deputy Economics Minister Andrei Klepach was quoted as saying: “A recession has started. We will face two quarters of economic decline.” Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, previously insisted that Russia would experience GDP growth of 6.8-6.9%, industrial production growth of 4.8%, and 13% inflation for 2008, against a target of 11.8%. Klepach adjusted the industrial output forecast to 1.9%.

The AP news agency, citing the Russian Federal Statistics Service, reports that industrial output actually fell 10.8 percent from October to November. “Production contracted 8.7 percent in November from the same month last year, marking the biggest falls since the 1998 financial crash,” the same source explains, “Manufacturers have been strangled by choked credit markets and plunging demand for commodities, particularly metals.” Klepach was rebuked for his candor, above, when Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated on Monday that the Russian economy could expand by three percent next year. The Russian Central Bank has since August expended one quarter of its enormous international reserves, the third largest in the world after China and Japan, to support the ruble through the global credit crunch.

To protect domestic car manufacturers, most of whom are located in Russia’s Volga region, the Kremlin has also imposed a higher duty on imported vehicles, a new policy that sparked a large and rare public protest in Vladivostok this past Saturday. In Russia’s primary Pacific port city Japanese cars are popular.

In yet another move to protect their economies from the global financial crisis, communist allies Russia and Venezuela agreed to not only shore up oil prices to a level favorable to Moscow and Caracas, but also to dump the US dollar in bilateral transactions and instead use the ruble and Venezuelan bolivar. This decision was communicated by Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev and Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez during the former’s historic November 26 visit to Caracas.

Meanwhile, India’s Times Now, under the title “Putin favours ‘Communist Agenda’ on tackling fin[ancial] crisis,” contends that the Kremlin, by dipping into the country’s Stabilization Fund to modernize domestic industries, has “hijacked” the Communist Party of the Russian Federation’s economic agenda. The CPRF, as we previously posted, held its 13th annual congress in Moscow over the last weekend of November.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin favoured boosting the manufacturing sector and investing huge oil windfall funds for the modernisation of domestic industries to weather the global financial turmoil, thereby virtually hijacking the Communist Party’s economic agenda on November 20 (2008). The Communist Party of Gennady Zyuganov, highly critical of Putin government’s policy of parking billions of dollars of the stabilisation funds in the US securities and bonds, had been demanding investment in the development of manufacturing sector and modernisation of the industry.

Not content to allow the Putinist regime to swipe its demand for the total nationalization of the economy, which is already heavily controlled by the Kremlin in strategic sectors, Russia’s open communists, “expect the global financial crisis will cause social unrest and help them challenge for power.” During a typically long-winded speech to the party congress, CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov, Reuters reports, demanded:

We should make maximum use of the growing public discontent caused by the economic downturn to try to restore our political strength. The wind of history is blowing in our sails again … At this time of crisis the world of imperialism is starting to die. We are standing on the threshold of political and social shifts.

The authorities are clearly not coping with managing the country … A mass social protest is brewing and it is hard to predict now when and in what shape it will explode. We should secure the support of society well before the political crisis comes … We have to squeeze everything we can from this situation.

This confluence of ideology between the covertly ruling CPRF and the crypto-Stalinist United Russia is not new and should come as no surprise to those who recognize the deceptive nature of “democratization” in neo-Soviet Russia.

Just in time for the CPRF to openly re-assume control over Russia, Putin’s cabinet, reports the AP news agency today, has drafted a law that will enable authorities to label any critic of the government as a traitor and imprison them for up to 20 years. The draft extends the definition of treason from breaching Russia’s external security to damaging the nation’s constitutional order, sovereignty, or territorial integrity. Despite criticism from Russia’s cowed human rights groups, the draft is likely to receive a quick approval by the State Duma and Federation Council, both of which are dominated by communists and “ex”-communists. In a related move, the upper house of Russia’s parliament passed a bill today that will end jury trials for those facing charges of terrorism and treason. The Federation Council, controlled by Putin lackey and Just Russia party leader Sergei Mironov, approved the bill 147-0 with two abstentions. It must be signed by “President” Medvedev, another Putin lackey, to take effect.

Incidentally, Russian political analysts are still speculating that PM Putin could return to the Kremlin as president by next summer. If he does, then the election this past March of compliant Komsomol graduate Medvedev will be seen for the communist-scripted farce that it is.

>Asia/Middle East Files: Indian DM Antony denies readying air strikes on Pakistan, Islamabad augments forces on Indian border, Iran on Pakistani border

>- How to Enrage Islamists: USA’s Incoming “Apostate Muslim” President to Place Israel Under America’s Nuclear Umbrella

Apparently pursuing a policy of “opaque” mobilization, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony denied today that his country is preparing to launch air strikes on terrorist camps in neighboring Pakistan. Antony, however, hinted that New Delhi might take military action if Pakistani authorities fail to extirpate Islamist terror networks in that country. Indian officials believe that the Pakistani-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group carried out the November 26-29 Mumbai terrorist attacks, possibly with logistical support and training from Islamabad’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“We are not planning any military action but at the same time unless Pakistan takes actions against those terrorists who are operating from their soil against India and also against all those who are behind the Mumbai terrorist attack, things will not be normal ,” the Indian media quotes Antony as saying, while attending a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of India’s victory over Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War. “I cannot say what course of action we will take, but unless Pakistan shows sincerity in whatever they are saying through their actions, things will not be as usual,” he repeated. Antony denied that India is augmenting its troops along the border with its enemy, admitting only that “Everything is normal because our forces are always ready. We do not plan to call off our five-year-old ceasefire with Pakistan. Nothing like that.”

Pictured above: Pakistani children from schools run by Islamic charity organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa protest in Karachi today. After the Mumbai attacks, Pakistani authorities detained scores of JuD members, acknowledging that the charity is a front for LeT.

The Indian media, confirming a previous post at this blog, reports that the Pakistani Army, which recently completed a war game in the region, is in fact augmenting its border forces in the Rajasthan sector:

The Pakistan army has heightened its activities close to the Indian border in Rajasthan sector. According to sources, Pakistan army troops, withdrawn from Afghan border, is being deployed close to the Indian border on Rajasthan and Punjab. Not only have the soldiers’ strength increased in these areas, but Pakistan officials have been spotted frequenting these posts. Along with the Pakistani Rangers, who usually occupy the check-posts, there is an increased presence of Pakistani army. Movement of Army vehicles and other activities are also been observed in this area. According to reliable sources, even after the Pakistan Army’s war excercise on the border adjoining Rajasthan and Punjab, the troops have not been withdrawn. Troops belonging to the Karachi-based corps is spotted in these drills.

In a related and possibly troubling development, Iran is bolstering its troops along Pakistan’s southwestern border, supposedly to halt any exodus of refugees should war erupt between India and Pakistan, as well as suppress the Jundullah, an insurgent army of Sunni Muslims who oppose the Shi’a Islamic republic in Tehran and establish a Greater Balochistan. The Iranian dictatorship contends that US and British special forces are aiding the Jundullah insurgency.

Iran has been manoeuvre its troops along Pak-Iran border following Indo-Pakistan tension. According to reports, Iran has moved its forces and deployed them close to Pak-Iran border in the wake of tension between Pakistan and India. These troops are equipped with modern weapons. These troops have been posted along the border to stop possible influx of people in case of any war between Pakistan and India from Pakistan.

It may be recalled that Iranian officials have repeated indicated Government of Pakistan about organised activities of Jundullah at Pakistani soil. Action has been taken against Jundullah inside Iran and in Pakistani areas of Dalbandin, Girdi Jungle. Jundullah activists have also claimed to have killed dozens of Iranian troops by carrying out attacks against them.

Iranian authorities are of the view that Jundullah enjoys support of America and Iran wants serious action against it at Pakistani soil.

Citing “authoritative sources” and alluding to “a joint Indo-Israeli strategy to increase pressure on Pakistan,” the Pakistani media reported yesterday on the presence of an Israeli submarine off the coast of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Israel, like India, is a target of Islamic terrorism. This past Saturday, Israel’s ambassador to New Delhi Mark Sofar urged India to “exert diplomatic pressure on Pakistan rather than embarking on a military adventure to root out terrorists.” He added that “A dilapidated Pakistan is neither healthy for India nor for the world.”

On December 11 Israel’s Haaretz reported the astonishing news that incoming US President Barack Hussein Obama “will offer Israel a ‘nuclear umbrella’ against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran, a well-placed American source said earlier this week. The source, who is close to the new administration, said the U.S. will declare that an attack on Israel by Tehran would result in a devastating U.S. nuclear response against Iran.” While this pledge to defend Israel from nuclear annihilation by the maniacal regime in Tehran sounds encouraging to friends of the Jewish state, merely articulating such a promise will further enrage Islamists against the “Zionist entity” and America’s “apostate Muslim” president.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian destroyer unloads generators, computers for Nicaraguan army, heads for final regional stopover Cuba

>Latin America’s Red Spread: WWOD, or What Would Obama Do?

Russian naval visits to Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela signify long-term prospects for developing cooperation among these countries’ navies in the interest of building stability and trust on the world’s oceans.
– Statement from Russian naval headquarters, December 15, 2008

Over the past weekend the Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, which weighed anchor near Nicaragua’s Caribbean port town of Bluefields on Friday, unloaded US$200,000 worth of electric generators and computers, billed as “humanitarian aid” for hospitals, but also earmarked for the Nicaraguan police and army. This represented Russia’s first-ever naval deployment to the Central American country–once again under the control of the Sandinista National Liberation Front–since the Cold War. Due to a tropical storm in the region or possibly the strident objections of Nicaragua’s political opposition, Russia’s joint naval drill with Nicaragua’s (rather small) navy was apparently scrapped. Russian Navy spokesentity Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo soothed: “The visit has no political tone and has been agreed through military and diplomatic channels in compliance with all the necessary formalities.”

Pictured above, left to right: Cesar Aviles, Chief of the Nicaraguan General Staff, Igor Kondrasev, Russian ambassador to Nicaragua, Rene Darce, chief of the medical corps of the Nicaragua Army, and Olga Smith, a regional government official, inspect a gift from the Kremlin, a box of medicine, which was apparently transported by air from Bluefields to Managua on Saturday.

Prior to the November 2006 election that returned Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega to the Nicaraguan presidency, the commander in chief of the army, General Omar Halleslevens, insisted that the army would remain “apolitical,” regardless of who won the election. “We have a professional army that follows the Constitution and the law and will not be used for political or partisan purposes,” huffed Halleslevens at the time. “In 1989, Nicaragua’s army had more than 73,000 men. That was an army that was created for war,” Halleslevens, a Sandinista, admitted, adding “Now the army has 11,000 men.” In October of this year Halleslevens confirmed that he has requested military aid from Russia to repair or replace Nicaragua’s arsenal, 90 percent of which is Soviet built, including transport aircraft and five Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters. Despite the revitalized relationship with Moscow, the Nicaraguan armed forces also cooperate with the USA, France, Spain, Mexico, Taiwan, and other Central American countries.

Nicaragua represented the third pitstop on the Russian Navy’s much-trumpeted Caribbean tour that included a joint war game with Red Venezuela, a transit of the Panama Canal, and a stayover at Panama’s Balboa Naval Base, located on that country’s Pacific shore, where the destroyer replenished its supplies. Today, reports the AFP news agency, in another attempt to poke America in the eye, the Russian Navy announced that the Admiral Chabanenko will also visit Communist Cuba, another first-ever, post-Cold War event.”This will be the first visit to Cuba by Russian warships since the Soviet era,” Russian naval headquarters boasted in a statement, adding: “Russian naval visits to Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela signify long-term prospects for developing cooperation among these countries’ navies in the interest of building stability and trust on the world’s oceans.” The Admiral Chabanenko and its two support ships will remain in Havana between December 12 and 23.

During the largely ceremonial Havana stopover, Cubans will be permitted to tour the Russian ships, while Russian officers will pay their respects at the monument of nineteenth-century Cuban independence leader Jose Marti. “US officials,” states the AFP news agency, “have said they see no military threat from Russia’s naval manoeuvres but continue to keep a close eye on the situation.” The same source rightly notes: “Despite the growing Russian assertiveness, defence experts have said Russia’s navy remains severely weakened following years of post-Soviet neglect.” Be that as it may, the Kremlin probably does not intend to hurl its enfeebled fleet against US shores but rather its ballistic missiles. In selecting Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba as ports of call, the Kremlin is signalling to the USA that this Latin American communist troika falls under Russia’s sphere of influence.

The joint Ven-Rus 2008 naval drill, which involved the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, and subsequent tour by the Admiral Chabanenko are widely seen as a tit-for-tat response to Washington’s deployment of warships to the Black Sea during Russia’s August invasion of Georgia. The flagship of the Northern Fleet is still lurking somewhere in the Caribbean Sea. “The Peter the Great remains in the Caribbean but will not visit Cuba,” Dygalo explained.

Meanwhile, reports the Cuban News Agency, on Saturday Cuban President/Tyrant Raul Castro travelled to Caracas, where he is conducting his first-ever official visit to communist ally Venezuela. Following his arrival in Venezuela, Castro and host President Hugo Chavez laid a wreath at the tomb of Latin American independence hero Simon Bolivar, toured the Plaza Bolivar, and then held official talks. Pictured above: Comrades Hugo and Raul, the two most dangerous communist heads of state in the Western Hemisphere.

During the tour Raul recalled his stint in Venezuela as a student more than 50 years ago: “We are here once again like we did some 55 years ago when I came as a student, and the first thing we did was paying homage to Simon Bolivar, the Liberator; it is the first thing we will do today.” For his part, Chavez, who views Raul’s elder brother Fidel as an ideological mentor, gushed: “It is an honor to have you with us; we are welcoming you as well as we are welcoming Fidel Castro and the Cuban people. In receiving you, Venezuela is also welcoming the Cuban rebels who fought on the Sierra Maestra mountain range and the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, which is an example for all our sister nations.” Perhaps, among other agenda items, Castro and Chavez discussed Ecuador’s default on interest payments on foreign bonds, declared by ideological comrade Rafael Correa last week.

After consolidating bilateral relations with the Chavezista regime, Castro will head for Brazil to participate at the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development, to be held December 16 and 17, in Salvador de Bahia. Regional integration, encompassing political, economic, military, and cultural integration, is a core objective of Latin America’s predominantly leftist leaders and represents the fulfillment of a long-standing communist dream.

As we document the Red Spread in the Western Hemisphere we are faced with an inevitable question, raised last week by Newsweek journalist Jorge Castañeda: “Would what Obama do?” He writes:

Latin America, with few exceptions, prefers today to look the other way when electoral fraud takes place (Nicaragua), when authoritarian rule threatens (Venezuela) and when human rights are systematically violated (Cuba). As long as nothing else occurs, Washington can also simply look the other way. But if matters get out of control in Nicaragua, in Venezuela, or in Cuba, what will Obama do?

The Kremlin Attempts to Drive a Wedge between NATO and Member States Portugal and Greece

In the Caribbean Basin and elsewhere, such as in Europe, the Soviet strategists are pursuing at least three objectives in order to undermine the Western Alliance: 1) portray Russia as a robust military power, 2) promote leftist, pacifistic regimes throughout Europe, and 3) build political-economic-military linkages with the latter as this weakens Europe’s commitment to the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Thus, in the case of Europe we witness the Russian Navy’s friendly visit to Portugal and the shipment of arms to the Greek government.

In yet another attempt to project its naval power throughout the world, Russia is dispatching a second missile warship, the Admiral Levchenko, to Lisbon on Friday. The Udaloy class destroyer is part of a task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, which is currently making waves for the Mediterranean Sea. “The visit will last until December 22,” the ubiquitous Captain Dygalo revealed, adding “Russia currently has three naval task groups on tours of duty in the world’s oceans.” In Portugal the Socialist Party (PS), which is affiliated with the Moscow-controlled Socialist International, has been in power since 2005. However, since Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to NATO, it would appear that the arrival of a Russian warship in Lisbon may be an attempt to interfere with Portugal’s otherwise secure role within the North Atlantic military coalition.

Incidentally, Mário Soares, Portugal’s first democratically elected prime minister after the fall of Antonio Salazar’s fascist dictatorship, co-founded the PS, but only after a stint in the Portuguese Communist Party, which attempted to hijack the Carnation Revolution in 1974.

Greece is another country that enjoys a relatively secure role within the Western Alliance, but not without Kremlin disapproval. Moscow’s Trojan horse in Athens is the Greek Communist Party (KKE), which is linked to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation through organizations like the International Communist Movement and the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, both of which meet annually in countries worldwide.

The KKE is utilizing the memory of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15-year-old boy shot dead by police on December 6, as a pretext to stage a slow-motion coup d’etat against Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis’ center-right government. Since then, rioters expressing anger against the Greek government have taken to the streets in France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, and Italy. The last parliamentary election in Greece took place only last year. However, the government’s pledge to drop 100,000 public service jobs next year has prompted another spate of riots that many street-level observers are calling a “popular uprising.” Utilizing university campuses–which police are legally prohibited from storming–as bases to strategize and build gasoline bombs, student mobs in Athens erupted in another frenzy of violence on Saturday.

>Asia File: Pakistan alleges Indian fighter jets violate airspace; missile units of both countries on alert; New Delhi pursues "opaque" mobilization

> - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Visits Kashmir on December 15, Warns Relations with Pakistan Will not Be Normalized until Militants Eliminated in that Country (source)

- CNN Cites Three Pentagon Officials, Confirms Indian Air Force Preparing to Strike Terror Bases in Pakistan (source)

Since the November 26-29 Mumbai terrorist attacks–perpetrated it would appear by Al Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) with training supplied by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency–India and Pakistan have inched closer to war day by day. Today, reports Pakistan’s Dawn News, a Pakistani Air Force (PAF) spokesman alleged that Indian warplanes violated the Kashmir and Lahore sectors of Pakistan’s airspace on Saturday. Pakistani fighter jets escorted the intruders back to Indian airspace. Islamabad issued a mild warning to New Delhi, to the effect that Pakistan “did not wish to escalate the situation.” The Indian Defence Ministry denies the incursion took place.

The same source, though, states that some travellers between Lahore and Rawalpindi witnessed “heavy movement” of the Pakistan army in that region. “Long convoys of military trucks were heading towards Lahore from Jehlum,” motorist Jawad Khan told Dawn. “The movement of army towards border area is a sign that tension between the two nuclear rivals, already heightened following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai,” concludes Dawn, “is likely to increase in the days to come.”

In a related incident, the first of its kind since Mumbai, last Saturday and Sunday Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire, using small arms and mortar guns along the Chakoti Line of Control in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. The civilian population panicked as a result and fled to safer locations.

These incidents are noteworthy because India’s armed forces have been in a state of war readiness since November 27, when Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks became apparent. While India has implemented no general mobilization of troops to the common border, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has adopted a state of “passive air defense,” reports DNA India. This means that fighter jets have been armed with missiles and pilots are prepared to scramble at a moment’s notice. The IAF, moreover, has reduced the number of personnel on leave to just 10 percent, from the average 30 percent of its total strength, and recalled several “key” officers from leave. In the western and southwestern air commands, adjacent to the Pakistani border, all leave has been cancelled. The state of high alert extends to air stations in the southern part of India too. In addition to fully arming fighters and placing pilots in operational rooms, the IAF has moved some surface-to-ar missile units and other air defense assets close to the Pakistan border.

For its part, the Indian Navy’s western command, based in Mumbai, is “aggressively patrolling” the Arabian Sea with two dozen warships.

A source quoted by DNA India on December 10 contends that New Delhi, upon reviewing mistakes made during the country’s conflict with Pakistan in 2001 following the Indian parliament attack, is purposely refraining from a widespread mobilization of ground forces at this time and, instead, pursuing an “opaque” military mobilization. In other words, the Indians are probably mobilizing troops but as discreetly as possible.

According to this past Wednesday’s edition of the Irish Sun, the Pakistani Air Force has also been placed on “high alert” in response to “India’s aggression,” while the Pakistani Navy is “closely watching” the movements of its Indian counterpart in the Arabian Sea. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani informed reporters in the eastern city of Multan: “If there is any provocation in India, you will have to use diplomacy. Pakistan is a responsible state. Being a nuclear power, we are cautious in reaction.” In a recent editorial in The New York Times, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari assured India that “Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks.”

Gilani pledged that Pakistan would participate in a binational investigation of the Mumbai attacks and has already arrested two terrorist commanders accused by India of organizing the Mumbai attacks: Zaki-ur-Rhman Lakhvi, top operational commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Muhammad. Reuters confirms that last Sunday Pakistani security forces raided a LeT camp, in Shawai on the outskirts of Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistani side of the disputed Kashmir region. “LeT was formed with the help of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies,” reveals the news agency, “to fight Indian rule in Kashmir, but analysts say it is now part of a global Islamist militant scene.”

While holding out the olive branch, however, Pakistan is mobilizing for war, reports the Times of India. The Pakistani Army, this source contends, has extended the “Zarab Alwar” war game to the end of December. Zarab Alwar began some time in October, “intensified” during the third week of that month, and was originally slated to terminate on November 28. The exercise includes elements of all three branches of the Pakistani military. Geographically, Zarab Alwar parallels the Indian border from Jammu and Kashmir to Gujarat. Pakistani forces are testing their extended strike capability in desert, swamp, and sea scenarios, with new armoured equipment and artillery. The Pakistan Army has also redeployed a large number of its forces away from the Afghan border and toward India, a development that confirms the Dawn report above and bodes well for Al Qaeda militants and Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.

Both India and Pakistan are observer states in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the mutal security pact that embodies the Moscow-Beijing Axis. Both states, too, are also ruled by leftist parties affiliated with the Moscow-controlled Socialist International, namely the Pakistan People’s Party and Indian National Congress. During the Cold War and to this day, the Moscow-Beijing Axis has pursued a divide and conquer strategy with respect to India and Pakistan, designed to lure the two feuding countries into full compliance with the Communist Bloc. Russia has traditionally sided with India, as witnessed by “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s “convenient” post-Mumbai trip to New Delhi, while China sides with Pakistan, as witnessed by Beijing’s support this past week for the United Nations Security Council’s ban against LeT. Russia’s strategic partnership with India is reflected in a joint naval drill slated for January 2009, although last year Beijing and New Delhi staged their first combined military exercise in southwestern China, “Hand by Hand 2007.”

In our first report on this subject we explored the “Kremlin trace” in the Mumbai terrorist attacks, noting elements that suggested either Russia’s arms-length involvement in the event, or possibly even the covert presence of Russian special forces on the streets of Mumbai.

>Latin America File: Admiral Chabanenko anchors at Bluefields with "humanitarian" cargo, Nicaraguan opposition lodges protest with Russian ambassador

>The Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two support ships belonging to the Northern Fleet anchored in Nicaragua’s Caribbean port of Bluefields yesterday, the first such deployment since the Cold War. The city’s dock is apparently unable to accommodate the destroyer. Ostensibly on a “humanitarian” mission to the hurricane-battered Central American country, the Russian warships previously made ports of call at Panama’s Balboa Naval Base, requiring the Admiral Chabanenko to cross and re-cross the canal–a first for the Russian Navy since 1944–and Venezuela’s port of La Guaira , where Russian and Venezuelan sailors and airmen carried out a much-trumpeted joint naval drill.

Pictured above: In this photo published today in La Prensa, a Nicaraguan Navy launch greets the Russian destroyer at the port of Bluefields on Friday.

Admiral Juan Jose Estrada, Commander of the Nicaraguan Navy, Igor Kondrashev, Russian ambassador to Nicaragua, Russian military attache Dmitry Babichuk, and various Nicaraguan officials were present in Bluefields to welcome the Russian flotilla. Intending to board the destroyer by motorboat, reports state-run Itar-Tass, the dignitaries were forced back to shore by rough seas. The weather forecast indicates that the storm will not subside over the weekend, even though the warships are slated to leave on Monday. President Ortega was also scheduled to welcome the Russians, but no mention of his presence in Bluefields is made in the Itar-Tass report.

The Russian and Iranian media also reported yesterday that the Russian and Nicaraguan navies–both in fact mere shadows of their former strength during the Cold War–were slated to hold a combined maneuver over the weekend. However, the Admiral Chabanenko, reports Itar-Tass, arrived at Bluefields in the midst of a storm and it is not clear, therefore, whether that part of the visit will proceed.

Moreover, reports the AP news agency, “The arrival of Russian navy ships at the Caribbean port of Bluefields caused heated debate Friday in an already deeply divided Nicaragua.” As we blogged yesterday, “Leftist President Daniel Ortega claims he is authorized to approve the visit, but opposition lawmakers say the constitution requires congressional approval for visits by foreign military forces. They presented a letter to the Russian ambassador asking for the ships to stay out of Nicaraguan waters.” La Prensa, like other opposition newspapers in Nicaragua, is critical of the neo-Sandinista regime and in the article linked above refers to the Russian military presence in Nicaraguan waters as “illegal,” “unconstitutional,” and a “violation of sovereignty.”

In spite of the political division in Managua and the tropical storm over Bluefields, the Russian ambassador portrayed the event in a positive light: “This friendly visit will last three days. Our ships brought humanitarian cargoes for Nicaragua, including medical supplies, computers, office equipment and electricity generators,” Kondrashev informed Itar-Tass by telephone. “Changes are being made in the program of the visit because of the storm. Anyway, we shall do our best for taking the humanitarian cargoes ashore. Probably, this will be done with the help of helicopters.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: NATO fighter jets trail 2 Blackjack bombers over North Sea, Tu-160 crews practice aerial refueling on 13-hour patrol

>- Britain’s Refusal to Patrol Icelandic Airspace Re-Opens Hole in NATO Air Defenses in Face of Revitalized Russian Bomber Probes

- Winter War II in the Works?

1) Russian Ground Forces Rip Off Finnish Camouflage Design for Uniforms Used in Georgia Invasion

2) Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov Proposes Joint Soviet-Finnish War Game, Finnish Counterpart Häkämies Less than Enthusiastic

Last night NATO fighter jets, including Norwegian F-16 and British Tornado warplanes, shadowed two Tu-160 Blackjack bombers as they carried out a 13-hour mission over the North Sea. The Kremlin media reports that on this latest routine mission the main purpose was to “hone the pilots’ long-range flying skills and practice aerial refueling.” The same source adds:

The shadowing of Russian warplanes by NATO fighters has been common practice since Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August [2007]. Russia has stressed that regular patrol missions by its strategic bombers pose no threat to other countries, and it always gives notice of upcoming patrols.

Two Blackjack bombers also completed a week-long visit in Red Venezuela this past September, during which time the crews simulated combat in tropical climes. The Russian and Russian-equipped Venezuelan air forces also plan to hold combined exercises next year. In light of the fact that Moscow has pledged to renovate the never-used, Cold War-era military runway in Punta Huete, Nicaragua, we strongly suspect that the Soviets will attempt another provocation by dispatching their strategic bombers to Central America in the near future.

In a related story that exposes the political fractures within NATO, last month the British government declined to follow through with its promise to base Royal Air Force warplanes in Iceland in order to defend the island during the month of December against Russian bomber intrusions. As noted above, these became regular occurrences again last year. “NATO members, including Britain, France and the United States agreed to resume regular patrols of Iceland’s airspace earlier this year following an increase in Russian military activity in the North Atlantic,” journalist Peter Griffiths reported for Reuters on November 14. As a NATO member, Iceland, which does not maintain a standing army, can theoretically rely on other member states to defend it in case of attack or invasion. The diplomatic flap between Iceland and the UK, therefore, means only that NATO fighter jets are not actively patrolling Icelandic airspace at this time, thereby increasing the response time to hostile airspace violations. Presumably, the USA and France will honor their commitment in the new year.

The current impasse between London and Reykjavik transpired after the Icelandic government responded angrily to the UK’s seizure of the assets of Landsbanki under anti-terrorism laws. Landsbanki is a financial institution that drew many British customers with high-interest Internet savings accounts. Previous posts concerning Russia extending a US$4 billion loan to the Icelandic government, which is bankrupt, or stationing its strategic bombers at Keflavik International Airport, which hosted a US air base until 2006, have yet to come to fruition.

Finally, in an intriguing development that augurs a repeat of the 1939-1940 Winter War, the Finnish military is complaining that Russian Ground Forces have ripped off a camouflage design patented under European Union law. The military motif allegedly materialized on Russian uniforms during the Caucasian War this past August. “The M/05 design was created from tens of thousands of digital photos of Finnish forests,” explained Captain Eero Karhuvaara, a spokesman for the Finnish Defence Staff, “It took years to create so we have banned reservists from using it and filed for copyright protection within the European Union.” The Russian Interior Ministry denies copying the Finnish pattern. However, Captain Karhuvaara warned: “If Russian Ministry of the Interior troops were to invade Finland, we would have big trouble.” Finland does not belong to NATO but we recently blogged that the Finnish Air Force has allocated 200 million euros to purchase a new radar system to watch Russian military air traffic, which frequently strays into Finnish airspace.

Today Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov was quoted by the Finnish military journal Maanpuolustuslehti as saying that the two countries, in spite of past warfare, should hold a joint war game. “We think one of the primary areas in our cooperation could be joint manoeuvres by Russian and Finnish land units or warships in missions related to peacekeeping and anti-terrorist operations,” he enthused, holding out the carrot of modernized ordnance for the Finnish Defence Forces. Serdyukov’s Finnish counterpart Jyri Häkämies, reports the Finnish media, “indicated he was less than keen on the joint manoeuvres proposal.”

>Latin America File: Soviet, Nicaraguan navies to hold joint drill, Managua opposition urges military to repel Russians, Ortega heads for Moscow

>- MSM Blackout in Central America: Ruling Sandinistas and Opposition Strive over Extent to Which Soviets Will Re-establish Beachhead in Nicaragua

- President Daniel Ortega Counters Opposition’s Objections to Russian Warship Presence, Issues Executive Order Facilitating Joint Naval Exercise

- Nicaraguan Media Poses Questions: “On what mission do the Russians come? What is their objective? Who invited them and why? There are no official answers still.”

- Nicaraguan Troops Will “Guarantee Security” During Municipal Elections in Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region, Postponed to January 2009

According to the Barents Observer, as of today 13 vessels of the Russian Navy are operating in different oceans worldwide, the highest number since the Soviet Union was dismantled. Although the Northern Fleet’s joint naval exercise with Venezuela, Ven-Rus 2008, was announced several months in advance, the subsequent ports of call made by a Russian anti-submarine destroyer at Panama City last Saturday and today at Bluefields, Nicaragua were disclosed at the last moment. However, we suspect that the sneaky Soviets had every intention all along of making highly symbolic visits to these leftist regimes in Central America.

Now, as it turns out, Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega will not only travel to Bluefields to welcome the 650 crew members of the Admiral Chabanenko and the support ships Ivan Bubnov and SB-406, but also Nicaragua’s small navy will hold an exercise with the Russian warships. The Russian flotilla will depart on Monday. This particular combination of ships, of courses, poses no threat to the vastly superior US Navy. However, Moscow and Managua are sending a clear signal to Washington, DC following the USA’s support for the “former” Soviet republic of Georgia this past August: “America, you’re surrounded by enemies.”

Today the Iranian media, which still refers to the Russians as “Soviets,” covered the Russian Navy’s arrival in neo-Sandinista Nicaragua: “The Admiral Chabanenko entering the Panama Canal, the first Russian warship to do so since World War IIA Russian missile destroyer will arrive in Nicaragua for a joint naval exercise amid growing tensions between Moscow and Washington. Navy spokesman, Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, said on Thursday that Admiral Chabanenko missile destroyer and two support ships would arrive in Nicaragua on Friday.”

Nicaragua is the midst of a political crisis that extends beyond the dispute over the probably fraudulent results of the November 9 municipal elections, which awarded nearly two-thirds of the country’s mayoralties to the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Indeed, the Sandinistas and oppositionists are striving over the extent to which the Soviets will be permitted to re-establish their beachhead in the Central American country.

The main opposition party, the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), in particular, is not only holding up debate on the 2009 national budget, which is largely propped up by Venezuelan petrodollars in any case, but also refusing to permit the Nicaraguan military to drill with their Russian counterparts. PLC spokesman Wilfredo Navarro demanded that the Nicaraguan military repel the Russian warships: “The arrival of the Russian warships without the legislature’s approval is a breach of the constitution and should be prevented by Nicaragua’s Armed Forces.”

Undeterred, Comandante Ortega issued an executive order facilitating the maneuver, just as he issued a decree shutting down the legislature’s attempt to nullify the election outcome. Novosti reports: “The head of state issued a decree on December 9 authorizing the visit by the Russian ships with up to 650 troops on board to participate in exercises with Nicaragua’s military. The decree was published in a government paper and submitted to parliament.” The Kremlin media quotes Ortega as saying: “I am performing my duties, and we are preparing to meet the Russian warships, which will enter Nicaragua’s territorial waters in the next few hours,” Ortega exclaimed, “It is my duty to step in and implement the law while the National Assembly is paralyzed by the opposition, which is refusing to comply with the law.”

Today’s edition of El Nuevo Diario contends that the arrival of the Admiral Chabanenko is unconstitutional and that President Ortega has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for its presence in Nicaraguan waters. The online newspaper poses the following questions: “On what mission do the Russians come? What is their objective? Who invited them and why? There are no official answers still.” In another story, the same source refers to Ortega’s decree permitting the joint maneuver as “illegal.”

Claiming the damage wrought by September’s Hurricane Felix as a pretext, the FSLN regime will also deploy the army in the sparsely settled Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region, to “guarantee security” during the municipal elections, which were postponed from November to January. Ortega’s critics have characterized this move as yet another step to re-impose a dictatorship over the country. Nicaragua’s top general Omar Halleslevens, moreover, is a Sandinista.

Meanwhile, Ortega is no doubt preparing for next Thursday’s trip to Moscow, the first such foray since the Cold War, when the Soviet-backed Sandinistas initially consolidated their grip on Nicaragua and battled the US-backed Contras who sought to oust them. The Kremlin media reports: “High-level talks between Russia and Nicaragua will take place on December 18.” The same source candidly reveals the strategic purpose behind the Russian Northern Fleet’s pitstops in Venezuela and Nicaragua: “The Kremlin has recently moved to rebuild old alliances with Cuba and Nicaragua and cultivate new friends such as Venezuela as part of efforts to expand Russia’s global clout.” Don’t expect an Obama Presidency to counter neo-Soviet Russia’s attempt to build a Red Dawn-style military coalition in Latin America.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian DM Serdyukov in Beijing, 3rd Sino-Soviet war game slated for 2009; Soviets feint Kaliningrad tank withdrawal

>Yesterday Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov met with his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie in Beijing, in another step forward to consolidate the “one clenched fist” of the Moscow-Beijing Axis. Today, reports state-run Xinhua, he met with Chinese President/Tyrant Hu Jintao (pictured above): “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid a successful visit to China in May after he took the position. Since then the Chinese and Russian presidents met with each other five times.”

As we expected, the two communist superpowers announced that they will hold their third combined war game next year. The first Sino-Soviet exercise “Peace Mission 2005″ took place that year, followed by “Peace Mission 2007″ last year. It can be surmised that the Soviet strategists and their comrades in Beijing will tag next year’s war game “Peace Mission 2009″ or some other euphemism. Both communist capitals camouflage their war preparations against the Western Alliance as “anti-terrorist” drills, a ruse that has worked well in distracting the shopping mall regimes from inquiring too closely about their looming confrontation with the Communist Bloc.

“During their first-ever joint training in August 2005, a total of 10,000 people attended a week-long exercise first in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East, then later moved to east China’s Shandong Peninsula,” related Xinhua yesterday, adding: “The Peace Mission 2007 drill involved 6,500 people and 80 aircraft from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).” Following the first meeting with the Chinese leadership, Serdyukov intoned: “Our exercises in 2005 and 2007, under the SCO framework, were very successful. Bilateral military ties have been upgraded to a new level in recent years.” Liang ventured: “Both of us are satisfied with the growth of our military ties. Moreover, we have reached extensive consensus on stepping up our military cooperation.”

Tanks, but No Tanks: Soviet Deception in Kaliningrad Oblast

Meanwhile, the Soviet strategists appear to be executing a feint in Kaliningrad, by announcing the withdrawal of nearly 900 tanks from the exclave, which is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Poland. The tanks formerly belonged to the Soviet 11th Army, which was disbanded in 1997.

Yesterday, reports Novosti, General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, explained: “We had 880 tanks in the Kaliningrad Region, and we are pulling virtually all of them out.” However, there’s a catch. The good general added: “The withdrawal could take several years as the tanks are to be transported by sea after Lithuania denied us permission to allow the hardware to be moved by rail through its territory.” Waving the Kremlin’s good intentions, General Makarov was quick to add: “Our unilateral move clearly demonstrates that Russia has no plans to attack other countries and is not pursuing an expansionist policy.” Sure, Nick, whatever you say. The kicker follows: “However, we have always opposed NATO’s eastward expansion because it poses serious threats to Russia.”

Last December, Novosti continues, Russia unilaterally imposed a moratorium on its compliance with the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), theoretically permitting the Kremlin to move its 6,500 active main battle tanks about as it pleases. Moscow has indicated that it will once again observe the CFE if NATO approves the adapted version of the treaty, signed in 1999 and so far ratified only by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Only hours after Barack Hussein Obama won the presidential election last month, Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev threatened to (re?) deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in Kaliningrad if Washinton went ahead with its missile shield deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Interestingly, in September Kremlin-run Interfax painted a somewhat different story, reporting that that month the Russian Ground Forces transported 40 T-72 tanks by rail from Kaliningrad to Russia proper via Lithuania. This occured with the full approval of the Lithuanian defense ministry, contrary to General Makarov’s complaint. “The Russian military transit through Lithuania was conducted in line with Lithuanian laws and coordinated plans. Permission was granted for the transit of the tanks,” ministerial spokesperson Ruta Apeikyte informed Interfax. “The more armaments are taken away from the Kaliningrad region the better. This withdrawal increases security and stability of the Baltic region and Europe as a whole,” Apeikyte assured.

In what could be another cover story, Russia Today insists that Kaliningrad’s nearly 900 tanks are destined to be sold to Africa or Latin America, where Russia admittedly has plenty of clients for military hardware.

Reading between the lines, we can surmise that the tanks may be used as part of neo-Soviet Russia’s re-invasion of Europe since they are already well situated for striking south into Poland and north into the Baltic republics.

>USSR2 File: Medvedev: Russia may join OPEC, cut production to "regulate" oil prices, prop up resource-based economy; "We will act as we see fit"

>No doubt disappointed by the precipitious decline in oil prices, which endangers Russia’s resource-based “economy” but facilitates capitalism elsewhere, the Soviet strategists are signaling that Russia may join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and cut Russia’s crude production to “regulate” (boost) prices. “I would like to say that we are ready for that [joining OPEC], we have to protect ourselves, that this is our revenue base – both regarding oil and gas,” Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev warned today, adding: “And such protective measures could also be connected with cutting oil production volumes. We will act as we see fit.” Of course, that is always the Soviet way.

“A senior executive at Russia’s largest independent producer LUKoil said earlier on Thursday the 13-nation cartel was likely to decide to cut output by 2.5 billion barrels a day, and the decision would be backed by Russia,” Novosti reports at the link above. OPEC slashed production by 1.5 million barrels per day in November, but crude prices have continued to fall from a summer high of US$147 to today’s figure of US$48. Together Russia and OPEC produce more than one half of global oil output. According to Novosti, Russia has submitted a draft memorandum on cooperation to OPEC, which will be considered by the latter body this month.

Pictured above: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin (left) and Medvedev converse with OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri in Gorki, near Moscow, on October 22, 2008. OPEC’s 12 member states are either socialist dictatorships, like Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Libya, and Venezuela, endangered by communist takeover, like Nigeria, or Islamic dictatorships, like Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Iraq is a struggling democracy under US-led military occupation.

>Latin America File: Russian destroyer to retransit Panama Canal, dock in Bluefields, Nicaragua, Dec. 12-15; Sandinista thugs attack human rights march

>- President Daniel Ortega to Receive “Humanitarian Supplies” from Russian Destroyer at Port of Bluefields Tomorrow (source)

- Bluefields, Nicaragua: “Anarchist Nation” Major Transshipment Point for FARC Cocaine and Communist Bloc’s Narco-Subversion Plot against America

Following Russia and Venezuela’s much-trumpeted, combined naval drill Ven-Rus 2008, we were not expecting the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko to make a detour to Panama’s Balboa Naval Base, until 1999 a US military facility called Rodman Naval Station. However, in making that historic side trip this past weekend, the destroyer became the first Soviet/Russian naval vessel to cross the Panama Canal since 1944. Pictured above: Admiral Chabanenko fires salvos during Ven-Rus 2008 exercise, on December 2.

From MSM reports published this past weekend we knew that the Admiral Chabanenko was scheduled to backtrack through the canal and rejoin the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, in the Caribbean Sea. Since neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, a staunch Soviet ally, is, as they say, “in the neighborhood,” we began to privately speculate that the Admiral Chabanenko might weigh anchor in Daniel Ortega’s stomping grounds. Lo and behold, we were not mistaken in our pondering.

The Russian destroyer, reports state-run Novosti, will dock at Bluefields, Nicaragua, between December 12 and 15. English-speaking Bluefields, though, is more than a “rum-soaked, Rastafarian-packed, hammock-infested Caribbean paradise,” comments New Zealand journalist Jonathan Franklin. “The [Nicaraguan] police and Navy have few resources and less trust from the local public. Bluefields is effectively an anarchist nation – no Government, no organised institutions and the rules are made by community groups,” Franklin explains. Locals rarely use the Nicaraguan cordoba, opting instead for other currencies, like the Costa Rican colon, Honduran lempira, and US dollar.

Pictured here: Rastas and Russians converge at Nicaragua’s main Caribbean port, the cocaine-swamped town of Bluefields. The town is so lawless that even the local clergymen shake down their congregations for a cut of the criminal take.

According to state-run Itar-Tass, the Admiral Chabanenko, under the guidance of a Panamanian pilot, hoisted anchor from Panama City yesterday and re-entered the canal system. At Bluefields, “The programme for the upcoming visit provides for a handover of Russian humanitarian aid supplies to the Nicaraguans.” In Kremlinspeak, as in the case of its relief efforts for hurricane-ravaged Cuba in September, one should consider the possiblity that “humanitarian aid” may contain more than just that. How fitting that the neo-Soviet leadership should send one of its warships to the primary Caribbean transshipment point for the Communist Bloc’s narco-subversion network.

Managua is the only capital in the world, apart from Moscow, that recognizes the de facto independence of Georgia’s separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On November 29 Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Nicaragua. “The Georgian leadership has decided to suspend the effect of a protocol on establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of Nicaragua signed on Sept. 19, 1994,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry declared. This is an amusing ruse in light of the fact that we suspect that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, a Komsomol dropout and alleged KGB agent, appears to be faithfully playing the role of anti-Moscow, pro-Washington troublemaker.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, a “former” KGB agent who specialized in smuggling arms to Latin American insurgents during the Cold War, has made two trips to Managua since September. Ortega himself is slated to visit Moscow on December 17, the first such pilgrimage to confer with his Soviet controllers since the 1980s. The Russians have pledged to re-equip Nicaragua’s armed forces, which boasts armament of Cold War vintage; dredge a deep-water port at Monkey Point, which is south of Bluefields; plow an interoceanic canal across Nicaragua; and renovate the military runway at Punta Huete, north of Lake Managua, built by the Soviets in 1986 but never used.

The air base at Punta Huete is reportedly the longest in Central America and can accommodate the Russian Air Force’s Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber, the largest combat aircraft in the world. From that location “Blackjacks” based in Nicaragua could reach the coast of Southern California or Texas within 90 minutes of the order from Moscow to attack the USA. No one in the MSM is reporting that fact.

Last Thursday, in an annual televised question-and-answer session with Russia’s citizen-slaves, KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin denied that Moscow has any requirement for military bases in Cuba and Venzuela. This is more disengenuous Kremlinspeak in view of Putin’s subsequent admission: “Russia has an agreement allowing its warships to use Venezuelan ports for refueling and resupply, and I think the Cuban leadership would not refuse this.” Putin said nothing about the revitalized Moscow-Managua Axis.

In light of Russia and Venezuela’s military coordination and the Admiral Chabanenko’s symbolic visits to Panama and Nicaragua–the first controlled by a Moscow-affiliated social democratic regime, the second by a communist–any intelligent, well-informed person who is not willing to admit there’s a 21st-century version of the Communist Bloc, can only be one of two things: 1) a communist or 2) a dupe.

Pictured here: Sandinista supporter tears Nicaraguan flag from hands of human rights marcher in Managua, on December 10.

At Once Upon a Time in the West we have benn closely monitoring the re-establishment of a Marxist dictatorship in Nicaragua ever since the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) re-assumed control of the country’s executive office in January 2007. Although Ortega peacefully stepped down from the presidency in early 1990, throughout that decade and into the early 2000s FSLN cadres continued to occupy important posts in the military, police, judiciary, and bureaucracy, biding their time when Comandante Dan could step into his old shoes again. In its latest assault on civil liberties in Nicaragua, the neo-Sandinista regime yesterday dispatched its thugs, masked and boldly sporting T-shirts with government slogans, to attack peaceful marchers commemorating International Human Rights Day. The Costa Rican media comments: “Since August, the ruling Sandinista Front has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of social or civic protest or demonstration – an crackdown that critics claim is clear indication of the government’s move toward dictatorship.”

In Nicaragua, Sandinistas attack peaceful human rights march
By Tim Rogers,
Nica Times Staff

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – In a country where irony is king, rights activists who tried to march peacefully yesterday in commemoration of International Human Rights Day were nearly deprived of their rights to free expression and security as a mob of Sandinista supporters attacked marchers with mortars, rocks and sticks.

The Sandinista mob – convoked by the government’s Human Rights Ombudsman Omar Cabezas and transported to the event in buses provided by the governing party – wasted no time in clashing with human-rights activists, who were assembling at the downtown Güegüense traffic roundabout to leave on their scheduled march.

The Sandinistas, some masked and most wearing government propaganda messages, tore the demonstrators’ signs – some of which were protesting electoral fraud in the Nov. 9 municipal elections – while others shoved and kicked the marchers. The determined rights activists started to march south toward the United Nations buildings. The Sandinistas followed them for several hundred meters, throwing sticks and rocks at them as they left.

Police, who were again ordered by President Daniel Ortega last week to not “repress the people,” made several inefficient efforts to calm the Sandinista mob until officers eventually separated the two groups long enough for the rights activists to march off.

Since August, the ruling Sandinista Front has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of social or civic protest or demonstration – an crackdown that critics claim is clear indication of the government’s move toward dictatorship.

In his 1991 autobiography Under Fire, retired Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) writes of Ortega’s crew: “But as soon as they came to power, the Sandinistas began breaking their promises. Within months, anyone who wasn’t a ‘scientific socialist’ was driven out of the leadership. We know today that the Sandinistas had no intention of creating a free society–and every intention of trying to overthrow the governments of El Salvador and Honduras” (page 219). After nearly 20 years, North’s observations of FSLN objectives for a communist Central America are still valid.

>Exporting the Bolivarian Revolution

>

>USSR2 File: Argentina’s leftist president, Chavez ally Kirchner meets Medvedev, Putin in Russia; Moscow, Buenos Aires form strategic partnership

>- Kirchner’s Moscow Trip Follows Russian Security Council Chief Patrushev’s October Visit to Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela, Formation of “Security and Defense” Pact with South American States

- Exporting Hugo Chavez’s Socialist Revolution: Bolivarian Continental Coordination Replicates Functions of Cold War-Era Revolutionary Coordinating Junta

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, wife of the previous president Nestor, began a three-day working trip in Moscow yesterday, where she met Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, a Soviet Komsomol graduate, and KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin. The new relationship between Moscow and Buenos Aires is described as a strategic partnership by state-run Itar-Tass and includes the following joint projects: 1) Kremlin-owned Gazprom plans to build a US$1.5 billion transcontinental pipeline across South America in cooperation with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Venezuela, all of which are part of Latin America’s Red Axis, 2) Russia and Argentina will establish a visa-free regime, and 3) the two countries will cooperate on nuclear energy programs. In 1974 Argentina fired up its first nuclear reactor and currently maintains two such facilities for electrical output. Buenos Aires has been a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1995.

Bilateral trade between Russia and this important South American nation has expanded more than five times in as many years to over US$1.6 billion, although the balance of trade now leans in Argentina’s favor. With the global credit crunch as pretext, states Novosti at the link above, Medvedev and Kirchner restated appeals for reforming the world financial system (along socialist lines, of course) and the creation of a “fair world order” to “curb inequality.” Argentina also expressed support for Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization.

A fourth area of cooperation between Russia and Argentina includes “security and defense cooperation.” This past October, according to Kremlin-run Interfax, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and former chief of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB), travelled to Argentina, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Upon conferring with the leadership of these countries–Presidents Cristina Kirchner, Rafael Correa, and Hugo Chavez–Patrushev proposed forming a security and defense arrangement with these states. “Patrushev’s meetings with the leadership of Argentina and Ecuadorian and Venezuelan presidents showed that everything is ready for activating bilateral and multilateral cooperation in various spheres, including the strengthening of defense capacity and national security,” a statement released by the Russian Security Council explained.

The Kirchners represent the left wing of Argentina’s ruling Justicialist Party, founded by military strongman Juan Peron who died in 1974, and are reliable allies of Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez. The first Peronist regime (1946-1955) was instrumental in organizing the “Ratlines” that spirited fugitive Nazis from Europe to Argentina. An admirer of Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Peron chose the “Third Way” between capitalism and socialism, creating Argentina’s unique brand of corporativism, social democracy, and nationalism, called Peronism, that some political analysts do not hesitate to describe as “fascistic.” Ousted from power twice, between 1955 and 1973 and then again between 1975 and 1989, the Justicialist Party has since controlled the Argentine state. Other, smaller parties also claim to embody the Peronist legacy.

On her Moscow trip President Kirchner invited Medvedev and Putin to visit Argentina in the near future. During the last week of November, as previously reported here, the Russian “president” completed a four-nation tour of Latin America, including Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, and Cuba. In Caracas, Medvedev attended a summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. There he conferred with the visiting communist presidents of Bolivia and Nicaragua, Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega, respectively. Ortega (pictured above with Medvedev) is a long-time Soviet ally who is slated to visit Moscow on December 17, the first such trip since the Cold War. At the ALBA summit Medvedev proposed that Russia join the Havana-Caracas-led socialist bloc of nations, which does not presently include Argentina. Nevertheless, where the communist wing of the Justicialists, ejected from the party in 1974 and known as the Montoneros, failed to topple Argentina’s military dictatorship during the late 1970s, the social democratic wing of the same party has effectively prostrated Argentina to the twenty-first-century incarnation of the Communist Bloc.

In a related story, US authorities have accused Hugo Chavez of exporting his socialist Bolivarian Revolution throughout Latin America by throwing Venezuelan petrodollars at foreign presidential candidates in order to secure allies in the region. In at least one case involving the Kirchners, they actually convicted middlemen involved in such transactions. In 2007 Comrade Hugo funnelled millions of dollars to Cristina Kirchner’s presidential campaign via Venezuelan nationals Franklin Duran, Guido Antonini, Carlos Kaufmann, Rodolfo Wanseele Paciello, and Moises Maionica. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported on Duran’s conviction by a federal jury in Miami and the money trail that connects Chavez and Argentina’s ruling party:

Hugo Chávez’s Bag Man
Guess who’s on the Argentinian government’s campaign donor list?
November 4, 2008

A federal jury in Miami yesterday convicted Venezuelan Franklin Duran of acting illegally on behalf of his government inside the U.S. If there were any lingering doubts about the danger that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez presents to democracy in the Western Hemisphere, this verdict puts them to rest.

The mischief began in 2007 during Argentina’s presidential campaign season. The Peronist candidate was Cristina Kirchner, wife of President Nestór Kirchner, who also happened to be a good friend of Mr. Chávez. In August Guido Antonini, a Venezuelan businessman traveling on a Venezuelan state oil company plane, was caught entering Argentina with $800,000 in cash. Argentina let Mr. Antonini go and he returned to his home in Miami, where he was met by the feds and spilled the beans about the destination of the money: Mrs. Kirchner’s campaign.

Mr. Chávez wasn’t aware that Mr. Antonini was talking to U.S. authorities and, according to court testimony, gave an order to his intelligence chief to silence him. Duran owed his fortune to “business” dealings with Venezuelan officials, and so he was apparently chosen to call on Mr. Antonini in Miami with both cash and threats. Mr. Antonini agreed to wear a wire to that meeting, so the Miami jury was able to hear convincing evidence. What made things worse for Duran is that his partner in the crime, Carlos Kaufmann, had already pleaded guilty to the cover-up and testified at the trial.

The trial also revealed that Mr. Antonini was not the only one carrying cash. He testified that he was told that there was another $4.2 million on the flight and that there had been other shipments of cash to Argentina. Mrs. Kirchner won the election in October 2007, as other allies of Mr. Chávez in the region have also done in recent years. It is reasonable to wonder how many of those victories were also underwritten by Venezuelan taxpayers.

Pictured here: A new resource at this blog is “Exporting Revolution in Latin America 2009,” permanently linked under the Exclusive Maps section, in the right column. Although denied by the organization’s leadership, the Venezuela-based Bolivarian Continental Coordination (CCB) appears to provide an umbrella for South America’s revived, 21st century leftist insurgents. These include the pro-Chavez Communist Party of Venezuela, Communist Party of Chile, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and, in Peru, the revived Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. On December 8 the Jamestown Foundation reported that Sendoro Luminoso (SL) was plotting to attack the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, held last month in Lima: “Actual SL documents captured from one of the group’s camps, and reportedly authored by Shining Path leader “Artemio,” characterized the APEC Summit meeting as being attractive to the group because of the media coverage that an attack would garner.” Ironically, President Medvedev, figurehead for the neo-Soviet terrorist state, was in attendance. The CCB website is linked here.

From an historical viewpoint, the CCB replicates the functions of the Revolutionary Coordinating Junta (JCR) founded in 1973 and consisting of guerrilla armies from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay. The JCR was targeted for destruction by the region’s US-backed military regimes of the day under Operation Condor.

>EU File: Greek communists lead rioters into fourth day of unrest, following police shooting of 15-year-old boy in Exarchia, haunt for Athens leftists

>- Leftists Lay Siege to Parliament Building, Riots Spread from Athens to Salonika and Crete

- University Professors Stage Three-Day Strike as Greece’s Two Main Labor Unions Implement Previously Scheduled General Strike for Wednesday

Between 1946 and 1949, the Greek Communist Party (KKE), operating through the Democratic Army of Greece, drawing from far-left remnants of the Greek Resistance that opposed the Nazi occupation, and relying for some time on the new communist regimes in Yugoslavia and Albania, attempted to overthrow the US-backed government in Athens. Since the Greek Civil War, the Left has never ceased to violently agitate for the establishment of a socialist republic in the world’s “birthplace of democracy.” The ruling New Democracy party in Greece is avowedly rightist in orientation but, like many conservative parties in Europe, has succumbed to the deceptive charms of doing business with the Moscow Leninists and promoting “free trade” and “open borders” (two communist concepts) via the European Union.

The shooting death of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos by police in the Athens neighborhood of Exarchia this past Saturday night has provided Greek communists with the pretext to foment the country’s worst riots in decades, a role acknowledged by the MSM. “The fighting erupted in the wake of marches organized by the opposition Syriza movement and the Communist Party of Greece,” reports Bloomberg, adding: “The Dec. 6 shooting occurred in a neighborhood where police regularly clash with students. The area is adjacent to the National Technical University of Athens, or Polytechnic, the site of the 1973 student uprising against the military junta that ruled Greece at the time.”

Shortly after the shooting, about 1,000 youths rampaged through central Athens, burning and attacking banks, stores and cars. Unmollified by the murder charges thrown at two police officers in this case and the tendered resignation of Interior and Public Order Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, thousands of students, teachers, professional leftists, and other subversives continued to battle security forces around the Greek parliament today. Students torched a Christmas tree in Syntagma Square, in front of the parliament building, and looted duty-free stores in adjancent streets. The lobby of the Athens Plaza Hotel, located on the square, as well as branches of Bank Millennium SA and Olympic Airways SA were also torched. Rioters burned down a post office located near Athens’ ancient Parthenon temple.

Pictured above: Riots also occured in the northern port city of Salonika, as well as on the island of Crete.

Although the death of Grigoropoulos is the putative reason for the Greek Left’s dangerous temper tantrum, it is obvious that the KKE and their cadres in academia and the student Left are venting their frustration over the downturn in the Greek economy, which has been knocked about by the global credit crisis and a recession in Germany, and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis free enterprise policies. “The country doesn’t have a government which can protect the citizen, their rights, their security,” George Papandreou, leader of the opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement, complained after meeting with PM Karamanlis, “Our society, our citizens are living through a multiple crisis: economic, social, institutional, of values. The government has lost the confidence of the Greek people.”

In a communique released today by the KKE International Section the communists clearly explain that government policies, rather than Grigoropoulos’ unfortunate death, are the real motives for the insurgency in the streets of Greece:

Yesterday, December 8th, the KKE held a series of protests and demonstrations in the major cities of Greece against the state repression. In Athens the General Secretary of the CC pf KKE Aleka Papariga addressed a massive rally in the centre of the city. She noted that the events that led to the murder of the boy is an “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by a policy that considers people as the enemy, by a policy that detests the strike, the demonstration, the struggle. . . .

For Wednesday, December 10, the general strike that had been announced over the pensions, salaries, against lay-offs, for the right to education and healthcare, will be definitely linked to the events. . . .

In the opinion of KKE the most urgent task is the stepping up of the mass, organized action of the labour and people’s movement. Only this can provide an adequate response to the anti-peoples policy and the repressive measures, can check and isolate maneuvers, provocations and plans to entrap the emerging radicalism, and at the same time pave the way for positive developments for the people.

Together, as a result of the September 2007 election, the socialists, the communists, and Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) hold almost one half of the seats in the Greek Parliament. From even a superficial perusal of media reports, the Greek Left appears to be staging a popular coup d’etat.

>Africa File: Eritrean opposition: Iran deploys subs, long-range missiles, "undisclosed number" of troops to Red Sea communist state, controls strait

>- Iranian Troops to Restart and Defend Soviet-Built Refinery at Port Town of Assab

- Angered by US Support for UN-Brokered Eritrean-Ethiopian Border Dispute Mechanism and Perceived US “Meddling” in Somalia, Asmara Turns to Tehran and Beijing for Economic Aid

- Lebanon’s Hezbollah-Dominated Government Subservient to Communist Bloc as Moscow and Tehran Offer Arms Deals for Beirut

In a definite “Spew Alert,” regional sources are confirming that Iran has stationed its armed forces in Eritrea, a new country that broke away from Ethiopia in 1993 and which is situated along the Red Sea, almost due south of Israel. According to the November 30 edition of the Sudan Tribune, Iran had deployed both submarines, long-range missiles, and an “undisclosed number” of armed troops in the port town of Assab. Under the pretext of restarting and defending the Soviet-built refinery in Assab, Iran will control the strategic Bab El Mandeb Strait in case of any escalation of conflict between Tehran, in the one camp, and Jerusalem and Washington DC, in the other. Before Eritrean independence, Assab used to be the main port serving the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. In 1997 the Assab oil refinery was shut down by the Eritrean government due to high operating costs.

The Sudan Tribune reports that the US Navy’s presence in the Red Sea and near the Horn of Africa is two-fold: to counter high-seas piracy and to prop up the Somali government, which ironically is neo-communist in orientation: “The United States has moved additional naval forces off the coast of Somalia in response to piracy and the looming defeat of the U.S.-backed Transitional Federal Government. Meanwhile, four NATO unmanned surveillance planes were reported to have flown for about half an hour earlier this week in Eritrea’s Red Sea region.”

The Cutting Edge makes the same claim, citing the Eritrean opposition, foreign diplomats, and non-governmental sources: “President Isayas has granted Iran complete and exclusive control over the Eritrean Oil Refinery with the mandate to revamp, manage, and exercise complete authority over production and maintenance of the facility.” At the previous link Joseph Grieboski suggests that Iran is also sensitive to the prospect of a US-led naval blockade hindering petroleum exports. He notes that the Iranians have deployed unmanned surveillance drones to patrol the region around the refinery.

On May 20, 2008 Afewerki visited Tehran, at which time he and Iranian dictator Mahmound Ahmadinejad established a strategic partnership (pictured above). On this occasion, Ahmadinejad declared: “There are no limits to Iran-Eritrea ties.” In order to destabilize the weak, internationally recognized Somali government, Afewerki, the Sudanese media contends, is also collaborating with Somali Islamist groups. In August of this year, the dissident Eritrean media reports, “high-level” Iranian and Chinese delegations travelled to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, with the intent of expanding bilateral relations. In July 2007 an AFP news agency report revealed: “A UN report detailed Friday fresh allegations that Eritrea is the main arms supplier to Islamist insurgents in Somalia in violation of a 15-year UN embargo but Asmara rejected the charges and demanded to see the evidence.”

Eritrea’s contempt for Israel’s national security is evident in Asmara’s support for Iran’s nuclear program, articulated by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammad in November 2007: “IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei’s recent report on Iran’s nuclear activities has resolved all outstanding ambiguities regarding the issue. All nations have the right to acquire peaceful nuclear technology for developmental purposes.”

If the information coming out of Eritrea is accurate, then Tehran is wisely dispersing its military and economic assets abroad in advance of an Israeli preemptive strike. “We are ready to do whatever is demanded of us in order to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” IAF commander Major-General Ido Nehushtan confided last month. The likelihood of US involvement in wiping out Iran’s nuclear capabilities diminishes every day as President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama prepares to take the oath.

Eritrea is a single-party dictatorship under the rule of President Isaias Afewerki, who also leads the Marxist People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. “Led by President Isaias Afewerki since gaining independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s,” states David Cronin of the Inter Press Service, “Eritrea has, by some indicators, one of the worst human rights records in the world.” In May 2007 the Sudan Tribune reported: “Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki denied the existence of opposition forces in the country. He further said that all foreign plans to create a political opposition were foiled.” During an interview with Al-Arabiya satellite TV, the Sudanese media source reports Afewerki as saying: “There is a conflict between the way we understand democracy and pluralism and the way others understand them. We cannot depend on foreign ideas that are not in our interest.”

Last year, along the same theme, The Los Angeles Times interviewed President Afewerki, asking the following question: “What about the status of the jailed political leaders and journalists, including two Eritrean nationals who worked for the U.S. embassy? Will they ever be put on trial or released?” The Eritrean president replied: “They are not politicians. They are crooks who have been bought. They provided themselves to serve something contrary to the national interest of this country. They are degenerates. I don’t take it [as] a serious matter.”

Angered by Washington’s perceived support for Addis Ababa in the Eritrean-Ethiopian border dispute, Afewerki rescinded his country’s early support for the USA’s War on Terror. Under the title “Eritrea now sees US as arch-enemy,” Afrol News reports that in 2006 Afewerki redefined Washington as Eritrea’s “historic foe”: “The US, he says, had fuelled all conflicts Eritrea has ever been involved in. Only two years ago, however, Eritrea tried to market itself as Washington’s prime ally in the region.” “Isayas’ personal blind hate of the US administration and everything it stands for is boundless and he will spare no effort to upset the Americans,” the Sudan Tribune quotes the Eritrean opposition as saying. In reality, Washington has urged both countries to respect the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions on this issue.

In 1999 both Eritrea and Ethiopia received arms from the Not-So-Former Soviet Bloc, including Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria. Having armed the two adversaries, the Kremlin, with typical communist deceit, then urged the two countries in 2006 “to act more purposefully in promoting the process of a peaceful settlement.”

In a related story, the Fars News Agency reported yesterday that Iran completed its Unity 87 war game, which involved the deployment of submarines, marines, patrol boats, and missile-launcher gun boats, and the successful test-launch of a medium-range Nasr 1 missile. Iranian Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari declared that his forces are capable of defending the country’s coast: “The message of the maneuver is friendship and unity and that keeping regional security and peace is only well-done by ourselves.”

The Israeli media features a video report of this story here.

Along with Eritrea, Iran has built anti-Western alliances with Russia and Syria, both of which play important supporting roles in exporting the Islamic revolution worldwide from Iran. More recently and more troubling, from the vantage of Israel’s national security, Iran has entered an arrangement to supply the Lebanese government with arms. This development follows years of covertly arming Hezbollah, which since earlier this year is part of the Lebanese government, via Syria. Iran’s pledge to deliver weapons to Lebanon follows an offer from Russia in early November to supply tanks and artillery to Beirut. To seal the deal Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr will visit Moscow in coming weeks to finalize the arms deal.

“Under the security agreement, signed during the visit of Lebanese President Michel Sleiman to Tehran,” writes Joseph Farah in the G2 Bulletin, “in late November, Iran will supply the Lebanese army with weapons and equipment over the next five years.” Farah continues:

The agreement also calls for an exchange of visits between the two countries at the ministerial level. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad already has promised to visit Beirut in the near future. Under the pact’s terms, weapons are to include “defensive strategic systems” which, according to Iran, include missiles. The security pact increases Iran’s influence over Lebanon, given its close ties and support for Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is reportedly armed with 42,000 missiles and rockets, many of which are capable of reaching southern Israel, which is already under regular rocket attack from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. “It has missiles that can reach the towns of Ashkelon, Beersheba and Dimona,” according to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Dimona is the site of Israel’s nuclear reactor, which is some 180 miles south of the Israeli-Lebanese border. During the 2006 war with Israel, Hezbollah fired nearly 4,000 rockets at Israel in just over four weeks of fighting. More than 40 civilians were killed.

In support of the Hezbollah militias, Iranian and Syrian operatives have also reportedly stationed themselves at strategic locations in Lebanon, like Mount Sannine near Beirut. Tragically, pro-Hezbollah Lebanese President Michael Suleiman turned to Iran for military aid after Washington refused to sell a requested US$800 million in US-made weaponry. The Lebanese Armed Forces are 80 percent Shiite in composition, which is possibly one reason the White House was loath to arm Lebanon to that extent. Furthermore, many Lebanese troops not only sympathize with Hezbollah, but the ranks themselves contain Hezbollah militiamen. The USA regards Hezbollah as a terrorist group, while the European Union does not share that position.

>Latin American File: Central American leaders embrace unified currency, passport; El Salvador to probe FMLN presence in Managua’s post-election unrest

>- Daniel Ortega Assumes Rotating, Six-Month Presidency of Central American Integration System

- New Socialist on the Bloc: Guatemala’s Alvaro Colom Promotes “Redistribution of Wealth,” Regional Integration with Red Axis

- Chavez Charges USA with Using Dutch Dependency Curaçao to Stage Invasion of Venezuela as Decrepit PDVSA Refinery Pollutes Caribbean Island

- Red Cocaine: US and Dutch Navies Intercept Venezuela-Originated Panamanian-Flagged Freighter, Seize 4.6 Tons of Coke in August

During the last get-together of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, which took place in Caracas on November 26, Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev met with Latin America’s leftist leaders on the summit sidelines. There Medvedev articulated the Soviet strategists’ intention of uniting crypto-communist Russia and the Western Hemishere’s red and pink regimes under one roof.

This frightful development was predicted by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn more than 20 years ago. In New Lies for Old (1984) Golitsyn warned that the Soviet Union would feign its demise, infiltrate and sabotage the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, create a neutral, socialist Europe, terminate the phoney ideological spat with Communist China, and re-craft a new worldwide federation of socialist states. The USA would be isolated and encircled by enemies. At this point, Golitsyn concluded, the shift in the global balance of power away from the Free World to the Communist Bloc would be plain for all to view.

Twenty-four years after Golitsyn issued his first warning, the formation of Moscow-Beijing’s “one clenched fist,” the nearly complete subjugation of Latin America to neo-communism, and the USA’s impending lurch to the left under an Obama Presidency have come to pass.

At the Caracas conference, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez urged his comrades and allies in ABLA to organize a single monetary zone, as we previously reported, as well as pull out of the Inter-American Development Bank. ALBA consists of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, and Dominica. Ecuador is pondering membership in this socialist political-economic-cultural pact that may one day include a military component, should the proposed South American Defense Council fail to coalesce.

Taking a cue from Chavez and the Castro Bros., on December 5 Central America’s leaders moved ahead with regional integration at the 33rd Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA). SICA embraces the seven countries of Central America: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The Dominican Republic is an associate member. With the exception of El Salvador, every country in this region has a leftist or communist government, or in some way is under the influence of Moscow, Havana, or Caracas.

In San Pedro Sula, Honduras, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune today, the SICA summiteers endeavored to apply socialist “solutions” to the regional effects of the global financial crisis. At the post-meeting press conference, host President Manuel Zelaya explained that SICA countries agreed to give “instructions to the superintendents of banks and to the central banks of each nation to review their regulations for the purpose of guaranteeing trustworthy parameters of investment.” The Declaration of San Pedro Sula obliges SICA members states to promote regional capitalization and economic development “in the shortest possible time” through the new Central American Bank for Economic Integration. In February 2009 SICA leaders will convene again and consider the inclusion of “new partners from outside the region.”

At the summit, Zelaya handed over the the temporary SICA presidency, which rotates every six months, to Nicaragua’s Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega. Reflecting upon previous attempts at Central American unification, Ortega extolled the memory of Honduran General José Francisco Morazán Quezada, who was three times president of the short-lived Federal Republic of Central America (1823-1838). Comandante Ortega gushed: “The times indicate that the only alternative is unity. And from the unity of Central America we will proceed to the unity of Latin America. Nicaragua is already heading in that direction with ALBA, promoted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.” Then Ortega once again aimed his rhetoric at the “North American empire” (USA) for allegedly impoverishing Central America:

They sold us a model that doesn’t work [i.e., capitalism] and that has us bound hand and foot, and faced with the failure of that model all that remains is unity. We’re in a storm [global financial crisis] that we didn’t cause although it affects us, but this meeting has served to take the necessary steps in search of resources that will aid our economic and social development.

Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca, whose country will more than likely fall to the red juggernaut next spring, remarked: “The solutions that each country proposes for getting out of the crisis are different, but they all have a common goal. While we don’t understand the depth of the crisis, we have to be ready to give it the importance it requires.

Present at the summit besides Zelaya, Ortega, and Saca were Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom, Panamanian First Vice President and Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro, Belizean Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and, as an observer, Dominican Republic Vice President Rafael Alburquerque (pictured above).

If there is any doubt as to whether Guatemala’s new president Colom is a socialist and thus a reliable ally for the Moscow-Havana-Caracas Axis, then consider the following excerpts from a speech, reported in the Panamanian media, that Colom delivered in Baja Verapaz on November 10. In this address he uses standard communist codewords such as “progress,” “social justice,” and “redistribution of wealth”:

Those who are against the social programs do not know the rural areas, do not know poverty, they have never had hunger, they have never lived among poor people. The First Lady and I have not just walked among the poor; we have been with the poor. We do not lack anything ourselves, but we have witnessed so many needs in the villages and hamlets in rural areas and marginal zones.

What we propose with the social programs is not populism, it is social justice. It is redistribution of wealth and I will fulfill the word I gave at the roundtable dialogues during the election process. . . .

I will fulfill my word; we are going to fight from the executive branch, with our party members and friends in Congress for the fiscal modernization that was agreed upon. I did not impose this agreement of tax modernization, it was discussed and agreed and a pact was signed. . . .

We all need to work together as one to be able to make progress, the private sector, cooperatives, politicians, environmentalists and activists. All united we can make a better Guatemala for all of us.

But if we continue with the philosophies of 50 years ago, the only thing we’re going to do is destroy all the forest, destroy our people, and destroy our culture. I am not willing to continue this old pattern. I’m going to take the right path of justice, truth, peace and development. . . .

Guatemala goes forward by the will of God and the work of all the leaders of Guatemala that are ready to fight for progress.

In light of Senator Barack Hussein Obama’s now-famous exchange with “Joe the Plumber” on the campaign trail, it would appear that the incoming US president and Latin America’s leftist leaders are united on the fundamental principle of communism: forcible wealth redistribution, whether by bloodshed or more subtly by a graduated income tax and “social programs,” per Karl Marx’s original Communist Manifesto. Colom is pictured above at last Friday’s SICA summit in Honduras.

Elsewhere in Central America, El Salvador’s ruling Republican Nationalist Alliance (ARENA) legislators are requesting the formation of a special committee to investigate the possible involvement of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, the country’s chief leftist opposition party, in Nicaragua’s post-election violence. In particular, ARENA lawmakers intend to probe reports published in the Costa Rican media that FMLNistas provided on-the-ground muscle for the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, which launched widespread and well-coordinated attacks against Nicaragua’s opposition in the wake of disputed municipal elections on November 9.

On November 19 The Nica Times reported: “For the second time in a week, there was apparently also participation from a contingent of revolutionary sympathizers from the Faribundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) from El Salvador. Several of the vehicles parked in the MetroCentro turnabout [in Managua] had license plates from El Salvador, including one that had covered its license plate with paper and tape [pictured above]. The Nica Times asked a Sandinista youth organizer about the apparent participation of the FMLN. He said the two former revolutionary groups have ‘always supported each other’ and that the Salvadorans were providing ‘technical support’ to the Sandinista protesters.” The FMLN and FSLN hold membership in Sao Paulo Forum, contrived by former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and incumbent Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 1990.

In a follow-up article, published on November 28, The Nica Times stated: “FMLN lawmaker and party spokesman Sigfrido Reyes called ARENA’s request for an investigative committee ‘ridiculous,’ according to the Salvadoran daily El Mundo. Mauricio Funes, FMLN presidential candidate and frontrunner in the 2009 elections, told the Salvadoran press he had spoken with his party’s leaders and they had assured him that no FMLN members had been sent to Nicaragua to participate in the protests.” Funes protested to El Salvador’s Chanel 21 TV that “No one can prove the Salvadorans involved in the protest were from the FMLN.”

The next day, though, the FMLN changed its tune by charging ARENA with sending Salvadoran rightists to Nicaragua, dressed as FMLN cadres, to infiltrate the Sandinista ranks as part of a “dirty campaign” against the FMLN. Well, that settles that. The ex-guerrilla Marxists who run the FMLN’s Politburo behind Funes’ media-savvy facade have spoken. For their part, the Sandinistas remained “tight-lipped” on the issue, even after Nicaragua’s opposition daily La Prensa picked up the story during the last week of November.

President Ortega subsequently issued an executive order prohibiting the National Assembly from overturning the results, which awarded two-thirds of the country’s mayoralties to the FSLN.

This episode is significant because it demonstrates the reality of international leftist networking in Central America for the purpose of revolutionary regime change. In El Salvador, the Costa Rican media warns, at least among ARENA supporters, there is concern that the Sandinistas will reciprocate that gesture by sending FSLN cadres to help the FMLN win El Salvador’s elections. If El Salvador falls to the communists next year, then it can be expected that a new FMLN regime in San Salvador will try to evict the US military from Comalapa International Airport (see below) and make a beeline for ALBA.

While the Western Hemisphere’s Red Axis prepares to gobble up another country, the Christian Science Monitor reports that the USA and Red Venezuela are tussling over who’s going to be “boss” in the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch dependency in the southern Caribbean Sea consists of a west-to-east island chain, 50 miles north of Venezuela’s coast. The island of Curaçao, in particular, is home to Forward Operating Location Hato, where six US Air Force E-3 surveillance aircraft are parked in a corner of the international airport there. The dependency’s capital Willemstad also welcomes frequent ports of call by US naval vessels.

In 2000 Washington secured a long-term agreement to base reconnaissance aircraft in Curaçao and El Salvador, to replace Howard Air Force Base in Panama, which was closed in 1997. The US military will lose its counter-narcotics base in Manta, Ecuador, next year, since President Rafael Correa, a close ally of Chavez, refused to renew the lease. “Curacao is strategically located to be able to monitor the Caribbean basin,” commented Jose Ruiz, a spokesman for US Southern Command, adding: “It’s an effective position with which to conduct monitoring flights and to track traffic that we suspect may have contraband.” These days, according to BBC News, 90 percent of Colombian cocaine is handled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and, according to the leftist British rag The Guardian, transshipped with the covert assistance of the Chavezista regime. In August CNN reported: “The Dutch Navy said it has joined with the U.S. to seize 4.6 tons (4,200 kilograms) of cocaine from a Panamanian-flagged freighter that had set sail from Venezuela. The Dutch Navy said it is the largest haul of cocaine it has ever intercepted.”

Pictured here: Revolutionary T-shirts sporting mugshots of Che and Ch(av)e(z). Can’t decide which one to buy? Take one of each. There’s no difference. Red’s the most popular color. You’ll blend into the crowd at just about any Obama worship-fest.

But Venezuela also has a “considerable presence” on Curaçao. Caracas’ consulate is in one of the most prominent locations on the island, while state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. manages the island’s most important and most polluting employer, a refinery that was built during the First World War. Last year a Curaçao court threatened to close the Venezuelan-owned facility if it failed to meet emissions standards, citing a study that estimated that each year 18 locals die prematurely from the refinery’s toxic output. “The court decision,” editorializes Reuters, “is a rebuke to PDVSA, which prides itself on social responsibility inspired by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.” Undeterred by the black eye incurred by PDVSA, Willemstad souvenir shops peddle Chávez T-shirts, while Venezuelan tourists normally outnumber Americans.

What’s more, Chavez charges that the Pentagon intends to use Curaçao as a “launch pad for an invasion of his country,” a regular theme in his anti-USA, anti-capitalist rants and Venezuelan military drills. In 2006, when a US aircraft carrier group held naval maneuvers near Curaçao, Chávez accused Dutch Defense Minister Henk Kamp of being a “Washington stooge.” The communist dictator also insinuated that Venezuela should annex the Netherlands Antilles when he stated: “There is a natural relationship between Venezuela and the Dutch islands, perhaps more direct than with the Netherlands itself.” Some Dutch politicians responded angrily to the provocation, while DM Kamp himself retorted that the Dutch Navy could easily “parry” any assault by its Venezuelan counterpart.

The joint Soviet-Venezuelan naval drill, Ven-Rus 2008, that occured last Monday and Tuesday in the southern Caribbean Sea actually took place in the vicinity of Curaçao. The exercise included the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet, and the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, which crossed the Panama Canal–a first for the Soviet Navy since 1944–last Friday night in order to replenish supplies at Panama’s Balboa Naval Base (pictured above).

“The Dutch point of view is that Venezuela is entitled … to have military exercises with befriended nations,” intoned Ministry of Kingdom Affairs spokesperson Mireille Beentjes. “There are no consequences foreseen for the Kingdom of the Netherlands from this week’s naval exercises, and therefore no measures will be taken.”

“I think we should keep an eye on Venezuela, but we do not need to be really worried,” cautioned Michiel van der Veur, a professor of international relations at the University of the Netherlands Antilles. “I doubt he [Chavez] will let it get into a real military showdown at this moment. Perhaps if the American economy – and as a result, its military strength – will deteriorate further, he might estimate his chances differently.” Indeed, this is probably the very scenario that the Communist Bloc is organizing in order to subjugate the USA.

At the same time John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org in Washington, commented on the burgeoning strategic partnership between Moscow and Caracas, as well as Russia’s revitalized political-economic-military relations with countries in the Caribbean Basin: “[They] are just looking for ways to annoy the Americans. They’re asserting that Moscow is again a global power with friends all over the world. The Russo-Venezuelan maneuvers are symbolic, and don’t present real danger to the Netherlands Antilles. But then, all military operations and exercises are symbolic until the shooting starts.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian destroyer docks at former US Navy base in Balboa, Panama; canal closed to Soviet ships during Cold War

>The AP news agency reports that, after crossing the Panama Canal from Colon last night, the Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko has docked at the former Rodman Naval Station, near Panama City. Along with the missile cruiser Peter the Great, the destroyer this past week completed joint exercises with the Venezuelan Navy. In 1999 the USA turned Rodman over to Panama, which renamed the facility Balboa Naval Base. The Admiral Chabanenko will return to the Caribbean Sea on December 11 after the Russian crew fraternizes with Panamanian counterparts.

The destroyer’s commanding officer Vice Admiral Vladimir Korolev, pictured above, explained: “Our trip is aimed at showing the Russian fleet’s presence in the strategic areas of the world.” “The voyage,” AP admits, “reflects Russia’s growing influence in the region and anger with the U.S. for using warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its August war with Russia.”

Please see previous posts for our day-by-day geopolitical analysis of this event.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko transits Panama Canal overnight, first such deployment since 1944

>- Kremlin’s Sole Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov Dispatched for Tour of Duty in Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

- Russian Navy’s Northern and Pacific Fleets to Converge in Indian Ocean for Combined Exercise with Indian Navy

With the intent of sticking a finger in America’s eye, the Kremlin dispatched the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko through the Panama Canal last night, from east to west (pictured above). The Russian warship will dock at Balboa Naval Base today and remain there until December 11, at which point it will return to the Caribbean Sea, where it recently completed a two-day combined maneuver with other ships of Russia’s Northern Fleet, including the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, and Venezuela’s must smaller fleet.

Until 1999 Balboa Naval Base was a US facility known as Rodman Naval Station, but full sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone reverted to the Panamanian government in that year. “The official with the Panama Canal Authority said the Admiral Chabanenko reached the Caribbean port city of Colon late Friday,” reports the AFP news agency today. State-run Novosti also covered last night’s historic mission for the Russian Navy:

Russia’s Admiral Chabanenko destroyer crossed the Panama Canal overnight, becoming the first Russian or Soviet warship to enter the waterway since World War II.

The Russian embassy in Panama said on Friday night that the ship would “pass through the Panama canal during the night from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and back again.”

The Panama Canal Authority said the ship entered the canal at 9:00 p.m. local time on Friday (02:00 GMT on Saturday). . . .

The strategically vital canal was “shut to Soviet vessels during the Cold War,” gloats Novosti, but “The U.S. has not voiced any objections to the ship’s presence in the Panama Canal.”

Over the last several days we have reported on the official announcements related to the Admiral Chabanenko’s scheduled movements. The Russian Navy, of course, is no match for its US counterpart. However, Russia’s revived military presence in Central America is at this time highly symbolic. Indeed, the Kremlin’s strategic partnership with Venezuela and warming relationship with Panama, and Hugo Chavez’s ongoing attempt to export the “Bolivarian Revolution” to Panama City, require not only monitoring but an active counter-strategy from Washington DC. Moscow and Caracas have planned additional combined naval and air force drills for next year.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin media reports at the link above that another Russian task force from the Murmansk-based Northern Fleet, led by Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, has begun a tour of duty in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. A task force from the Pacific Fleet will leave its main base in Vladivostok on December 9 to take part in joint drills with the Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean. The Pacific Fleet will also be joined by Peter the Great, Admiral Chabanenko, and their support ships, which will presumably make their way to the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope. Last year, the Kremlin announced that its navy would resume a constant presence throughout the world’s oceans.

>Latin America File: Russian destroyer to transit Panama Canal tonight; Kremlin picks up new ally Panama with Chavez petrodollars

>- Reds in the ‘Hood: Hugo Chavez Financing Campaign of Panamanian President Torrijos’ Anointed Successor, Housing Minister Herrera; FARC Infiltrating Panama’s Southernmost Province, Darien

- Party for Socialism and Liberation: US Media and Government “Sensationalizing” Admiral Chabanenko’s Panamanian Tour as Part of Their “Anti-Russia Propaganda Campaign”

- US Secretary of State Rice to Visit Torrijos in Panama City while Russian Sailors Cavort at Nearby Balboa Naval Base

- Spew Alert–Put Down Your Coffee: Anonymous US State Department Official: “We see a constructive role for Russia in the Americas.”

- Venezuelan Fleet Invited to Visit Russia, Communist Navies to Hold Follow-Up Maneuvers in the North Sea

Pictured above: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Panamanian counterpart Martin Torrijos hold a bilateral meeting in Guatemala City, on the sidelines of Alvaro Colom’s inauguration as president of that country, on January 14, 2008. Behind the two leftist politicians looms the portrait of Simon Bolivar, iconic leader of South America’s nineteeth-century independence movements.

Sometime tonight–in a highly symbolic gesture highlighting the decline of US influence in Latin America–Russia will send its first warship through the Panama Canal since the Second World War. The anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, fresh from a combined naval exercise with Venezuela this past Monday and Tuesday, will transit the canal, from east to west, and until December 11 dock at the Balboa Naval Base. The latter is a Panamanian military facility that until 1999 was a US military facility known as Rodman Naval Station.

“The only time such an event took place was in 1944 during the Second World War, when four Russian submarines passed through the canal,” informed the Russian embassy in Panama City, “The main purpose [of the visit to Panama] is for the soldiers to rest and to replenish [ship] supplies.” During the Admiral Chabanenko’s stay, the destroyer’s 451 sailors will also take part in soccer and volleyball competitions with their Panamanian counterparts. “The Russian vessel’s friendly visit further raises Panama’s international prestige as a great naval power [PT: Huh?] and the Panama Canal as a truly neutral waterway,” elaborated the embassy, no doubt casting a smug look at Washington DC. Yesterday, Panama’s Foreign Minister Samuel Lewis Navarro declared “As we all know, the Panama Canal is open to all ships in the world.” The 169-meter Admiral Chabanenko belongs to Russia’s Northern Fleet.

“It is a sort of tit-for-tat for Russia’s perception of U.S. meddling in Georgia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and has little military purpose,” explained Adam Isacson, an analyst for the Washington-based Center for International Policy. “For Panamanians,” he added, “the Russian presence shows they’re not under Uncle Sam’s domination anymore.” For its part, the US State Department, whenever Russian and Chinese strategic designs are under consideration, heaved a great sigh of disinterest: “We have no interest in reviving Cold War images and rhetoric. We and the region have left this behind us and no longer see our relationships with other countries through the Cold War lens.” The anonymous US official huffed to the AP news agency: “We are looking for ways to enhance mutual cooperation in the Americas, and see a constructive role for Russia in the process.” Did you catch that? The US State Department sees a constructive role for Russia in the Americas. That’s nice.

Like their friends in the US diplomatic establishment, the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) is not pleased by the unfavorable publicity afforded to the Kremlin’s obvious saber rattling in the Caribbean region. “The United States media and government is highlighting and sensationalizing the event in order to continue its anti-Russia propaganda campaign,” the PSL whined at its website, adding untruthfully, “U.S. forces occupy the Panama Canal zone.” Someone forgot to tell these communists that US troops left Panama nine years ago. Well, we know who the PSL is working for, don’t we?

“Following the [Ven-Rus 2008] naval maneuvers,” reports the People’s Daily Online, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, “Venezuela and Russia also very much want to maintain and further boost military [technical] cooperation. The Russian navy has invited the Venezuelan fleet to visit Russia, and both sides are expected to conduct a series of military cooperation in the North Sea, according to latest Venezuelan media reports. So, Venezuela has truly become Russia’s important global strategic partner.” So, Russia and Venezuela will hold joint naval exercises in the North Sea, between NATO member states Norway, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. How thoughtful of the Kremlin.

Through the Socialist International (SI), Moscow also extends its baleful influence into Panama (and around the world for that matter). Two potemkin parties of neo-Soviet Russia hold membership in the SI, Mikhail Gorbachev’s Union of Social Democrats and Sergei Mironov’s Just Russia. Former Soviet Tyrant Gorbachev has on many occasions warmly endorsed KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, although lamenting somewhat United Russia’s failure to be a “party of the people.” By contrast, Mironov, who is also Chairman of the Federation Council, the Russian parliament’s upper house, is slavishly devoted to supporting Putin and “President” Dmitry Medvedev. In several instances he has also advocated a merger of Just Russia and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

Both Mironov and Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, in addition to Poland’s “ex”-communist president Alexander Kwasniewski, sit on the SI’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society. With their host, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, commission members gathered in Stockholm on September 5 and 6. There the world’s socialist leaders warned that the global financial crisis should not interfere with governmental commitments to address “climate change.” The commission “urged the international community to produce solid results leading to an agreement” at the United Nations Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention (COP-14), to be held in Poznan, Poland in December.

President Torrijos is the son of military strongman Omar Torrijos, who founded the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and negotiated the repatriation of the Panama Canal in 1977, with former US President Jimmy Carter. Mario Rognoni, an adviser to PRD presidential candidate Balbina Herrera (pictured above), spoke glowingly of the Admiral Chabanenko’s arrival: “The Russian visit demonstrates how times have changed, and the neutrality we have shown in operating the canal.” Perhaps US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thinks so too, since she is scheduled to meet Torrijos in Panama City this Tuesday to discusses issues related to bilateral trade, the expansion of the canal, and regional organized crime. Meanwhile, Russian sailors will be enjoying some R&R at nearby Balboa Naval Base.

In a troubling, related development, allegations surfaced in October that Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez is slipping campaign contributions under the table to Torrijos’ anointed successor. Writing for Panama’s TVN News, Jesus Morales elaborates:

A news report tying the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez to the presidential candidate from the PRD Balbina Herrera, for financing her political campaign, has come to light again, despite denials by Herrera. This time international news outlets have published on the Internet information that compromises politicians and various leftists groups.

Mega TV, a television channel produced by the opposition to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez, made public information regarding the sources of financing for the presidential campaign of Balbina Herrera. The report contains details on connections to Chavez and an important business group that buys cheap fuel in Venezuela in order to resell it here locally in Panama in order to realize substantial profits.


Balbina Herrera reacted to the information, but leftist groups such as Suntracs says it is a campaign looking to discredit them, and they denied any bond to Chavez.

The Venezuelan television station said they will follow up on the subject and assured more revealing information could come to light.

Herrera is presently Minister of Housing in President Torrijos’ cabinet. Panama’s general election will take place on May 3, 2009. Clearly, Russia’s biggest spending ally in the Western Hemisphere, Comrade Hugo, is not content to finance just about every other leftist party and narco-terrorist army in Latin America, like Argentina’s ruling Justicialists and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

It’s bad enough that the Chavezista regime is trying to buy another regional ally with petrodollars. However, the red dictatorship’s favorite insurgent army, the Moscow-backed FARC, is apparently infiltrating Panama’s southernmost province, Darien, with which Colombia shares a short, heavily jungled border. Last month the Panama Visitor revealed:

[Panama's] Acting Minister of Government and Justice, Rodrigo Cigarruista, says there is no evidence that members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are making incursions into border areas of the country. But there is suspicion that as a result of the National Army of Colombia’s increased pressure on the FARC, the guerrillas have been forced to seek refuge in areas such as Rio Chico, Bayano, Yape, New Paritilla in Setegantí. According to Cigarruista, security in these areas is being strengthened with the addition of new units to the border service to restore confidence among local residents.

The only gap in the Pan-American Highway, which extends from Alaska to Argentina, is in Darien.

>USSR2 File: Moscow Patriarch, alleged KGB agent dies; Alexy II reunited Orthodox believers outside Russia; two Jesuit priests murdered in Moscow

>Top Candidate for the Succession, Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk, “Likely to Continue Alexy’s Uncontroversial Course of Broad Subservience to the Kremlin”

The life and career of Moscow Patriarch Alexy II, the world leader of the Russian Orthodox faith who died today at the age of 79, is instructive. No cause of death was given, but he apparently suffered from a “heart ailment.” In neo-Soviet Russia, of course, death by natural causes can be a euphemism for “outlived his usefulness to the Communist Party.” In any event, Alexy II, elected to the role in 1990, played a crucial role in advancing the perestroika deception in the Soviet Union itself by presiding over the revival of the church and “religious freedom” in “post”-communist Russia. “After the Soviet Union collapsed the following year,” writes the AP news agency, “the church’s popularity surged. Church domes that had been stripped of their gold under the Soviets were regilded, churches that had been converted into warehouses or left to rot in neglect were painstakingly restored and hours-long services on major religious holidays were broadcast live on national television.”

Pictured above: On January 22, 2008 then President Vladimir Putin and lackey Dmitry Medvedev, then Gazprom chairman, shake hands at the Kremlin, while the Moscow Patriarch looks on.

In 1997, notwithstanding the euphoria over the “collapse” of the Soviet Union, Alexy II promoted the passage of a law that restricts the activities of religions other than Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism. As a result, Protestants, Catholics, and other Christian sects are targets of persecution in Russia to this day, especially from local authorities and the Federal Security Service, the KGB’s nom de jour. The Oslo-based Forum 18 religious liberty monitor reports: “In January 2008, FSB officers broke up an Embassy of God Bible School graduation ceremony in Tolyatti (Samara Region), claiming that the church requires a licence for educational activity. In March 2008, Smolensk Regional Court dissolved Smolensk United Methodist Church for running a Sunday school – which has only four pupils – for not having an education licence.”

In October 2008 Muscovites were shocked by the “brutal murder” of two Jesuits priests, Otto Messmer, a Russian citizen, and Victor Betancourt, a national of Ecuador. “The Russian Orthodox Church has accused the Vatican of poaching for converts in Russia,” the MSM reported at the time. Over the decades the controversial Jesuit Order, advocates of Marxist liberation theology, has provided high-profile targets for liquidation. The 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests at the University of Central America in El Salvador, allegedly under the orders of former Salvadoran President Alfredo Cristiani, comes to mind. Notwithstanding Alexy II’s complaints concerning Catholic designs for the conversion of Russia, Pope Benedict XVI, upon hearing of the clergyman’s demise, diplomatically praised the Moscow Patriarch.

In 2007 Alexy II signed a pact with Metropolitan Laurus, the leader of the breakaway, US-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, to unite the churches. The Church Outside Russia organized itself in 1927, after de facto Moscow Patriarch Sergius I declared loyalty to the Bolshevik regime. Under Alexy II’s leadership, the Russian Orthodox Church claimed that the Ukrainian branch of Orthodoxy should remain under Moscow’s control.

The UK-based Keston Institute, which like Forum 18 monitors religious freedom in former communist states, alleges that Alexy II’s career may have been “greased” by assistance rendered to the KGB while a young priest in Tallinn, Estonia, where he was born Alexei Mikhailovich Ridiger in 1929. In 1996 Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov favorably referred to the “enormous role” of the Orthodox Church in Russian culture and politics, but advocated restrictions on “foreign” religious groups. Like Joseph Stalin after the Second World War, Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin has also used the church to provide a cover for the Soviet long-range strategy into the twenty-first century. Upon Alexy’s death, Putin intoned: “He was not only an epoch-making figure in the history of the Russian Church, he was an important statesman.”

“Our patriarch and our president have the same background. They are from the same firm — the KGB. The state supports the church, and the church supports the state,” Soviet-era dissident Sergei Kovalyov commented in 2007, when Putin, now prime minister, was still president. Not surprisingly, Russian Orthodox Church officials vehemently denies such allegations.

Front-running candidates to replace Alexy II include Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk, head of church administration in Moscow; Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the church’s external relations department; Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk, head of the Orthodox Church in Belarus; and Archbishop Feofan of Stavropol, regional church head in the largely Muslim, Caucasus region. “Of these,” reports the AFP news agency, “Kliment is viewed as a safe pair of hands likely to continue Alexy’s uncontroversial course of broad subservience to the Kremlin on matters of politics and morals.”

>Communism with Canadian Characteristics: Queen’s rep closes parliament, Conservative PM counters bloodless coup by Liberals, socialists, separatists

>Socialism and the Politics of the Car:

- Canadian Left Uses Specter of Economic Collapse, Despite Statistics to the Contrary, to Oust Conservative Government

- Canadian Auto Workers Support Liberal-NDP-BQ Putsch, United Auto Workers Back Obama and Bailout for Detroit’s “Big Three”

- Canada’s Industry Minister Tony Clement Proposes Binational Bailout of North America’s Ailing Auto Industry

- East-West Convergence: General Motors Joins Ford in Opening Assembly Plant in St. Petersburg, Russia

Pictured above: Today in Ottawa Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the country’s Governor General, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada. The British monarch is also Canada’s head of state.

Today, reports the Canadian media, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose Conservatives were re-elected with a strengthened minority mandate in October, countered a bloodless coup attempt by the Canadian Left, by securing the suspension of parliament until January 26. This past Monday, contrary to pre-election promises, the three opposition parties formed a coalition to oust the government, but Governor General Michaelle Jean’s formal decision to interrupt the new legislative session will enable Harper to buy time and present another economic stimulus package, a key opposition demand. Harper is an economist by profession.

The conspirators consist of Stéphane Dion, leader of the long-ruling Liberal Party and former academic; Jack Layton, leader of the socialist New Democratic Party and another former academic; and Gilles Duceppe, leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois. As a point of interest, Duceppe is a former Maoist and union organizer for the Quebec-based Confederation of National Trade Unions, which endorsed the far-left Quebec Solidaire in the 2007 provincial election.

“The government’s work, my work, over the next few weeks will be focused almost exclusively on preparing the federal budget … and I hope the other parties will be concentrating on exactly the same thing,” explained PM Harper, “Regardless of the machinations in Parliament, Canadians expect us to get on with this and that’s what we’re doing. That’s the opportunity today presents to all of us.” Industry Minister Tony Clement has revealed that he is investigating the possibility of a binational bailout of North America’s ailing auto industry. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty explains that Harper has already committed up to C$450 million to assisting auto makers in Ontario and Quebec.

“Stephen Harper simply refused to act,” NDP leader Layton griped, unimpressed by the government initiative. “Now, he is trying to turn an economic crisis into a political one. But Stephen Harper has broken his trust with the Canadian people and, because of that, he has lost the confidence of Parliament. He seems to be more interested in his job than in protecting your job.”

Unlike the US economy, which according to the National Bureau of Economic Research has been in recession since December 2007, the Canadian economy, supported by the world’s most secure banking system, remains bouyant. “The continued weakness in the U.S. economy is expected to dampen growth in Canada,” observes Royal Bank of Canada’s chief economist Craig Wright, “However, this pressure on our growth will be tempered by strong commodity prices which are contributing to robust export revenues and providing support to Canadian domestic spending via a boost to incomes.”

The specter of economic collapse in Canada, therefore, appears to be little more than a diversionary tactic by the disgruntled Canadian Left to seize power after voters rejected its “solutions” seven weeks ago. Rather, the proposed Liberal-NDP-BQ coalition government reveals that the left wing of the Liberal Party and the NDP, in particular, are more concerned about their constituents in Ontario and the Ontario-based Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union than promoting a true market-based economy in Canada. This week the CAW came out quickly in favor of the Liberal-NDP-BQ putsch.

In much the same fashion, the United Auto Workers south of the border jumped on the Barack Obama bandwagon and are today holding the CEOs of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler for ransom by forcing the auto makers to engage in pathetic panhandling before the US Congress. “I believe we could lose General Motors by the end of this month,” Ronald Gettelfinger, UAW president, told a Senate panel today in Washington, reports Bloomberg. In the current global credit crunch the Big Three and the UAW are in reality codependent but I rather suspect that Gettelfinger would not approve of Ford’s established and GM’s new auto plant in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Although Canadian car manufacturers are expected to shed 15,000 workers by the end of 2009, at least one observer north of the border points out that the proposed auto industry bailout in the USA will have little long-term effect on the market. Conference Board of Canada economist Sabrina Browarski states: “The cyclical nature of the industry will probably dominate regardless of the event of a bailout package.” That being so, why should the Canadian Left argue otherwise for Canada’s auto industry? In view of its October electoral failure, it is clear that socialists are never ones to accept “No!” for an answer, especially when the rejection comes from the “the people.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian Navy finishes drill with ally Venezuela, Kremlin destroyer to sail through Panama Canal first time since WW2

>- Cat’s Outta the Bag: State-Controlled Iranian Media Covers Russian-Venezuelan Naval Exercise in Caribbean Sea, Refers to “Soviet” Warships

- Communist Allies Practice Integrating Naval Commands: Russian Rear Admiral Captained Venezuelan Frigate while Venezuelan Rear Admiral Captained Russian Missile Cruiser

- Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HWL) Subsidiary Panama Ports Company Exerts Legal Control over Anchorages, Scheduling, Pilotage, and Services Adjacent to Canal Termini

- Panama Canal Authority Admits on Website that HWL Is a “Conglomerate with Close Ties to Chinese Communist Rulers”

Today Iran’s state media reported that Russia and Venezuela have finished their first-ever combined naval maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea, tagged as “VenRus 2008.” In an eye-catching admission, or possibly faux pas, Tehran’s Press TV stated that “Russian television on Tuesday showed images of a Venezuelan-operated Sukhoi fighter jet swooping low over Soviet warships in a simulated air attack.” In either case, Iran’s Islamo-Nazi regime is a close ally of both Russia and Venezuela. The “active phase” of Ven-Rus 2008 began on Monday, per our previous post, and ended later that day with fireworks, at which time the “Venezuelan warships returned home and the Russian squadron left the area.” The task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet, which includes the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, is slated to sail for the Indian Ocean where it will conduct exercises with Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

The independent Moscow Times reveals that “The ships operated with joint Russian-Venezuelan crews, according to Rossia. At one point, the report said, the commander of the Russian squadron [Rear Admiral Vladimir Kasatonov] captained a Venezuelan frigate while Venezuelan Rear Admiral Luis Morales acted as captain of the Peter the Great. Venezuelan Defense Minister Gustavo Rangel was aboard one of the ships on Monday. Rossia showed him thanking the Russians and reciting the motto often used by Chavez: ‘Fatherland, socialism or death! We will prevail!'” Intriguingly, the Moscow Times contains the same sentence quoted from the Press TV article above, although reference is made to “Russian” rather than “Soviet” warships.

Pictured above, from left to right: Russian missile cruiser Peter the Great, Russian destoyer Admiral Chabanenko, and Venezuelan frigate; pictured below: another scene from Ven-Rus 2008.

“Meanwhile,” states Press TV, “Venezuela President Hugo Chavez criticized US Navy for reactivating its Fourth Fleet which, as he says, poses a threat to his country while lauding Russian warships’ presence in the Americas.” And yet, at the same time, “He said, neither the United States nor any other nation has anything to fear about the presence of Russian warships in the region.” True, two Russian warships, albeit well armed, and several support vessels pose only a minor danger to the massive firepower of the US Navy’s 11 carrier strike groups. However, as we have copiously documented here, the Kremlin has more hardware in its arsenal than one missile cruiser and a destroyer.

In another effort by Moscow to rub Washington’s nose in something stinky and unpleasant, the Russian Navy announced today that the Admiral Chabanenko will visit Rodman Naval Base, which is located at Panama’s Pacific port of Balboa, for six days. This will require the Russian destroyer to sail through the Panama Canal, the first time that a Soviet/Russian warship has utilized the canal since the Second World War. “The Panama Canal,” explains the AP news agency, “has long been a symbol of U.S. influence in Latin America. Rodman was once the hub for all U.S. naval activities in South America and supported fleet units transiting the 50-mile canal.”

Russian Navy spokesentity Captain Igor Dygalo, at the previous link, did not disclose where the task force’s flagship Peter the Great would be situated while the Admiral Chabanenko transited the canal to Rodman. We can only speculate at this time by saying that it appears that the destroyer may sail for the Indian Ocean, to join the Russian Navy exercise mentioned above, by way of the South Pacific Ocean, while the missile cruiser will make waves in the opposite direction, to reach the Indian Ocean by way of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Cape of Good Hope. Alternately, the Admiral Chabanenko may backtrack through the canal to the Caribbean, rejoining the missile cruiser.

The Panama Canal Zone was controlled exclusively by the USA until 1979 and jointly by the USA and Panama until 1999, at which time sovereignty over the zone reverted wholely to Panama City, per pro-communist President Jimmy (“Peanuts”) Carter’s 1977 agreement with Panamanian strongman Omar Torrijos.

Since then, the Communist Bloc has asserted its control over the strategically vital channel. The Red Chinese front company Hutchison-Whampoa Ltd. (HWL), for example, currently operates ports at both ends of the canal, in Balboa and Cristobal. In testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1998, retired Admiral Thomas H. Moorer warned:

The practical power of controlling anchorages, scheduling, pilotage and services is placed in the hands of a commercial affiliate of a strategic foe that is already on the spot and functioning, one that operates under a system that makes no difference between commercial and strategic planning, because the bulk of its commerce is, in the last analysis, controlled by its military and [Communist] party apparatus, not by private merchants and entrepreneurs, however wealthy they may become from the monopolies which this apparatus bestows upon them.

HWL customers include state-run China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), which provides services to the logistics and transportation arms of the People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force. Hong Kong billionaire La Ka-shing’s company also enjoys special privileges related to the operations of the Canal Zone, codified in Law No. 5, passed by the Panamanian National Assembly in 1997.

In 2006 the AP news agency made the following report, which is actually reprinted at the Panama Canal Authority website: “Hutchison Whampoa, a huge Hong Kong conglomerate with close ties to the Chinese communist rulers, holds long-term leases on port facilities at either end of the Panama Canal.” If this was not true, I highly doubt that an agency of the Panamanian government would republish such information.

Finally, Panamanian President Martin Torrijos’ Democratic Revolutionary Party is affiliated with the Moscow-controlled Socialist International. Torrijos, the son of Omar, supports the aspirations of Puerto Rican separatists and closer relations with Cuba.

With the Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko scheduled to begin a six-day visit to Balboa tomorrow we see strategic communist allies Moscow and Beijing boldly stepping into territory once controlled by Washington.

>USSR2 File: CPRF holds 13th congress, re-elects Zyuganov as chairman; Russian reds seize global financial crisis to promote communism, USSR revival

>- Communist Party of China Senior Official Attends CPRF Congress, Pledges Solidarity with Russian Comrades

- Communist Party USA Chief Sam Webb: Socialism Will Advance Under “Friend of the Party” President Obama

This past weekend, reports state-run Novosti, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) held its 13th congress in Moscow. At the time, communist delegates predictably re-elected Gennady Zyuganov as party chairman, demanded that the Putinist regime renationalize the Russian economy even though it’s already heavily state controlled, denounced the recent extension of the presidential term from four to six years, advocated that the CPRF unite with other openly leftist forces in Russia to oust the potemkin Putinist regime, and agitated for the complete restoration of the Soviet Union, a policy that Putin has already executed on many fronts (e.g., restoration of red star of Bolshevism for symbol of armed forces, and Soviet anthem with some lyrical alteration, etc.).

“It is increasingly obvious that socialism is not a product of propaganda, but a natural and unavoidable phase of development,” boasted Zyuganov, a hard-core Stalinist, “The collapse of the speculative financial market is a turning point.”

Pictured above: Back in the USSR: This past Sunday, on the second day of the CPRF congress, party chairman Zyuganov (center) carries flowers to the Lenin mausoleum. The trappings of the old (new) Soviet regime are evident. There’s no “wishing the USSR back into existence” here, as some Western leftists might contend. The Soviets never went away.

According to our analysis, which is based in part on Soviet Bloc defector testimony such as that of former KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn, the CPRF is the hidden power behind neo-Soviet Russia’s putative rulers, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, President Dmitry Medvedev, and the (crypto-Stalinist) United Russia party. The Soviet strategists are not entirely unknown. They have names and faces, invariably boast connections to the old Soviet regime (1917-1991), and operate with varying degrees of visibility on the Russian and world stages. These names include Putin, Medvedev, Zyuganov, Yevgeny Primakov, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Oleg Shenin. The last was architect of the potemkin August 1991 putsch and is chief of the continuing Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In many instances, too, the Soviets have in past decades been very frank about their intentions. However, because Western analysts have been deceived by the mantra “communism is dead” and the flood of Marxist propaganda in the Western media, academia, and bureaucracy, the conspirators go about their business for the most part unnoticed and unmolested.

The current global financial crisis has provided communists in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union and elsewhere a prime opportunity to agitate for world revolution and the subjugation of the capitalist nations (such as they are, in view of debilitating compromises with that way station to communism, “social democracy”).

Russia communists slam authorities, call for U.S.S.R. revival
17:06 29/ 11/ 2008

MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov criticized the Russian leadership’s domestic policies on Saturday and said communism was the only remedy for the current financial crisis.

Speaking at a Communist Party congress, Zyuganov said the Kremlin has been promising too much, while doing too little.

“The ruling grouping has not achieved any noticeable success, nor does it have any action plan. It has been guided by the sole goal – to stay in power at any cost,” Zyuganov said.

Zyuganov said the global credit crisis has shown that the collapse of capitalism is inevitable.

“It is increasingly obvious that socialism is not a product of propaganda, but a natural and unavoidable phase of development. The collapse of the speculative financial market is a turning point,” he said.

Zyuganov regretted Russia’s “tragic breakup” with former Soviet republics and called for restoring the Soviet Union, which he said is quite possible. The renationalization of the country’s mining, energy and other “strategic” sectors is “the key task,” he said.

A program of reviving Russia that the party leaders set out at the congress also proposed reinstating direct elections of governors as a more democratic method of selecting regional leaders – abolished by then president Vladimir Putin – cutting bureaucracy, and lifting a moratorium on the death penalty for severe crimes.

The leading opposition force in the country, which resisted Putin’s return as premier and a recent move to extend the presidential term from four to six years, the communists welcome an alliance with other opposition groups, Zyuganov said.

Pictured here: Communists Putin and Zyuganov strategize on July 18 of this year.

Another source contains more extensive quotes from Chairman Zyuganov’s keynote address to the congress. At the time he disclosed his plans to build a communist-led popular front in Russia. In doing so, he revealed the inherent pragmatism of not only Soviet communists, but also their brethren in the USA, who are looking to President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama to communize the country.

In order to change the current reality, there is no other method but an active, multifaceted, and pragmatic policy. As Lenin taught us in his historic work “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder,” such policy is unimaginable without temporary alliances with our competitors and even opponents and without maneuvering and compromises. It is nearsighted to rule them out on the pretext of preserving your own crystal purity. It is important to seek alliances and compromises that would benefit our common struggle. Such compromises are often equivalent to winning a battle.

However, rotten compromises are unacceptable. Any options leading to the loss of our party’s identity or to its dissolution within other organizations and movements are absolutely unacceptable. At the same time, we have to consider useful and mutually advantageous cooperation with non- Communist forces on a clearly outlined set of issues to attain the ends facing the country and the party.

Under the pressure of circumstances, the Kremlin has unblocked part of the finances, which it was hiding in reserve funds for years and which it disagreed to use for the country’s needs. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account that the allocation of billions and trillions of rubles for financial recovery and the so-called national projects is only a legitimate way to divide this money between the same oligarchic clans, and the Kremlin perfectly understands this.

“The main goal,” concluded Zyuganov, “is to return Russia’s natural riches and the strategic sectors of its economy to society. This concerns above all the power and transportation sectors, the military industry, the oil and gas fields, and the illegally privatized factories and mines.” He also urged the Kremlin to use Russia’s Stabilization Fund money to aid the country’s economic recovery.

In attendance at the CPRF congress was a representative of the overtly ruling Communist Party of China. “The Communist Party of China values the friendly relations with the Communist Party of Russia,” intoned Wu Zhenjun, “and will constantly promote bilateral ties by adhering to existing principles.” The CPC Central Committee sent a letter of congratulation to the congress and hailed Zyuganov’s re-election. For his part, Zyuganov “spoke highly of the relationship between the two parties and the two countries, pledging further efforts to develop bilateral ties.”

On November 7, 150,000 Russian communists–a figure confirmed by the Interior Ministry–took to the streets to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and smirk over the global financial crisis. In Moscow thousands of reds marched from Pushkin Square to Teatralnaya Ploshchad. Led by Zyuganov, his deputy Ivan Melnikov, who teaches at Moscow State University, and female “Young Pioneers” in red satin caps holding carnations, the demonstrators marched down Tverskaya Ulitsa toward the Kremlin, blocking two lanes of traffic. “Capitalists!” thundered Zyuganov, throwing down the gauntlet, “I recommend you start reading Marx’s ‘Das Kapital.'”

Thousands of OMON riot police (pictured above) surrounded activists from the banned National Bolshevik Party and the Left Front movement, preventing them from entering Teatralnaya Ploshchad. Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Red Youth Vanguard (AKM), which supports both Zyuganov’s CPRF and Shenin’s CPSU, complained that five members of his organization were arrested for lighting flares. The AKM, which sports an AK-47 and hammer and sickle as its logo, recently united with Russia’s Left Front. “They lit flares because they have fire in their hearts,” Udaltsov gushed.

We suspected that a red putsch might take place in Moscow this past election season. It didn’t. However, when the Soviet strategists determine that the time is propitious–that is, that America is surrounded by Communist Bloc nations and under the thumb of a socialist government–the United Russia facade will be removed and the Soviet Union hastily reassembled. That time is probably near since on November 4 US voters elected socialist Obama to the presidency and over the last few months Russia has begun to openly assemble a Red Dawn-style military coalition in Latin America. In a speech delivered at the November 15 national convention of the Communist Party USA, leader Sam Webb triumphed:

The left can and should advance its own views and disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable. Its tone should be respectful. We are speaking to a friend. When the administration and Congress take positive initiatives, they should be wholeheartedly welcomed. Nor should anyone think that everything will be done in 100 days. After all, main elements of the New Deal were codified into law in 1935, 1936 and 1937.

Although we are not in the socialist stage of the revolutionary process, we are, nevertheless on the road, and the only road, to socialism – to a society that is egalitarian in the rough sense, eliminates exploitation of working people, brings an end to all forms of oppression, and is notable for the many-layered participation of working people and their allies in the management of the economy and state.

Zyuganov, Hu Jintao, Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and other Communist Bloc leaders would no doubt give Comrade Sam a hearty slap on the back.

>WW4 File: Indian military chiefs urge air strikes against Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist base in Pakistan, Rice urges Islamabad to cooperate with New Delhi

>On December 3, reports The Australian, Indian military chiefs urged air strikes against the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist base inside Pakistan, near the Indian border. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari admitted that the LeT militants “had the power to precipitate war in the region.” For its part, New Delhi demanded “strong and swift action” from Islamabad, namely, that the Pakistani government produce produce 20 suspected Islamic terrorists, including India’s most-wanted man Dawood Ibrahim. India believes that Ibrahim, a fugitive Mumbai mafia don with links to LET, which itself has links to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency. Ibrahim is also thought to have masterminded the 1993 Mumbai bombings, a series of 13 explosions that claimed 250 lives.

New Delhi presented its demands after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Pakistan to cooperate with India as she prepared to mediate between the nuclear-armed states. Both India and Pakistan have coalition governments led by parties affiliated with the Moscow-controlled Socialist International, the Indian National Congress and Pakistan People’s Party.

The site that Indian generals would like to neutralize is a heavily guarded compound near Lahore, known as the Markaz-e-Taiba (Holy Centre), which includes mosques and madrassas with more than 3,000 students. Markaz-e-Taiba is also the headquarters of the Jamaat-ul-Dawah Muslim welfare organization, which is closely associated with LeT. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder and spiritual leader of LeT, lives in the complex.

The Australian lays out the following scenario for an Indian strike against this target in Pakistan:

Reports yesterday said that if India attacked the complex — possibly to kill Saeed — an attempt would be made to justify the action by pointing to the way in which the US was launching pre-emptive strikes inside Pakistani territory using unmanned drones to kill al-Qa’ida and Taliban targets. Indian sources have confirmed that investigators have established strong links between the group of terrorists who attacked Mumbai and the LET leadership inside Pakistan.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: India lodges formal protest with Pakistan, charges Islamabad with complicity in Mumbai attacks; Times of India: "It’s war"

>Start digging your bunker. Nuclear powers India and Pakistan took another step closer to war today. Yesterday, reports the AFP news agency, India “formally accused ‘elements’ in Pakistan of being behind the devastating Islamic militant attacks in Mumbai and demanded that Islamabad take ‘strong action.'” On December 3 The Times of India reported: “India on Tuesday said that it would not rule out military option to deal with continued terror threat emanating from Pakistan, in what marked a significant toughening of posture in the wake of the Mumbai attack.” A November 28 editorial in the same publication, under the title “It’s War,” stated: “This nation is under attack. The scale, intensity and level of orchestration of terror attacks in Mumbai put one thing beyond doubt: India is effectively at war and it has deadly enemies in its midst.”

>USA File: Pentagon to deploy 20,000 federal troops nationwide by 2011, "help" state/local officials cope with terrorist attacks, NBC incidents

>The Pentagon, reports the AFP news agency, plans to deploy 20,000 federal troops under US Northern Command nationwide by 2011. Within the context of the Insurrection Act of 1807 this initiative is putatively designed to “help” state and local officials cope with terrorist attacks, NBC incidents, and assorted emergencies. The first of these troops, the 3rd Infantry Division’s Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, began domestic active duty on October 1 for a 12-month period. A second and third BCT will be organized next year and in 2010. “It’s to help us manage the consequences of a large-scale event,” explained Air Force General Gene Renuart, commander of USNORTHCOM, last month, adding: “We have one [unit] now trained and equipped and assigned to the Northern Command. We’ll grow a second one this calendar year of 2009 and a third one in the calender year 2010 so we can provide the nation three sets of capabilities that could respond to an event of the size of 9/11 or larger.”

Pictured above: Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, headquarters for both the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a binational military command uniting the USA and Canada, and USNORTHCOM.

Assorted leftists (like the American Civil Liberties Union) and faux rightists (like Alex Jones) have looked askance at the deployment of USNORTHCOM’s Brigade Combat Teams, fearing a violation of the related Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. In 2006 the US Congress modified the Insurrection Act as part of the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill, widening the president’s ability to deploy federal troops in the USA to enforce laws. The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, however, repealed the changes made in the previous year. The fact of the matter is federal powers of troop deployment in domestic situations are still limited by posse comitatus.

If the letter of the law is followed, then there’s no reason to fear a stealthy implementation of martial law. On the surface, the formation of USNORTHCOM in 2002 and its brigade combat teams beginning this year seem like a prudent idea in responding to natural and man-made catastrophes related to the War on Terror. However, the pro-communist globalist elite that has controlled the US government since the First World War–including incoming socialist President Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency–have given many signals over the decades that individual liberty and states’ rights, as defined by the US Constitution, are essentially dead. In theory, USNORTHCOM and the BCTs could become vehicles of repression in the hands of a dictator.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Soviet, Venezuelan warships begin much-hyped Caribbean drill; missile troops to transfer from Baikonur to Plesetsk

>- Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Markov Imposes Information Blackout on Military Reform: Officer Staff to Be Slashed in Half, Overall Numbers to Drop Only Slightly

- Kommersant Headline: “The army’s perestroika will go ahead without glasnost.”

- Collective Security Treaty Organization Defense Ministers Agree on Biennial Combined War Games

- Kremlin to Continue De-Mining Operations in Ally Serbia until 2012, Send Military Technicians to Nicaragua to Dispose of Mines Buried During the ’80s Civil War

Pictured above: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev aboard the Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, docked at Venezuela’s port of La Guaira port, on November 27. Medvedev returned to Moscow on Saturday.

Beginning yesterday, reports state-run Novosti, a task force from the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet carried out the “active phase” of its joint manuever in the southern Caribbean Sea with Venezuela’s much less impressive navy. “The Russian and Venezuelan warships have practiced deployment in the southern Caribbean, coordinated tactical maneuvering, air defense, search, pursuit and detention of a ship suspected of illegal activities,” navy spokesman Capt 1st Rank Igor Dygalo stated. The Kremlin flotilla included 1,600 sailors aboard the nuclear-powered Peter the Great missile cruiser, Udaloy class destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, and two support vessels. Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez anted up three frigates, a transport amphibious vessel, four patrol boats, four coastal defense vessels, several naval aviation units, and a Su-30MK2 fighter jet squadron.

After its short but much-hyped stay in Venezuelan waters, the Russian task force will join an exercise with ships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet in the Indian Ocean, possibly in time for a nuclear war between India and Pakistan, two countries on edge as a result of last week’s military-caliber Mumbai terrorist attacks.

The Russian and Venezuelan air forces–the latter featuring brand-new Russian warplanes–are slated to hold a joint exercise next year. In September Moscow deployed two Blackjack strategic bombers to Venezuela’s El Libertador Air Base for one week. From that site, the bomber crews completed maneuvers over the Caribbean, a development unprecedented since the Cold War and a signal that Moscow is intensely pursuing relations with Latin America’s predominantly leftist regimes.

In preparation for its seemingly inevitable confrontation with the USA and NATO, the Russian military carried out a busy regimen of ICBM and SLBM test launches this year and plans on firing more missiles next year, reports the Kremlin media. “We are planning to carry out 13 launches in 2009: five test launches of new missiles, three launches to confirm the extension of missiles’ service lives, and five launches of converted SS-18 Satan ICBMs under the Dnepr program to orbit various satellites,” Strategic Missile Forces Commander Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov explained in late November. In addition, reports Itar-Tass, Solovtsov revealed that the Strategic Missile Troops will place three missile armies and 12 missile divisions on combat duty as of January 1, 2009:

Logistic support units are the following: the 4th state central multi-service firing ground, the 4th Central Research Institute of the Defence Ministry, the 43rd scientific and experimental station, three arms depots and five maintenance works. The Military Academy, three military institutes and four educational centres will educate officers and junior specialists for the Russian Strategic Missile Troops.

The Russian Strategic Missile Troops are planning to have two missile armies and nine missile divisions on combat duty as of January 1, 2016. The number of logistic support military units and military educational establishments will reduce.

The 4th central multi-service firing ground, the 4th Central Research Institute of the Defence Ministry, the 43rd scientific and experimental station, two arms depots, several higher educational establishments and three educational centres will remain.

Next year’s cadre-organizational measures are to preserve the combat potential of the Strategic Missile Troops, further upgrade personnel structures in military units and organisations and fulfil the Defence Ministry decisions, taken at its board meeting on October 14, 2008.

In a related story, Novosti reports that “Military units stationed at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan are to be disbanded by January 1, 2009. Russian officers are leaving the country, and all military programs will be transferred to Plesetsk, northern Russia.”

Apparently, civilian space programs will continue at Baikonur despite the departure of Russia’s Space Forces. Established in 1955, Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world’s oldest and largest spaceport. In 2005 Russia accepted terms for renting the base until 2050, but apparently the Kremlin has lost some confidence in the “ex”-communist regime in Kazakhstan to reliably host the military component of Russia’s space program.

In South America 250 Russian technicians are building a new rocket base in Kourou, French Guiana, which will meet the Kremlin’s need for an equatorial site from which it can launch satellites into geosynchronous orbit. The first Soyuz launch from Kourou is planned for spring 2009.

Taking a cue from logistical mistakes and technical shortcomings in the August Caucasian War, in which the Russian Ground Forces overwhelmed the US/Israeli-trained and -equipped Georgian Army, the Kremlin is pressing ahead with new policies that will transform “Soviet-era structures” in the Russian military. Astute Kremlinologists should consider the possibility that one of the reasons that Moscow provoked the Caucasian War was to test the army’s battle readiness, as well as, more obviously, NATO’s resolve to defend the “former” Soviet republic.

Russian military reforms, reports the AFP news agency, have predictably generated hostility between the Defense Ministry and the country’s brass. On November 29 the Chief of Russia’s General Staff Nikolai Markov signed a directive forbidding military personnel from publicly discussing (criticizing) the reforms, not that the Russian media is known for its independent journalism. Lifting terminology used by past Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to describe the Communist Party’s program of “reform and openness” in the USSR, Kommersant headlined: “The army’s perestroika will go ahead without glasnost.” The number of officers will be slashed to 150,000 from 315,000, although the number of lieutenants will increase. The overall numbers in the armed forces will be cut to 1 million from the current 1.13 million.

Moscow coordinates its military readiness and operations with those of the “former” Soviet republics through the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The Soviet strategists, as we have documented, intend to integrate the CSTO with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Eurasia and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas and the nascent South American Defense Council in Latin America, into one vast federation of communist/socialist states. This is precisely KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn’s warning in New Lies for Old (1984) and The Perestroika Deception (1995, 1998).

Last week, defense ministers from the CSTO member states–Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan–agreed to hold the joint Rubezh command-and-staff exercises every two years. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that the exercises would be held in turn in each of the organization’s member states: “I believe this will provide a real opportunity to increase the combat readiness of individual armed forces and strengthen the collective security of the organization.” Rubezh-2008 took place in Armenia between July 22 and August 22, even as Russian troops re-invaded and occupied neighboring Georgia’s separatist regions, prompting us to suspect that the CSTO might attack Georgia from the southeast, under the guise of war games. Tbilisi withdrew from the organization in 1999.

Finally, last month, as part of its rearmament agreement with the neo-Sandinista regime in Managua, the Kremlin offered to send military technicians to help the Nicaraguan army remove and dispose of 17,000 mines in the northern and central part of the country. The first Sandinista dictatorship buried the mines during the civil war against the US-backed Contras. In the Balkans, reports Novosti, “Russia will continue mine clearing operations in Serbia until 2012 as part of humanitarian aid to the country, which was heavily bombed by NATO warplanes in 1999, the Russian Emergencies Ministry said on Friday.” Such operations, of course, permit the Russian military to discreetly and incrementally place its personnel in allied countries around the world.

>Useful Idiots Bin: Media mogul, UN patron, Castro PR man and Sandinista shill Ted Turner sings the praises of the KGB, condemns US invasion of Iraq

>Media mogul, United Nations patron, Castro PR man, Sandinista shill, and professional Christian-basher Ted Turner has once again openly aligned himself with the international communist conspiracy, by singing the praises of the Committee for State Security (KGB), the “sword and the shield” of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. World Net Daily quotes Turner, who equates the FBI and the KGB, as saying on NBC’s Meet the Press: “And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. And it, it gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile.” Yeah, right, whatever you say, Ted.

Pictured above: Turner, with Russia’s KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, makes a pilgrimage to the Kremlin in 2000. The KGB’s nom de jour is the Russian Federal Security Service.

Turner does it again! Praises KGB, condemns U.S.
Says going into Iraq was ‘naked aggression’ on part of America
Posted: November 30, 20089:18 pm Eastern
WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – CNN founder Ted Turner, who has previously insulted Christianity and warned of imminent cannibalism as a result of global warming, is now praising the KGB and characterizing the U.S. entry into Iraq as “naked aggression.”

“The KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work” with “worthwhile” achievements, Turner said on today’s edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Turner also blamed the U.S. for starting a fight with Russian leader Vladimir Putin “by putting the Star Wars system in Czechoslovakia and Poland.”

When host Tom Brokaw recalled that Leonid Brezhnev reacted to Jimmy Carter’s outreach by invading Afghanistan, Turner explained: “Well, we invaded Afghanistan, too, and it’s a lot further – at least it’s on the border of the Soviet Union.”

When Brokaw characterized the Soviets march into Afghanistan as “naked aggression on the part of the Russians at the time,” Turner said: “Well, going into Iraq was naked aggression on the part of the United States.”

Turner is promoting his new book, “Call Me Ted.””We have an FBI and, and, and, and, and we’re not prejudiced against somebody who’s worked at the FBI,” said Turner.

“It’s an honorable place to work. And the KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work. And it, it gave people in the former Soviet Union, a communist country, an opportunity to do something important and worthwhile.”

Turner had to apologize years ago for calling Christianity “a religion for losers.”

This is not the first time that Comrade Ted has hung out with known KGB agents. In 1988 Media Watch reported that Turner’s Better World Society, long since defunct, boasted two high-ranking Communist Bloc officials on its board of diretors, Georgi Arbatov and Zhou Boping:

Cable broadcasting mogul Ted Turner has crafted a clever way to spread his leftist and pro-Soviet views to the American public. Through his Atlanta cable superstation WTBS and CNN, Turner airs many ads and documentaries produced by the communist-backed Better World Society (BWS). Turner founded BWS in 1985 and serves as Chairman. The Board of Directors boasts several communist officials, including Georgi Arbatov, Director of the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s U.S.-Canada Institute. A recent addition is Communist China’s Zhou Boping, Vice Chairman of the State Family Planning Association. Zhou oversees the one-child population control program which has led to death for millions of unborn and newborn babies through the regime’s forced infanticide campaign.

The Institute for USA and Canada Studies is also known as a KGB think tank and exists to this very day. Perhaps incoming socialist President Barack Hussein Obama will find a cushy job for Turner on some White House committee tasked with reinstituting the “Fairness Doctrine” on talk radio. Better still, maybe Putin will find a plum spot for Comrade Ted at Gazprom Media. Keep this in mind the next time you turn on Cable/Castro/Communist News Network. If the House Committee on Un-American Activities/Internal Security (1934–1975) is ever resurrected, which is highly unlikely under an Obama Presidency, Turner would make a great case study.

>USA File: Mid-November "malware" attack against "highly protected" US Central Command computer network originated in Russia; Bush, Schwartz briefed

>On November 21 we blogged about the mid-month cyberattack against US Central Command’s computer network and the Department of Defense’s edict that all military personnel refrain from using external drives to prevent the malware’s dissemination. The attack penetrated at least one highly protected classified network at US Central Command, the headquarters that oversees US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Senior military leaders,” reports the Qatari media, “took the exceptional step of briefing President Bush this week on a severe and widespread electronic attack on US Defense Department computers that might have originated in Russia, posing unusual concern among commanders and potential implications for national security.”

US Navy Admiral Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also briefed Defense Secretary Robert M Gates. Last Tuesday, General Norton A Schwartz, Air Force Chief of Staff, received a specialised briefing about the malware attack. “Military electronics experts have not pinpointed the source or motive of the attack,” the same source continues, “and could not say whether the destructive programme was created by an individual hacker or whether the Russian government might have had some involvement.”

Pictured above: Cyber Lenin.

>Red Terror File: Pakistanis, Soviets (?) foment war between New Delhi, Islamabad: "Deccan Mujahideen" claims Mumbai terror, email traced to Russia

>- India, Pakistan on War Footing: New Delhi Mobilizes Air and Missile Units, Islamabad Diverts Armored Divisions from Afghan Border to Indian Frontier (McClatchy, Debkafile)

- India Increases Security and Intelligence to “War Level,” Navy Apprehends Two Pakistani Merchant Vessels Off Coast (source, source)

- Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani Summons National Security Conference for December 2 (source)

- The Kremlin Trace behind the Mumbai Attacks:

1) Spetsnaz on the Rampage? Witnesses at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Leopold Cafe: Mumbai Terrorists “Calm,” “Fair Skinned,” “Blonde Haired,” “Beer Drinking” Killers

2) Terrorists Used “Sophisticated” Internet Software to Notify Indian Media in Post-Attack Claim of Responsibility, Email Originated in Russia but Ultimate Origin Disguised

3) Carnage in India’s Financial Capital Occurs One Week Before Russian President Medvedev Scheduled to Visit New Delhi, Confer with Indian Government on Counter-Terrorism Issues

4) Conspiracy of Misdirection: Former KGB Vympel Commando Vladimir Klyukin: US-Trained Pakistani Special Forces Carried Out Mumbai Attacks

- What Is Known about Mumbai Terrorists:

1) Eleven Gunmen Killed; Sole Terrorist Apprehended: Pakistani National Ajmal Amir Kamal a.k.a. Azam Amir Qasab, Alleged Member of Lashkar-e-Taiba

2) Steal into City from Karachi-Originated Cargo Ship, Commandeer Two Police Vehicles, Purchase Three-Day Stock of Food and Alcohol at Local Markets to Sustain Themselves

3) Storm Mumbai Police Headquarters in Military-Style Operation, Anti-Terrorism Chief of Maharashtra State and Two Other Senior Officers Killed in Gunfire

4) Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra State: Pakistan-Sponsored Terrorists Planned to Kill 5,000 People

5) Indian Officials: Terrorists “Prepared for Months,” Set Up “Control Rooms” in Hotels

6) Member of Indian Naval Commando Unit: Terrorists in Their 20s and “Well Trained”

7) UK Security Source to CNN: Bodies of Two Terrorists Found with British Identification Documents

Pictured above: On November 29 Indian soldiers surround the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, during the last day of a four-day siege in which terrorists from Pakistan holed up in the building.

Last week, between November 26 and 29, terrorists launched a barrage of horrific, coordinated attacks across Mumbai, the financial capital of India that was once known as Bombay. On Wednesday evening the freighter MV Alpha, hailing from Karachi, dispatched its deadly cargo 10 nautical miles outside Indian territorial waters. From the freighter, at least 12 terrorists took two small rubber speedboats to Mumbai’s Gateway of India, a landmark built in 1911 to commemorate a visit by King George V and Queen Mary. There they fanned out throughout the city’s southern district, commandeering two police vehicles and wreaking havoc.

The killers methodically fired automatic weapons and lobbed grenades and bombs; stormed hotels, an historic train station, and an Orthodox Jewish center; demanded that businesses hand over US and British tourists as potential victims; and seized hostages. Indian commandoes finally regained control of all attack sites on Saturday. At least 172 people, including at least 34 foreign nationals, have been confirmed dead and at least 293 were been injured.

Eight attacks took place in South Mumbai, including at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station; two five-star hotels, Oberoi Trident at Nariman Point, and Taj Mahal Hotel near the Gateway of India; Leopold Cafe in Colaba; Cama Hospital; the Orthodox Jewish Nariman House; and the Metro Adlabs movie theatre. Significantly, in a move that reveals military-caliber planning, terrorists also targeted the Mumbai Police Headquarters, where at least three high-level officers, including the chief of the Anti Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra State, were killed by gunfire.

A bomb was also detonated at the Mazagaon docks in Mumbai’s port area. A tenth incident involved a taxi blast at Vile Parle near the airport, but it is unclear whether this was connected with the South Mumbai attacks.

Pictured here: Last Thursday an Indian Army sniper climbs scaffolding opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel, where terrorists from Pakistan (but not necessarily Pakistani terrorists) took tourists hostage.

Prior to storming the Jewish Nariman House, one group of terrorists, described as “youths” by some witnesses, purchased food and alcohol from local markets to sustain themselves. Last Friday the Indian media reported:

The six terrorists who have made an Israeli family hostage at Nariman House building in Colaba can battle with the security agencies for at least three days without having to worry about food, local residents claimed on Thursday. “The terrorists came to Colaba on Wednesday evening,” Mukund Shelke, who runs a grocery shop at Colaba Market, said. “Before barging into Nariman House, they had purchased adequate food to last them at least three days,” he said. “They had purchased around two crates of chicken and liquor worth Rs25,000 from two shops in Colaba,” another resident Joseph D’Mello said. “They then entered the Nariman House building and took the Israeli family captive.” The locals said the terrorists were youths.

Islam, it should be mentioned, forbids the consumption of alcohol, while Hinduism generally frowns on its use, although there is no ban as such. This suggests that the terrorists were neither Muslims, nor Hindu nationalists staging a provocation against Pakistan. (See additional eyewitness testimony below concerning non-religious identity of attackers.)

In a November 29 report CNN, citing various sources, reveals additional, intriguing clues about the terrorists and their possible identities and motives. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra State, for example, declared that the terrorists planned to kill 5,000 people, while other Indian officials stated the terrorists prepared for months and set up “control rooms” in the hotels that were attacked. A member of the Indian naval commando unit described the terrorists as in their 20s and “well trained,” while a security source in the United Kingdom confided to CNN that the bodies of two terrorists were found with British identification documents.

India’s socialist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promptly labelled the high-profile, Al Qaeda-style attacks as the work of “external forces.” RR Patil, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra State, declared yesterday that there was “proof” that the terrorists conversed by telephone with someone in Pakistan during the attack: “All phone calls made by them were tapped. They were being instructed from outside regarding their movement inside the hotel – whether to go upstairs or come down or make a move left or right.”

Most terrorism today is commited in the name of Islam and communism. Sometimes, the former serves as a cover for the latter, as we have previously documented regarding Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, an asset of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB). Pakistan’s socialist government strongly condemned the attacks, while the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is often accused of creating unrest in India, denied any involvement. However, Rakesh Maria, senior police officer in Mumbai, told reporters yesterday that the sole captured terrorist Ajmal Amir Kamal a.k.a. Azam Amir Qasab is a member of LeT: “Lashkar-e-Taiba is behind the terrorist acts in the city. The terrorists were from a hardcore group in the L-e-T. Ajmal Qasab has received training in a L-e-T training camp in Pakistan.”

Superficially, it appears that someone somewhere has created a pretext for a devastating war between nuclear-armed states India and Pakistan.

In an email to the Indian media, a previously unknown group, the Deccan Mujahedeen, reports The Times at the first link above, claimed responsibility and demanded the release of all Mujahideen, or “Islamic holy warriors,” in Indian jails. One militant inside the Oberoi Trident Hotel, identifying himself only as Sahadullah, informed an Indian television station by telephone: “Release all the mujahideens, and Muslims living in India should not be troubled.” Another terrorist at the Jewish complex, identified only as Imran, phoned an Indian TV station and ranted: “Are you aware how many people have been killed in Kashmir? Are you aware how your army has killed Muslims? Are you aware how many of them have been killed in Kashmir this week?”

There are tantalizing hints, though, that not all of the Mumbai terrorists were enraged, observant Muslims from Pakistan seeking the blood of Hindus and Westerners, but, rather, very possibly Soviet special forces carrying out a false flag operation. In terms of ethnicity, these individuals could have been Russian or Chechen. In the latter case, the perps may have been indistinguishable from Pakistanis. As is often the case in catastrophes the earliest news reports contain the most important information, which is later buried in conflicting reports, official denials, and outright propaganda. We can only speculate at this time, but consider the following circumstantial evidence.

According to Mumbai cafe owner Pappu Mishra, whose business is located in the historic CST railway station, the two terrorists who showed up at this site were “fair-skinned,” “sprightly, young men dressed in black,” who proceeded to “calmly” open fire on travellers with weapons that looked like AK-47s. The BBC News continues with Mishra’s testimony:

He remembers the two sauntering into the waiting hall, plonking their handbags on the floor, taking out a gun “which looked like an AK-47″, and walking toward the platforms where they gunned down late-evening commuters on the city’s busy suburban train network.

“Their audaciousness was breath-taking,” he says.

“One man loaded the magazine into the gun, the other kept shooting. They appeared calm and composed. They were not in the slightest hurry. They didn’t seem to be afraid at all.”

The men entered a platform and shot a man near an automated teller machine.

Then they turned around and shot another commuter at the grubby, dark-tiled drinking water station around the corner.

Then, the “foreign looking, fair skinned” men, as Mr Mishra remembers them, simply carried on killing.

According to Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi visitor at the popular tourist hang out Leopold Cafe, another attack site, the gunmen were “fair skinned,” “blonde-haired” beer drinkers, one of whom sported a “punkish hairstyle”:

Locals say the orgy of killings in Mumbai began here. Three men walked into the cafe, drank beer, settled their bills and walked out. Then they fished out guns from their bags and began firing. Gaffar Abdul Amir, an Iraqi tourist from Baghdad, says he saw at least two men who started the firing outside the Leopold Cafe. He was returning to his hotel from the seaside with a friend when he saw two men carrying bags and brandishing AK-47s walking in front of them, shooting. “They did not look Indian, they looked foreign. One of them, I thought, had blonde hair. The other had a punkish hairstyle. They were neatly dressed,” says Mr Amir.

Granted, some ethnic groups in southwestern Asia and northern India can be relatively fair skinned compared, for example, to the people of southern India. Still, Amir’s description of the perps at Leopold Cafe certainly does not portray the common profile of a bearded, dark-haired, bomb-waving Muslim terrorist shouting “Allah Akbar.” (See story above in which the terrorist group that attacked the Orthodox Jewish center produced liquor from among its locally bought siege supplies.)

Another intriguing clue as to the identity and motives of the Mumbai terrorists relates to their technical expertise with Internet software, in particular, an anonymous “remailer” service traced to a computer server in Russia and from which the “terrorists’ sent their email claim to the Indian media. “Use of the anonymous “remailer” service is a pointer to the meticulous planning of the terrorists and their technical expertise,” reports the Times of India below.

Jihadis used ‘anonymous’ service to send email
30 Nov 2008, 0039 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Investigations into the source of the email purportedly sent by an outfit called Deccan Mujahideen to a TV channel claiming responsibility for the Mumbai attack have hit a dead end due to the jihadis’ technical expertise and their knowledge of sophisticated software.

It was found that the jihadis had used the anonymous “remailer” service – which is the most secure and least traceable way to send an email – instead of the normal Internet service availed on earlier occasions.

Contrary to the normal Internet service which can easily trace the origin of an email through IP address of a particular computer, the remailer service not only deletes the IP address but also all details including the sources from where someone might have requested the secret service.

An official said, “There are several software available for the remailer service that lets one send anonymous email through a web interface. Some other software allow send email messages that can only be viewed for a certain time and one can remain anonymous to boot.”

Though investigators found that the main server of Deccan Mujahideen’s email was located in Russia, they have not been able to locate the place from where the email was sent. Use of the anonymous “remailer” service is a pointer to the meticulous planning of the terrorists and their technical expertise.

Sources in the home ministry said that though cyber experts were still trying to trace the origin of the email using different software and they could even find it, India could contact Russia for help if it failed to trace it as the “remailer” service provider was traced to that country.

The jihadis’ move also shows the progress made by them in pursuing their designs as they first used cyber cafes, then moved to Wi-Fi system and now to “remailer” service to send emails.

Following earlier terror attacks, Indian Mujahideen, a splinter group of the banned SIMI, had sent five emails. While the first two – after serial blasts in UP courts and Jaipur – were sent from cyber cafes in Delhi and Sahibabad respectively, the others were sent using Wi-Fi system from Mumbai after serial blasts in Ahmedabad and Delhi.

“Origin of all these emails were traced within hours through the IP addresses. But this time, the terrorists made the task tough due to use of remailer service,” said an official.

Investigators believe the terror masterminds might have done this knowing the fate of earlier emails – yet another pointer of their complicity even though the earlier strikes were carried out by locals in the name of IM.

Pictured here: Soviet/Russian military intelligence (GRU) headquarters in Moscow.

The very name of the organization claiming responsibility for the attacks, the Deccan Mujahideen, is another clue: No one has ever travelled under this title before and next to nothing is known about the group. In January 2006, the month in which we created our blog, we explored the linkage between the FSB/KGB, GRU, and Islamic terrorist groups. This linkage needs exposure again:

At Once Upon a Time in the West we strongly adhere to the position that some of these shadowy Al Qaeda affiliates are little more than fronts for Russian military intelligence (GRU) and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Our position applies especially to the case of Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which, in letters to the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, claimed responsibility for the following terrorist actions:

1) the electrical blackout of August 14, 2003 in the northeastern United States and central Canada;

2) the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003;

3) the bombing of two synagogues in Turkey on November 15, 2003, and the British consulate and HSBC bank in Istanbul on November 20;

4) a hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2003;

5) the March 11, 2004 Madrid attacks; and

6) a letter published on July 2, 2004, endorsing the three-month Al Qaeda ultimatum issued against Europe on April 14, 2004

Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades also claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombings in London in July 2005. However, in the blog, “Red Terror File: FSB behind July 2005 London bombings; planned attacks in France year before” we noted Litvinenko’s observation that the London bombings were orchestrated by the FSB, the former head of which was in Scotland that day, rubbing elbows with fellow G-8 leaders.

Our position also applies to the Islambouli Brigades, a murky group that claimed responsibility for the attacks that downed two Russian airliners on August 24, 2004 and the August 31 suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway station that killed nine people. This group denies responsibility for the Beslan school massacre, which occurred within days of the other two incidents. (Shamil Basayev, a probable agent of Russian military intelligence, assumed responsibility for the atrocity in North Ossetia.) Terrorism experts believe that the group is named after Khaled Islambouli, the leader of another terrorist group that assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. The Islambouli Brigades also claim responsibility for the assassination attempt on Pakistani Prime Minister-designate Shawkat Aziz on July 31, 2004, but Pakistani authorities have not confirmed this claim.

In a perfect case of misdirection, yesterday Russian terrorism expert, former KGB Vympel commando, and Afghan war veteran Vladimir Klyukin insisted that the Mumbai attackers were not “ordinary terrorists, but rather Pakistani special forces, which were allegedly set up by US intelligence prior to the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Behind this terrorist attack there are ‘Green Flag’ special operations forces, which were created by the Americans in Pakistan,” Klyukin opined, “just an year before the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, and in the initial period were under full US control.” He added: “People from the streets, without any planning and training are simply not able to hold four big complexes in a city so long.” Klyukin’s got that much right.

The so-called Deccan Mujahideen, therefore, could very well fall into the same category as the Islambouli Brigades and Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades: more Soviet subversion, sabotage, and misdirection.

The Kremlin’s response to the Mumbai atrocity was certainly predictable. As Voice of Russia reports today, Moscow is seeking closer cooperation with New Delhi on counter-terrorism issues ahead of Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the Indian capital this week:

In a telephone conversation with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Medvedev said Russia supported the Indian Government’s measures taken to do away with the aftermath of the tragedy. Russia and India reaffirmed the intent to step up interaction in fighting terrorism, interaction that’s due to come under discussion during the Russian President’s visit to Delhi later this week. Over 170 people died in the terror attacks in Mumbai, including up to 30 foreign nationals. Indians are certain that the attack was launched by fighters from Pakistan, which has triggered another crisis in relations between the nuclear neighbour countries.

India is already a semi-communist state facing a Maoist insurgency in the northeastern states. It also boasts observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and close military relations with neo-Soviet Russia that includes past joint war games and another combined naval drill slated for 2009. The Mumbai attacks merely fortify the rationale for India’s further abosorption into the Communist Bloc

>Blast from the Past File: Jailed under Soviet-backed dictator Bishop, Grenada’s new PM deepens island state’s realignment with Cuba

>- Grenadian Foreign Minister: 24 Cuban Military Engineers Killed in 1983 US-Led Invasion Will Receive a Monument

- Cuba, China Building Grenada’s National Stadium; Authorities in St. George’s Intercept Suspicious Container Shipment, Order Chinese Company to Stop Constructing Hotel

- Three Russians Conspired with Grenada’s Deputy Prime Minister to Block US Oil Exploration Near Island in 2007, Even as Kremlin Pursues Offshore Drilling in Cuba

Today’s Blast from the Past File, the first in many months, focuses on Grenada’s gradual reabsorption, under several non-Marxist regimes, into the Communist Bloc–25 years after US President Ronald Reagan launched Operation Urgent Fury against the communist dictatorship there. Pictured above: US Army Rangers parachute into Grenada’s main airport.

In March 1979 Marxist Maurice Bishop and his New Jewel Movement (NJM) overthrew the democratically elected government of Grenadian Prime Minister Eric Gairy, who was then addressing the United Nations in New York City. On October 13, 1983 a NJM faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard, another ardent pro-Soviet communist, seized power. Bishop was placed under house arrest and executed six days later. Upon Bishop’s death, General Hudson Austin proclaimed himself head of the Revolutionary Military Council, which lasted until the USA, with support from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, invaded the island on October 25. General Austin was deposed.

When the 7,000 US troops arrived on the island–under the pretext of restoring political stability and rescuing US medical students studying at St. George’s University–they encountered 1,500 Grenadian soldiers, about 700 Cuban military engineers, and 60 “advisers” from the Soviet Union, East Germany, Bulgaria, Libya, and North Korea. The Communist Bloc personnel were involved in constructing a 9,000-foot runway at Point Salines International Airport, reportedly to promote tourism on the island. Unconvinced, the White House worried that the Soviets would use Point Salines to convey arms to Cuba and revolutionary groups in Central America.

In his autobiography Under Fire (Harper Collins/Zondervan, 1991), retired US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North wrote of the Grenada intervention:

Here was a tiny island in the middle of the Caribbean where we discovered enough guns to arm every man, woman and child three times over. We also found an enormous archive of documents that was brought back to Washington to be analyzed. It offered the first detailed case study of a Soviet takeover of another country that we had ever seen. . . . Among other things, the Grenada documents revealed a massive indoctrination program for the island’s population. Selected individuals from Grenada were sent to study and train all over the Soviet empire: Moscow, East Berlin, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague, Sofia, Havana. How could anybody honestly argue that there was no evidence of an international Communist connection [pages 269-270]?

After the restoration of constitutional government, the NJM was banned, but followers of Bishop organized the socialist Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM). The MBPM’s last leader merged the organization with another leftist party in 2002, creating the People’s Labour Movement (PLM), which failed to win a seat in the 2003 election. For the July 2008 election the PLM entered a coalition with the Grenada United Labor Party, ironically once the party of Bishop’s adversary Gairy. The GULP-PLM coalition received no seats. However, Tillman Thomas’ National Democratic Congress won the most seats and Thomas (pictured below) was sworn in as prime minister this past July 9.

Today, reports the Caribbean media, PM Thomas, who was imprisoned during the Bishop dictatorship, has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to deepening relations between Havana and St. George’s: “The government and people of Grenada will continue to render their support to Cuba at the United Nations and other international fora; we will continue to call for the ending of the harsh and unjust economic and financial embargo; and will continue to work towards ensuring that the relations between Grenada and the Republic of Cuba are strengthened in the future.” Thomas spoke at the end of this week’s 11th session of the Grenada-Cuba Joint Commission, where an agreement was inked allowing Grenadians to continue studying in Cuba’s universities. Thomas added that Grenadians will also continue to benefit from the presence and expertise of Cuban medical professionals on the island.

Relations between Grenada and Cuba were actually restored in 1997 when Thomas’ conservative predecessor Keith Mitchell visited Havana. “Mr. Mitchell,” reported the New York Times, “did not come home empty-handed. While in Havana, he and Mr. Castro signed an economic cooperation agreement that calls for training Grenadian health care and tourism workers in Cuba, granting Cuban scholarships to Grenadian students and providing Cuban technical assistance to Grenadian agricultural and industrial ventures. Cuba also pledged to help Grenada build a national stadium, which would be the biggest project here since the [Point Salines] airport.”

Although Grenada is no longer under a Marxist regime, communist states around the world are still exerting influence in this small Caribbean country. Both Cuba and China, for example, are committed to improving Grenada’s infrastructure. The Chinese media reported on November 29, 2008 that Grenadian authorities ordered the Chinese company SOGECOA Caribbean to halt construction of a nearly completed five-storey hotel. Local planning inspectors recently discovered that the Chinese only had permission to construct an office building. Grenadians became suspicious when they intercepted a container purportedly carrying supplies for the country’s stadium, which is being built by the same Chinese company. Instead of stadium supplies, they found beds, tables, and chairs in the container.

Last month PM Thomas attended a ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Grenada. Present also was the US ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mary Ourisman, who read a letter from former First Lady Nancy Reagan, which stated in part:

I can hardly believe 25 years have passed since my husband received that early morning call for help from the Governor (General) of Grenada. Authorising military force is an extremely difficult decision for a president to make, but my husband didn’t hesitate. He knew that the freedom of the citizens of Grenada, the security of the democracies of the Eastern Caribbean, and the safety of American citizens in Grenada were at stake.

The attempt by Thomas’ government to play nice with the USA is suspect in view of the fact that the ruling National Democratic Congress has announced that it will construct a monument to remember the 24 Cuban military engineers who died during Operation Urgent Fury. “We cannot forget the Cubans who died in the invasion. They were making a contribution towards the development of this country and it’s time we recognise their contribution with an appropriate monument,” Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David intoned on October 14.

Thomas, it should be added, supports regional integration in the form of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy and the Caribbean Court of Justice. Latin America’s Red Axis, headquartered primarily in Havana, Caracas, and Managua, can rely on Thomas to bring Grenada back into the Communist Bloc without offering resistance. Grenada, which already participates in the Caracas-led Petrocaribe venture, may very well be the next candidate for membership in the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas.

Even North Korea has extended feelers to the new government in St. George’s. This past summer, communist dictator Kim Jong-il rather surprisingly congratulated PM Thomas on his electoral victory. “Expressing the belief that the friendly relations between the DPRK and Grenada would favorably develop in the mutual interests,” the Korean Central News Agency reported, “Kim in the message sincerely wished him success in his noble work.”

Not surprisingly, Russia has not abandoned all interest in the tiny island state. Grenada and the Soviet Union exchanged diplomatic missions in 1979, but these were terminated during the US-backed invasion. Grenada and Russia restored relations in 2002, at which time the Russian ambassador to Guyana was tasked with supervising relations between St. George’s and Moscow. In 2007 three Russian citizens conspired with Grenada’s deputy prime minister to prevent US businessman Jack Grynberg from executing an oil exploration agreement signed with St. George’s in 1996. At the same time, intriguingly, the Kremlin is pursuing offshore drilling ventures in Cuba.

More troubling still, on November 25, David Smith, director of the Georgian Security Analysis Center in Tbilisi, warned of the parallels between the Soviet-backed Cuba-Nicaragua-Grenada military triangle of the 1980s and the new Russian-backed Cuba-Nicaragua-Venezuela military triangle of the 2000s:

In the near term, writes Barry Cooper in the Calgary Herald, “A little training, a few high-end weapons in the hands of the Mexican drug cartels could pay off handsomely for the Russians. From their perspective, what could be better than a failed state or two on the outskirts of America?” In the medium term, beware of a potential Cuba-Nicaragua-Venezuela military triangle astride the approaches to Florida, the Mississippi, Houston and the Panama Canal, within bomber range of America’s eastern seaboard. This would replicate the Soviet Cuba-Nicaragua-Grenada triangle smashed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983.

“President Obama should maintain a wary eye on Russia,” concludes Smith. Indeed, the White House should specifically maintain a wary eye on neo-Soviet influence in the Caribbean.

>Latin America File: Medvedev wraps up regional tour, meets Raul Castro in Havana, first Russian leader to visit Cuba since Putin’s 2000 trip

>Novosti: Earlier This Year Russian Strategic Bomber Crews Visited Cuba to Identify Suitable Locations to Base Their Aircraft

Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev is wrapping up his four-nation Latin American tour today in long-time Soviet ally Cuba.

Over the past week he has visited Peru, where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and Brazil and Venezuela, where he worked on improving bilateral relations with the communist regime in Caracas and the semi-communist regime in Brasilia. While visiting Hugo Chavez, Medvedev made a surprise appearance at a special meeting of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), where he conferred with Nicaragua and Bolivia’s communist leaders, Daniel Ortega and Evo Morales. There Medvedev, with little comment on the part of the North American MSM, articulated the neo-Soviet leadership’s desire of uniting Russia with ALBA, Latin America’s growing bloc of socialist and allied nations.

Concurrent with Medvedev’s tour, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov paid relationship-forging visits to Ecuador, where President Rafael Correa is closely aligned with Chavez, and US ally Colombia. In recent weeks, Russia has not only revitalized its Soviet-era defense pacts with Cuba and Nicaragua, but also consolidated its seven-year-old strategic partnership with Red Venezuela, and founded new military and security cooperation agreements with Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador. As we have suggested before, Russia’s intense networking with Latin America’s leftist leaders this year appears to be leading to the formation of a Red Dawn-style military coalition.

With respect to Cuba, earlier this year Russian strategic bomber crews arrived on the island to identify suitable locations to base their aircraft. In September Russian transport aircraft delivered humanitarian aid to the hurricane-ravaged island state. Shortly thereafter a high-ranking Russian military delegation materialized on Cuba, pledging to modernize the communist state’s air defense system (presumably against US attack), and train a new generation of Cuban soldiers and airmen in Russia. (Within the last few weeks Russia established a similar arrangement for Nicaragua’s armed forces.) Moscow has also expressed its intent of building a space center and heavy truck factory (which has potential military application) on Cuba. Lastly, the Kremlin is also preparing to drill for oil off the coast of Cuba. There the Russians will be competing with US petroleum companies presently drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (In a somewhat encouraging development, US oil firms have received assurances from the incoming Democratic administration that some expansion of drilling along the East and West Coasts will be permitted.)

The Red Chinese have already heavily invested in Cuba’s command economy. Medvedev’s visit to sunny but sinister Cuba follows a trip by Chinese President/Tyrant Hu Jintao last week, an event reviewed by Fidel Castro himself in his regular Granma column.

Today, before flying home to Moscow, Medvedev will pay homage to Soviet soldiers killed in action abroad, at the Mausoleum of the Soviet Internationalist Soldier, in the Havana suburbs. In 2000 then President Vladimir Putin, Medvedev’s mentor, was the last Russian leader to visit Cuba since the Cold War, which appears to have been reactivated. “Medvedev’s visit [to Cuba],” remarks the AFP news agency, “follows an accelerated process of reconciliation, including new deals on military, energy, telecommunications and transport ties.”

Pictured above: A young commie, an old commie and, in the background, a commie who refuses to die. Yesterday Medvedev accompanied his host Castro in laying a wreath to honor Cuba’s national hero Jose Marti, at Havana’s Revolution Square. A stylized depiction of Argentine-born communist-terrorist Che Guevara looms in the background. Che’s iconic mugshot also appears on T-shirts worn by naive and brainwashed college students worldwide. A close-up of the same photo appears immediately below.

Medvedev meets with Raul Castro in Cuba
November 27, 2008

HAVANA (AFP) — Visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with Cuban President Raul Castro seeking to forge closer ties with the former Soviet Union’s Cold War ally, on the last leg of a tour to boost Russia’s reach in Latin America.

Not long after arriving in Havana around 2050 GMT from Venezuela, Medvedev held two rounds of official talks — one private and one between the two countries’ delegations — at the imposing Palace of the Revolution.

Then the Cuban president, who maintains a low public profile, and Medvedev paid a visit to the new Russian Orthodox cathedral in colonial Old Havana, with bells tolling and security tight.

It marks the last stop for Medvedev on a four-nation trip, including Peru, Brazil and Venezuela, where he visited Russian warships due to carry out joint maneuvers next week.

It was unclear whether Medvedev, on the first visit by a Russian leader to Cuba since 2000, would also meet ailing former president Fidel Castro, 82.

The visit could be light on substance: there were no agreements scheduled to be signed though the countries do have cooperation in fields such as oil, nickel, telecommunications, biotechnology and tourism.

Medvedev’s Latin America tour largely has sought to boost trade, despite the world economic slowdown, but was also seen as a rebuff to US moves in formally Communist-ruled parts of Europe, such as planned missile defense facilities.

The Russian leader arrived from Venezuela, where he signed a string of accords, including a nuclear energy deal, with anti-US President Hugo Chavez.

Medvedev is only the second Russian president to travel to Cuba after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to a decade of distant relations broken by a visit by former president Vladimir Putin in 2000.

But Putin’s decision to close a Russian spy base in Lourdes, south of Havana, in 2001, created a new chill in relations that lasted until 2007, when Moscow showed a new interest in Latin America.

Medvedev’s visit follows an accelerated process of reconciliation, including new deals on military, energy, telecommunications and transport ties.

“Cuba has been and will continue to be one of our key partners in Latin America,” Medvedev said after hosting Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque in Russia this month.

“Relations are developing in a very dynamic way,” Medvedev said on announcing a planned trip by Raul Castro to Russia in 2009.

The Russian ambassador said Saturday that the country was negotiating major investments in Cuba’s oil and nickel industries, with deals under consideration with specific Russian firms to search for oil offshore in Cuba’s exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

Since Raul Castro replaced his ailing brother, who held Cuba’s helm for five decades, he has implemented minor and not radical systemic economic changes. The government controls the economy and media, and still outlaws opposition forces.

Earlier this month, Russia granted Cuba a 20-million-dollar trade credit as part of agreements on oil, mining and transport, during a visit by Russian deputy premier Igor Sechin.

In a Russian drive in the region after an Asia-Pacific summit in Peru earlier this month, Medvedev also visited Brazil, and his foreign minister, Serguei Lavrov, stopped off in Colombia and Ecuador.

Russia sees Latin America as a “center of economic growth,” Lavrov said Thursday in Quito.

Medvedev’s visit to Cuba follows a trip by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who put off some of Cuba’s debt payments and agreed to cooperation deals to strengthen ties between the two communist nations.

Pictured immediately above: Medvedev, messenger boy for the Moscow Leninists, and Castro get down to the business of revitalizing the Moscow-Havana Axis and dethroning US “unipolarity,” a communist codeword for “imperialism.” It was not clear, states AFP above, if Medvedev would make a house call to Raul’s ailing brother Fidel, who is still titular head of the Communist Party of Cuba. President Castro will visit Moscow next year.

>Latin America File: Russia’s plan to join ALBA socialist bloc highlights USA’s profound strategic failures; Medvedev meets Ortega, Morales in Caracas

>- Chavez: The Armies of ALBA’s “Revolutionary Governments” Will Defend the Region’s Bloc of Socialist Nations

- Ortega and Chavez Warn Obama: US President-Elect’s Domestic Opponents Will Try to Assassinate Him

- New Cold War in Central America: USA Suspends Aid to Managua, Venezuela Steps in to Fill the Gap with New Company to Supply Food to Nicaragua

In our last post we summarized Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev’s Latin American itinerary, unaware that the region’s expanding bloc of socialist and allied nations, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), was holding a special summit in Caracas on the same day that the Russian head of state was due to arrive. In addition to their host, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist despot Daniel Ortega and Bolivia’s new “communist on the bloc” President Evo Morales were in attendance. ALBA consists of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras, and tiny Dominica.

Ominously, during the meeting Ortega and Chavez hinted, without naming names, that domestic, presumably right-wing (“fascist”), opponents of President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama intend to assassinate the USA’s first non-white executive. “They will kill him if he tries to promote the change [socialism] that he has promised in the United States,” they cautioned. “He is a prisoner of the empire,” Ortega said. “I hope they don’t kill him,” Chávez offered.

Even more ominously, the Washington Post confirms our suspicions that Medvedev not only met with Chavez, but also Ortega and Morales on the sidelines of the ALBA conference (pictured above and below). The Russian president was not scheduled to visit Nicaragua and Bolivia on this trip so this rendezvous in the Venezuelan capital worked out well for the Communist Bloc leaders. In a troubling but not surprising development that exposes the profound strategic failures of US policy makers in countering neo-Soviet influence in the Western Hemisphere, the same source also reveals that Russia is contemplating joining ALBA as an associate member:

Medvedev also said Russia is ready to “think about participating” in a regional socialist trade bloc led by Chavez, likely as an associate member. Chavez launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, named after South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, as an alternative to U.S.-backed free-trade pacts. Cuba is the last stop on a four-nation tour, which also included visits to Peru and Brazil and talks in Caracas with Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega.

Ortega is slated to visit Moscow on December 17, his first such pilgrimage since the Cold War. At that time he will formalize an agreement by which the Russians will renovate the Soviet-built, never-used, 22-year-old military runway at Punta Huete, north of Lake Managua. The Punta Huete air base can accommodate the Tu-160 “Blackjack” strategic bomber, placing the US West Coast within striking distance of these supersonic ALCM platforms, with no refueling necessary. Two Blackjacks were briefly deployed to Venezuela in September.

One of the “constructive” undertakings that emerged from yesterday’s Kremlin-sponsored ALBA summit in Caracas was the proposal to establish a new, regional currency for member states that will replace the dying US dollar. Another project, reports El Universal, was ALBA Alimentos de Nicaragua, a Venezuelan initiative that will channel food, including milk and meat, to Ortega’s impoverished country.

This is a timely economic bailout for the embattled neo-Sandinista regime since this week the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government agency, decided to suspend a $64 million aid package to Nicaragua, expressing concerns about the “state of democracy” in the Central American country. “We had hoped, for the sake of the Nicaraguan people, that the [Sandinista] government would continue the country’s trend toward peaceful, democratic and credible elections,” lamented MCC chief executive John J. Danilovich this week, adding: “I’m afraid recent evidence shows that this is not the case.” Speaking at the ALBA summit, reports the Costa Rican media, Ortega remarked that Nicaragua was now “free” of the baleful influence of the “North American empire,” meaning the USA. Host Chávez explained that “ALBA will continue to denounce the international plans to destabilize the revolutionary governments in Latin America.” He also warned that “Member nations have soldiers to defend it.”

Meanwhile, states Cuba’s Prensa Latina, political tensions between the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front and the opposition, led by the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (PLC), fester as the PLC advanced a bill in the National Assembly to anull the results of the disputed November 9 municipal elections. “I want to state clearly that the National Assembly has no faculties to comment on electoral matters,” assembly president and Sandinista cadre Daniel Nunez protested. The PLC has paralyzed assembly business by refusing to support the 2009 national budget.

>Latin America File: Medvedev arrives in Caracas late Wednesday, tours destroyer Admiral Chabanenko with host Chavez, pledges nuclear cooperation

>The Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, based in Murmansk and under the command of flagship missile cruiser Peter the Great, made a friendly port of call in Venezuela two days ago, receiving a 21-gun salute from Venezuelan marines. There Russian sailors will carry out joint naval drills with their Venezuelan counterparts under the watchful presence of communist dictator Hugo Chavez and Russian “President” Dmitry Medvedev, who is touring Latin America at this time. El Universal reports that Medvedev and Chavez were conveyed today to the port of La Guaira, in the northern state of Vargas, where they inspected the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, one of the warships accompanying Peter the Great. The nuclear-powered missile cruiser, however, anchored offshore because it is too large to dock at the Venezuelan facility.

Medvedev has already visited Peru, where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and pressed the flesh with lame-duck US President George W. Bush. He then went to Brazil where, according to CNN, he signed agreements with leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that addresses issues like security cooperation, the sale of combat helicopters to Brasilia, and the establishment of a joint enterprise between Gazprom and Petrobas. Russia, Brazil, India, and China belong to the so-called BRIC group of nations, an economic alliance of “emerging markets” countries.

In Caracas Medvedev will ink a raft of military and economic agreements with well-established strategic partner Chavez, reports Bloomberg. This framework of cooperation will commit Russia to building a nuclear power plant in Venezuela, a prospect that should worry US policy makers exceedingly. “The world is becoming multipolar,” gloated Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s rubber-stamp parliament. Accompanying Medvedev to Caracas, Margelov enlarged: “Latin America is also one of the poles of strength. Russia is back in Latin America, Russia is back in Africa, and Russia is back in Asia. We are ready to work in markets where we can be competitive.” Chavez chimed in: “Russia is back on its feet and playing an important role. I’m committed to continue to work together like this, without letting up.” Russia is indeed “back,” back in the USSR . . .

After wrapping up his Caracas stopover, Medvedev will fly to long-time Soviet ally Cuba, there to confer with communist dictator Raul Castro.

Putatively the president of Russia, Medvedev is widely perceived–by average Russians as well as even Western analysts who do not recognize the perestroika deception–as a temporary frontman for KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Medvedev, of course, is a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol and thus a compliant tool in the hands of the covertly ruling Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union. This week the Federation Council followed the Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house, in approving a bill that will extend the presidential term limit from four to six years. BBC News speculates: “The bill has been fast-tracked, and is seen by some as a sign Vladimir Putin may return to the presidency soon.”

If this is the intent of the Soviet strategists, then Medvedev may resign as early as 2009, permitting Putin to step into his old role as president for the next 12 years, just long enough for the Moscow Leninists to complete their goal of global domination. Throughout this political farce, the Soviet strategists will maintain the fiction that Russia has become a constitutional democracy and a suitable partner for East-West convergence, with a little help from Barack Hussein Obama.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Two Bear bombers fly near Alaska, intercepted by US F-15s; Russia test launches new MIRV-able ICBM from Plesetsk

>- Russian Strategic Missile Forces Commander Colonel General Solovtsov: RS-24 Designed to Counter US National Missile Defense

- Tenth Ilyushin Il-76 Transport Aircraft Arrives in Chad with Housing Modules for Russian Helicopter Base

The Russian Air Force’s revitalized overseas missions continued today, reports Kommersant Daily, as two Tu-95 strategic bombers based at the Ukrainka Air Base in the Far East carried out a 15-hour flight over the Arctic Ocean. The bombers left their base on November 25 and returned earlier today. During their flight these venerable but hardy ALCM platforms were refueled by Ilyushin Il-78 aerial tankers and intercepted by two US Air Force F-15 fighter jets as they neared the coast of Alaska. As usual Kremlin spokesentities insisted that the bomber flightplans conformed to accepted rules of international aviation.

At Once Upon a Time in the West we endeavor to chronicle every flight carried out by Russian strategic aviation. The previous incident occured last week when another two Bear bombers, based at Engels Air Base in southern Russia, also carried out a routine patrol mission over the North Pole.

In yet another signal to Washington DC that Moscow is still a nuclear superpower, Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) launched an RS-24 missile, a new-generation ICBM with MIRV warheads, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome yesterday. The missile, reports Novosti, successfully hit a designated target thousands of miles away on Russia’s Pacific coast, in the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Plesetsk is located in northwestern Russia. The RS-24 (pictured above) was first tested on May 29 and December 25 of 2007.

In October SMF commander Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov announced that the RS-24 missile system will enter service in 2009. Solovtsov plainly admitted that the RS-24 is designed to counter the USA’s National Missile Defense program: “This new system will strengthen Russia’s nuclear deterrence, including our capability to penetrate missile defense shields. It will also counter elements of a U.S. missile defense system that may be deployed in central Europe.” In recent months Russia has test-launched many ICBMs and SLBMs. According to Solovtsov, the RS-24 missile system will be deployed both in silos and on mobile platforms and, along with the Topol-M single-warhead ICBM, will comprise the core of Russia’s nuclear deterrence in the future.

Meanwhile, neo-Soviet Russia continues to re-project its influence throughout Africa, a major battleground for the Cold War during between 1960 and 1990. State-run Itar-Tass reports today that the tenth and final Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft landed in Chad today, unloading housing modules for the 200 airmen who will comprise the Russian military’s next rotation of personnel in that war-torn country. In January, under the directive of then President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin contributed a helicopter group to the European Union’s peacekeeping mission in Chad, where (Sudan-backed) rebels are trying to oust President Idriss Déby. Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Drik, chief of the Russian Air Force’s information service, noted the Russian transports used a Turkish airport to refuel en route to Africa:

The crews of Russia’s military transportation planes made ten flights within the period from November 14 to 26. The flight route remained the same with one intermediate stop at the Turkish Sebha airport for refuelling. The preparation of a site for a housing community, the assembly of housing for personnel, and other operations are currently under way at the place of the permanent station of Russian helicopter crews.

We have previously documented the warm and expanding relationship between Moscow and NATO member Turkey, a secular state with a predominantly Muslim population. Hence, Russia’s freedom to utilize the airport at Sebha for its Chad mission is not surprising.

The RHG in Chad presently includes about 100 members of flying and technical personnel, as well as four Mil Mi-8 (Hip) helicopters. Introduced in 1967, the Soviet-era Mi-8 can be used as a troop transport or a gunship. More recent helicopter gunships in the Russian armament include the large (and ugly) Mi-24 (Hind), a low-capacity troop transport introduced in 1972 and which was utilized by the first Sandinista regime to wipe out the Contras; and dedicated attack models like the Mi-28 (Havoc), introduced in 1996, and the Kamov Ka-50 (Black Shark), introduced in 1995. Russian peacekeepers, under United Nations and African Union commands, are also present in the neighboring countries of Sudan and the Central African Republic. On September 1 Putin’s lackey “President” Dmitry Medvedev committed the Russian military to another, 12-month stint in war-torn central Africa.

>Communist Conclaves: 2005-present

>17th World Festival of Youth and Students, sponsored by World Federation of Democratic Youth, Minsk, July-August 2009

13th Congress of Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Moscow, November 29-30, 2008 10th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Sao Paulo, November 21-23, 2008

Executive Meeting of International Council of Friendship and Solidarity with Soviet People, Toronto, October 10-12, 2008

14th Conference of Sao Paulo Forum, Montevideo, May 22-25, 2008

17th International Communist Seminar, Brussels, May 16-18, 2008

World Peace Conference of World Peace Council, Caracas, April 9-12, 2008

8th World Social Forum, multiple locations worldwide, January 2008

Participants of International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Minsk attend commemoration of 90th anniversary of Bolshevik Revolution, Moscow, November 7, 2007

9th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Minsk, November 3-4, 2007

Working Group of Sao Paulo Forum, Santiago, November 1-4, 2007

Working Group of Sao Paulo Forum, Managua, July 23, 2007

16th International Communist Seminar, Brussels, May 4-6, 2007

17th Assembly of World Federation of Democratic Youth, Hanoi, March 9-14, 2007

Working Group of International Communist and Workers’ Parties, Athens, February 24, 2007

7th World Social Forum, Nairobi, January 20-25, 2007

13th Conference of Sao Paulo Forum, San Salvador, January 12-16, 2007

8th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, Lisbon, November 10-12, 2006

15th International Communist Seminar, Brussels, May 5-7, 2006

6th World Social Forum, Caracas and Bamako, January 2006; Karachi, March 2006

16th World Festival of Youth and Students, sponsored by World Federation of Democratic Youth, Caracas, 2005