Monthly Archives: June 2009

>Latin America File: Honduran military ousts Zelaya in Central America’s first post-Cold War coup; region’s Red Axis leaders convene emergency meetings

>– Elected on Conservative Platform in 2006, Zelaya Moved Dramatically to the Left, Leading Honduras into Havana-Caracas Axis

– Honduras’ De Facto President Micheletti Responds to Venezuela’s Saber Rattling with Threat of War, Informs Press: “Several Battalions of Troops Were Being Prepared Outside of Honduras for Intervention”

– Hugo Chavez Arranges Jet to Fly Zelaya from Costa Rica to Nicaragua to Attend Red Axis Strategy Sessions, Accuses CIA of Fomenting Coup against Deposed President

Pictured above: In spite of his misfortunes, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (left) jokes around with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (right) and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (center, covering microphone) at the Central American Integration System summit in Managua, on Monday.

Last Thursday, as we blogged here, Venezuela’s communist thug-in-chief Hugo Chavez formally received three new countries into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA)–Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. “The ALBA continues to grow in Latin America. Now we have nine nations to build a new project. It is the most dynamic core,” gushed Chavez during his weekly TV-radio program. ALBA’s leaders, meeting in Caracas, also repackaged ALBA as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas, or Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, suggesting that a deeper political-economic-social integration is underway. In 2004 Cuba and Venezuela organized the regional bloc of socialist states to counter the Washington-led Free Trade Area of the Americas. Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominica, and Honduras are also members of ALBA. Significantly, from the vantage of the Soviet strategy of quietly encircling the USA with enemies, even Russia has expressed an interest in joining ALBA.

Perhaps alarmed by President Manuel Zelaya’s post-election leftward lurch and determination to attach the country’s destiny to the Havana-Caracas Axis, the Honduran military overthrew the president on Sunday morning. Soldiers surrounded Zelaya’s official residence, seized the president, who was still in his pajamas, drove him to an air force base, and forced him to board a plane for Costa Rica. Electricity and telephone service was simultaneously cut throughout the country. The military then swore in congressional speaker Roberto Micheletti as interim chief executive. A majority of the members of congress voted to accept a letter of resignation that Congressional Secretary Jose Alfredo Saavedra insisted was signed by Zelaya and dated last Thursday.

Speaking to the media upon his arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica, Zelaya accused “dark forces from the past” of perpetrating the putsch, no doubt referring to the alliance between the military and business oligarchy that ruled Honduras during much of the Cold War. “There is no way to justify an interruption of democracy, a coup d’etat,” the exiled Zelaya complained on Sunday, during a telephone interview with Telesur, the electronic platform of Latin America’s Red Axis. “This kidnapping is an extortion of the Honduran democratic system,” he added. Zelaya vehemently denied writing a letter of resignation. Zelaya called on Honduran soldiers to desist, urged citizens to hold peaceful protests, and requested Honduran police to protect demonstrators.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg reports above, troops also seized Honduras’ foreign minister, Patricia Rodas. In comments broadcast on Telesur, Venezuela’s ambassador to Honduras, Armando Laguna, asserted that his colleagues from Nicaragua and Cuba were also beaten and briefly detained after trying to defend Rodas against masked soldiers. On Monday morning Rodas sought asylum in Mexico, where she was welcomed by government representatives.

Later on Sunday government supporters took to the streets of Tegucigalpa to protest Zelaya’s ouster, hurling rocks at the soldiers and shouting “Traitors!” Labour union leader Rafael Alegria, a Zelaya ally, allegedly organized the protests. On Monday the Cuban News Agency reported that since midnight 20,000 protesters had encamped outside the presidential palace. Meanwhile, Honduras’ General Labor Confederation and the People’s Union Bloc announced that they intend to cripple the economy with a general strike until Zelaya is reinstated. On the same day, reports the Latin American Herald Tribune, police with helicopter support used tear gas and clubs against several hundred supporters of President Zelaya. An employee of the state telephone company was gunned down Monday morning by a soldier, while 60 other Zelaya partisans were injured.

The Honduran military, the MSM reports, acted after the nation’s Supreme Court overturned Zelaya’s decision to fire the commander of the armed forces, General Romeo Vasquez, who in turn had refused to guarantee security for a referendum that Zelaya intended to use to impose constitutional changes on the country via a constituent assembly. The ballot had been slated for Sunday. The president’s critics charged that Zelaya hoped to remove term limits to his re-election. If true, then Zelaya was simply following the path blazed by Venezuela’s “President for Life” Hugo Chavez and his comrades in Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador, who are attempting to do the same, no doubt to implement a uniform communism throughout the region.

Signs of an impending military putsch were evident last Thursday, when Zelaya led a caravan of supporters to air force headquarters to collect the ballots for the non-binding referendum, preventing them from being destroyed in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Earlier that day hundreds of troops were deployed to strategic points in Tegucigalpa in what their commanders explained was a move to “avert potential disturbances” by Zelaya partisans. Significantly, even the country’s ruling Liberal Party, with which Zelaya is associated, urged the public not to vote for the president’s referendum. Although elected as a conservative in 2005, Zelaya has moved dramatically to the left while in office.

Within hours of the Sunday coup, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that he had placed his armed forces on alert and warned that Caracas would intervene with force if Venezuela’s diplomats in Honduras were harmed. “We will bring them down. We will bring them down, I tell you,” Chavez, a former paratrooper, ranted on Venezuelan television on Monday, threatening military intervention: “I have put the armed forces in Venezuela on high alert.” Chavez, who was himself briefly ousted in a 2002 coup that he blamed on then US President George W. Bush, accused the Central Intelligence Agency of fomenting the coup against Zelaya. The CIA, as we reported last week, is one of Chavez’s favorite bête noires, another being capitalism. In reality, leftists worldwide absurdly blame the US intelligence community for much of the world’s ills.

De facto Honduran President Micheletti disregarded the international condemnation of Zelaya’s ouster and issued a counter-challenge to Chavez’s saber rattling. On June 30 the Australian media quoted Micheletti as saying: “I have come to the presidency not by a coup d’etat but by a completely legal process as set out in our laws. Furthermore, I would like to warn Venezuela that our country is ready to go to war if there is interference by this gentleman [meaning Chavez].” Micheletti confided that he possessed intelligence that “several battalions of troops were being prepared outside of Honduras for intervention.”

The region’s Red Axis was quick to rally to Zelaya’s side in Managua, where on Monday past/present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega hosted emergency meetings of ALBA, the Central American Integration System, and the Rio Group, which welcomed Communist Cuba into the fold last December. In summoning his comrades to Managua, Ortega stated that they intended to “fight back the forces of resistance” against Zelaya.

In attendance at the ALBA meeting were self-avowed communist presidents Raul Castro and Hugo Chavez, self-avowed socialist presidents Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, their foreign ministers, and deposed leader Zelaya himself, who flew from San Jose to Managua on a jet provided by Chavez. Together the region’s leftist leaders resolved to withdraw their ambassadors from Honduras. The ALBA leaders afterwards released a joint statement: “In the face of the dictatorial government that intends to be imposed, the countries of Alba have decided to withdraw our ambassadors and to leave minimal diplomatic representation in Tegucigalpa. There is no question of seeking diplomatic accreditation from the usurpers.” The motion was read out by Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Faldor Falconi.

“I denounce the criminal, brutal character of this coup,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told a news conference in Havana earlier in the day, before flying to Managua. He ranted: “This coup has removed a legitimate and constitutional government simply for wanting to hold a vote. There is only one constitutional government in Honduras, and one constitutional president who should return immediately without conditions.”

Faux rightist Mexican president Felipe Calderon later arrived in Managua for the Rio Group meeting, at which time he informed reporters that “Both Mexico and the Rio Group strongly reject the coup d’etat in Honduras.” In step with the Red Axis, Mexico and Chile also announced that they, too, are withdrawing their ambassadors from Tegucigalpa.

Almost without exception, world reaction to the Honduran coup has been negative. The USA’s socialist president Barack Hussein Obama has called on the coup leaders to “respect the rule of law.” Not surprisingly, on Monday the Russian Foreign Ministry also condemned the coup. “The embassies of the member countries of the regional Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) backed Russia’s condemnation, the Cuban ambassador said at a news conference in Moscow,” reports Novosti, inadvertantly exposing the nexus between Russia and its offspring, ALBA. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged “the reinstatement of the democratically elected representatives of the country.” Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, president of the UN General Assembly, who is also a Sandinista and a Catholic priest, invited Zelaya to address an extraordinary session of the assembly in New York City.

Obama characterized the coup as “not legal.” “All of us have great concerns about the situation in Honduras,” Obama admonished, after meeting at the White House with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, one of Washington’s few allies in Latin America. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose husband, former president Bill is an alleged KGB asset, declared that “Democracy should be restored in Honduras.” Clinton revealed that a US delegation would go to Honduras after a special meeting of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Tuesday. “We have a lot of work to do to help the Hondurans get back on the democratic path,” Clinton stated. Incidentally, about 600 US troops are stationed at a base in Honduras under Southern Command’s Joint Task Force-Bravo, primarily for the purpose of drug interdiction.

For his part, Zelaya, speaking in Managua, vowed to return to his homeland on Thursday: “I will fulfill my four-year term of office, whether you agree –the ones in favor of the coup – or not. I was expelled by force and will return on my own free will.” He then invited the General Secretary of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, to accompany him in his return to Honduras. Accepting D´Escoto’s invitation to address the UN General Assembly, Zelaya travelled to the USA on Tuesday. During his visit to New York City, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution demanding the restoration of Zelaya to the presidency.

>Africa File: Nigeria’s “ex”-red president announces insurgent leader’s release at joint press conference with Medvedev, MEND bombs Shell pipeline

>– Medvedev Revitalizes Soviet-Era Relations with Egypt and Angola, Forges New Links with Nigeria and Namibia

– Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta Plays Up Opposition to New Gazprom Deal in Communique to Russian President

– Kremlin Energy Giant Puts the Squeeze on the European Union’s Nigerian Natural Gas Supply

Pictured above: The Nigerian and Russian presidents in Abuja, on June 24.

Under KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin the neo-Soviet leadership has restored political-economic-military relations with the Arab socialist regimes in the Middle East and North Africa that were dormant during the 1990s and the early 2000s. “Post”-communist Russia remains closely allied with Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria. Moscow is also revitalizing relations with sub-Saharan Africa’s communist regimes, including Angola, Namibia, and South Africa.

Last week Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a Soviet Komsomol graduate and compliant Putin lackey, toured Egypt, Nigeria, Namibia, and Angola in that order. Military sales, joint business ventures, and ideological opposition to a US-dominated, “unipolar” world are constant themes emerging from such trips. In other words, little has changed within the Communist Bloc since the fake demise of the Cold War in 1991.

On June 23 Medvedev arrived in Cairo where he signed a strategic partnership agreement with Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak’s National Democratic Party and its predecessor, the Arab Socialist Union, have dominated Egyptian politics since Soviet ally Gamal Nasser overthrew King Farouk I in 1952. Medvedev summarized the meeting with Mubarak as follows:

Our negotiations were held in a frank and amicable atmosphere, which had always been characteristic of the top-level dialog between Russia and Egypt and had largely contributed to the achievement of impressive results. The strategic cooperation treaty we have signed will determine bilateral relations for years to come.

There are promising areas of cooperation between Russia and Egypt. We have achieved rather good results in the economic cooperation. Bilateral trade exceeded $4 billion last year. We have many promising projects in energy, transport and space exploration. There are new spheres of interaction, as well, such as ecology, archives and suppression of narcotics.

Tourism is one of the most dynamic spheres. Tourism grew 22% last year to 1.8 million Russian visitors. That is why we have signed the strategic partnership agreement that defines long-term cooperation guidelines.

The three-page document defines Moscow-Cairo relations for the next decade, pledges regular political contacts and biannual presidential visits, and fosters inter-parliamentary contacts. “The sides traditionally develop defense and military-technical cooperation with due account of mutual interests and international commitments,” the agreement explains. Among other bilateral links, the Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Company and the Egyptian Radio and Television Union signed a cooperation protocol.

After shoring up the decades-old Soviet-Egyptian partnership, Medvedev flew to Nigeria to meet that country’s “ex”-communist president, the first-ever such visit by a Soviet/ Russian head of state to the populous, oil-rich country. On June 24 Medvedev arrived in the Nigerian capital Abuja, where he met counterpart Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who assured the Russian president that he was committed to ensuring “total peace and security across the country.” Shortly after the encounter, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed that its guerrillas attacked Royal Dutch Shell’s Bille-Krakama pipeline in Rivers state. In a dramatic statement addressed to Medvedev himself, MEND threatened: “This is the fate that awaits the gas pipelines you plan to invest in Nigeria, if justice is not factored in the whole process.”

Kremlin energy monster Gazprom has signed a deal to invest at least US$2.5 billion in a joint venture with Nigeria’s state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, to explore and develop the country’s vast gas reserves. “If we carry out all our plans, Russian investment in Nigeria can reach billions of dollars,” Medvedev gushed. The formation of Nigaz will be a 50-50 partnership.

“Gazprom’s action to secure a foothold in Nigeria,” opines the Financial Times, “where western groups have led the development of the oil industry for half a century, has given rise to concerns in Europe that Moscow is seeking to gain control of Nigerian reserves to tighten its grip on the European Union’s gas supplies.” The same source exposes Moscow’s pincer strategy in this respect: “European governments see Nigeria’s gas reserves – the seventh-largest in the world – as a potential route to diluting their reliance on Russia, which supplies up to half the gas consumed by the EU.” Thus, while the Kremlin strangles the EU’s African gas supplies, the Soviet strategists are positioning themselves to become Europe’s sole provider via the Nord Stream and South Stream pipelines.

Intriguingly, Medvedev’s visit to Nigeria coincided not only with the MEND terrorist operation in Rivers state, but also the release of self-avowed Islamo-Marxist terrorist leader Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who was arrested by the State Security Services the previous day. By his own account Dokubo-Asari, founder of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), was apprehended at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on arrival from Germany, where he had been hanging out since May 23, putatively for a medical check-up. In a joint press conference with Medvedev, President Yar’Adua declared that Dokubo-Asari was released under an amnesty agreement with the militants: “So, there was no arrest or detention. What happened does not amount to arrest or detention.”

MEND appears to be a spin-off from Dukubo-Asari’s NDPVF and thus the insurgent leader, who was previously jailed for two years, appears to be still involved in the sabotage campaign against Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other Western oil companies. Although the Niger Delta militants have kidnapped some Russian oil workers in the past, in light of Gazprom’s new venture with the Nigerian government it would appear that the MEND-NDPVF insurgency may be a cover for the Kremlin’s attempt to oust Western petroleum companies and take control of Nigeria’s natural resources.

From the Nigerian capital Medvedev flew to Windhoek, the Namibian capital, where he met President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba on June 25. State-run Itar-Tass reports on Medvedev’s reception: “The Namibian president welcomed Medvedev on the square in front of the main entrance in the State House of Receptions. The leaders shook hands and took their seats on the podium in front of the line of the guard of honor. The military orchestra played the national anthems of the countries, and the guns fired 21 salvos.” Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko summarized the agenda for Medvedev and Pohamba’s face-to-face conference:

The Russian business community has been displaying growing interest of late in entering the promising market of Namibia that possesses rich natural deposits. In this connection during the visit the sides will discuss possibilities for the expansion of Russian investment participation in major projects of the Namibian economy, in particular, in the sphere of the prospecting and development of mineral deposits, hydrocarbons, electric power industry, transport and tourism.

One of the promising cooperation spheres is the energy industry starting from the hydropower to atomic power industry. We are ready and are even offering at the expert level cooperation programmes, so we will speak about this.

The agenda of the talks between the presidents of Russia and Namibia is expected to include a broad range of international and regional problems. In particular, they will consider in detail problems related to ensuring the sustainable development of countries of the African continent, issues linked with peacekeeping in Africa and search for ways of the settlement of conflicts that are the main obstacle to stability and socio-economic growth in African states. Among other possible themes will be international cooperation in overcoming the global financial crisis, issues of ensuring global energy security.

Medvedev was also expected to meet with the first Namibian president, Sam Nujoma, who founded the ruling South-West African People’s Organization in 1960, at which time South West Africa was still administered by South Africa as a League of Nations mandate territory. During the Namibian War of Independence that began in 1966, when South Africa’s mandate over its de facto fifth province ended, Nujoma commanded his guerrillas against the South African Defense Force, achieving internationally recognized independence in 1989. Today he remains an outspoken supporter of Zimbabwe’s racist Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe.

Incidentally, with respect to the subject of “peacekeeping in Africa,” the Russian Armed Forces currently maintain small peacekeeping groups in Chad, Sudan, and the Central African Republic under United Nations-African Union command At the same time, Russian destroyers, in combination with an international flotilla of warships, ply the waters off the coast of Somalia to curb high seas piracy. Taking advantage of civil war and anarchy in east-central Africa, the Kremlin has re-projected a limited strategic influence in the region, forfeited during the 1990s and early 2000s. A revitalized relationship with Yemen may also see the re-establishment of a Russian naval presence on the Arabian Peninsula. The re-projection of Moscow’s power throughout the world has in fact been promised by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov since 2007.

From the Nambian capital Medvedev flew to the Angolan capital, where he was received by counterpart Jose Eduardo Dos Santos. Angola is the last stop in Medvedev’s African tour. The main themes of the talks between Medvedev and Dos Santos will be the promotion of major high-tech joint projects, presidential aide Prikhodko commented.

Three areas of joint Soviet-Angolan economic cooperation are diamond mining (with well-known industrial applications), oil exploration, and hydroelectricity. For example, Angolan mining companies Catoca and Luo will join the Russian company Alrosa in exploiting the Cacolu diamond field. Alrosa has also been granted geological and oil prospecting rights in the basins of the Cuanza and Congo Rivers. A joint partnership will be established between Zarubezhneft and Angola’s state-run oil company Sonangol. The Soviet-Angolan HydroChicapa joint company, along with Alrosa, completed a hydroelectric station on the Chicapa River in 2008. Tekhnopromexport also participated in the construction of Angola’s largest Capanda hydroelectric plant and is currently involved in the construction of two large stations on the Cuanza River.

Finally, Russian companies are expected to participate in the creation of Angola’s national satellite communication system, ANGOSAT. Military-technical cooperation, however, is not viewed as a priority direction, Itar-Tass quoted a Kremlin source as saying. Prikhodko remarked: “Particular attention will be paid to international issues for further consolidation of foreign policy cooperation between Russia and Angola.”

Between 1975 and 2002 Angola was the scene of a significant conflagration between the ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which declared independence from Portugal, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which was backed by the USA and South Africa before the latter fell to communism in 1995. Between December 1987 and March 1988, UNITA and South African troops combined their forces at Cuito Cuanavale to clash with Angolan government troops, which enjoyed the support of Cuban troops, SWAPO guerrillas, and Umkhonto we Sizwe–the armed wing of the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress. More ominously, Angola’s army and its foreign allies operated under the direct command of Soviet generals. Years later, in 2002 UNITA leader and ex-Maoist Jonas Savimbi was killed in a clash with government troops. Angola and Cuba maintain close relations to this day.

Back in the USSR, Medvedev wiped off Angola’s tropical sweat from his brow and enthused: “Work with our African partners should have been started earlier. Africa is waiting for our support. Our policies here will be very friendly, but at the same time pragmatic. The Soviet Union always held a very friendly position with regard to African countries, helping them win independence.” During his eight-year stint as president Putin visited Libya, Algeria, and South Africa.

>Latin America File: Chavez welcomes Ecuador, two Caribbean states into ALBA; Cuban troops join other soldiers in Venezuelan military parade

>– Chavez Bows Out of Funes Installation Ceremony, Citing CIA-Backed Assassination Plot in San Salvador, Praises Timely Intelligence from Amigo Ortega

– Blast from the Past: Grenadian Government Renames Point Salines International Airport after Slain Marxist Dictator Bishop, Cuban Delegation in Attendance, New ALBA Member Officiates

Pictured above: In attendance at his June 1 presidential inauguration in San Salvador, Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega welcomes Mauricio Funes into Latin America’s Red Axis. At far left is Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo Hernandez, second from left is Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, and second from right is Funes’ vice president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren. The last was the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front’s battlefield commander during the 1980s civil war.

On Wednesday, Venezuela’s communist thug-in-chief Hugo Chavez formally received three new countries into the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA): Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. “The ALBA continues to grow in Latin America. Now we have nine nations to build a new project. It is the most dynamic core,” gushed Chavez during his weekly TV-radio program “Alo, Presidente.”

In 2004 Cuba and Venezuela organized the regional bloc of socialist states to counter the Washington-led Free Trade Area of the Americas. Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominica, and Honduras are also members of ALBA. Significantly, from the vantage of the Soviet strategy of quietly encircling the USA with enemies, even Russia has expressed an interest in joining ALBA.

On May 25 of this year Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa ratified his country’s decision to jon the bloc, after the country previously attended ALBA meetings as an observer. The accession of the two Caribbean island states was approved during the last ALBA summit in mid-April, held ahead of the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. Chavez also showed up in Port of Spain, using the occasion to schmooze with fellow socialist, US President Barack Hussein Obama.

To celebrate the accession of three new countries into Latin America’s Red Axis, officers, cadets and troops from Cuba and the other ALBA states will march in a military parade on Venezuelan soil. El Universal reports that some 100 military personnel of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba have rehearsed for this occasion. The participating military delegations will commemorate the 188th anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo and Venezuela’s Army Day. General Clíver Alcalá Cordones, commander of the 41st Armored Brigade of the Venezuelan National Armed Forces, explained that 175 foreign military officers will march in Campo de Carabobo, in southwest Valencia state.

Rocío San Miguel, director of the non-governmental Organization for Social Monitoring of Security and Defense Affairs, cautioned that “This particular and unprecedented situation violates Article 187, number 11 of the Venezuelan Constitution, since the National Assembly must authorize the deployment of foreign missions in Venezuela. The government, moreover, has not published any resolution in the Official Gazette to confirm this action.” The National Assembly, of course, is totally dominated by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and other pro-Chavez parties, so an NGO’s appeal to the constitution will probably fall on deaf ears. Furthermore, the high-handed deployment of Cuban troops in Venezuela, even for ceremonial purposes, reflects a wider movement among Latin America’s leftist-communist regimes to welcome foreign militaries into the region, to wit the Russian Navy’s visit to Nicaragua last December, over the objections of the country’s liberal opposition.

In another sign of the deepening integration within the Western Hemisphere’s section of the Communist Bloc, ALBA leaders decided to change the name of the organization to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America or “The People’s Trade Agreement.”

It may be some time before Russia joins ALBA, even as an observer, but the Soviet strategists have already re-established many Cold War-era links in Latin America, especially with Communist Cuba, neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, Bolivarian Venezuela, Red Bolivia, and Socialist Ecuador. On June 23, at a ceremony in Novo-Ogarjovo, the official residence of the Russian president outside Moscow, Russia and Venezuela agreed to organize a new bilateral bank. In attendance were Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan Executive Vice President and acting Minister of Defense Ramón Carrizález. The agreement was initialed by Russian Vice Minister of Finance Dmitry Pankin and Venezuelan Vice Minister of Finance and Economy Gustavo Hernández.

“The founders of the bank, on the Russian party, are Vneshtorgbank and Gazprombank. The Government assumes that Russia will have a 51% share,” explained Pankin. State-run oil company PDVSA and the National Treasury will be the new bank’s Venezuelan stockholders. Carrizález, who described the relations between both countries as “strategic,” gave Putin a letter written in the Russian language and signed by President Chavez. The content of the missive was not revealed. For his part, Putin hailed the visit of the Venezuelan vice president as “very successful.”

Carrizález arrived in Russia after visiting Belarus, another strategic partner of Venezuela in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union. On the initiative of Caracas, the presidents of Belarus and Venezuela held a telephone conversation on June 20, the same day Carrizález began his official visit to Minsk. Alexander Lukashenko and Chavez discussed bilateral relations in the fields of economic and political cooperation, including large-scale joint projects in construction, engineering, and petrochemistry. Special attention was given to the implementation of a joint oil production venture in Venezuela. Lukashenko and Chavez agreed to meet in the near future. The Venezuelan dictator has previously materialized in Minsk.

Communist Cuba Subverts Grenada 25 Years after Operation Urgent Fury

Like the Soviets and their major Latin American client states, the smaller countries of the Caribbean Basin are also using the global financial crisis to agitate for political and economic integration via organizations like the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). For example, OECS members Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have indicated their willingness to form an economic and political union by 2013. Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning, addressing a special convention of the ruling People’s National Movement, urged Caricom and the OECS to coordinate regional integration with the newly expanded ALBA.

Before the phoney end of the Cold War in 1991, when the Soviet Union deceptively dismantled itself, the Caribbean Basin, like other areas of the globe, was a target for communist subversion, particularly from the revolution’s hemispheric headquarters in Havana. Between 1979 and 1983, for example, Grenada suffered under the Soviet/Cuban-backed Marxist dictatorship of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. Under the auspices of Operation Urgent Fury, President Ronald Reagan dispatched the US Armed Forces and allied militaries from the OECS to depose Bishop’s New Jewel regime and rescue US medical students at St. George’s University. In recent months Grenadian Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has once again allied the country with Havana, effectively negating the liberation that came to his island 25 years ago.

On May 29, 2009 Thomas’ government officially renamed the Point Salines International Airport in St. George’s in honor of slain coup-leader Bishop. A Cuban delegation, led by Vice President Esteban Lazo Hernandez, was in attendance. The Cuban media reports: “Cuban constructors played a decisive role in the construction of the airport, a project begun by Bishop Revolutionary Government.” The same source continues: “Also present were relatives of Maurice Bishop, with whom the Cuban Vice President met and shared memories and experiences of the close ties between Bishop and Fidel Castro.” St. Vincent and the Grenadines counterpart Ralph Gonsalves, now a proud member of ALBA, gave the feature address at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The CIA Makes Life Uncomfortable for Comrade Hugo

In a related story, Chavez is once again weaving intricate fantasies about Washington DC’s attempts to whack him. This time Comrade Hugo contends that infamous Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen and ex-CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles was behind a plot to kill him while attending the June 1 inaugural ceremony of Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes. It was on this pretext that Chavez and sidekick Evo Morales, Bolivia’s Trotskyist president, refused to attend the installation of El Salvador’s first Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front government. Communist Cuba, no doubt rejoicing that its proxy has finally taken over the small Central American country, sent a high-level delegation to San Salvador, which promptly restored long-severed relations with Havana.

Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator, President Daniel Ortega, first announced the alleged assassination plan during his speech at the ceremony when he said both presidents could not attend for “security reasons.” Staunch Soviet ally Ortega, who trooped to Moscow last December in his first post-Cold War pilgrimage, refused to divulge details. Later, Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolas Maduro identified the “ultra-right” (meaning “fascists”) as the murder plot’s organizers: “Ultra-right wing assassination groups in Venezuela, linked to ultra-conservative coup sectors, together with the international ultra-right were involved in the possibility of an assassination.” Talking to the press after Funes’ installation, Maduro specifically accused Alejandro Esclusa of masterminding the plot. Esclusa is apparently a Venezuelan rightist who has worked with the US Central Intelligence Agency on “numerous occasions” and was in El Salvador advising the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) government in its campaign against Funes.

On June 2, back in Venezuela, Chavez acknowledged that he received word of the assassination scheme–which consisted of blowing the president’s airliner out of the sky with SAMs–from fellow commie thug Ortega. “It was information with a lot of weight that motivated the suspension of our travels,” Chavez stated, adding:

In this case the information was very precise, it indicated that they were going to launch one or several rockets at the Cubana airline plane that was ready to leave from Maiquetia airport in Venezuela.

We have to remember that there, in El Salvador Carriles lived and did what ever he felt like…and they were preparing this attack against us…when we were to be arriving or leaving San Salvador.

I accuse Luis Posada Carriles and I demand that President Barack Obama bring about justice and comply with the law…send us this terrorist…to put him where he should be, in prison.

Daniel Ortega knows the details …some Venezuelan coup plotters entered San Salvador two weeks ago. And I know them…they have sworn to me that they were going to kill me, because they say its my fault that they lost their jobs and didn’t reach the highest military ranks.

The government of the United States is behind all of this. And I’m not accusing Obama. No. As Fidel [Castro] has said, I think Obama has good intentions, but beyond Obama there is a whole empire: The CIA and all its tentacles, is alive and kicking… President Obama, it’s time to dismantle all this machinery of terror.

Keeping in mind that this story was published at the pro-Chavez website, it serves the Latin American Red Axis’ cause of dethroning US influence in the region and promoting communism.

>USSR2 File: Voronin meets Medvedev, Putin in Moscow; Russia extends US$500 million loan to Moldova; CPRF plasters Stalin’s mug on billboards

>This past Monday Russia threw its weight behind Moldova’s outgoing President Vladimir Voronin, a communist who formerly played the part of Soviet Interior Ministry general, by extending a US$500 million loan to Chisinau. Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, even lagging behind places like Albania. Voronin has held the presidential office since 2001 but is barred from running for a third term. He dissolved parliament last week and called an early election for July 29 after deputies twice failed to elect a new president, lacking just one vote to approve Voronin’s candidate, the current prime minister. The Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova triumphed in an April parliamentary election, but the results sparked violent protests by anti-communists and Romanian irredentists.

“Of course, I would like to tell you that we supported and support the measures taken by Moldova’s leadership to restore constitutional order,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev assured Voronin during their meeting in the Kremlin. Medvedev continued: “These are difficult times now, very difficult from the economic point of view. We should give it some thought and decide what else needs to be undertaken to develop trade and economic ties at a time of crisis.”

Voronin, alluding to Romania’s alleged involvement in the post-election riots, replied: “I am very grateful that in these hard days of political uncertainty and attempts to destabilize our country … Russia was the first and probably the only country that advocated Moldova’s lawfully elected authorities.” Although now a putative ally in the North Atlantic Alliance, the Romanian president, Traian Basescu, is an “ex”-communist, indicating that Bucharest, too, is playing along with the Soviet strategic deception.

Voronin continued his rant against the West: “We should call a spade a spade … they aimed to carry out a ‘coloured revolution’ in our country, but I believe our coordinated actions and your unambiguous position should discourage the organizers from any such plans. This had nothing to do with a people’s revolution. This was an organized group of hirelings who … attempted to carry out this coup d’etat.”

After meeting with Medvedev, Voronin was received by Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Vladimir Putin, who soothed: “We are considering your request to extend to Moldova a state credit of $0.5 billion. We consider this possible.” Putin indicated that the first tranche worth US$150 million could be disbursed within six to eight weeks. He offered no other details related to the conditions of the loan.

Pictured here: A Georgian man kisses a portrait of Joseph Stalin in front of the monument to him in the town of Gori, on December 21, 2008.

Strategically sandwiched between NATO member Romania and NATO aspirant Ukraine, the neo-Soviet leadership has a vested interest in keeping Moldova (not to mention Romania and Ukraine) under its thumb. The virus of communism is not only alive and well in the former Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, but also Russia itself, as a recent incident in the southern city of Voronezh proves.

Last December the local section of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation purchased space on 10 billboards throughout the city to display former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s mugshot with the cheery proclamation: “Victory will be ours!” The pro-communist advertisements coincided with the 130th anniversary of the birth of ethnic Georgian Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union during the Second World War and dispatched millions of people to their deaths in prison camps during political purges in the 1930s.

Now the communications department at Voronezh City Hall is pondering whether the billboards could be classified as “improper advertising” since they are of a political nature and no election is underway. “Under the law, a billboard should be used for advertising purposes only, including social advertising. The billboard can not be used to display any other information. This is where I see the violation,” a city official intoned. The sincerity behind such objections is questionable. For nearly 20 years Russians have argued whether to remove Vladimir Lenin’s mummy from Red Square, but the corpse of the Soviet Union’s founder has yet to receive a proper burial (physically or ideologically).

“The exact number of those killed or imprisoned during Stalin-era repressions is not known,” huffs state-run Novosti, “but according to research conducted by British historian Robert Conquest, more than 14 million people are estimated to have passed through the Gulag from 1929-1953 and an additional 6-7 million people were deported and exiled across the Soviet Union.” Russia’s embattled human rights groups, the same source admits, are “still concerned” that many Russians view the genocidal communist tyrant as a “statesman.” Indeed, we don’t mind saying that that is a very appropriate concern. As of 2008, by the way, the Soviet gulag system was still in operation, according to impeccable sources like the Wall Street Journal, which calls them “Putin’s torture colonies.” Did Lenin’s mummy twitch just now?

>WW4 File: N. Korea to launch ICBM on 4th of July, Pentagon beefs up anti-missile defenses around Hawaii, top US general: DPRK insurgent tactics likely

>– North Korea’s Next Leader and State Security Chief Kim Jong Un Implicated in Murder Plot against Older Half-Brother Exiled in Macau; Kim Jong Nam Closely Allied with Beijing

– Former ROK President Roh “Committed Suicide” Two Days before DPRK’s Second Atomic Bomb Test

I believe we will face IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and insurgent forces, in addition to large conventional attacks.
— General Walter Sharp, commander of US forces in Republic of Korea, June 23, 2009

Pictured above: South Korean soldiers bow their heads at the National Cemetery in Seoul on June 25, 2009.

On June 23 the Japanese media revealed that North Korea plans to hold a live-fire military drill off its east coast between June 25 and July 10, coinciding with a long-range missile launch over the Pacific Ocean, possibly targeting Hawaii on the 4th of July. This revelation follows bans issued in the past month by Pyongyang prohibiting civilian ships from entering its waters in the Yellow Sea (west coast) and Sea of Japan (east coast). According to CNN, the Stalinist regime’s hydrographic department emailed this information to Japan’s coast guard on Monday. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) did not specify the consequences for ships entering those waters during the drill, but the North issued a similar notice before it tested a long-range rocket on April 5. On May 25 the DPRK tested its second atomic device in three years.

On June 17 the Korea Times confirmed that North Korea’s “missile train,” which transported an ICBM to a launch site in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan province in May, recently moved from a missile research center in Sanum-dong, Pyongyang to another launch site in Musudan-ri, North Hamgyong province. Analysts in Seoul and Washington speculate that the North might simultaneously launch missiles from both sites. Alternately, the train could be a “smokescreen” to confuse observers. The DPRK apparently has three or four ICBMs, and may be keeping one or two more at the research center in Sanum-dong.

Since May, Pyongyang has considered almost any international resistance to its nuclear bomb and missile programs a “declaration of war.” This includes United Nations Security Council sanctions and South Korea’s participation in the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative, which seeks to interdict the transportation of WMDs on the high seas. Last Thursday, a senior US official disclosed that the navy is tracking a North Korean ship, Kang Nam, which left port on June 17 and is believed to be carrying illicit weapons or technology. Two days later the Kang Nam was spotted off the east coast of Mainland China. Earlier this month, Pyongyang in reprisal convicted two US journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, of illegally entering the country via the People’s Republic of China, and planning to conduct a smear campaign against the regime. Lee and Ling were sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp.

The DPRK was established by Kim Il Sung, father of the regime’s current head of state, Kim Jong Il, at the end of the Second World War, under the aegis of Soviet occupational forces. At the same time, in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula US forces, fresh from their victory over the Japanese Empire, supported the new Republic of Korea. The North’s invasion of the South in 1950 led to the three-year Korean War and an armistice that Pyongyang scrapped last month. The Korean Demilitarized Zone is the most heavily fortified border in the world and a stark reminder that the Cold War has not ended on this part of the planet. However, according to a recent public opinion poll, most young South Koreans have little personal knowledge of that conflict more than half a century ago.

In response to North Korea’s pending missile launch, the US military has positioned more missile defenses around Hawaii, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured reporters last Thursday. “We do have some concerns if they were to launch a missile to the west in the direction of Hawaii,” Gates admitted. Without divulging details, he explained that a ground-based mobile missile system has been deployed in Hawaii and a radar system positioned nearby. “Without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say … we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory,” Gates said. Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper hypothesized that Pyongyang might launch the missile on July 4, which is Independence Day in the USA. The newspaper cited an analysis by Japan’s Defense Ministry and intelligence gathered by US spy satellites. Is Crazy Kim’s communist nuthouse crazy enough to attack Hawaii? We’re watching . . .

In a related story, reported by Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency, General Walter Sharp, who commands US forces in the Republic of Korea, warned South Korean army personnel that North Korean commandos could use explosive devices against both civilians and troops in rear areas, among other insurgent tactics, should war break out on the peninsula. “I believe we will face IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and insurgent forces, in addition to large conventional attacks,” Sharp said on Tuesday, adding:

The IEDs could target civilians as well as US and South Korean forces who should strengthen preparedness to tackle such threats. Realistic training ensures that the Republic of Korea is fully prepared for a thinking enemy, an enemy that will use IEDs, hide among the population and strike our rear forces and civilians. This enemy will require us to use our weapons much more precisely, to reduce civilian casualties and collateral damage.

A white paper published by the ROK’s defense ministry contends that the North’s 180,000 special warfare troops have expanded their capability to wage night-time combat, as well as mountain and street warfare. About 680,000 South Korean soldiers, equipped with the latest military technology and bolstered by 28,500 US troops, confront the North’s largely outdated 1.2 million-strong People’s Army. It can be surmised that whatever modern military hardware Pyongyang possesses, it must originate, openly or covertly, from Moscow and Beijing.

Meanwhile, political machinations within the North’s ruling Korean Workers’ Party regime continue. According to the Korea Times, close aides of Kim Jong Un, 26-year-old third son and heir apparent of Jong Il, last week attempted to assassinate the leader’s first son Jong Nam, who lives in Macau, a Special Administrative Region in the PRC. Citing Red Chinese government sources, the Korea Times elaborated: “Aides to Kim Jong-un planned to assassinate Jong-nam, who lives in Macau, after first eliminating his close aides in North Korea. The sources said, ‘It seems they tried to assassinate Kim Jong-nam without telling Kim Jong-il.’” Beijing foiled the plan by warning Pyongyang about the murder plot and by sending intelligence and military officers to escort Jong Nam to safety. The Korea Times’ government sources in Red China explained that the PRC is protecting Jong Nam because he has been developing friendships with high-ranking Communist Chinese officials for a long time. In fact, Jong Nam may seek asylum in Mainland China.

This is not the first time that North Korea’s ruling Kim dynasty has been involved in assassination plots. In 1983 Seoul accused Jong Il of ordering the murder of South Korean President Jeon Du Hwan, then visiting Rangoon, Burma, now known as Myanmar. A bomb exploded at a mausoleum, killing 21 people, including South Korean cabinet members. Jeon narrowly escaped death. In 1987 Seoul accused Jong Il of ordering the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, which killed 155 crew and passengers. DPRK agent Kim Hyon Hui confessed to planting the bomb aboard the airliner and admitted that Jong Il personally directed the operation. In the 1980s Jong Il had yet to succeed his father as head of state, but occupied senior posts in the Korean Workers’ Party’s Politburo, Military Commission, and Secretariat.

The fact that Jong Il recently placed his youngest son in charge of the State Security Department as a prelude to handing over control of the regime may have some bearing on Jong Un’s reported attempt to murder his half-brother. The Kims visited the headquarters of the State Security Department in March, at which time “Dear Leader” ordered the communist security chiefs to “uphold” his third son as head of the department. The State Security Department, reports the Korea Times, is the backbone of the Kim dynasty’s iron rule over North Korea. Pyongyang’s equivalent to the KGB monitors bureaucrats, soldiers, and civilians for any signs of dissent, as well as engages in espionage abroad.

On May 23, 2009 former South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun jumped to his death from a mountain cliff. Roh’s centrist Yeollin Uri Party, which ruled the ROK between 2004 and 2007, holds a conciliatory “Sunshine Policy” toward the DPRK, prompting opponents to label party members as communist sympathizers. Roh’s alleged suicide does not appear to have a North Korean connection but, in the context of the current escalation of tensions between the two Koreas since April, is somewhat suspicious. Roh died two days before Pyongyang carried out its second underground atomic bomb test. Coincidence? Maybe, or maybe not . . .

>Final Phase Backgrounder: Gorbachev promotes “global perestroika”; SCO slaps Pyongyang on wrist, embraces Ahmadinejad, floats common currency

>To this day former Soviet dictator and master deceiver Mikhail Gorbachev agitates for perestroika. In the 1980s, in conformity to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s long-range plan for global domination, he implemented perestroika and glasnost in the Soviet republics and Eastern Europe. In the 1990s “Gorby” took up residence at The Presidio, an army base in San Francisco that closed down after the Cold War supposedly ended, and promoted world peace and environmental issues. In Russia he organized a social democratic party.

Gorby also materialized on the speaking circuit of US universities and business groups to urge his adoring but deceived followers to promote perestroika in the USA. Following Barack Hussein Obama’s election to the US presidency last November, Gorby once again urged the (Kenyan-born?) socialist senator from Illinois to implement perestroika domestically. Now Gorby is advocating global perestroika.

But, what, pray tell, is perestroika? Perestroika is nothing less than socialist restructuring, as Gorby clearly outlines in his manifesto Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (Harper & Row, 1987). Glasnost, which means “openness,” is perestroika’s counterpart. Gorbachev’s advocacy of perestroika and glasnost is nothing new. These two communist tactics were first promoted by Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union, to obscure the true intentions of the Bolshevik revolutionaries: namely, the destruction of private property, religion, and the family. Global perestroika, therefore, must be a codeword for world communism.

Pictured above: Former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz with Gorbachev, at the conference on nuclear disarmament “Overcoming Nuclear Dangers,” at the Italian foreign ministry headquarters, in Rome, on April 17, 2009.

Seizing the global financial crisis as pretext and echoing a recent report published by United Russia–in which the potemkin “ruling” party in Moscow advocates authoritarianism–Gorby penned the following song for world communism in the June 7 edition of the Washington Post: “We Had Our Perestroika. It’s High Time for Yours.”

“Years ago, as the Cold War was coming to an end,” Gorby reminisces, “I said to my fellow leaders around the globe: The world is on the cusp of great events, and in the face of new challenges all of us will have to change, you as well as we. For the most part, the reaction was polite but skeptical silence.” The former Soviet dictator then refers to his stint on the speaking circuit: “In recent years, however, during speaking tours in the United States before university audiences and business groups, I have often told listeners that I feel Americans need their own change — a perestroika, not like the one in my country, but an American perestroika . . .”

Gorby then pitches his scheme for global perestroika by taking a dig at the “US model,” meaning a free market society with constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties: “Our perestroika signaled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the U.S. model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika — one for America and the world — has become clearer than ever.”

In describing the political and economic reforms that were implemented in the Soviet Union during the late 1980s, Gorby disingenuously distances himself from his “hardline” comrades in the CPSU: “At first, we labored under the illusion that revamping the existing system — changes within the ‘socialist model’ — would suffice. But the pushback from the Communist Party and the government bureaucracy was too strong. Toward the end of 1986, it became clear to me and my supporters that nothing less than the replacement of the system’s building blocks was needed.”

Among these “hardliners” were Oleg Shenin, former first secretary of the old CPSU Politburo, ringleader of the faux coup of August 1991 and presently a “gray eminence” in neo-Soviet politics; and Gennady Zyuganov, current chair of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Incidentally, in a 2005 interview with Vlast, Valentin Falin, former chief of the old CPSU’s International Department, frankly admitted that Gorby was not only apprised of the coup ahead of time, but also committed to advancing the Soviet strategic deception by creating fake political parties to “compete” with the open communists.

Shenin and Zyuganov are alluded to in the following narrative: “Two conspiracies hijacked the changes — the attempted coup in August 1991, organized by the hard-line opponents of our reforms, which ended up weakening my position as president, and the subsequent agreement among the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to dissolve the Union. Russia’s leaders then rejected the evolutionary path, plunging the country into chaos.”

Gorby reflects on the outcome of perestroika and his lateral transfer from the Soviet presidency to the role of roving Soviet propagandist: “Nevertheless, when I am asked whether perestroika succeeded or was defeated, I reply: Perestroika won, because it brought the country to a point from which there could be no return to the past.”

The former Soviet dictator wraps up his history lesson by chastising the West’s capitalist class for viewing the collapse (self-dismantling) of the Soviet Union as a victory for capitalism over communism:

In the West, the breakup of the Soviet Union was viewed as a total victory that proved that the West did not need to change. Western leaders were convinced that they were at the helm of the right system and of a well-functioning, almost perfect economic model. Scholars opined that history had ended. The “Washington Consensus,” the dogma of free markets, deregulation and balanced budgets at any cost, was force-fed to the rest of the world.

But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades.

The current global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers, particularly the United States, had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too.

Gorbachev’s “humble” prescription for the communist-manipulated global financial crisis, of course, is more socialism with a “market face”:

. . . . I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasize public needs and public goods, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transportation, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.

Elements of such a model already exist in some countries. Having rejected the tutorials of the International Monetary Fund, countries such as Malaysia and Brazil have achieved impressive rates of economic growth. China and India have pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. By mobilizing state resources, France has built a system of high-speed railways, while Canada provides free health care. Among the new democracies, Slovenia and Slovakia have been able to mitigate the social consequences of market reforms.

The time has come for “creative construction,” for striking the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarizing the economy.

Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power in today’s global world, but because America was the main architect, and America’s elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model. That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.

However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change — for a global perestroika.

Gorbachev’s communist-leftist colleagues in the “BRIC” governments of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, presently meeting in Yekaterinburg, near the Ural Mountains, are faithfully executing this very script. There Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, agreed on promoting energy cooperation between their four “emerging economies.” “We are for strengthening the coordination and the cooperation of states in the energy sphere, including between producers and consumers of energy and transit states, in the efforts to reduce uncertainty and ensure stability and steadiness,” a joint statement declared. The BRIC leaders also supported increasing the number of representatives of developing countries in global financial institutions. The second BRIC summit will be held next year in Brazil.

Not so coincidentally, meeting also in Yekaterinburg this week are the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO includes Russia, four “former” Soviet republics from Central Asia, and Red China, plus (Islamo-Nazi) Iran, (socialist) India, (socialist) Pakistan, and (“ex”-communist) Mongolia as observers. The SCO is not only a political-economic unit binding the Eurasian section of the Communist Bloc, but also a dangerous military alliance in opposition to NATO, as evidenced by three Sino-Soviet war games thus far and two more scheduled for this year and 2010.

Yesterday, the SCO leaders’ summit slapped communist North Korea on the wrist with a feeble denunciation of Pyongyang’s nuclear bomb tests and threat to take on the USA in a nuclear showdown. Medvedev sighed: “Among other issues, we discussed the North Korean problem, including the recent threats, and we noted that such behavior is unacceptable in the current situation.” The only reason that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a “problem” for the international community is because Soviet occupying forces set up the Stalinist regime at the end of the Second World War, in opposition to the legitimate Republic of Korea in the south.

“We also noted that the international community had no choice but to react by means of adopting an appropriate UN Security Council resolution,” Medvedev, a former Soviet Komsomol graduate, continued. All 15 council members recently voted in favor of Resolution 1874, which expands an arms embargo and allows searches of North Korean ships on the high seas but, significantly, does not authorize the use of force. This toothless resolution renders the UN’s policy on the DPRK useless, which is no doubt Moscow and Beijing’s goal.

In furtherance of Lenin’s dream of a “world Soviet republic,” the SCO summit also endorsed the notion of a common currency for member states, a proposal that Medvedev first floated some months ago. The SCO currency would be similar to the currency unit used by the European Community until the introduction of the euro in 1999. “The current set of reserve currencies and the main reserve currency – the U.S. dollar – have failed to function as they should,” Medvedev lamented at the summit, adding that the Russian ruble could also become a reserve currency in the “foreseeable future.”

In attendance at the SCO summit was Iranian dictator Mahmoud (“Iwannajihad”) Ahmadinejad, re-elected last Friday in a contested poll that turned deadly. This is the not the first time that Ahmadinejad, Israel’s arch-nemesis and aspirant to the legacy of Adolf Hitler, has shown up at an SCO shindig. Iran is seeking to place itself under Russia’s protective nuclear umbrella, safe from Israeli and/or US preemptive strikes against its Russian-built nuclear bomb program, by applying for full membership in the organization.

“Iraq continues to be occupied, chaos is growing in Afghanistan, the Palestinian problem remains unresolved, the world is swept by political and economic crises, and there is no hope for their resolution,” Ahmadinejad grumbled, adding: “The U.S. and its allies are unable to cope with the crises, showing that the end has come for the current unipolar world order. The SCO must take a leading role in efforts to tackle the global economic recession.” After this plug for the Moscow-Beijing Axis’ leading role in world affairs, Ahmadinejad briefly met with Medvedev on the summit sidelines. “The parties agreed to continue economic and humanitarian cooperation, and other contacts,” a Kremlin spokesentity intoned afterwards.

>Final Phase Backgrounder: "Ruling" United Russia exposes its link to Soviet strategic deception: party think tank: "No democracy needed for Russia"

>A think tank connected to the “ruling” United Russia party, the Public Projects Institute headed by parliamentarian Vladmir Pligin, has released a report that rejects any need for democracy in Russia, citing the global financial crisis as pretext for “strong leadership.” A more candid but unpublished draft of the report, as well as the published version itself both express contempt for Western-style mass participation in politics. In so doing United Russia betrays the image of liberal reformer that its candidate President Dmitry Medvedev has carefully cultivated and projected abroad. KGB-communist dictator Yuri Andropov, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s mentor, purused a similar ruse before he handed the prosecution of the Soviet strategic deception to his successor Mikhail Gorbachev, another “liberal reformer.”

Some significant quotes from the published version of the report follow:

Russia does not need to move toward greater democracy because the financial crisis requires strong leadership.

It would be more honest and realistic to say that the democratization of Russia’s political system in the near future cannot be a priority. The priority for now is good governance.

The unpublished early draft, quoted by business daily Vedomosti, stated:

Regional leaders . . . are appointed via arrangements strongly reminiscent of regional committee secretary nominations in the Soviet era.

Russia’s tightly controlled media resembles that of the old Soviet media during the so-called “period of stagnation” prior to Mikhail Gorbachev’s “perestroika” reforms in the 1980s.

“In times of war and crisis,” the final version ominously recommended, “a successful political system becomes charismatic, and therefore, inevitably more authoritarian. A storm requires a captain.”

Some regional leaders, who prefer the “liberal” reforms promoted by President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, are not happy about the re-centralization of power in Moscow. On June 5 Murtaza Rakhimov, president of the southwestern Russian region of Bashkoristan, complained to the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily: “Russia is walking away from the process of democratization . . . The level of centralization is worse than Soviet times.”

“It’s pretty clear a mass-scale democratization will never take place in Russia,” independent political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky observes. At one point former prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, whose Our Home-Russia party merged into United Russia in 2000, was even more candid: “No matter what new party we create, in the end, it always turns out to be the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!” Indeed.

What will Moscow’s Leninist masterminds, who are working feverishly to modernize their nuclear arsenal and associated delivery systems, think of next? We are still waiting for the Potemkin parties represented in the State Duma—United Russia, Just/Fair Russia, and the Liberal Democratic party of Russia—to one day re-merge with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation into a monolithic Stalinist organization. The name of the new entity won’t be important, but the spirit of Vladimir Lenin, with his strategic accommodation with capitalism via the New Economic Policy, will animate its directors.

In the end, the Soviet tactic of fake internal political/economic reform will come full circle, but don’t expect the West to organize an effective counter-strategy under the leadership of putative Soviet mole, Barack Hussein Obama. Gorbachev has publicly urged the US president to implement perestroika (socialist restructuring) under the patriotic colors of the red, white, and blue. Got Wolverines?

>Event Convergence Alert: Moscow, Beijing plan summer military drills in Far East Russia, northeast China as DPRK raises tensions on Korean Peninsula

>– Crazy Kim’s Communist Nuthouse Threatens to Blow Up the World

– High-Tech South Korean Destroyer Dispatched to Detect DPRK Missile Launch, Crippled by “Software Glitch” (Computer Virus?)

As if to stick a finger in Washington’s eye, Pyongyang has sentenced two US journalists to 12 years in a labor camp. Charged with illegal entry into North Korea and an unspecified “grave crime,” Laura Ling and Euna Lee have no recourse beyond the Central Court that sentenced them on Monday. In an ABC television interview over the weekend US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls the charges thrown at Ling and Lee “absolutely without merit or foundation.” The former First Lady and US Senator admitted to sending a letter to North Korea’s communist leadership demanding Ling and Lee’s release. Clinton indicated that she has received “responses.”

Pictured above: A not-so-flattering caricature of North Korean head of state Kim Jong Il, from the movie Team America: World Police.

Detained by North Korea authorities on March 17, while filming material for a documentary on North Korean defectors, Ling and Lee work for Current TV. Ironically, the San Francisco-based Internet news outlet was co-founded by Al Gore, Bill Clinton’s vice president. Washington, according to the Korea Times story above, does not rule out the possibility of Gore flying to Pyongyang to negotiate their release. Incidentally, we think that’s an excellent idea. Maybe Comrade Gore, the self-avowed inventor of the Internet and global warming, will decide to take up permanent residence in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

On June 2 Bloomberg reported that Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s de facto head of state, in a significant political move, has named his third son Kim Jong Un as heir. North Korea’s communist leadership has notified its diplomatic offices abroad and is teaching its citizen-slaves a song in praise of the anointed leader. Some intelligence, states an opposition legislator in South Korea, reports that Pyongyang is requiring loyalty oaths to Kim Jong Un. Little is known about the youngest Kim, who is 26 years old and was educated at an international school in Switzerland. Jong Un and older brother Jong Chol have a different mother than the eldest son, Jong Nam. Jong Il succeeded his father, North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung, as head of the Stalinist country in 1994.

In addition to dynastic maneuvers and “anti-imperialist” provocations, Crazy Kim’s communist nuthouse has imposed a no-travel zone off the east coast of North Korea, that is, in the Sea of Japan, between June 10 and June 30. Two weeks ago Pyongyang imposed a no-travel zone off the country’s west coast, in the Yellow Sea. “We do not know the reason why North Korea has set up the no-navigation zone,” related Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Takeo Kawamura, adding: “We cannot rule out the possibility of North Korea launching missiles including ballistic ones.”

South Korea has deployed an Aegis Combat System-equipped destroyer to its western sea border with the North and vowed last week to send F-15K fighter jets in the event of a maritime clash. Intriguingly, after setting sail the missile-detecting system of Sejong the Great was crippled by a “software glitch” of unknown origin. Incidentally, it is a well-established fact that many “software glitches” (computer viruses) are spawned from covert cyberwarfare units in Russia, China, North Korea, and other Communist Bloc states.

In a related story reported by the AFP news agency, on June 4 a North Korean navy patrol boat crossed into South Korea’s portion of the Yellow Sea. The boat remained there for almost one hour before retreating. A spokesman for the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested that the enemy vessel was apparently chasing Chinese fishing boats, but did not exclude the possibility it was a planned intrusion to raise tensions further. About 70 of some 90 Chinese fishing boats withdrew overnight from the area. The Korean Peninsula’s west coast has been the site of two deadly clashes between the two Korean states in the past 10 years.

The same article, citing the People’s Daily, also reports that on the previous day Chinese President Hu Jintao conversed by telephone with US counterpart Barack Hussein Obama about Pyongyang’s nuclear program. They conversed about bilateral relations and exchanged opinions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China offered, without giving details.

For the first time, on June 9, in yet another attempt to annoy the world, Crazy Kim’s communist nuthouse threatened to use nuclear weapons in a “merciless offensive” if provoked. The Korean Central News Agency ranted: “Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means . . . as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country’s dignity and sovereignty even a bit.” I wasn’t aware that North Korea possessed any dignity. As for Pyongyang’s sovereignty, that seems to reside in Moscow or Beijing.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea’s political and military leadership are making plans to counter a possible missile attack from the DPRK. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff have submitted to conservative President Lee Myung-bak a scenario in which the South and the USA respond to a communist missile attack by launching joint attacks from surface, air and sea against the North’s missile bases. This past Saturday President Lee warned that his government would neither cower before the DPRK’s provocations nor offer anything less than a strong defense against the North.

Incidentally, the ROK is the real Korea, unlike the illegitimate Stalinist state in the north, created by Soviet fiat in 1945, after the retreat of Imperial Japan’s army (see below). The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is the most heavily fortified border in the world and a blatant reminder that the Cold War is not over in this part of the world.

The Moscow-Beijing Axis Prepares for Korean War 2

It is doubtful that the Korean Workers’ Party makes any serious decisions without consulting the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation/Soviet Union and the (openly ruling) Communist Party of China. On June 15, reports Novosti, Chinese President Hu Jintao will visit Russia to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes Russia, China, and four “ex”-Soviet Central Asian states. Hu will also rub elbows at the first leaders’ summit of BRIC, an alliance of the world’s four largest emerging economies–Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Both summits will be held in Yekaterinburg, near the Ural Mountains. Hu will confer with President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the speakers of the State Duma and Federation Council, Boris Gryzlov and Sergei Mironov, respectively.

No doubt the Korean conflict will rank high on the SCO discussion agenda. The BRIC summit will also provide a venue for the Soviets and Red Chinese to plot and scheme. “The development of cooperation between BRIC benefits the four countries as well as contributing to the revival of the world economy,” explains PRC Deputy Foreign Minister He Yafei. He added: “We also share positions on many issues, and the countries’ roles in the world, including in political affairs, is growing.”

Unnoticed by most Western analysts, Russia and the PRC are positioning military assets in China’s northeast region as nearby North Korea escalates political tensions with the South. Pyongyang’s provocations include a nuclear bomb test, the second since 2006, multiple missile launches, and unilateral withdrawal from the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War’s hot phase. It is unlikely that this event convergence is coincidental but, rather, reflects a coordination of tactics and strategy between Moscow, Beijing, and Pyongyang. Indeed, after the DPRK’s underground N-bomb test on May 25, a spokesentity for the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that Moscow is beefing up security in the region. Although not commonly analyzed as such, the DPRK’s controversial missile and nuclear bomb programs could provide Russia and China with a potential platform to nuke the USA with arms-length plausible deniability.

Last November World Net Daily editor Joseph Farah, citing sources at MI6’s Asian Desk, reported that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had deployed as many as 100,000 troops along the Yalu River, ostensibly to thwart an exodus of refugees in the event of Kim Jong Il’s death. We were unable to confirm this report with other news agencies but, if true, then the Communist Chinese would have been well-positioned at the time to aid their North Korean comrades in an invasion of the South. At least eight months later, it is not clear if the PLA is still massing along the border with the DPRK. The PLA is the world’s largest army, boasting 2.3 million active personnel, deployed in seven military districts, and more than 800,000 reserves.

On June 8 Novosti reported that the People’s Republic of China will hold a week-long, large-scale “anti-terrorist” exercise dubbed Great Wall 6, which will take place in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Shanxi and Hebei provinces. Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, and Hebei are located in northeast China, near Beijing, although not immediately adjacent to the PRC’s border with the DPRK. Last year, the PRC held similar antiterrorism drills called Great Wall 5 in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. Those exercises involved the PLA, civilian and military police, and emergency services.

The relationship between Great Wall 6 and the “large-scale” military exercise Kuayue 2009, reported by Novosti and Xinhua in early May, is not clear. The latter is slated to begin during the second half of this year and will involve 50,000 troops from the Shenyang, Lanzhou, Jinan, and Guangzhou military districts. It should be noted that the Shenyang military district borders the DPRK, while Lanzhou spans north-central and northwest China, Jinan is located in east-central China, and Guangzhou is situated in southeast China. Kuayue 2009 will test the PLA’s command and decision-making capabilities, the interoperability of ground troops and air units in “intense electronic warfare conditions,” and entail airborne assault operations and special forces missions.

Possibly in coordination with Kuayue 2009, the Soviets and the Red Chinese will hold their fourth combined war game, Peace Mission 2009, in Far East Russia and northeast China this summer. The northeast region of the PRC, of course, is near North Korea, while Far East Russia shares a small border with the DPRK. Russian and Chinese military delegations recently met in Khabarovsk to hammer out the details of the joint maneuver. The Vladivostok Times reports:

Maneuvers are planned to be held in July-August of 2009 in three stages. The first one is to be held in Russia, the second and third – in China. Talking to journalists in Khabarovsk, the deputy chief of the Russian Ground Forces General Sergei Antonov noted that almost 1.5 thousand personnel are to take part in the exercise from both parties. From Russia – a motorized rifle battalion, a separate ground cavalry troop and other subdivisions of the Far Eastern military district.

The first two joint Sino-Soviet war games were Peace Mission 2005 and Peace Mission 2007. The two communist superpowers, with little fanfare, held their third combined military exercise Norak Antiterror 2009 in Tajikistan in April. A fifth joint drill, Peace Mission 2010, is slated to take place in Kazakhstan. Political and military coordination between Moscow and Beijing, per the 25-year-old predictions of KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, are occurring under the guise of “anti-terrorist” exercises and under the auspices of the SCO.

Blast from the Past File: North Korea: Moscow’s Baby

The Soviet Union gave birth to the DPRK in August 1945 when Moscow’s occupying forces took over the Korean Peninsula north of the 38th parallel. The Soviet Army established the Soviet Civil Authority to rule over the country. Communists were placed in key posts. Land was confiscated from Japanese owners and Korean collaborationists. Strategic industries were nationalized. In February 1946 a temporary government called the North Korean Provisional People’s Committee was organized under Kim Il Sung, who had trained with Soviet forces in Manchuria. Soviet troops vacated the DPRK in 1948, but Moscow has retained a vested interest in controlling North Korea–and no doubt the whole peninsula–since then.

Two years later, after forcing the Chinese Nationalists to flee for Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army, with Soviet air support, invaded the Korean Peninsula. There the PLA was repulsed by US, Canadian, and allied troops under United Nations command. On October 8, 1950, the day after US troops crossed the 38th parallel, Chairman Mao Zedong issued the order to organize the People’s Volunteer Army (PVA). Seventy percent of the soldiers in the PVA were regulars from the PLA. Mao ordered the PVA/PLA to move to the Yalu River, in preparation for an invasion. Earlier that year, on June 27, President Harry Truman, fearing a two-pronged communist invasion, ordered the US Navy’s 7th Fleet to protect the Republic of China on Taiwan.

On October 15, Truman flew to Wake Island where he met General Douglas MacArthur, who estimated that the Chinese had mustered 300,000 soldiers in Manchuria, with between 100,000 and 125,000 men hard along the Yalu River. For his part, Mao cabled an urgent telegram to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin: “If we allow the United States to occupy all of Korea, Korean revolutionary power will suffer a fundamental defeat, and the American invaders will run more rampant, and have negative effects for the entire Far East.” Soviet assistance was limited to providing air support no nearer than 60 miles from the battlefront. The Soviet pilots disguised their MiG-15s under the colors of the PRC and posed a serious challenge to UN pilots. The Korean War was the first in history where both sides employed jet-powered combat aircraft.

In late November 1950 the Red Chinese struck in the west, along the Chongchon River, overwhelming several South Korean divisions and crushing the flank of the remaining UN forces. Seoul was deserted and captured by communist troops on January 4, 1951, only to be recaptured by the US Eighth Army on March 7, the fourth time in a year the city had changed hands.

In April 1951 the Red Chinese launched their Fifth Phase Offensive, fielding an enormous 700,000 troops in three armies. UN forces resisted the communist offensive at the Imjin River and Kapyong, halting the PVA/PLA at a defensive line north of Seoul, referred to as the No-Name Line. A final communist offensive in the eastern part of the peninsula was halted on May 20. The US Eighth Army counterattacked and by the end of May had regained Line Kansas. The UN’s decision to stop at that line, just north of the 38th parallel, and to refrain from offensive action deeper into North Korea initiated a stalemate that characterized the conflict until the 1953 armistice. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Republic of China Armed Forces Simulates PLA Invasion

As Moscow and Beijing urge the UN to refrain from imposing more sanctions upon their client state North Korea, the Republic of China—the real China, otherwise known as Taiwan—and India are preparing for the eventuality of war with the PRC. On June 5, reports the APF news agency, ROC brass held a “virtual military exercise” that simulated an invasion of the island by 200,000 Communist Chinese troops. The drill, which was part of the annual Han Kuang war games, was executed entirely on computers in a Taipei military command center. President Ma Ying-jeou was in attendance. A scenario in which the PLA attempts to seize Taiwan’s leaders was scrapped from this year’s drill because of the improvement in cross-strait relations since Ma took office in May 2008. Beijing has repeatedly threatened to invade the island should Taipei declare formal independence.

India to Deploy New Russian-Built Fighter Jets, Additional 60,000 Troops along Eastern Sector of Indo-Chinese Border

On June 9 the Times of India related that Red Chinese military incursions into India rose “sharply” in 2008, with 270 violations recorded in the western, middle, and eastern border sectors. During the first five months of 2009, the PLA appears to have backed off somewhat, with a little over 60 violations occurring thus far. The brunt of “aggressive patrolling” by the Red Chinese has been witnessed in Ladakh, a region in India’s northwest Jammu and Kashmir state.

However, Chinese troops have also illegally strayed into Arunachal Pradesh which is located in India’s northeast. Beijing claims territory in this Indian state and thus the PLA incursions here have attracted greater attention in the Indian media. On June 6 the governor of Arunachal Pradesh, former chief of army staff General J.J. Singh, announced that two more army divisions consisting of 25,000 to 30,000 personnel each will be deployed along the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh within a few years.

With the first squadrons of advanced Russian-built Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets ready for forward deployment in the state of Assam, which is just to the south of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian government, the Times of India admits, “is slowly responding to the uncertainties of Chinese intentions, by enhancing its state of preparedness in the area.” According to former air force chief Fali Homi Major, India will deploy a full squadron of these fighter jets in the eastern sector of the Sino-Indian border.

That the Communist Party of China is still committed to exporting Maoist revolution throughout southern Asia, including through India’s Naxalite rebels, is evident from a 2005 statement by CPC cadre Zhang Zheng at the MaoFlag website: “The Indian Government cannot succeed in suppressing the armed revolution of India’s Maoists” (quoted by South Asia Analysis Group, May 10, 2005).

Therefore, in spite of expanding bilateral commercial relations and even joint military drills, as well as India’s observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, political tensions between New Delhi and Beijing continue to fester. India and the PRC fought a Himalayan border war in 1962. Last month, India’s incumbent air force chief admitted that the country faces a greater threat from China than Pakistan because “New Delhi knows little about Beijing’s combat capabilities.” A war between India and China, two countries that have split the atom, could conceivably escalate into nuclear warfare.

>Latin America File: Retired US State Dept. employee spied for Cuba for 30 years; Moscow resumes building Havana’s Cold War-era nuke plant

>On June 3 the 39th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) convened in Honduras, which is also a member of the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. The OAS agreed to readmit Cuba into its ranks, if Havana so desired. Cuba was expelled in 1962. At the OAS summit Nicaragua’s past/present dictator Daniel Ortega shilled for fellow commie thug Raul Castro. “Cuba has fought a battle, a heroic one for 50 years, facing many aggressions from the U.S.,” Comandante Ortega ranted, “that is why it deserves our recognition.”

For his part, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro insisted that “The revocation of the suspension of Cuba represents an assertion to Cuba, to its people, to Commander Fidel Castro and to the historical direction of the Revolution. We call for lifting the embargo against Cuba. It is a step more in favor of the regional integration.”

Pictured above: On June 3 in Havana, Cuban President Raul Castro welcomes Paraguayan counterpart, Fernando Lugo, the latest in a series of Latin American leftist leaders to consult in person with the hemisphere’s most dangerous communist.

In view of the Obama White House’s recent overtures of peace and love to KGB assets Raul and Fidel, it can be expected that Washington will not only warmly promote the OAS’s new accommodationist stance on Cuba, but also downplay or quash charges leveled against retired US State Department employee Walter Kendall Myers and spouse Gwendolyn. Husband and wife are accused of spying for Cuban intelligence for 30 years. The US Justice Department contends that the couple received coded messages via shortwave radio, rendezvoused with Cuban agents in Mexico (like former US Marine and KGB-trained assassin Lee Harvey Oswald), and carefully watched over their shoulders for any sign of US surveillance. Myers retired from the State Department in 2007.

Although a fitting conclusion to this sordid saga of communist espionage would be a re-application of the sentence applied to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, don’t hold your breath. Alternately, perhaps the Myers can join the Cuban Five in the same cell block, thereby forming the Cuban Seven and enjoying “solidarity” with the world’s communist press.

Notwithstanding the endorsements from Managua and Caracas and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s cautious ratification of the OAS resolution, Cuba itself remains adamant in its opposition to membership in the OAS. On June 8 Cuba’s foreign minister insisted that the communist state 90 miles south of Florida has no plans to return to the fold of that organization. “There is no discussion about Cuba’s reentry into the OAS,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez was quoted as saying in Granma, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Cuba. Rodriguez elaborated: “One way or another, the OAS is totally anachronistic; it serves other interests, and we feel that our path, Cuba’s path, is one of Latin American and Caribbean integration, without a presence from outside the continent.” For some reason, the OAS neglected to give the boot to Nicaragua and Venezuela, two countries with red regimes that barely tolerate organized opposition.

While it is possible that Cuba’s communist leadership is feigning disinterest in OAS membership, the fact is that Latin America’s Red Axis, as noted by Cuba’s foreign minister, has made great strides toward regional integration through transnational bodies such as ALBA, mentioned above, the Union of South American Nations, the South American Defense Council, the Caribbean Community, Petrocaribe, the Bank of the South, and TeleSur. Incidentally, the SADC only sets a common defense policy for South America’s nations and does not impose a unified military command over member states, as with NATO or NORAD. However, South America’s predominantly leftist leaders tout the SADC as a hemispheric counterweight to the North Atlantic Alliance.

Behind Cuba’s communist dictatorship, of course, lurks the neo-Soviet leadership, which under President/Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is once again openly aligned with its outpost in the Caribbean Basin. On May 27, reported Novosti, Moscow and Havana agreed to renew their cooperation in the construction of a nuclear plant in Cuba. The project was suspended in 1992 following the stage-managed collapse of Soviet communism. The participating agencies will be Rosatom and Cuba’s Nuclear Energy Agency. Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko made the announcement during an awards ceremony in Moscow, where nuclear physicist Fidel Angel Castro Diaz-Balart, Fidel Castro’s son, received the Kurchatov Award.

“On behalf of the entire nuclear division,” gushed Kiriyenko, “I present the highest award…the Kurchatov Award, to Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart. Today, we will renew our cooperation at [Cuba’s] nuclear research center that will allow us to develop a number of directions in modern science.” Diaz-Balart, 59, is a member of Cuba’s Academy of Sciences and studied theoretical physics in the Soviet Union. In the 1980s he directed Cuba’s nuclear agency and oversaw the initial stages of construction of Havana’s n-plant. The agency conducts research not only in nuclear physics, but also biotechnology and nanotechnology. In light of this story, would one be presumptuous for speculating that Cuba’s ruling communists will utilize Russian nuke know-how in the pursuit of a tropical A-bomb? At the very least, joint Soviet-Cuban research and development projects provide “cover” for Moscow to insert agents into its Caribbean garrison.

US Officials, National Security Experts Fret over Russian SA-24 ManPADS in Venezuela, 600 Soviet-Era SA-7 SAMs in Nicaragua

Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez is saying little in public about his country’s recent acquisition of Russia’s most deadly shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile (SAM), the SA-24 Man-Portable Air Defense System (ManPADS). The silence from Caracas is prompting US government officials and national security experts to fret that these weapons could fall into the hands of Colombia’s Marxist guerrillas, with whom Chavez is closely and openly allied. “We are concerned about Venezuelan arms purchases that exceed its needs and are therefore potentially destabilizing,” US State Department spokesperson Sara Mangiaracina admitted, adding: “The Man-Portable Air Defense Systems Venezuela have purchased from Russia are sophisticated weapons systems. It is important that these weapons systems be appropriately controlled to avoid the possibility of diversion.’”

Financed by high oil prices, the Miami Herald relates, Chavez embarked on a weapons-buying spree in 2006, purchasing more than US$4 billion worth of Russian-built Sukhoi warplanes and helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles to “professionalize” his 62,000-member armed forces. The low-maintenance SA-24 missile and launcher weigh 42 pounds, can take down targets flying as high as 19,500 feet, and features “fire and forget” and night-vision capabilities. The SA-27 can easily strike the Colombian government’s slow-moving, ground-attack warplanes. Previously, the only SAMs in use by the Venezuelan military were the pedestal-mounted Swedish RBS-70 and French Mistral.

On April 19 Chavez, in attendance at an annual military parade, halted marching troops in front of his reviewing stand to address a unit of 50 soldiers with shoulder-borne missiles. The Venezuelan president declared: “We have decided to make this brief halt in the parade to highlight the importance that this new unit has for the sovereignty and defense of the country.” Chavez then identified the weapons as SA-24s, boasting about their speed and weight. He continued his rant: “We are a peaceful country. The revolution is peaceful . . . We do not want war but we are required to be capable of defending ourselves.” Addressing President Chavez, the captain who commanded the SA-24 unit replied: “These missiles are part of the process of strengthening and transforming our revolutionary, anti-imperialist and socialist armed forces.”

‘”It’s been our position that we don’t consider Venezuela a military threat,” explained Colonel Bill Costello, spokesman for the US military’s Miami-based Southern Command. However, Costello admitted that “Weapons proliferation in the region poses a long-term threat to security, and any potential illegal transfer of such weapons to terrorist groups such as the FARC in Colombia remains a concern.’”

Venezuela’s Chief of Military Intelligence, Chief of Secret Police, and Former Interior Minister Facilitate Red Cocaine Flow in Collaboration with FARC

Last September the US Treasury Department accused three top officials in the Chavezista regime of aiding FARC with weapons, finances, and drug trafficking, thereby inadvertently exposing Red Venezuela’s role in the Communist Bloc’s five-decade narco-subversion plot against the West. The accused included former Venezuelan Interior Minister Ramon Rodríguez Chacín; General Hugo Carvajal, chief of Venezuela’s military intelligence; and General Henry Rangel Silva, chief of the Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP), Venezuela’s secret police. In the 1980s, according to Joseph Douglas in Red Cocaine, Raul Castro, now president of Cuba, and Tomas Borge, then Nicaragua’s Maoist interior minister but now that country’s ambassador to Peru, played important roles in Moscow’s drug offensive against the capitalist countries. No doubt, they continue to do so.

US Treasury officials specifically accused of Chacín of facilitating FARC’s acquisition of weapons, describing him as Caracas’ “main weapons contact for the FARC.” They also alleged that Chacín assayed to facilitate a US$250 million loan from the Venezuelan government to FARC in late 2007. For their part, Generals Carvajal and Silva were accused of protecting FARC-linked drug shipments out of Colombia. The accusations were part of a move to freeze any assets these Venezuelan officials had in the United States. The US Treasury’s allegations were based on information gleaned from laptop computers seized on March 1, 2008 by Colombian security forces in an Ecuador-based FARC jungle camp. During the raid, Colombian troops killed FARC’s second-in-command Luis Edgar Devia, better known as Raul Reyes. President Chavez denied the content of the computer files, but Interpol examined the digital archives on Reyes’ laptop and concluded that they were not doctored.

One email between rebel commanders, dated January 4, 2007, revealed that Venezuelan military and FARC officials met and discussed “taking advantage of the Venezuelan arms purchases from Russia to include some containers’” for Colombia’s rebels. Another email stated that Chacín “suggested a mechanism for meeting with the Australians.’” A third email, dated September 6, 2007, discloses that FARC officials met with two Australian arms dealers who offered missiles and other weapons “at very favorable prices.” A fourth email reported that General Carvajal offered to deliver 20 bazookas to FARC. Several more referred to Chacín’s extension of the US$250 million loan. Finally, one email between rebel commanders showed that they “desperately” wanted ManPADs to counter the Colombian armed forces’ air supremacy: “The anti-aircraft weapons are already for us an urgent necessity.”

In like fashion Washington is bothered about President Ortega’s aging stockpile of 600, less-advanced, Soviet-built SA-7 man-portable SAMs. During the 1990s, when the Sandinista National Liberation Front did not openly rule Nicaragua, Managua voluntarily destroyed about 1,400 SA-7s, used against the Contra freedom fighters in the previous decade. US officials are still urging Ortega to dismantle the weapons so that they do not wind up in the hands of FARC, with which Nicaragua’s Marxist president, like Chavez, is in sympathy. “There is an offer that is still valid,” US ambassador Robert J. Callahan explained in a statement, adding: “In return for the destruction of 600 or so missiles, we are still very willing to give $5 million for the rehabilitation of the Children’s Hospital La Mascota in Managua.”

FMLN Regime Installed in San Salvador under Approving Gaze of Cuban Delegation; Paymaster Chavez Attends Funes-Sanchez Inauguration

As previously blogged here, El Salvador’s first-ever Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) government is making the restoration of relations with Cuba top priority. A succession of military and rightist regimes in San Salvador maintained a diplomatic embargo against the communist island since the 1959 revolution. On May 31 Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez stated that President-Elect Mauricio Funes will officially announce the normalization of relations after he assumes his post on June 1. At the right time, Martinez added, the two countries will exchange ambassadors. Martinez also related to Cuba’s Prensa Latina that 20 heads of states confirmed attendance at the inauguration ceremony of Funes and Vice President-Elect Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the FMLN’s battlefield commander between 1984 and 1992. We strongly suspect that the FMLN’s hard-core Marxist leadership will exercise its influence upon the country primarily through Sanchez, while using former CNN journalist Funes as media-savvy PR man.

On June 1 Vice President Esteban Lazo led Cuba’s delegation at the Funes-Sanchez inauguration. At San Salvador’s international airport the Cuban delegation was received by the full political commission of the FMLN, headed by general coordinator Medardo González, and incoming VP Sanchez. Among the Cuban visitors were Jose Arbesu, deputy head of the International Relations Department of the Communist Party of Cuba, and Vice Foreign Ministers Alejandro Gonzalez, Rogelio Sierra, and Ramiro Abreu. Waving the FMLN flag, Salvadorans by the thousands lined the road to the international airport to welcome the Cuban visitors. They sang songs dedicated to Cuba and carried signs with messages of greeting to Fidel and Raul Castro. On June 2 the Cuban News Agency confirmed that after Funes’ installation as president, an accord establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries was inked by Salvadoran Foreign Minister Martinez and his Cuban counterpart, the apparently unrelated Alejandro Martinez.

Finally, the Salvadoran foreign minister confirmed that Funes met on May 31 with faux rightist Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Chile’s socialist president Michelle Bachelet, who is also president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. Both Calderon and Bachelet oppose the US embargo against Cuba. Martinize confirmed that Funes would hold talks with Venezuela’s communist dictator Chavez after the inaugural ceremony. As previously blogged here, President-Elect Funes flew to Caracas on May 19 to confer with Chavez. During the March election El Salvador’s new president was accused by the outgoing Nationalist Republican Alliance government of being in the pay of Chavez.

Chavez Confirms Ecuador’s Intention of Joining ALBA This Month; Last November Medvedev Expressed Russia’s Interest in Joining Bloc of Latin American Socialist States

For some years now, in fact, Venezuela’s top red thug has been skimming petrodollars from state-run PDVSA to finance the campaigns of ruling leftist politicians throughout Latin America, including Nicaragua’s Ortega, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner, defeated leftist politicians like Panama’s Balbina Herrara, and defeated rightist politicians like Belize’s Said Musa. The official subsidies and shady sums from Chavez’s revolutionary coffers are directed through the Caracas-sponsored initiative Petrocaribe, as well as ALBA’s front companies. Although Panamanians put a halt to Latin America’s “Red Spread” last month by electing a supermarket magnate as president, El Salvador and Ecuador have most definitely fallen under the sway of the Havana-Caracas Axis.

Since socialist Correa was first elected to the presidency of Ecuador in 2005, Quito has hummed and hawed about integration into ALBA. On June 4, Cuba’s Prensa Latina quoted Chavez as saying that the absorption of the small South American nation into the regional Red Axis is now a done deal. Speaking on a television program on June 3, the Venezuelan dictator stated that President Correa has finally confirmed his country’s official integration into the regional bloc. Chavez explained that the official incorporation of Ecuador into ALBA will take place in Carabobo, Venezuela, on June 24 during an upcoming meeting of the group.

ALBA presently consists of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Honduras, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Correa was re-elected to the presidency in April, a victory that no doubt emboldened his attempts to link Ecuador’s destiny with the Havana-Caracas Axis. During his first-ever November trip to Venezuela, President Medvedev articulated Russia’s intention of joining ALBA, an admission that exposes the Soviet strategy of encircling America with socialist states, but which was totally overlooked by the brain-dead MSM. ALBA was founded in Havana on December 14, 2004.

Paraguay’s “Red Bishop” President Shrugs off Paternity Accusations, Makes Pilgrimage to Havana to Receive Unholy Orders

Shrugging off paternity accusations acquired during his stint as a liberationist Catholic bishop, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo made his pilgrimage to Havana on June 3. Lugo is the latest in a procession of Latin American leftist leaders to receive unholy orders from Cuba’s communist dictatorship. Earlier this year, Chavez, Ortega, Correa, Kirchner, and Bachelet as obedient sons and daughters of “la revolucion,” paid homage to the Castro Bros., Raul and the cadaverous Fidel. Bolivian President Evo Morales is the most recent visitor to Havana’s all-inclusive gulag paradise.

Presidents Lugo and Castro held official talks at the Palace of the Revolution. The Cuban welcoming party also consisted of First Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer, and Culture Minister Abel Prieto, all of whom are members of the CPC’s Politburo. During his first day in Cuba, Lugo laid a wreath at the monument of national hero Jose Marti. He also visited the Latin American School of Medicine in the Cuban capital. On Friday, June 5 Lugo departed for his homeland. While still under the government of the long-ruling conservative Colorado Party, Ascunsion established consular relations with Havana in 1996 and diplomatic relations in 1999.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s top general Makarov details major army maneuvers to occur near Poland, Finland, and Georgia

>– Zapad 2009 Exercise to Deploy Two Full Armies in Belarus, East of Poland

– Three Naval Fleets, 60,000 Soldiers, Including Railway Troops, to Participate in Zapad/Ladoga/Kavkaz 2009

– Railway Troops Instrumental in Facilitating Re-Invasion of Georgia in August 2008

The Russian military plans to stage at least three major exercises between June and September of this year: Zapad 2009 on the territory of Belarus, abutting NATO member Lithuania and Warsaw Pact-turned-NATO member Poland; Ladoga 2009 in the Leningrad Military District, near Finland, which is not in the North Atlantic Alliance; and Kavkaz 2009 in the North Caucasus Military District, immediately to the north of Georgia, a “former” Soviet republic that aspires to NATO ranks. Pictured above, Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, outlined the maneuvers for Novosti:

This year we will start a series of large-scale drills in line with current military reforms. During the Zapad [West] large-scale exercises on September 8-29, we will deploy two full-sized armies in Belarus. The exercises will, among other things, rehearse interoperability within the framework of the Belarusian-Russian integrated air defense system, which the two countries agreed to establish recently. In addition to the Zapad exercises, we will conduct two large-scale drills and a brigade-level exercise on our own territory, which will involve units from three military districts and three fleets.

The last Zapad exercise took place in 1999 and before that, in the days of overt communism, 1981, when Soviet forces carried out a mock amphibious attack on Polish territory.

Inadvertently suggesting a possible window of opportunity for thrusting deeper into Georgian territory and seizing the capital Tbilisi, Makarov said: “On June 29-July 10 we will conduct a large-scale exercise involving all brigades of the North Caucasus military district, the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla.” It was under cover of the Caucasus Frontier 2008 drill that Russia positioned its military assets for the August invasion of Georgia that year.

As we suspected in a previous post, Ladoga 2009 will take place in northwestern Russia, which includes Lake Ladoga. Makarov explained: “From August 10 to September 28, all units of the Leningrad military district, and several units of the Siberian military district, the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet will take part in the Ladoga exercises.” Ladoga, the world’s 14th largest freshwater lake, was once owned by both Finland and the Soviet Union, but after the Winter War became an internal basin of Russia. Further Soviet aggression against Finland in this region took place during the Continuation War.

Significantly, Makarov relates that a total of 60,000 military personnel will join all three drills. On May 19 a digest of the Russian media, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, reported that railway troops will take part in both Zapad 2009 and Ladoga 2009. Pavel Felgenhauer writes of the Russian army’s use of railway troops in advance of the re-invasion of Georgia in August 2008, :

On May 31, Railroad troops were moved to repair the tracks south of Sokhumi to prepare the infrastructure for the invasion. On July 30, they completed their work and all was set for major combat in August, since later bad weather would impede an invasion (see EDM, June 12, July 30). The West seems to have dismissed the Russian warnings and preparations as bluff until it was too late.

In view of the Kremlin’s planned and previous military and civil defense preparations, one is inclined to pose the question: After grinding Georgia into the ground, are the Soviets preparing to re-invade and re-occupy their former satellites, especially Poland and the Baltic republics?

The Soviets Talk Peace while Modernizing Strategic Nuclear Strike Capability

Since the Russian military’s combat readiness can only be determined from open sources, it is very probable that some or much of the information cited here is either not entirely accurate or pure propaganda in line with the long-range Soviet deception. Still, the general impression that Western analysts such as your resident blogger acquire from sources like the Kremlin website, the Russian Ministry of Defense website, Novosti, Itar-Tass, Russia Today, and independent media outlets like the Moscow Times is that the Soviet “military kit” is aging, but undergoing a vigorous modernization in terms of weapons and delivery systems, wide-ranging reforms in terms of command and control, and integration with the armed forces of other states in the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

The Russian armed force’s logistical and technological failures during the Caucasian War last year were an important “wake up call” to Russia’s largely “ex”-communist political elites. “It seems the main drive of the Russian invasion was Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, while the separatist problem was only a pretext,” opines Felgenhauer at the link above, adding: “Georgia occupies a key geopolitical position, and Moscow is afraid that if George joins NATO, Russia will be flushed out of Transcaucasia.” Thus, we see that the Soviets are still serious about confronting NATO, an organization against which President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin have directed much invective.

The Russian Defense Ministry, consequently, plans to throw 40% of this year’s US$42.5 billion budget at the navy, particularly on the development of strategic nuclear forces. “This money is mainly directed to strategic submarines. This is hundreds of billions of rubles,” Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said in an interview with Novosti. Russia is currently building a fourth-generation Graney attack submarine and three Borey-class submarines, Yury Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky, and Vladimir Monomakh. Russia is planning to build a total of eight submarines of this class by 2015. Ivanov continued: “Upon completion, the submarines will be deployed both with the Northern and Pacific fleets, which will require $1 billion investment to create the appropriate coastal infrastructure.”

Ivanov admitted that the Bulava SLBM will be adopted by the navy only jointly with its delivery platform, Yury Dolgoruky. The three-stage Bulava-M (SS-NX-30) carries up to 10 nuclear warheads and has a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The Russian Navy intends to test-launch at least five Bulava missiles in 2009. Previous tests of this delivery vehicle have had mixed results.

The Russian Navy is anxious to commission the Borey and Graney classes since only eight of the country’s 12 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines are apparently combat-capable. “Out of 12 vessels, Northern Fleet’s Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoi submarine has been overhauled to test new Bulava sea-based ballistic missiles, six Delta-IV class units are being refitted with modernized version of the R-29RM (SS-N-23) missile, known as Sineva, and five Delta-III class submarines are deployed with the Pacific Fleet,” explains Mikhail Barabanov, editor-in-chief of the Moscow Defense Brief magazine. He added that two Typhoon-class submarines, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are parked at a naval base in Severodvinsk in Arctic Russia, but they are not fitted with missiles and require further repairs. In addition, the Russian Navy maintains about 30 nuclear-powered attack subs equipped with either SS-N-19 Shipwreck long-range anti-ship cruise missiles or torpedo tubes, but only 17 of them are operational.

Negotiating America’s Capitulation to the Red World Order

The frantic pace of the neo-Soviet military build-up is taking place under the deceptive cover of a new strategic arms reduction deal to replace the START 1 treaty, which expires in December 2009. According to a report published by the US State Department in April, as of January 1 Russia had 3,909 nuclear warheads and 814 delivery vehicles, including ICBMs, SLBMs, and ALCMs. The same report said the United States had 5,576 warheads and 1,198 delivery vehicles.

A draft of the new treaty may be ready before US President Barack Obama’s first-ever visit to Moscow on July 6-8, a Russian presidential spokesentity acknowledged this past Tuesday. “We are working on it,” Natalia Timakova said. The team negotiating the US surrender to the Soviet communists is Assistant US Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, while the Russian delegation is headed by Anatoly Antonov, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Security and Disarmament. The first session of “full-format” negotiations was held in Moscow on May 19-21. Negotiators from both camps agreed to submit a draft treaty at a US-Russian summit in Moscow in early July. The second round of talks is currently being held in Geneva.

The Kremlin media frankly concedes that the neo-Soviet leadership has no plans whatsoever for slashing its nuclear stockpile as long as Washington’s intentions for missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic remain “unclear.” Actually, there’s no ambiguity with respect to Washington’s relationship with Warsaw: interceptor missiles will be deployed in Poland by year’s end.

Incidentally, if the Soviets were more candid then the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Security and Disarmament would be better named as the Department of Soviet Security and US Disarmament.

Calling Rambo: Soviets Stirring the Pot Again in Afghanistan

In the third installment of the First Blood series of movies, actor Sylvester Stallone, portraying Vietnam War veteran Rambo, blasted his way through occupying Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Although Moscow withdrew the last of its forces in February 1989, around the same time Rambo III was released, the Kremlin is still exerting influence in its Cold War-era stomping grounds, Afghanistan, now occupied by NATO troops. Moscow plans to deliver humanitarian assistance, including flour and medicine, to Kabul by way of 50 Kamaz trucks and two Mi-8 helicopters, respectively.

“In July-August we plan to dispatch to Afghanistan 50 Kamaz trucks which will be used to deliver humanitarian aid to the country,” related Yuri Brazhnikov, who heads the international cooperation department of the Russian Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergency Situations and Disasters. The long-time chief of Russian civil defense is Sergei Shoigu, the son-in-law of Oleg Shenin, Stalinist mastermind of the potemkin anti-Gorbachevist coup of August 1991. Russia, Novosti notes, delivered 18,000 tons of flour to Afghanistan between January and April. The flour is being delivered within the context of the United Nations World Food Program. “This humanitarian operation is unprecedented in its size compared with other operations that Russia carried out in Afghanistan,” Brazhnikov boasted.

>Asia File: N. Korean ICBM arrives at Dongchang-ri launch site; Pyongyang doubles ammunition for patrol ships, holds live-fire, amphibious attack drill

>The Korea Times reports today that “An object presumed to be an ICBM was recently transported by train to the Dongchang-ri missile site, a newly-built long-range missile site located on North Korea’s western coast, according to authorities.” Last September, South Korea’s Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee admitted that North Korea had almost completed a new missile base in the North Pyeongan Province. The Korea Times opines: “Observers expect North Korea to conduct an ICBM test-firing near the middle of this month when the South Korea-U.S. summit takes place in Washington, in a bid to further ratchet up tension on the peninsula and add pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.”

Pictured above: South Korean Marines patrol a beach on the Republic of Korea’s western Yeonpyong Island, near the disputed sea border with communist North Korea, on Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

The same news source quotes Hwang Jin-ha, a retired South Korean major general and lawmaker associated with the ruling rightist Grand National Party, as saying: “As it did before, North Korea will weigh in much on political impacts before provocative acts. I believe that would be the case this time.” North Korea’s Taepodong-2 missile is believed to have a striking radius of between 4,000 and 6,700 kilometers, thus placing Alaska within its sights. However, Hwang holds the opinion that the North has not yet fully mastered the technology required to successfully launch an ICBM or miniaturize a nuclear warhead to mount on a long-range missile. On April 5 North Korea fired a rocket from the Musudan-ri site, located in the country’s northwest, which was widely perceived as a disguised test of the Taepodong-2 missile. The rocket splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 3,000 kilometers after launch.

In a related development, reports the Korea Times, “the North also banned [civilian] ships from waters off its west coast until the end of July, an apparent sign of a further provocation near the sea border.” Citing an unidentified South Korean government official, Yonhap news agency reported that “North Korea has strengthened its military training exercises near the western sea border [on the Yellow Sea]. Intelligence shows that the North has also conducted amphibious attack exercises, using high-speed landing vessels.”

When the next Korean hot war begins in earnest, be assured that Moscow and Beijing will be totally committed to a communist victory, even if that policy is not apparent or admitted in the early stages of the military campaign.