>– 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 Venezuelanalysis.com website, it serves the Latin American Red Axis’ cause of dethroning US influence in the region and promoting communism.