Monthly Archives: November 2009

>Red Terror File: St. Petersburg governor: Kremlin’s top banker killed in Nevsky Express bombing

>On Saturday Interfax reported that several high-ranking Russian officials were killed in the Nevsky Express bombing, including the Kremlin’s top banker:

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko officially confirmed that Sergei Tarasov, the board chairman of the Russian Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) and a former Federation Council member representing St. Petersburg, and Russian Federal Reserve Agency (Rosreserve) chief Boris Yevstratikov were killed in the crash of the Nevsky Express train on the evening of November 27.

“Sergei Borisovich [Tarasov] was killed on the spot, and his body was found later. In addition, the death of Rosreserve chief Boris Yevstratikov has also been confirmed,” Matviyenko told journalists. Matviyenko expressed her condolences to Tarasov’s and Yevstratikov’s relatives and beloved ones. “This is our common pain and common loss,” she said.

Assuming Yevstratikov was targeted for liquidation, it may be that the Soviet strategists are preparing for “changes” in the international markets, like the demise of the US dollar.

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>Red Terror File: Russian FSB/KGB: Bomb blast derailed Nevsky Express en route to St. Petersburg from Moscow on Friday night, 26 killed

>After at least two years of relative calm in the Russian heartland, “terrorists” have once again struck the country’s infrastructure. On Friday night an apparent explosion derailed the Nevsky Express, en route to St. Petersburg from Moscow, near the town of Bologoye on the border between the Tver and Novgorod regions. At least 26 passengers were killed and 100 more injured. In August 2007 an explosion derailed the same express train on the same railroad line, injuring 60 people.

Russian officialdom once again suspects terrorism. Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB) chief Alexander Bortnikov stated that a terrorism probe has been launched. “Indeed, this was a terrorist attack,” confirmed Vladimir Markin, a spokesentity for the investigative committee of Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office. The home-made bomb gouged a five-foot crater and scattered smoking wreckage over a stretch of rural track.

A second, weaker bomb blew up at 2 p.m. local time on Saturday, but nobody was injured, according to Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin. The Kremlin’s civil defense “czar” Sergei Shoigu–who lately visited Serbia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to set up emergency situations centers for Moscow’s allies–indicated that “Rescuers were concluding work at the site.” The health minister reported that the 18 passengers listed as missing after the incident had not been located in the three cars that went off the tracks.

“The disaster has fueled fears of a rise in terrorist attacks outside Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region,” Xinhua continues at the last link, adding: “Russia was hit hard by terrorism in the 1990s and the early years of this decade, but there had been no major incident outside the North Caucasus region since 2004.” That being so, perhaps with the latest act of FSB/KGB-contrived terrorism in Russia the Soviet strategists are ramping up for significant “changes” or “movements” on the domestic and international fronts.

In his 2002 book Blowing Up Russia former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko contended that the 1999 apartment bombings that propelled career Chekist Vladimir Putin to power were contrived by Moscow’s secret services. Litvinenko died of radioactive poisoning in London in November 2006. Before he died he dictated a final statement accusing then President Putin of ordering his murder. British authorities consider State Duma deputy and former FSB agent Andrei Lugovoi the main suspect in this unsolved case.

>Latin America File: Chavez pays unofficial visit to Cuba on eve of Bastion 2009 drill, Ecuador buys PRC warplanes, Colombian FM, DM shun Unasur summit

>Unasur Denounces Sunday’s Elections in Honduras, Seeks to Sway EU as Unknown Group Uses Russian-Built RPG to Attack Supreme Court Building

On Tuesday, two days before Havana’s three-day Bastion 2009 “strategic maneuver” was scheduled to begin, Venezuela’s red dictator Hugo Chavez wrapped up an unofficial visit to Cuba. During his island getaway, Chavez met both Castro Bros., Fidel and Raul. The Cuban News Agency reports that Comrades Hugo and Raul discussed “the current state of cooperation ties between Havana and Caracas,” in accordance with “the excellent state of bilateral relations between the peoples and governments of the two countries.” No doubt, too, the two paranoid communist dictators shared their delusional fantasies about an “imperialist” invasion from that “criminal” bastion of “fascism,” the USA.

Bastion 2009, which began on Thursday, follows four identically named but sporadically implemented exercises spanning the last three decades. The first three Bastion drills took place in 1980, 1983, and 1986. Following the “end” of the Cold War and an 18-year hiatus, the Cuban military and civilians once again repulsed a mock US invasion in 2004. Originally slated for November 2008, the last Bastion drill was postponed due the damage wreaked by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. Bastion 2009 involves 45,000 active-duty soldiers, 55,000 reservists, as well as civil defense and emergency responders. The war game is pictured above in a photo taken from Cuba’s Prensa Latina website.

On November 24 Radio Rebelde announced that the simulated attack against Cuba was aimed at “confronting a possible aggression by North American imperialism.” Ignoring US President Barack Hussein Obama’s olive-branch overtures to the island’s ruthless communist dictatorship, the state-run media outlet rumbled: “The current political-military situation that characterizes the confrontation between Cuba and the U.S. government has made these strategic exercises a necessity of the first order.”

On November 26 Cuban television showed images of tanks blasting their guns, artillery batteries firing away, camouflaged troops digging trenches and shooting bazookas, attack helicopters and fighter jets soaring through the sky, and rescue teams aiding wounded combatants. It was unclear if the images came from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba’s current maneuvers or from file footage of previous activities. However, on Thursday tanks and anti-aircraft guns were spotted on trains near Havana being prepared for transport to an unknown destination. In the evening news broadcast, President Castro urged Cubans to resist the US invaders: “The objective is to never surrender, to never stop fighting. Fight and fight until we exhaust the enemy and defeat it.”

Military analyst Hal Klepak, who teaches at the Royal Military College of Canada, downplays the level of confrontation between Havana and Washington DC: “I don’t think it is so much that they expect an invasion or anything like it. I think what they worry about is disorder in Cuba of any kind that would lead to blood in the streets.” No doubt Bastion 2009 will help the Communist Party of Cuba “deal with” both scenarios.

During Tuesday meeting, Chavez and the younger Castro also discussed the upcoming summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), scheduled to occur in December in the Cuban capital. Not so coincidentally, next month Russian warships are slated to put in an appearance in Havana Bay for the second time since the Cold War. In November 2008 President Dmitry Medvedev, while attending the sidelines of an ALBA summit in Caracas, first articulated the Kremlin’s interest in linking up with Latin America’s Red Axis.

Chavez’s unannounced trip to Havana also comes in the midst of a Venezuelan troop build-up along Colombia’s northeastern border. South America’s red tyrant claims that the planned deployment of 800 US counter-narcotics troops in Colombia is a threat to regional stability. Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator and stalwart Chavez ally Daniel Ortega agrees. On November 9, according to Colombia Reports, he urged “Latin American peoples” to unite against the implementation of the new US-Colombian military pact. Ortega ranted: “We must make disappear once and for all . . . the military bases that threaten the sovereignty, integrity and peace of our people. The military bases are symbols of war. Colombia is a traitor for allowing the US to use its territory for military purposes.”

In a tit-for-tat response to Bogota’s recent complaint to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding Chavez’s warmongering, Venezuela has lodged a counter-complaint. Venezuela’s UN representative Jorge Valero told the AFP news agency: “This is a serious problem threatening continental peace and security, not just a problem between Venezuela, Colombia and the United States.” Valero delivered a letter to the Austrian presidency of the UNSC, demanding inclusion of the Colombian situation in the agenda of Security Council. The USA wields veto power in the Security Council.

Ecuador’s socialist president Rafael Correa, another stalwart Chavez ally, also appears to be ramping up for war against Bogota by bolstering troop strength along Colombia’s southwestern border. In support of these activities, as we have previously posted, the Ecuadorean Air Force is upgrading its combat aircraft. In addition to the six French-built Mirage 50 fighter jets that Chavez recently donated to Ecuador, Correa has obtained a US$438 million credit from the People’s Republic of China to purchase four warplanes from Beijing. On November 24 Jia Qinglin, chair of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, met with Correa in Quito as part of a multinational tour to secure Latin American clients for Red China’s “socialist market economy.”

With Ortega’s rant in mind, there are only two methods, of course, that the regional Red Axis can use to force the abrogation of the US-Colombian pact: diplomatic and economic sanctions, or military intervention. At Friday’s Union of South American Nations (Unasur) summit in Quito, however, the Colombian ministerial delegation, reports Bloomberg, was a “no-show.” Defense Minister Gabriel Silva and Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez were replaced by a technical team at the conclave, which otherwise brought together the defense and foreign ministers of the 12-nation European Union-style federation. Referring to Chavez’s near-declaration of war last week, Silva, speaking with Bogota-based Caracol Radio, rumbled: “The No. 1 obligation of a defense minister is to avoid war at all costs. The second obligation of a defense minister is, if someone makes war on Colombia, to confront it and win it.”

During the same radio interview Silva revealed that three National Liberation Army (ELN) commanders and at least one commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were “currently conducting activities and seeking refuge in the Venezuelan jungle.” For the most part, the Colombian government’s Washington-financed counter-insurgency measures appear to have yielded strategic dividends in the last 10 years. In 2002, Silva explained, there were an estimated 30,000 FARC guerrillas, whereas in 2009 the numbers appear to be less than 10,000. Moreover, the FARC’s control centers are now outside Colombia which, we might add, presents a whole new set of problems.

Silva then related that the policy of the government of President Alvaro Uribe was to not carry out a military operation similar to the one that killed FARC commander Raul Reyes in Ecuador in March 2008. “We are not planning any operation outside of Colombian territory,” Silva assured. Instead, President Uribe has ordered that “All necessary allegations be raised at international level in order to deal with any future cases regarding guerrilla activities in Colombia’s neighbouring countries.” It appears, therefore, that Bogota is not only seeking the moral high ground in its war of words with Caracas, but also possibly buying time to improve its own military capabilities.

Finally, during yesterday’s summit in Quito, the Unasur states decided as a bloc to boycott Sunday’s election in Honduras, demanding as they have since June 28 the restoration of wealthy rancher-turned-socialist Manuel Zelaya to the presidency. Unasur, minus Colombia, is also calling on the EU to reject the Honduran poll. “The Unasur decision has already been taken: we are not going to recognize elections held under the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti,” vowed President Correa, who is presently visiting Belgium. He added: “I hope the European Union adopts a similar attitude to Unasur.” Siding with the lawful government of President Roberto Micheletti, Bogota ordered its ambassador to return to Honduras on November 9.

Somewhat surprisingly, the Obama White House, which until now backed Zelaya’s reinstallation, has promised to recognize the election results, whether they include Zelaya in a national unity government or not. Three of Honduras’ non-communist neighbors in Latin America, Peru, Costa Rica and Panama, have also pledged to recognize the outcome.

Zelaya, who is still holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa after more than two months, remains adamant against any political solution that does include his participation as chief executive. “The United States is not just supporting the elections but it is supporting the de facto regime, it is supporting the dictatorship, it is supporting the coup-perpetrating regime,” Zelaya spluttered in a telephone interview published Thursday by the Brazilian website UOL.

The favourite presidential candidate in tomorrow’s election is wealthy farmer Porfirio Lobo from the National Party, with Elvin Santos from the Liberal Party considered his nearest rival. Lobo urged Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to view a new Honduran president-elect as legitimate even though Sunday’s vote follows what most of the world considers to be a military-backed coup d’etat. “We will be knocking at president Lula’s door and everyone else’s to reestablish channels of friendship with all nations,” Lobo told foreign reporters on Friday.

This past Wednesday the election campaign in Honduras was marked by several violent incidents, including the use of a Russian-built rocket-propelled grenade launcher to attack the country’s Supreme Court building. The structure sustained minor damage. Not uncoincidentally, Honduras’ top judges supported the ouster of Zelaya on June 28. An explosion also took place at the Channel 10 television station’s offices in Tegucigalpa, shattering some second-storey windows. The day before, police seized a rifle with a telescopic sight, an AK-47 assault rifle, computers, and radios in northern Honduras. Police spokesman Orlin Cerrato asserted that some groups planned to damage the La Democracia bridge, which links the city of El Progreso with La Lima and San Pedro Sula.

Although the identity of the groups was not revealed, it is very possible that the National Front against the Coup D’Etat was responsible for the incidents. Intriguingly, this organization maintains an address in Belgium where Jesuit priest/sociologist Francois Houtart, a prime mover behind the leftist World Social Forums, is listed as a contact.

>Middle East File: S. Yemenis agitate for revived Marxist state, clash with soldiers; Yemeni, Saudi troops counter attacks by Iran-backed Huthi rebels

>– Iran’s Proxy War on the Arabian Peninsula: Revolutionary Guard in Eritrea Ferrying Weapons across Red Sea to Yemen’s Shia Militants

Yemen is fast descending into chaos. The country’s long-time dictator, President Ali Abdullah Saleh, faces two significant insurgencies within his country: the Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in northern Yemen; and the cadres of the Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) in southern Yemen, known as the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY) until 1990. Saleh feigns support for the Washington-led international coalition in the War on Terror, but is in fact a reliable ally of Moscow, notwithstanding the Kremlin-backed militants in the southern part of his country.

On Wednesday three Yemeni communists and two soldiers died in a clash that took place in the southern town of Ataq. Nasser Huwaider, a member of the secessionist Southern Movement, reported that security forces surrounded the 1,000-strong crowd, many waving the flag of the former PDRY (pictured above), and opened fire. “They surrounded us from every side and starting shooting,” Huwaider related. On Friday armed southern secessionists closed down a main highway in Yemen. Dozens of travellers leaving for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha were stranded on the road joining the capital Sana and the main southern port of Aden after gunmen from the Southern Movement stopped all traffic late on Thursday

Violence in southern Yemen, where most of the Republic of Yemen’s petroleum facilities are located, erupted in April after the YSP held a rally commemorating the 1994 civil war that briefly witnessed the resurrection of the old Marxist republic. In October 2008 Russia’s Federation Council chairman Sergei Mironov led a delegation to Sana, fueling speculation that Moscow intends to reactivate its Soviet-era naval base in Aden or possibly Yemen’s Socotra Islands, which are located 190 nautical miles off the Horn of Africa. The following month Saleh dutifully presented himself in Moscow, where he signed a large weapons deal. Yemen’s dictator previously visited Russia in 2002.

Pictured here: Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan (third from right) visits troops in the southwestern province of Jizan, near the border with Yemen, on November 10.

Meanwhile, the five-year-old Huthi rebellion in the northern Saada province grows ever-more complicated as the Saudi army, navy, and air force and pro-government Yemeni tribesmen have joined the regular Yemeni army in repressing the Shia insurgency that now spans two countries. On Wednesday the AFP news agency reported that King Abdullah’s soldiers continue to fight along the “rugged” border between Saada and Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province. This week three Saudi soldiers died in clashes with the Huthis, while four pro-government tribesmen and eight rebels died in northern Yemen. Originally known as Zaidis, the Huthis are also named after their slain leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi.

Yemen’s defense ministry announced that the army destroyed “several” rebel hideouts and captured a Huthi leader, Abud Shamlan. “Yemeni forces gained full control of Sabkhanah Hill in Malahidh, expelled the terrorist partisans from the area and captured many weapons, including light and medium machine guns, mortars and large quantities of ammunition,” the ministry’s website revealed. For their part, the rebels said they destroyed two Saudi tanks as they crossed back into Yemen. On Friday they claimed to have seized nine Saudi soldiers in northern Yemen.

Evidence of a covert channel for weapons replenishment, orchestrated by Iran via ally African ally Eritrea, has also been exposed. On November 25 Yemen’s foreign minister, while meeting German government officials in Berlin, asserted: “There is mounting evidence but we are dealing with it very responsibly.” Both the Iranian leadership and Huthi rebels are Shia Muslims, while the Saudi leadership are rival Sunni Muslims. Raised as a Shia, Yemeni President Saleh is in practice secular, having welcomed YSP cadres into his government. Saleh’s vice president is Sunni. Bloomberg, quoting Stratfor, the Austin, Texas-based intelligence newsletter, reports:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are ferrying weapons from Asab port in Eritrea across the Red Sea to Yemen . . . The Iranians buy weapons in Somalia and Eritrea and then load them onto ships at Asab. They are now taking a longer route that skirts around the tip of the Arabian Peninsula in the Gulf of Aden since Saudi Arabia this month mounted a naval blockade along the coast of Yemen opposite Eritrea.

Last December we blogged about the presence of Iranian troops and long-range missiles in Asab, Eritrea, offering Tehran another platform to attack Israel from an unexpected direction. On November 10 Yemen’s foreign minister demanded an explanation from Eritrea’s ambassador following tips that Eritrea is providing weapons to the Huthi rebels. An anonymous diplomat at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry was interviewed by Xinhua as saying: “Rebels go to Eritrea as Yemeni fishermen in disguise to avoid being intercepted by the Yemeni coast guards, and come back with their boat full of concealed weapons. At night they docked at Medi and unloaded the weapons to vehicles awaited at some specific places.”

>Latin America File: FARC, Venezuelan troops jointly patrol border areas; Mexican army fails to crush Juarez cartel, business leaders demand UN troops

>– Caracas Seizes Anti-Communist Paramilitary, Chavez’s Interior Minister Alleges “The Pearl” Liaison with Colombia’s Intelligence Agency

– Fidel Castro Rails against US-Colombian Pact, Alleges Washington Will Enlist Colombian Troops to Fight against Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas

– President Martinelli Opposes Regional Integration, Tries to Withdraw Panama from Central American Parliament, Nicaragua’s Ortega Says “No”

– Mexico as Failed State: Drug-Related Murders in Embattled Ciudad Juarez Top 4,000 since December 2006; President Calderon Dispatches “Red Beret” Paratroopers to Border City

Pictured above: An investigator walks past a bullet-ridden police truck in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on November 19. Authorities in the Mexican border city say four Chihuahua state police officers were recently killed and two others injured in two separate attacks carried out by the country’s drug cartels.

In a not unsurprising development, Columbia’s ombudsman reports that the Venezuelan military and guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are jointly patrolling border areas. “Most seriously, apparently staff of the Venezuelan armed forces has been driving to Colombian territory and appearing in several villages of Herán township, together with members of the Colombian guerrilla,” stated the ombudsman’s report. During the joint Venezuelan-FARC patrols border region residents have been coerced into attending “indoctrination sessions,” where they are told “that protection will be provided to them and control will be exerted over said territory.” As a result, over the “last couple of months,” more than 7,000 Colombian citizens living in Venezuela have fled back to their homeland.

The turmoil in South America’s Caribbean region continued last Thursday with the arrest of a Colombian “paramilitary chief” by Venezuelan police. Wanted by Interpol and accused by the Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami of holding membership in the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), Magaly Janeth Moreno Vega was captured in Maracaibo. “She is nicknamed… ‘The Pearl’ within the AUC and handles extremely important information,” El Aissami announced, adding: “Moreno Vega was in charge of relations between the AUC and Colombian security forces, that is, the DAS, army and police.”

The DAS refers to Colombia’s intelligence agency, Department of Administrative Security. The world’s leftist press has long alleged that the AUC is waging a “dirty war” on behalf of the Colombian government against the FARC and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN).

Along this theme, President Hugo Chavez’s lackey accused Moreno Vega of being a “confidante” of former Colombian attorney general Luis Camilo Osorio Isaza, Bogota’s current ambassador to Mexico City. El Aissami asserted that Moreno Vega’s presence on Venezuelan soil was evidence of Colombia’s “aggression” against Venezuela. Ranting on state-owned VTV, El Aissami denounced the Colombian president for “institutional and moral decay” that allegedly linked Alvaro Uribe’s government to paramilitary groups that “attack our people, and threaten peace and order.”

For his part, DAS chief Felipe Muñoz refuted charges emanating from Caracas that Bogota has dispatched spies to its eastern neighbor. In an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, Muñoz related that Julio Tocora is the only DAS official who is being held in Venezuela and wrongfully at that. “After 46 days of having been brought to court where he was charged with spying, we do not know of any evidence,” Muñoz explained.

The Chavezista regime’s semi-overt support for the FARC is not the only source of tension between Caracas and Bogota. In a related story, the new US-Colombian military pact is fostering more solidarity than ever among the region’s Red Axis leaders. The “founding father” of Communist Cuba, Fidel Castro, also expressed his contempt for the Washington-Bogota alliance in the November 9 installment of his “Reflections,” posted regularly at Granma, the website of the Communist Party of Cuba. Comrade Fidel insists that the “Complementation Agreement for Defense and Security Cooperation and Technical Assistance between the Governments of Colombia and the United States,” signed in October, “amounts to the annexation of Colombia to the United States.”

After picking through the document with a fine-tooth comb, veteran KGB asset Fidel asserts that the USA intends to enlist Colombian soldiers “to fight against their brothers in Venezuela, Ecuador, and other Bolivarian and ALBA countries in order to crush the Venezuelan Revolution, as they tried to do with the Cuban Revolution in April 1961.” This candid admission from the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious communist exposes the clear ideological linkage between the Cuban Revolution and Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” Comrade Fidel continues: “Today, their war machinery and troops will be in Colombia, not only posing a threat to Venezuela but to all the states of Central and South America.”

Comrade Fidel weeps crocodile tears for the Colombians as he laments:

A simple reading of the document demonstrates not only that Colombian airbases will be in the hands of the yankis, but also civilian airports and ultimately, any facility that could be useful to their armed forces. Radio space is also available to that country; a nation that conveys another culture and other interests that have nothing to do with the Colombian population. The U.S. Armed Forces will enjoy exceptional prerogatives.

The elder Castro Bro. then anticipates more US-sponsored coups in the region as a result of the new Washington-Bogota link-up:

The Agreement, to be extended for successive periods of 10 years, cannot be modified until the end of each period, with a one-year period of notice. What will the United States do if a government such as that of Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. or Bush Jr. and others like them, is asked to leave Colombia? The yankis have succeeded in ousting dozens of governments in our hemisphere. How long would a government last in Colombia if it announced such intentions?

As usual, the Western Hemisphere’s most notorious commie thug has overblown the threat of “US imperialism” to the region’s red and pink regimes. It is more probable that the socialist administration in the Obama White House recognizes Latin America’s predominantly center-left-communist governments as kissin’ cousins.

Meanwhile, Central America’s lone-wolf center-right president, Ricardo Martinelli, appears to be living up to his pre-election image as a foe of regional integration, which is a communist project through and through. On Monday Panama’s president personally telephoned his counterparts in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica to solicit their support for his country’s withdrawal from the Central American Parliament (Parlacen). The presidents of the other countries are Alvaro Colom, Daniel Ortega, Mauricio Funes, and Oscar Arias, respectively. Colom and Arias may be described as center-left in political orientation; Ortega, of course, is a communist; while Funes is a center-left frontman for El Salvador’s new ruling party, the Marxist-controlled Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

“The Presidents of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador told Martinelli that they do not support him on leaving the Parlacen,” Jacinto Suarez, Parlacen president, informed Managua’s Channel 12 television news. Arias currently holds the rotating presidency of the Central American Integration System, which includes Parlacen. Suarez continued disapprovingly: “Martinelli now wants the Legislative Assembly of his country to break the Constitutive Treaty with the Parlacen, and he is going to use that as a political shield, saying that he cannot violate the decision of the Panamanian legislative organizations.”

Established in 1991, Parlacen has six members, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and, oddly, the Dominican Republic which, of course, is a Caribbean island state. Extricating Panama from Parlacen was one of Martinelli’s election campaign promises. In October the US-educated Martinelli negotiated the establishment of two US counter-narcotics bases in his country, permitting the US military to return to Panama for the first time in 10 years.

Finally, in a troubling development that reveals the Mexican army’s inability to quell Ciudad Juarez’s out-of-control drug cartel, business groups in the city, which borders El Paso, Texas, are demanding the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers along the US border. Earlier this year President Felipe Calderon dispatched 5,000 troops to the border city to crush the Juarez Cartel, a move that brought temporary respite to a city that witnesses seven drug-related murders per day and nearly 4,000 homicides between December 2006 and October 2009. However, the killings, extortions, and kidnappings continue. On November 12 the Associated Press reported that associations representing the city’s assembly plants, retailers and other businesses will submit a request to Mexico City and the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to “ask the UN to send help.”

“This is a proposal … for international forces to come here to help out the domestic [security] forces,” explained Daniel Murguia, president of the Ciudad Juarez chapter of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism. He added: “There is a lot of extortions and robberies of businesses. Many businesses are closing. We have seen the U.N. peacekeepers enter other countries that have a lot fewer problems than we have.”

Soledad Maynez, president of the Ciudad Juarez Association of Maquiladoras, opined that the joint police-army operation to stop the criminal insurgency has yielded no results. “What we are asking for with the blue helmets [UN peacekeepers],” he said, “is that we know they are the army of peace, so we could use not only the strategies they have developed in other countries … but they also have technology. We know that sooner or later, the violence will spill over into our sister city of El Paso, Texas,”

In a desperate move to save his country and his own career, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has heeded a request from Ciudad Juarez’ mayor for more firepower to counter the city’s drug cartel. This week, therefore, the Mexican government dispatched the Red Beret paratroopers to support military units and police that are already battling heavily armed drug operatives. “No one is safe in Juarez,” stated an anonymous Mexican who was interviewed for the November 23 edition of the US Border Fire Report. The source added: “We cannot walk the streets in our city anymore due to fear of being shot. This is very unsafe city.”

Unofficial estimates, the same news site continues, suggest that around 6,000 regular Mexican army troops are patrolling Ciudad Juarez. The Mexican government also recently rushed 1,000 solders to Michoacán, Calderon’s home town. There local police informed the US Border Fire Report that 1,000 was not enough and that, moreover, the additional 5,500 promised will still not be enough. “We are very much outnumbered and outgunned,” complained an active Mexican solder. The Michoacán deployment includes US-built helicopter gunships, night-vision head gear and weapons, and other sophisticated combat equipment. It also, apparently, entails the transfer of troops from assignments in Ciudad Juarez.

A high-ranking Mexican military officer told the US Border Fire Report that he believes that the elite Red Berets is “dangerously undermanned” and that the regular Mexican forces are “woefully incompetent for the task at hand.” The same officer, who requested anonymity, recommended that Mexican troops need special training from US Special Forces to eradicate the drug cartels. He also predicted that transferring troops from Ciudad Juarez to Michoacán was “not a good strategy” and would only result in “even more violence” in Mexico’s most dangerous city. The Mexican military officer continues:

We are suffering from not having enough boots on the ground and by taking troops from one area to another will not work, just as it did not work for the U.S. in the Middle East. What the Mexican army must learn to do is have enough trained solders to not only take a town or real-estate but then be able to keep it by leaving enough troops in place to accomplish that end.

Jose Rosa, a resident of Ciudad Juarez, was quoted as asking: “Why is President Caldron taking troops from Juarez, a main city on the border with the U.S., a big city that is very dangerous and totally out of control? Is it because Michoacán is his home town?”

According to the US Border Fire Report, Calderón has rebuffed the request from Ciudad Juarez’s business leaders to invite UN peacekeepers into the region. That may be so, but we rather suspect that the architects and accomplices of the Soviet narco-subversion plan against the West have already congratulated themselves for the creation of a failed state south of the Rio Grande. No doubt, too, President Barack Hussein Obama—an open socialist, unapologetic advocate of US disarmament, and alleged Soviet mole—would have no objection to the stationing of blue-helmeted soldiers south—or north—of the US-Mexican border.

After all, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will soothe, the US military is “just too busy” with Afghanistan and Iraq, and will soon be “tied down” in the FARC-controlled jungles of Colombia. So, instead of sending US troops to patrol the USA’s chaotic southern border, a “novel idea” that even the Bush Administration resisted, we’ll just rely on our “friends” at the UN. So the Obama White House will reason. Meanwhile, Moscow will continue to stealthily assemble a communist military coalition that includes Red China, old Latin American allies like Cuba and Nicaragua, and new Latin American allies like Venezuela. Over to our next Red Dawn Alert . . .

>Latin America File: Sandinistas, opposition hold counter-demos, 1 killed; Chavez backs "ex"-Marxist guerrilla as Brazil’s next president

>On Saturday, according to Voice of America, at least 40,000 anti-government demonstrators rallied in one district of Managua, denouncing President Daniel Ortega’s perceived attempt to set up another dictatorship, like the one over which he presided in the 1980s. In another part of the capital, according to Managua’s La Primerísima Radio, 350,000 cadres and supporters of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) held a separate rally to express their devotion to Ortega.

Nicaraguan police beefed up security, but there were no reports of clashes between the two groups in the national capital. However, in the northern city of Ciudad Dario Sandinista supporter Rafael Anibal Luna Ruiz, a 42-year-old mechanic, died from wounds suffered when he was hit with stones thrown supporters of the main opposition Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC). This weekend’s solitary political death in Nicaragua follows at least one week of intense unrest.

Last Tuesday hundreds of Sandinista Youth lobbed homemade bombs at the Nicaraguan Congress building to protest the opposition’s plan to cut university funding. The explosives shattered some windows and skylights, showering shards of glass upon the heads of legislators, but injuring no one. PLC lawmaker Francisco Aguirre warned: “If the mortars had been used in a street demonstration, they certainly could kill a person.” Meanwhile, other masked “students” blocked streets in downtown Managua, firing mortars and stopping cars to demand that motorists produce identification. Police, according to Nicaragua’s Channel 10 TV news, were nowhere to be seen.

National Assembly Secretary Wilfredo Navarro told The Nica Times: “Luckily the big pieces of glass fell where there weren’t any people, because it could have killed someone. Each day these mortars are getting stronger and stronger with a longer range – and we all know it’s the Sandinistas who are sponsoring this.” Despite being classified as a weapon under Nicaraguan law, the use of mortars, according to the Sandinistas, is a “popular form of expression.” The Nicaraguan National Police, the Costa Rican news source linked above reports, have yet to confiscate any weapons or arrest anyone for firing the mortars in more than a year of nearly continuous Sandinista protests. “The Sandinistas are trying to create chaos and crisis,” decried Navarro, adding: “This is all part of their strategy to scare people so they won’t take to the streets during the protest march on Nov. 21.”

Since November 2008, when the FSLN fraudulently stole most of the country’s mayoral posts in hotly contested elections, Nicaragua has experienced some of its worse political violence since the Sandinista-Contra civil war. In response, the USA and European Union suspended financial aid to the impoverished Central American country, which now relies heavily on under-the-table handouts from Venezuela’s cash-flush red dictator Hugo Chavez. Last month a Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for Ortega to seek re-election in 2011 fanned the flames of political unrest in Nicaragua even more.

Last week Sandinista union leader Gustavo Porras cynically affirmed: “Everybody has the right to demonstrate, as long as it is clear that the opposition’s will be a march of thieves and corrupt people.” Speaking to the AFP news agency, Pro-Nicaragua Movement official Violeta Granera retorted:

Porras’ provocative comments are meant to intimidate anti-government demonstrators. Bus and truck drivers have been warned not to ferry people to the protest march. The government thinks it not only owns the streets but the whole country. We’re going to march, which will be orderly and peaceful. We won’t allow ourselves to fall into violence because we’re not only after ending the dictatorship and rescue democracy, but also breaking the vicious circle of violence.

Brazilian Communists Move Ahead with Second Stage of Revolution as Chavez Backs Lula’s Anointed Successor for President

Pictured here: Chavez and Rousseff looking as though they’re ready to smooch. Place and time of photo unknown.

Meanwhile, South America’s red tyrant is openly backing Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s anointed successor as head of the ruling Workers’ Party, former Marxist guerrilla, professional economist, and presently Lula’s chief of staff, 62-year-old Dilma Rousseff. At the fifth annual International Book Fair in Caracas, Chavez was quoted as saying: “It’s good for us to say this name, repeat it, and promote here Brazilian Minister Dilma Rousseff as the new president of Brazil. Dilma, Dilma, Dilma. We will get to know her. She was a prisoner of the rightwing dictatorship and tortured. She was a member of the revolutionary left wing in the sixties.” Rousseff’s main rival for the 2010 general elections is São Paulo governor José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party. According to a recent poll by the Sensus Institute, Dilma has the preference of 24% of Brazilian voters against 40% for Serra.

Rousseff’s pedigree and political career, as Chavez himself acknowledged, are solidly communist in their orientation, perhaps more so even than her boss, President Lula, a former labor union president. Born to an upper middle class household in 1947, Dilma’s father was Bulgarian Brazilian lawyer Pétar Russév, or Pedro Rousseff. Pétar/Pedro was an active member of the Bulgarian Communist Party after the First World War, but fled from Bulgaria in 1929 due to political persecution. Until the end of the Second World War he lived in France and, then, after the war arrived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where he became an entrepreneur.

In 1965 Pedro’s daughter Dilma, then 18 years old, entered Central State High School, a co-educational public school where students agitated against the new military-backed government. Radicalized during her stint at this institution, in 1967 Dilma joined the Worker’s Politics (POLOP), an organization founded in 1961 as a faction of the Brazilian Socialist Party. Dilma was then recruited into an offshoot of POLOP that advocated armed insurrection, National Liberation Command (COLINA). Apolo Heringer commanded COLINA at this time and previously taught Marxism to Dilma in high school. During this period Dilma also met her future first husband, ex-soldier Cláudio Galeno Linhares, five years her senior, who also supported the armed struggle. Dilma and Cláudio married in 1968.

Dilma did not reportedly participate in any of the armed efforts of COLINA but, rather, was known for her public activities as a teacher of Marxism to labour union members and editor of the newspaper The Piquet. Nevertheless, she learned how to handle weapons and confront police.

In 1969 Charles Franklin Paixão de Araujo, a lawyer and cadre of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), broached the idea of merging his faction of the PCB with COLINA and the Popular Revolutionary Vanguard. Dilma, who developed a crush on Araujo, attended some of the meetings that led to the merger of these three terrorist groups as the Revolutionary Armed Vanguard Palmares (VAR Palmares). Araujo became one of the six leaders of VAR Palmares, which claimed to be a “political-military organization of Marxist-Leninist partisan orientation, which aims to fulfill the tasks of the revolutionary war and the establishment of the working class party, in order to seize power and build socialism.”

However, Maurício Lopes Lima, a former agent of Brazilian military intelligence, alleges that Dilma herself was the main leader of VAR Palmares. According to Lima, he received reports defining her as “one of the brains” behind the terrorist organization. Police commissioner Newton Fernandes, who investigated the VAR Palmares cell in São Paulo, asserted that Dilma was “one of the head masters of the revolutionary schemes.” The attorney who prosecuted the organization labeled her as the “Joan of Arc of subversion,” alleging that she “led strikes and advised bank robberies.”

The Brazilian Army captured Dilma in 1970 after VAR Palmares carried out one of its most daring feats, the theft of a safe containing US$2.5 million and belonging to the former governor of São Paulo, Ademar de Barros. Dilma alleges that she was repeatedly tortured while imprisoned until 1973. In 1977 she graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul with a degree in economics. Her academic credentials are the subject of controversy since her official biography lists master’s and doctoral degrees she never earned. In the late 1970s Dilma remarried, this time to fellow militant Araujo, and settled in Rio Grande do Sul, where they had a daughter. Dilma later divorced Araujo too.

In December 2006 the Special Commission for Reparation of the Human Rights Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro approved Dilma’s request for indemnification, or immunity from prosecution. This is a telling development that suggests that formal charges of insurrection applied against her by the Brazilian government in the 1970s may be true.

In 1981 Rousseff left her guerrilla past to take part in the restructuring of the Brazilian Labour Party. This entity was founded by social democratic President João Goulart, who was overthrown in 1964 by the military government that she and her comrades opposed. Following a merger with another party, the Brazilian Labour Party was rebranded as the Democratic Labour Party (PDT).

The PDT won the 1990 gubernatorial election in Rio Grande do Sul. Rousseff was appointed Secretary of Energy by Governor Alceu Collares. She remained in that post until Collares’ term ended in 1995. In 1998 Olívio Dutra, gubernatorial candidate from the Workers’ Party, won the state election with the support of the PDT. Rousseff was once again appointed head of the Energy Bureau. In 1999 the head of the PDT left the state government and demanded the same from its members. Accordingly, Rousseff left the party and joined Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party to remain serving as the Secretary of Energy.

In January 2003 President Lula da Silva appointed Rousseff as Energy Minister. In June 2005 Dilma became chief of Lula’s presidential staff. As a former Energy Minister, Rousseff is also chairwoman of the board of directors of state oil company Petrobras. If the Brazilian electorate decides to hand the Workers’ Party and its allies in the Communist Party of Brazil another mandate next year, then a “former” Marxist guerrilla will be that country’s next chief executive.

In a not-too-surprising move, Brazil’s current president, whose embassy in Tegucigalpa has harbored deposed counterpart Manuel Zelaya since September 21, has joined Argentine President Cristina Kirchner in rejecting the results of the Honduran general election slated for November 29. Following a meeting of the two center-left presidents in Brasilia, Lula da Silva declared: “We demand the immediate restitution of president Manuel Zelaya. On the contrary, the elections to be held on Nov. 29 will not be recognized and a very dangerous precedent will be set. This is the common position of all Latin American and Caribbean countries.”

Actually, Lula da Silva’s characterization of Latin American unity with respect to ending the Honduran crisis is not quite true. The government of Colombia has affirmed the legitimacy of Roberto Micheletti’s presidency by ordering its ambassador back to Tegucigalpa earlier this month.

Ecuador and Colombia Restore Low-Level Diplomatic Relations as Correa’s Air Force Test-Flies Fighter Jets Donated by Venezuela

Finally, even as Venezuela and Colombia teeter on the verge of war, Venezuela’s close ally in the regional Red Axis, Ecuador, has committed itself to restoring diplomatic relations with Bogota. These were severed after the March 2008 Andean Crisis, which also brought the three countries to the brink of a hot war after Colombian troops stormed a Marxist guerrilla jungle camp in Ecuador. Bogota and Quito will exchange low-level representatives and reactivate a bilateral committee that oversees border security but which was shut down four months before the raid.

Coincidentally, Ecuador currently holds the rotating presidency of the Union of South American Nations, which includes the South American Defense Council. The latter, as we previously reported, will hold an emergency session in Quito this Friday to try to resolve the dispute between Caracas and Bogota over the planned deployment of US counter-narcotics troops across seven Colombian military bases.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa’s commitment to normalizing relations with Bogota is suspect, however, in view of the six Mirage-50 fighter jets that he has accepted from Chavez. Venezuelan Air Force pilots flew three of these French-built supersonic combat aircraft to Ecuador via Panamanian airspace in October. The Ecuadorean Air Force expects that these aircraft will enter service by January 2010. In December Venezuelan military pilots will fly three more such aircraft to Ecuador. With these additions to his military, Correa, a slavish devotee of Chavez, could conceivably open a southern front should Venezuelan and Colombian forces come to blows. On November 23 Correa inaugurated two new military outposts on the Ecuadorean-Colombian border.

>WW4 File: Venezuelan troops blow up two pedestrian bridges linking country to Colombia; Bogota sends mobile brigade, two battalions to border

>Chavez Awaiting Arrival of 300 Russian-Built Armored Vehicles and Main Battle Tanks as Venezuelan, Colombian Troops Converge on Border

– Venezuela’s Communist Dictator Urges Ruling Party Cadres to Organize “Combat Groups”

– South American Defense Council to Meet in Quito on November 27, Tackle Colombian-Venezuelan Dispute, Infiltration of Peruvian Air Force by Chilean Agents

In a move that could portend a larger Venezuelan military operation in the days and weeks ahead, “Colombia’s government said on Thursday Venezuelan soldiers blew up two small pedestrian bridges that stretch across their border in the latest incident to test diplomatic ties between the Andean neighbors.” Reuters continues:

Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva told reporters that uniformed men apparently from the Venezuelan army blew up the bridges with explosives in what he described as a violation of international law. “Uniformed men, apparently from the Venezuelan army, arrived in trucks on the Venezuelan side at two pedestrian bridges that link communities on both sides … and then proceeded to dynamite them,” Silva said.

On November 6 Venezuela’s communist dictator reportedly dispatched 15,000 troops to the Colombian border. President Hugo Chavez asserts that the 800 US counter-narcotics soldiers to be deployed on Colombian military bases constitute a threat to Venezuela’s sovereignty. As of November 22, reports the AP news agency, the Chavezista regime is awaiting delivery of more than 300 Russian-built armored vehicles and T-72 main battle tanks, along with radar and air defense systems. The former will no doubt be hurled against Colombia’s tank-less army. During a late-night Saturday speech, Chavez urged all members of his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) to enlist in an ongoing effort to organize “combat groups.”

Pictured above: At a previous rally sponsored by the ruling PSUV party on November 13, Chavez addresses supporters in front of a sign that reads in Spanish “Against the Yankee bases” and “For peace and sovereignty.” On the same day four soldiers from Venezuela’s National Guard were captured on Colombian territory but later repatriated in a bid to ease tensions between the South American neighbors.

Colombia’s Defense Minister Gabriel Silva responded to the dynamiting of the bridges by saying: “President Alvaro Uribe and the military forces of Colombia are intent on remaining calm because they know there are provocative forces on the border that must be avoided at all cost. But this does not mean that we are not prepared or are not on maximum alert to prevent any aggression against Colombia, against Colombians or against our territory. The destruction of the bridges was an aggression against the civilian population.” On November 20 a news flash from El Tiempo reported that “Bogota sent a mobile brigade and two battalions to the border with Venezuela amid rising tensions with Caracas.”

In a late-breaking story from November 23, MercoPress reports that the South American Defense Council will meet in Quito this coming Friday. Among the issues to be tackled are the planned presence of US troops in Colombia, the hostile relations between Venezuela and Colombia, and the infiltration of Chilean espionage agents in the Peruvian Air Force. The last is an intriguing development since an East German-educated socialist, Michelle Bachelet, holds the Chilean presidency, while Peru’s President Alan Garcia is pro-Washington. This past July Chavez’s subversive hand was discerned behind a national strike of Peruvian rain forest Indians.

>USSR2 File: Putin advocates restoration of Soviet Union in cryptic comments at Primakov birthday bash, CPRF Chairman Zyuganov attends

>Several weeks ago, on the occasion of the 80th birthday celebration of veteran Soviet strategist and former KGB/SVR chief, Yevgeny Primakov, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made some cryptic remarks concerning the “reunification” of Georgia, apparently meaning the entire former Soviet republic with the Russian Federation. The celebration took place at the Center of International Trade in Moscow. Among those in attendance were Vice Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov and Communist Party of the Russian Federation Chairman Gennady Zyuganov.

During this first toast, Putin said: “The history of Russia is complicated and at times bloody. But in it there are its Primakovs, and therefore these blood lettings end and sometimes do not even begin.”

Primakov responded by saying: “I will always be devoted to Mr. Putin because he saved Russia.”

Putin made his second toast: “I very well understand that everything said will go beyond the walls of this hall. I am counting on exactly that. The question of the reunification of Georgia had been decided. And that there are no questions which we cannot resolve. Primakov is involved with this question.”

A few of the Primakov well-wishers concluded that what Putin had committed himself to was “the restoration in a new form of the entity that was once called the Soviet Union.”

“At the very least,” editorializes Georgian Daily, “it suggests that Putin’s understanding of Russia’s sphere of influence includes not just Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Moscow has already recognized as independent, but also the remainder of Georgia and the remainder of the former Soviet space.”

Putin’s remarks are not surprising. In 2005 Putin, then president, lamented, “First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory. The epidemic of collapse has spilled over to Russia itself.”

In 2003 ardent Stalinist Oleg Shenin, who masterminded the farcical anti-Gorbachevist coup and who died in May of this year, confided: “The plans for the resurrection of the USSR are well known to Putin and the present regime and are outlined in the documents of the UCP-CPSU and Communist Party of the Union [of Russia and Belarus].” The year before, in an interview with communist organ Pravda, Shenin boasted: “History does not know any alternative for capitalism except for socialism. We do not have any other way out, but to struggle for the restoration of Soviet power, socialism, and the USSR under the guidance of the single Communist Party.”

Will the hammer and sickle once again flutter above the Kremlin? If KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn was correct in his analysis of the Soviet strategic deception in books like New Lies for Old (1984) and The Perestroika Deception (1995), then this was the plan all along.

>WW4 File: Poland, Lithuania urge Ukraine to join tri-national military pact; Medvedev: Financial crisis will not affect arms procurements

>In a move that will no doubt further antagonize the Kremlin, the “former” communist state of Poland and the “former” Soviet republic of Lithuania are advocating the inclusion of Ukraine, another “former” Soviet republic, in a tri-national peacekeeping brigade to operate under the command of the United Nations, the European Union, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both Poland and Lithuania are NATO members, while the alliance has promised to admit at some point Ukraine and Georgia. The latter is yet another “former” Soviet republic under Russian occupation, by way of breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“This reflects our support for Ukraine. We want to tie Ukraine closer to Western structures, including military ones,” Poland’s Deputy Defense Minister Stanislaw Komorowski told reporters in Brussels, after signing a letter of intent on Tuesday. “This is also proof that Ukraine is taking seriously its desire for closer cooperation with members of the EU and NATO,” he added.

In issuing this statement Komorowski was probably casting a nervous glance over his shoulder at September’s Russian-Belarusian war game Zapad 2009, which was later exposed by the Polish media as a rehearsal for a nuclear attack against his country. On Wednesday, though, Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin downplayed the geopolitical significance of Zapad 2009: “Our NATO colleagues should agree with confidence-building measures in the close-to-border military activities proposed by Russia, rather than attempt to think up a new problem in our relations.” In other words, nothing to see here, comrades. Russia is your friend.

Pictured above: Ukraine’s first deputy minister of defence Valerii Ivashcenko speaks during the seventh Informal High-Level NATO-Ukraine Consultations at NATO headquarters in Brussels, on November 16. In attendance were NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and defense ministers and other senior officials from Ukraine and NATO countries.

This announcement by Poland and Lithuania, both of which are EU members, comes two days before an EU summit with Russia, the primary purpose of which is to increase cooperation with Moscow. It also comes ahead of a December visit to Moscow by NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has made improving ties with Russia a top priority since taking over the alliance in August. For the most part, NATO officialdom is effusive in its praise of the Polish-Lithuanian proposal. “There is absolutely no reason why cooperation between individual allies and Ukraine should not be stepped up. If extra capability was made available for NATO operations that can only be welcome by the alliance,” James Appathurai gushed.

The proposed Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military pact is also significant because, as American geopolitical analyst Jeff Nyquist states in a November 15 interview with the Polish blog, The Underground: “Poland is a front line state in the struggle against Russian [Bolshevik] power, and everything that happens in Poland today is decisive for Europe. The Russians face serious problems at home, and their strategy of neutralizing the United States is simply a preliminary step to subjugating Europe [via the EU].”

NATO and Russia have resumed formal cooperation on “broad security threats” after relations were suspended following Russia’s re-invasion of Georgia in August 2008. The Russian military’s spotty performance in that operation prompted the Soviet strategists to implement a program of modernization for the armed forces’ command structure and hardware.

With respect to command structure reform, this Tuesday Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov declared that he was generally pleased with the progress that had taken place over the last year in the transformation of the Russian Armed Forces into a “lean, mean, fighting machine.” Serdyukov commented: “I think we have generally attained the goal of a new image, higher mobility and combat readiness of the armed forces. I cannot say we are fully satisfied with our work. We just say that the armed forces’ reform continues in the right way.” Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, who recently met with his Cuban counterpart in Havana, noted that “The measures implemented in 2009 helped create a new system of combat readiness of the armed forces, based on reduced time frame to prepare the standby formations and units to fulfilling designated assignments, from 24 hours to one hour.”

With respect to military hardware upgrades, on November 12, during his annual address to the Federal Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s rubberstamp parliament, President Dmitry Medvedev explained that in 2010 the armed forces would receive 30 ground- and sea-based ballistic missiles, five Iskander missile systems, 300 armored vehicles, 30 helicopters, 28 combat planes, three nuclear submarines, and one corvette combat ship. “These and other measures will make the armed forces’ modern, mobile and capable of combat,” crowed Medvedev.

Russia’s president also ordered that servicemen be supported by automatic control centers and digital communication by 2012. However, several weeks before, at a conference on the defense industry, Medvedev expressed “dissatisfaction with the pace of the development and modernization of Russian defense sector.” “Over the past few years, a lot of money has been invested in the modernization and development of the defense sector. However, the results are not high, I would say,” he complained.

As we have blogged before, Russia is also in an advanced state of negotiations with NATO member France over the acquisition of a Mistral-class, helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ship, as well as construction rights to the building of four more such ships. It is not likely that the Russian Navy intends to challenge its US counterpart on the high seas in the near future. However, these large vessels, each of which can hold 900 troops and 40 tanks, could conceivably be used to support a re-invasion of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia (via the Baltic Sea), or Ukraine and Georgia (via the Black Sea).

It is expected that Russia’s first stealth fighter, the Sukhoi PAK-FA, to be produced in collaboration with strategic partner India, will be ready for trial flights by 2012, while its first stealth bomber will be built by Tupolev and introduced by 2020. Incidentally, we rather suspect that the Fourth World War might break out before these combat aircraft enter the Kremlin’s service. In any event, it appears that the supersonic Tu-160 bomber, once again under production, may already incorporate some “stealth” (radar-invisible) features. This possibility was exposed in 2006 when these and other aircraft of the Russian Air Force allegedly approached Canadian airspace over the North Pole without detection by the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command.

In a related story, Russian bomber patrols in the United Kingdom’s Flight Information Region have become so “thick” since their official resumption in August 2007 that both the British Defence Ministry and British Airline Pilots’ Association fear a collision between commercial aviation and the invading aircraft, most of which are lumbering Tu-95 Bears. The Russian nuclear bombers normally take off from bases near the Arctic Circle and are quickly spotted by Norwegian air traffic controllers. The Norwegian Air Force then scrambles its interceptors, before handing over escort duties to its Danish counterpart. Lastly, Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters are launched under “quick reaction alert” procedures from bases in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, and Fife. Incidentally, the UK’s Flight Information Region is a corridor of international airspace that begins only 12 nautical miles from the coast, placing British cities within a “stone’s throw” of Russian air-launched cruise missiles.

A British House of Commons Defence Committee report released in July insisted that “Russia’s tactics were not the actions of a friendly nation.” This is true. We might add that the military potential of the USA’s chief ally in Europe will probably be “vaporized” during the first few minutes of the Fourth World War. When the Soviet strategists decide that the time is ripe to re-invade Europe, they will be able to count on communist agents in the North Atlantic Alliance–like Hungary’s KGB-trained spymaster Sandor Laborc, who was chief of NATO intelligence in 2008–to compromise the organization’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and, thus, combat readiness.

One thing is sure, the Soviet strategists are determined to remilitarize at full throttle without sparing any expense in the midst of the global economic recession. On November 14–while touring the Russian missile cruiser Varyag, then anchored in Singapore where the Russian president was attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit– Medvedev boasted: “The financial crisis will have an absolutely minimal effect on the military component, on arms procurements. Between 30% and 90% of the military will receive new equipment in 2011-20.”

The modernization of the Kremlin’s military hardware is accompanied by a reform of its war doctrine to include some changes to the situations that could “trigger” the use of nuclear weapons or preemptive strikes against “potential foes.” In early October Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and former FSB/KGB chief, explained: “In respect to the possibility of preventive or nuclear strikes we will formulate some provisions that will be somewhat different from those contained in the current doctrine.” The draft doctrine, titled The New Face of the Russian Armed Forces until 2030, is still being developed by the General Staff and will be forwarded to Medvedev for consideration by December 2009.

The Kremlin’s current military doctrine was adopted in 2000 and outlines the role of the Russian military in ensuring the “defense of the country” and preparing for and waging war. The doctrine lists factors that Moscow perceives as potential threats, both domestic and foreign, and declares support for a “multipolar” (Communist Bloc-dominated) world, as opposed to a “unipolar” (US-dominated) world. It is unlikely that the Soviet strategists will in their new war doctrine change their views with respect to the unacceptable notion of a US-dominated world.

>Red Dawn Alert: Russia’s civil defense "czar" meets Castro, Chavez, as Cuba ramps up for Bastion 2009 drills, Venezuela provokes war with Colombia

>In this follow-up post to our last Red Dawn Alert, we supply some more details regarding Sergei Shoigu’s three-nation tour of Latin America. After visiting Managua to sign a memorandum on bilateral cooperation in the field of civil defense with Nicaragua’s neo-Sandinista regime, Russia’s emergency situations minister flew to Havana where he signed a similar deal with that country’s communist dictatorship. In addition to Cuban President Raul Castro, Shoigu met with General Julio Casas Regueiro, Cuba’s defense minister, and General Ramon Pardo Guerra, Chief of National Civil Defense. In attendance at the conference, too, was Russia’s ambassador in Havana, Mikhail Kamynin.

Following the meeting, Shoigu explained that Russia will help Cuba establish a training center for civil defense and emergency services specialists:

The main point of the plan is the establishment of a training center. The center is intended not only for training specialists, but also for providing a fast response to various emergencies. The center will be established by 2010, will prepare a wide range of specialists, including rescuers, firemen and divers, as well as civil defense specialists.

Russia will also help Cuba modernize its meteorological and seismological systems.

The arrival of Russia’s civil defense “czar” in Cuba just as the red dictatorship there is ramping up for the Bastion 2009 military drills, to take place between November 26 and 28, is intriguing to say the least. The three-day drill will be held on the eve of National Defense Day, which occurs on November 29. On November 16 the Cuban Defense Ministry released a statement that read: “The drills will comprise different types of tactical exercises with the participation of units from the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Interior Ministry and components of territorial defenses.” Originally scheduled for August 2008, the Bastion exercise was postponed due to the damage wreaked by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. The FAR numbers some 49,000 regular troops and 39,000 reservists.

The “Bastion strategic maneuvers” occur every so often for the purpose of testing the country’s military and civil defense responses to external attack. The last such drill took place in 2004, while another took place in 1986, during the last decade of the Cold War. Cuba’s communist rulers, of course, have long considered the island to be at risk for a US invasion. Hence, the Castro Bros. welcomed the deployment of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba on September 8, 1962, provoking the Cuban Missile Crisis that October. In the summer of 2008 and again earlier this year, neither Fidel nor Raul protested the Russian military’s suggestion that its air force once again use the island as a refueling base for its nuclear bombers.

Thinking creatively, we should not rule out the possibility that the Soviet strategists are taking advantage of Cuba’s vulnerability to natural disasters like hurricanes as a “cover story” to upgrade Havana’s civil defense apparatus prior to a Communist Bloc assault against the USA. A US counter-strike against Russia’s Latin American proxies is very likely if the Soviets are bold enough to use these countries as military “platforms.” Incidentally, we have already blogged about Russia’s new space base in French Guiana, which will become operational in April 2010 with the launch of two Soyuz-ST rockets. Conceivably, the Soviets could use Kourou, which is operated by the European Space Agency, as an ICBM base to attack the Continental USA from across the Caribbean Sea.

After rubbing elbows with the red dictator in Havana, Shoigu flew to Caracas, where he was personally received by the Castro Bros.’ chief protégé, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. In addition to Chavez, two government ministers, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami, attended the meeting that will lead to the establishment of a Russian-built “National Disaster Center” in Venezuela. With tongue in cheek, we might say that the socialist revolution in Venezuela has already been a “national disaster.” The arrival of Russia’s civil defense “czar” in Venezuela just as Chavez is provoking war with neighboring Colombia, which will shortly host 800 US counter-narcotics troops, is also intriguing.

The planned US military presence in Colombia has enraged Chavez for several reasons: 1) it is designed to suppress the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which supplies the USA with 90 percent of South America’s cocaine, 2) it will choke off an important but illicit source of funds for the communist regime in Caracas, which is also a crucial transshipment hub for FARC drugs, and 3) it will erect a barrier against the spread of Cuban/Venezuelan-style communism, under the guise of the “Bolivarian Revolution,” into Colombia.

The covert relationship between the Chavezista regime and FARC received wide publicity when Colombian troops raided a rebel jungle camp on Ecuadorean soil in March 2008. Insurgent commander Raul Reyes was killed, while his laptop computer was seized, revealing a wealth of information connecting FARC to Chavez and Viktor Bout, an alleged FSB/KGB/GRU agent and accused gun runner. Arrested in the midst of the Andean Crisis, Bout is is still cooling his heels in a Thai jail, having successfully resisted attempts by the US government to extradiate him. “The United States,” laments state-run Novosti, “accuses Bout of conspiring to sell FARC more than 700 surface-to-air missiles, thousands of guns, high-tech helicopters and airplanes outfitted with grenade launchers and missiles.” Needless to say, Moscow vociferously denies that Comrade Bout was up to no good.

The sordid narco-revolutionary nexus between Miraflores Palace and FARC was again asserted last week, this time by the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira, which borders Colombia. Over the last month Tachira has been the scene of a politically motivated “string of shootings and slayings.” Governor Cesar Perez, who opposes the communist regime in the national capital, contends that Chavez has ordered his troops to harass Colombia’s anti-communist paramilitaries who operate on the sly in Tachira, while turning a blind eye to the Marxist insurgents who stalk about in the same state. Governor Perez laments the fact that he cannot confront either group of invaders because Chavez’s lackeys, in true communist fashion, have confiscated the state police force’s assault rifles.

In an interview with El Universal, Fernando Ochoa Antich, Venezuela’s minister of defense under President Carlos Andres Perez (1989-1993), warns that the Colombian government is one of the main targets for a takeover by the continent’s “Bolivarian revolution.” Antich says:

In any case, problems [between Venezuela and Colombia] now look more serious than before, and it seems the Venezuelan government fabricates them. The point at issue is that Colombia is one of the main goals of the Bolivarian foreign policy. This would enable it to create a political axis composed of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, in addition to Cuba as the ideological mastermind of this process. In Venezuela, we downplay President Chavez’s actions. But comparing his policy with Fidel Castro’s revolution of 1959, we will find that the expansion of the Venezuelan revolution is extraordinary. Just look at its success in controlling Ecuador and Bolivia. The problem, though, is that a wedge called Colombia is in the middle.

In addition to Ecuador and Bolivia, the Bolivarian Revolution emanating from Caracas, but masterminded by Havana and ultimately by Moscow, successfully re-digested Nicaragua into the Communist Bloc in 2006, absorbed El Salvador in 2009, and enjoys the irresponsible favor of the center-left regimes in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The Bolivarian schemers in Miraflores Palace almost grabbed Belize in 2007, and Honduras and Panama in 2009.

Antich, however, does not believe that the new US-Colombian military pact will thwart the spread of communism in South America since Washington does not acknowledge that threat but, rather, only its symptom, the drug trade:

I do not think that the agreement is intended to curb Chavez’s expansionism, because so far the United States has not given it the importance it really has. The key problem is the drug traffic. Now, I do not agree with the agreement executed by Colombia and the United States, because Uribe yielded too much.

The massive deployment of troops to the bases is not a threat to Venezuela, except in the event of clashes between Venezuela and Colombia. But the assumption that such military deployment will endanger the Bolivarian revolution is an unfounded exaggeration of President Chavez. Both the [US Navy’s] Fourth Fleet and the US bases in the Caribbean are enough to raid on Venezuela, in any event. Therefore, the bases are aimed at counternarcotics efforts.

Chavez, Antich contends, is in no position to take on Colombia in a war due to the strong likelihood of a concurrent conflict with Bogota’s backers in Washington: “At this current movement, given the Colombia-US alliance, Venezuela lacks the military capacity for such a solution.” Is Comrade Hugo crazy enough to fling his Soviet-armed military against US troops in Colombia? By himself: Not likely. With goading from the Soviet strategists: Maybe.

Incidentally, on November 10, in the Colombian border town of Corinto, which is near a cocaine smuggling “corridor” maintained by FARC, 200 grenade-throwing rebels killed nine soldiers at their post. A surviving soldier related the encounter to local television reporters: “I fired three or four magazines and had to retreat. I saw that my friends were dying. Most of them had been hit by home-made grenades.” Following this melee, which some Colombians described as one of the worst in that country’s civil war since the 1990s, a political scientist at Bogota’s Javeriana University, Mauricio Romero, reflected: “There has been a reactivation of the FARC in recent months in places like Cauca and Norte de Santander, near the Venezuelan border. The FARC no longer presents a strategic threat to the state, but they are making the point that they can still do damage despite Uribe’s counteroffensive.” Colombian President Alvaro Uribe’s father died in a “botched” FARC kidnapping in 1983.

Family Relationship between Russia’s Civil Defense “Czar” and Ringleader of 1991 “Vodka Putsch” Exposes Continuity between Paleo- and Neo-Soviet Leadership

Once honorary three-star, now four-star, general Shoigu has directed Russia’s civil defense operations since 1991, before even the phony collapse of the Soviet Union. A former low-level communist functionary from Abakhan, Shoigu is related by marriage to Oleg Shenin, past secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). A gray eminence behind Soviet and “post”-Soviet politics, Shenin orchestrated the farcical “Vodka Putsch” that “deposed” Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991. Shenin is pictured above in 1994. According to a 2005 interview by Valentin Falin, former chief of the CPSU International Department, Shenin and his co-conspirators apprised Gorbachev of the coup before it took place. For his part, “communist reformer” Gorby resigned himself to the unforgiveable role of “traitor” to the Soviet cause.

In a 2000 NewsMax article, GRU defector Stanislav Lunev described the personal and professional linkages between Shoigu and Shenin:

Sergei Shoigu’s biography is simple, and telling. He came from the former Soviet Communist Party political elite and is extremely loyal to The [Yeltsin] Family. He was born in 1955, son of a Communist bureaucrat who was later promoted to deputy prime minister of the Tuva Soviet Autonomous Republic. While attending the technical university, Shoigu married the niece of Oleg Shenin’s wife. Shenin was chief of the local Communist Party organization.

After graduating from the university, Shoigu worked for a while as an engineer. However, most of his career has been connected with the Communist Party. When his relative Oleg Shenin was made a member of the powerful Politburo of the CPSU, Shoigu moved into Shenin’s previous position as local party leader.

Nonetheless, in 1991, Shoigu betrayed his benefactor, who was put behind bars for participating in the supposed coup attempt against Gorbachev. Since then Shoigu has joined forces with Yeltsin and functioned as head of a government committee and then as Minister of Emergency Situations. In 1998, without any military service whatsoever, he was given the rank of three-star general.

Sometime before the Soviet Union was formally dissolved on Christmas Day 1991 Shenin, who controlled the Party treasury, squirreled away the funds in Swiss bank accounts. He was assisted in that endeavor by US financier Marc Rich, who was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton. In turn, Clinton is an alleged KGB asset whose wife, Secretary of State Hillary, now sets US President Barack Hussein Obama’s foreign policy. That foreign policy, by the way, includes deep cuts to the US nuclear arsenal in the face of rapid Soviet remilitarization. Incidentally, nearly 20 years later, the CPSU’s “billions” could very well still be sitting in those Swiss bank accounts.

In 1990 Shenin and Gennady Zyuganov, another ardent Stalinist, founded the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (CP RSFSR), the first time the CPSU boasted a separate Russian branch. In 1993, after communism was “unbanned,” Zyuganov transformed the CP RSFSR into the current Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). Between 1993, when he has released from jail after serving part of a life sentence for “treason,” and 2001, Shenin led the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU, which unites the communist parties of the former Soviet republics. The stated purpose of the UCP-CPSU, including its biggest component, the CPRF, is the restoration of the Soviet Union. In 2001 Shenin ceded the chairmanship of the UCP-CPSU to Zyuganov, with whom he had a dispute over his attempt to form a single communist party for the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

Shenin made a failed bid for the Russian presidency in 2008, but was disqualified due to a technicality. His role in the turbulent final days of the Soviet Union long forgotten by both Russians and the world at large, this shadowy Soviet strategist died in May 2009, at the age of 72 years. Shenin’s erstwhile rival, Gorbachev, continues his global campaign for perestroika (socialist restructuring), having secured, it appears, the cooperation of Obama in that objective.

>Red Dawn Alert: Russia’s civil defense “czar” visits Serbia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela; Colombia to UNSC: Chavez’s latest rant declaration of war

>Prepare yourselves for war. If you want peace you have to be ready for war.
— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to military commanders, Alo Presidente television broadcast, November 8, 2009

When Moscow dispatches its civil defense and “emergency situations” minister to network with allies in Serbia and Latin America, you can be assured that the Soviets are up to something. If CD is on the agenda, then war can’t be too far behind. War, we might add, definitely qualifies as an “emergency situation.”

During President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Belgrade on October 20, Russia’s long-time civil defense “czar,” Sergei Shoigu (pictured above, second from left), attended meetings with Serbia’s “non-partisan” prime minister, Mirko Cvetković, as well as First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic. Serbia’s top police chief, as we noted in a recent post, is head of the Socialist Party of Serbia, which deceased red warmonger Slobodan Milosevic created in 1990 out of the remnants of the League of Communists of Serbia. In addition to Dacic, two other SPS cadres in Serbia’s coalition government, Minister of Energy and Mining Petar Skundric and Minister of Infrastructure Milutin Mrkonjic, attended the meetings with Russia’s civil defense “czar.” In 2008 Skundric and Mrkonjic were party to the negotiations that enabled the Kremlin to buy out the Serbian Petroleum Industry (NIS) and clear the path for Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline to cross the Balkans.

The Russian delegation in Serbia wrapped up its visit with several bilateral arrangements, including the need to: 1) establish a natural gas storage firm, Banatski Dvor, as a joint venture between Serbia’s state-owned gas company, Srbijagas, and Gazprom; 2) promote cooperation between Serbian and Russian police; 3) jointly tackle humanitarian disasters and natural calamities; and 4) promote cooperation between the Serbian parliament and Russian State Duma. After meeting with Shoigu, Cvetković gushed: “Serbia is fully committed to a further development of all-encompassing cooperation with Russia, as one of its strategic partners.”

With respect to bilateral cooperation in the area of civil defense, Moscow and Belgrade agreed to establish an “emergency situations center” in Serbia’s third largest city, Nis, by 2012. The joint project was announced during Medvedev’s visit in Belgrade. “The center is expected to be an equipped logistics base, and Niš is a good location because of the airport and good infrastructure,” Dacic expounded.

In a possibly related story, the Serbian state media reports that on October 29 Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac and Serbia’s top general, Miloje Miletic, visited the military base at Cepotina, where they announced that by the end of 2009 the facility would more than double in size. “We are currently expanding the base. We want to increase its present 35 hectares by another 65 and build training areas to prepare our members for participation in peace missions,” Sutanovac explained later to reporters, adding: “The Cepotina base is also important in terms of security in southern Serbia.” When asked about the future Serbo-Russian emergency situations center in Nis, Sutanovac admitted that “The center will be under the complete control of the Serbian Ministry of Interior.” This means, of course, communist police chief Dacic will be in “complete control” of Serbia’s emergency situations program.

This week Shoigu also visited the Kremlin’s allies Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela. Shoigu began his Latin American tour on Tuesday, when he arrived in Managua. There Shoigu met with Nicaragua’s top general, Omar Halleslevens, with whom he signed a memorandum on bilateral cooperation during natural disasters, as well as the liquidation of land mines planted by the first Sandinista regime in its war against the US-backed Contras. On November 5 Hurricane Ida slammed into Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. This natural disaster appears to have provided the neo-Soviet leadership with an ideal opportunity, or “cover,” to consolidate linkages with President Daniel Ortega’s second Sandinista regime.

According to the terms of the new Moscow-Managua pact, Russia will supply the Nicaraguan National Army with machinery, equipment, and “specialized techniques” to enhance the Central American country’s ability to alleviate the problems associated with natural disasters, like hurricanes. “At this time of limitations in the world economy, we greatly value the meaning of collaboration for the period 2009-2010,” gushed Halleslevens, a former Sandinista guerrilla. “We know how important it is for Nicaragua to act against problems of emergencies of different kinds, like earthquake, flood, volcano, fire and forest fire, and hurricane,” Shoigu piped up. At the same time, Russia will help Managua to locate and eradicate some 179,000 anti-personnel mines buried during the 1980s. Only 175 mines have been rendered harmless since 1989 when the mine clearing operation started.

After confirming Managua’s place in the Communist Bloc, Shoigu flew to Havana, where he formulated a “cooperation plan” with his Cuban counterparts that would include “information exchange and training for Cuban specialists.” Cuba’s communist dictatorship is presently implementing “extreme measures” to reduce energy consumption and thereby prevent regular electrical blackouts. “The energy situation we face is critical and if we do not adopt extreme measures we will have to revert to planned blackouts affecting the population,” announced a recently circulated message from Cuba’s Council of Ministers. Since last year Havana has received several of the Kremlin’s highest-ranking officials, including Medvedev; Igor Sechin, deputy prime minister and Cold War-era pointman for the GRU’s gun-running operations in Latin America; Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and former FSB/KGB boss; and General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff. Vladimir Putin, then president and now prime minister, visited Cuba in 2000.

After wrapping up its Havana pit stop, the Russian delegation under Shoigu’s leadership then flew to Venezuela on Friday.

Russia’s civil defense czar visited Moscow’s Latin American allies at an eventful time. For one thing, Moscow has promised to modernize Cuba and Nicaragua’s Soviet-era weapons, as well as train both their troops and police. The Kremlin has already sold billions of dollars worth of armaments and delivery systems to oil-rich Venezuela. Russian warships are slated to show up in Havana Bay this December, the second time since the Cold War. Last December, several months after two Blackjack bombers touched down at a Venezuelan air base, the Russian and Venezuelan navies drilled in the southern Caribbean Sea.

Since last November, when fraudulent municipal elections were contested by the opposition, Nicaragua has teetered on the brink of another civil war instigated by power-hungry red dictator Ortega. On November 9 Nicaraguan authorities expelled Dutch politician Hans van Baalen after the conservative Member of the European Parliament urged Nicaragua’s liberal opposition to form a united front against the second FSLN regime. During his short stay in Managua, van Baalen met with former president Arnoldo Alemán, who was sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison for raiding US$100 million from the Nicaraguan treasury. As a result of a sordid compact with Ortega reached in 1999, however, the hopelessly corrupt Aleman was released from jail in early 2008.

Meanwhile, in response to last month’s US-Colombian military pact that will permit the deployment of 800 US counter-narcotics troops in neighboring Colombia, Hugo Chavez is “going ballistic.” Venezuela’s communist tyrant has once again dispatched troops to the border with Colombia with the intent of either intimidating the pro-Washington government in Bogota, or possibly rendering moral and/or material support to Colombia’s Marxist insurgents. During the March 2008 Andean Crisis the Venezuelan and Ecuadorean armies moved only 6,000 and 3,200 troops to their respective border with hated rival Colombia. Last week Chavez ordered the deployment of 15,000 troops to Venezuela’s southwest region, reportedly to combat Colombian anti-communist paramilitaries training in his country. For a number of years Chavez has accused the USA and Colombia of preparing to invade Venezuela, where he has been imposing a socialist revolution since 1999.

Last Sunday, during his weekly televised rant, Chavez told his military commanders: “Prepare yourselves for war. If you want peace you have to be ready for war.” In response, on Wednesday the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations Security Council, alleging that Chavez’s most recent threats against Bogota are tantamount to a declaration of war. “We’ve handed over a letter explaining in detail concerns Colombia has about remarks by President Chavez and other sensitive matters,” Colombia’s foreign minister Jaime Bermudez told Reuters at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Singapore. He added: “We have always said the door for dialogue is open … we have still not had any contact.” Bogota and Caracas do not presently have diplomatic relations with the other.

>WW4 File: Chavez dispatches 15,000 troops to Colombian border, reportedly to counter anti-communist paramilitaries; Honduran peace deal collapses

>Alleging that anti-communist paramilitaries from Colombia are invading Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez has dispatched 15,000 National Guards to six states bordering its neighbor. On Thursday Venezuelan Vice President and Defense Minister Ramon Carrizalez announced to reporters that the soldiers will be deployed to the southern states of Amazonas, Apure and Bolivar, and the southwestern states of Barinas, Tachira, and Zuila. This action was prompted by the detainment of five alleged Colombian paramilitaries during a clash with the Venezuelan police in Tachira on Thursday morning. Two detainees are suspected of killing two National Guards this past Monday. Also on Thursday, 100 Colombian citizens were detained in a checkpoint in Barina when they were traveling on passenger buses without identifications.

For comparison, during the March 2008 Andean Crisis, after Colombian security forces stormed a camp maintained by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Ecuador, Chavez dispatched only 6,000 troops to its border with Colombia. For his part, Ecuador’s outraged president Rafael Correa deployed 3,200 troops along its respective border with the US ally. To this day Quito does not have diplomatic relations with Bogota. Pictured above: On November 5 Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe talks to the country’s air force commander, General Jorge Ballesteros, during a ceremony celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Colombian Air Force.

Last week the Ecuadorean air force received a consignment of six French-built Mirage 50 fighter jets from Chavez. The supersonic combat aircraft were flown by Venezuelan pilots to Ecuador via Panama. This is an interesting development considering Panama’s center-right president Ricardo Martinelli openly opposes the Chavezista regime. We suspect that Martinelli was either not apprised of this use of Panamanian airspace to transfer military hardware for the Red Axis or he was apprised but considered it harmless.

The tense political situation between Venezuela and Colombia bears close monitoring as it appears that Caracas may be staging “paramilitary incursions” from Colombia as a pretext to reinforce its military near the border of its adversary, possibly with the intent of provoking a conflict. Commenting on the recent arrest of two Colombian “spies” in Venezuela, on Tuesday Chavez ranted: “When a hostile government increases its investigations, daring to violate international accords … that indicates there are plans against Venezuela, and behind those Colombians is the hand of the CIA and the U.S.”

Meanwhile, in Honduras the peace accord between the lawful government of President Roberto Micheletti and deposed rival Manuel Zelaya has collapsed only one week after its signing. Speaking from the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, Zelaya told Radio Globo: “The accord is dead. There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans.” The pact gave the two sides until midnight Thursday to install a government that would act until the November 29 presidential elections. Neither Zelaya nor Micheletti, both members of the ruling Liberal Party, are candidates in this election. Micheletti insisted that a unity government had been created, even though Zelaya had not submitted his own list of participants: “Everybody, with the exception of Mr. Zelaya, recommended Hondurans to lead the institutions of our country as part of the new government.”

On Wednesday evening, a grenade was thrown from a passing car at the offices of the Emisoras Unidas media group in Tegucigalpa. One person was slightly injured when the device exploded.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: New law permits Medvedev to deploy troops abroad for purpose of repelling military aggression against Russia’s allies

>– GRU Chief Grants Rare Interview, Contends Georgia Preparing to Attack South Ossetia Again, New NATO Members in Eastern Europe, Ukraine Rearming Tbilisi

– Serbian Authorities Bend Over Backwards to Please Russian Overlords, Once Again Rename Belgrade Streets after Soviet Army Generals Who Liberated City in 1945

– Gorbachev Rebukes Europe for Its “Mistrust and Hostility” toward Russia, Even 20 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

On October 23 the Russian State Duma passed a bill that permits the president to deploy troops abroad for the purpose of defending Russian nationals in other countries, combating sea piracy and ensuring the safety of commercial shipping and, most ominously, repelling or preventing military aggression against Russia’s allies. The latter, of course, theoretically encompasses the entire Communist Bloc.

Under previous “post”-communist legislation the Kremlin could dispatch troops to foreign soil solely to fight terrorism. According to the new law President Dmitry Medvedev can deploy the armed forces anywhere in the world, subject only to the approval of the Russian parliament’s rubberstamp upper house, the Federation Council. The speaker of this body is Sergei Mironov, leader of the pro-Putin Just Russia party. “Our citizens must be protected in any part of the world,” vowed Medvedev, “and they must feel protected by the state. Such decisions must be set in law.”

In passing this law, the Soviet strategists may be contemplating some sort of provocation between Poland and Belarus that draws Russia into the fray, thereby opening the door to the Soviet re-occupation of Eastern (and Western?) Europe. Poland’s communist fifth column, left over from the fake demise of the Polish United Workers’ Party in 1989, and the openly communist government of Belarus will no doubt gladly play their appointed roles when the Kremlin decides to spring its trap on NATO. The hostile intent behind September’s Russian-Belarusian war game Zapad 2009, which included a mock nuclear attack against Poland, clearly shows that strategic planning for that theater is underway.

On Thursday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov feigned shock over his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski’s reported statement that the USA should deploy troops in Central Europe. Lavrov is quoted as saying: “If he did say this then I’m astounded because he and I discussed in tiny detail the problems that should be resolved in the context of European security and the objectives that Russia pursues with its initiative on a new treaty on European security, as well as with its position on the [US] antiballistic missile system.” When recently visiting Washington, Sikorski urged NATO to deploy troops in Central Europe since “Poland needs some strategic reassurance.”

In September the Obama White House scrapped the Bush-era missile defense program in favor of a “phased, adaptive approach” that will see the deployment of SM-3 tactical anti-ballistic missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic by 2015. Well, that gives the Soviets plenty of time to modernize their weapons and command structure and re-build Cold War-era alliances, before initiating the Fourth World War.

The Moscow Leninists may also be contemplating another war with Georgia, a prospect that even the MSM has considered several times since August 2008, when Soviet forces re-occupied Georgia by way of its two separatist regimes, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On November 5, in an exceptionally rare interview for a chief of the Russian military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Alexander Shlyakhturov articulated the belief that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili intends to unleash his army against South Ossetia again. Shlyakhturov told state-run Itar-Tass:

The situation with Georgia remains tense because the current Georgian authorities do not just refuse to recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but are trying in every way to return these countries . . . to their jurisdiction.

You have to add to this the unpredictability of attempts by the Georgian leadership, headed by Saakashvili, which may give in to the temptation to use force to tame these obstinate republics as they did last year. We do not rule out such a development.

New NATO members in Eastern Europe are supplying small arms and munitions to Georgia, while Israel is providing aerial drones. Heavy artillery and anti-aircraft systems are being delivered to Georgia from Ukraine.

“GRU forces fought on the front line of last year’s war with Georgia,” the GRU chief admitted, concluding: “Georgia is reviving its military potential with the supplies of arms and military equipment from foreign countries.”

Shlyakhturov’s negative comment about Georgia’s purchase of Israeli-built aerial reconnaissance drones is ironic, or perhaps hypocritical, because earlier this year the Russian military also bought 12 of these aircraft from the Jewish state. Shlyakhturov became head of the GRU in April. The GRU headquarters is housed in a shnazzy new complex in Moscow, which then President Vladimir Putin toured in late 2006.

In addition to Belarus, the former Yugoslav republic of Serbia is another staunch ally of Russia. Serbia’s first deputy prime minister and interior minister is Ivica Dacic, head of the Socialist Party of Serbia, itself descended from the League of Communists of Serbia and led by red warmonger Slobodan Milosevic until his ouster in 2000. In other words, Dacic is a communist. Moreover, as interior minister he is in control of Serbia’s police forces. Dacic hides his true color by lurking behind Serbia’s social democratic president Boris Tadic and technocrat prime minister Mirko Cvetković. War criminal Milosevic died in 2006, while in custody at The Hague. His deluded supporters insist that he was murdered.

On October 20 Medvedev flew to Belgrade where he extended a US$1.5 billion loan to the recession-hit Serbian government. Medvedev is pictured above with host Tadic. About 60 countries worldwide, including the USA and most of the European Union, have recognized the independence of Serbia’s breakaway region Kosovo. Russia does not acknowledge the ethnic Albanian government in Pristina. Last year the Kremlin’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom bought out Serbia’s state-run petroleum company, NIS, and secured a route across that country for Moscow’s SouthStream pipeline. “Former” CPSU cadre Viktor Zubkov, father in law of Russia’s defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, sits at the helm of Gazprom.

While visiting Serbia, Soviet Komsomol graduate Medvedev attended celebrations marking the 1945 liberation of Belgrade from Nazi occupation by Soviet troops and Yugoslavia’s communist partisans, under the command of Franz Josep Tito. On the eve of the visit, Russian diplomats “demanded” that Serbian authorities restore the names of streets formerly named after the Red Army generals who led the liberation. The street names were “de-communized” after the fall of Milosevic. In an attempt to please their Russian overlords, Serbian authorities promised to rename other streets after the Soviet war heroes. Note that this occurred in 2009, not 1969.

Since the Kremlin’s interventionist policy extends to the defense of its allies against third-party aggression anywhere in the world, we must include along with Belarus and Serbia Moscow’s Latin America allies, like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador. If war breaks out in South America between Venezuela and Colombia, which will shortly host 800 US troops, will Russia send a message to the West by once again dispatching Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela’s El Libertador air base or once again docking its warships in Havana Bay? Instead of using their new rocket base in French Guiana to launch geosynchronous satellites, will the Russians lob ICBMs at the Continental USA from a totally unexpected direction, namely, over the Gulf of Mexico?

How far will the Soviet strategists go to assert the Communist Bloc’s supremacy over the Western Hemisphere? The ambitions of the KGB-communist cabal in the Kremlin are boundless. The fulfillment of these ambitions is apparently limited only by the time it takes to negotiate the purchase of NATO technology.

Meanwhile, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet dictator and roving propagandist for the Moscow Leninists, disingenuously warned against “creating barriers between nations.” Gorby, who is credited with the demise of Soviet communism, is in fact an advocate of Vladimir Lenin’s dream of a “world proletarian republic” under the guise of “global perestroika.” Frank speech from the Soviets, of course, would scare away the Western capitalists who have sunk their megabucks into Russia’s KGB-managed “economy.” Hence, Gorby speaks circumspectly.

“Mistrust and old stereotypes have been preserved. Russia is suspected of malicious, aggressive, imperial intentions,” Nobel laureate Gorbachev lamented in an article published on November 7 in the Kremlin’s Rossiiskaya Gazeta. In that statement, Gorbachev was no doubt taking a stab at diehard anti-communists, “Cold Warriors,” and other observers in the West, like those who frequent this blog, who figured out years ago that the “collapse” of the Soviet Union was a ruse. Gorbachev continued:

Those who want to build a new wall of mutual mistrust and hostility in Europe are doing a disservice to their countries and Europe as a whole. In Europe, unfortunately, there is no lack of politicians who would like to see an unequal model of relations with Russia – one of the teacher and the student, the prosecutor and the accused. Russia will not accept this model. It wants to be understood. We are for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation. What Russia do you need? A strong, entirely self-sufficient one, or a simple supplier of resources that knows its place?

>EU/USSR2 Files: Polish border patrol helicopter crashes in Belarus, all crew killed; Warsaw, Minsk investigating Oct. 31 incident

>In a recent post we reported that the Russian-Belarusian war game Zapad 2009, carried out in September in both countries, was actually a rehearsal for a nuclear attack on Poland, rather than, as billed by the Kremlin, a defensive drill to ward off a NATO invasion of the Union State. In the last few days, an interesting follow-up story, which may or may not be related to Moscow’s neo-imperialist designs on Europe, has emerged.

A number of sources are reporting the downing of a Polish border patrol helicopter 200 yards into Belarusian territory on October 31. All three officers aboard the aircraft perished. Belarusian authorities permitted Polish Deputy Interior Minister Adam Rapacki and Jaroslaw Ksiodrzak, the Polish consul general in Brest, to inspect the crash site. The aircraft in question was a PZL Kania, built in Poland in 2006. This helicopter is a modified version of the Russian Mil Mi-2. The Polish and Belarusian governments are both investigating the cause of the crash.

Although the demise of the Polish border patrol could be entirely accidental, if additional suspicious events occur along the Polish-Belarusian border in the upcoming weeks, then this incident should come under closer scrutiny. If the Soviet strategists are indeed planning to re-invade Central Europe, then provocations, such as “gray terror” or “pink terror,” could be used as a pretext for military actions. Such was the case with the Gleiwitz incident, one day prior to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939. The Soviets invaded eastern Poland slightly more than two weeks after the Nazis.

>Latin America File: Zelaya’s reinstatement under peace deal uncertain as Honduran legislators campaign, wait for Supreme Court’s non-binding ruling

>– Chavez Argues ALBA States Must “Rapidly” Transform Alliance into Military Coalition; Summit Host Morales Urges Restraint, Bloc Must Continue Studying Issue

Last Friday Honduras’ rival governments, under the leadership of lawful President Roberto Micheletti and deposed president Manuel Zelaya, a slavish devotee of Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, reached a deal to resolve the crisis that began on June 28 with Zelaya’s exile at gunpoint. Although the agreement was brokered by the US government and the Organization of American States, the document’s wording is ambiguous, allowing Congress to decide whether Zelaya will complete his term until January 2010, but imposing no deadline for a congressional vote. Instead, Honduran legislators have “passed the buck” to the Supreme Court by asking for a non-binding decision on the subject of Zelaya’s reinstallation, a motion actually sanctioned by the peace deal. Under the accord, a national unity government must be set up by November 7 but there is no stipulation as to who will preside over that government.

Meanwhile, the Honduran Congress is in recess as legislators campaign for the election scheduled for November 29, a poll whose validity in the eyes of the international community is now up in the air. Pictured above on November 4, Zelaya is still holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he surreptitiously returned on September 21.

Both Micheletti and Zelaya are members of the ruling Liberal Party. However, rival National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo is the electorate’s preferred candidate. Lobo is apparently considering whether to support or oppose Zelaya’s reinstatement. Supporting Zelaya would certainly win foreign support for a Lobo presidency and release much-needed international financial aid, but many Honduran voters have turned against Zelaya due to his cozy relationship with Chavez.

Thus, it is also too early to declare that Latin America’s Red Axis, especially as it is embodied by the chief states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)—Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador—has scored a victory over the anti-communist Micheletti regime. Since the military-backed “coup” in Tegucigalpa we have speculated that the Red Axis would use the Honduran crisis as a pretext to transform ALBA into a military coalition, a concept first floated by Chavez in 2007 and this past summer by Bolivian President Evo Morales. The Venezuelan president actually pushed this idea again during the ALBA summit that took place in Bolivia on October 16 and 17, a summit attended by Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and former chief of the Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB). On October 25 the website of the St. Kitts and Nevis People’s Action Movement reported:

There was no agreement on the proposal of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, of forming “a defensive military alliance.” He pitched the idea, he said, given the threats of the empire and he did after hearing a report on the crisis in Honduras. “Who can forbid sovereign countries from making a defensive military alliance and cross training soldiers and officers, and sharing equipment and logistics?” Chavez asked in the second and final session of the Summit of ALBA.

Morales, however, appears to have backed away from his earlier enthusiasm for the immediate formation of a regional “anti-imperialist” army. However, he urged ALBA member states to continue studying the issue. In view of the uncertain fate of its crony Zelaya, who dragged Honduras into ALBA in 2008, Latin America’s Red Axis could bring the subject of transforming the alliance into a military coalition to the front burner again at future summits.

In Nicaragua Red Axis agitator Daniel Ortega is countering domestic forces opposed to his attempt to consolidate another Sandinista dictatorship like the one US-backed Contras challenged in the 1980s. Last Thursday, cadres of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front reacted violently to comments uttered by the US ambassador in Managua. Robert Callahan condemned the recent decision by the Sandinista-controlled Nicaraguan Supreme Court abolishing presidential term limits. “From our point of view, the Supreme Court act improperly and with unusual speed, in secret, with the participation of judges from only one political movement and without any public debate or discussion,” Callahan complained.

In response, FSLN thugs launched mortars at the embassy compound, broke security cameras, and spray-painted political slogans on the compound property. “Death to the yanquis! Death to the empire!” screamed one Sandinista Youth leader.

Two days later, police evacuated Callahan to safety at the Central American University in Managua, where protesters stalked and threw fireworks at the US ambassador. Callahan was present at the Jesuit-run institution to attend a multicultural event with other ambassadors.

Many domestic and international critics of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega viewed the underhanded court ruling as a ploy to install the “former” Marxist dictator in a perpetual presidency, like his leftist buddies Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, and Manuel Zelaya. On October 27 Nicaragua’s opposition parties, protesting the Supreme Court decision, shut down the country’s legislature be refusing to register, denying the ruling FSLN a quorum to open a plenary session. Constitutionalist Liberal Party deputy Ramon Gonzalez explained that the opposition intended to force assembly speaker Rene Nunez’s to accept a bill that nullifies the judicial decision.

The Costa Rican media recently exposed the subservient nature of Nicaragua’s Rivas family to the neo-Sandinista regime by publishing facts concerning the grown children of President Ortega and his politically powerful wife, First Lady Rosario Murillo. Maurie and Laureano Ortega Murillo, who are studying film and television at the Universidad Veritas, live in a Costa Rican residence owned by Roberto Rivas Reyes, head of the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council. Rivas’ children, who are studying at the Universidad de Ciencias Medicas, also live in the same residence. Within hours of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court’s abolition of term limits on the presidency, Rivas announced that he would abide by the decision. Ortega appointed Roberto’s brother Harold as Nicaragua’s ambassador to Costa Rica shortly after re-assuming the presidency in January 2007. He also appointed a third Rivas brother to the directorship of a state company. Perhaps we should coin the term “red banana republic” to describe neo-Sandinista Nicaragua.

On October 28 Jacinto Suarez, a Nicaraguan deputy in the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), assumed the one-year presidency of the six-nation body. Since the neo-Sandinista regime, along with its comrades in the Sao Paulo Forum, is wholly committed to regional integration, Managua’s temporary control over Parlacen will serve the Red Axis well. Parlacen, which was founded in 1991, consists of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and, oddly, the Dominican Republic. Ortega previously held the rotating presidency of the Central American Integration System, before ceding this office to Guatemalan counterpart, Alvaro Colom.

Finally, in another sign of reviving relations between Moscow and Managua, neglected during the 1990s and early 2000s, the Kremlin has donated 23 metric tons of medical supplies to Nicaragua. “Russia has been and will be cooperating with Nicaragua. Our assistance is not determined by any particular conditions and is based on principles of non-interference in the country’s domestic affairs,” the Russian ambassador in Managua, Igor Kondrashev, intoned. The “medicine” will be transported in two cargo containers. Of course, we can trust the Soviets to not slip a few missiles or nukes into those containers. Sure, comrade, whatever you say! Earlier this year Moscow donated 130 buses to Managua’s transit system. In July the two Communist Bloc allies established a visa-free regime and set up an oil consortium between Nicaragua’s Petronic and several Russian companies.

>Latin America File: Tensions along Colombian-Venezuelan border highest since March 2008 as Bogota, Washington approve US troop deployment

>Pictured here: A Venezuelan National Guard in the border city of San Antonio points a machine gun toward Colombia, which is accessible via the Simon Bolivar international bridge. The border was closed after two National Guards were killed on November 2.

Venezuela’s red tyrant Hugo Chavez appears to be provoking war with Colombia by alleging the infiltration of Colombian spies into his country. Of course, Chavez regularly demonizes the pro-Washington government in Bogota, hurling standard communist epithets like “fascist” at Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe. A succession of politically related murders, abductions, and high-profile arrests in the tense border region between the two countries suggest this possibility.

On November 2, reports AFP, two soldiers of Venezuela’s National Guard were shot to death near the 2,220-kilometre border with Colombia. Venezuelan state television related that unidentified assailants gunned down the soldiers at a roadside checkpoint in the western state of Tachira. The news agency notes that insurgents operating under the banner of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), anti-communist paramilitary groups, and drug traffickers skulk along the remote border.

Also on Monday, a lone gunman entered a restaurant in Los Teques, where he approached Gustavo Gonzalez, a member of the anti-Chavez opposition party Copei, fatally shot the politician in the head, and fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. Los Teques is the capital of Miranda state, while Gonzalez was a deputy in the state legislature. Copei spokesman Alejandro Vivas admitted that the murder appeared to be a “hired killing,” but he did not offer a possible motive. The AP news agency, citing human rights groups, notes that kidnapping and murder are on the rise in Venezuela. This, of course, is only one indicator that Chavez’s socialist revolution has spectacularly failed to deliver “utopia.”

On November 3 the Latin American Herald Tribune reported that over the weekend Venezuelan authorities arrested eight Colombians, one of them identified as a “paramilitary chief,” and two Venezuelans in San Antonio del Tachira. The Colombians were allegedly distributing pamphlets that threatened local businessmen, forcing business owners to close their shops in fear. In an interview with state-run VTV television, Venezuelan Interior Minister Tarek El Aissami identified the presumed militia leader as Jorge Roa Bolaños. “However, once we strengthened the military and police presence, little by little calm was restored and daily activity resumed in San Antonio,” El Aissami assured Venezuelans.

In a related story, last Thursday Chavez and his croney El Aissami presented “irrefutable evidence” that Colombia had dispatched spies to Venezuela, Ecuador, and Cuba as part of an “ambitious” subversion operation financed by the US Central Intelligence Agency. El Aissami disclosed the contents of documents allegedly originating with Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (DAS) and discovered since the apprehension of two suspected Colombian spies on Venezuelan soil. “This is serious information that proves the destabilizing actions promoted by the Colombian government against our country,” El-Aissami rumbled to Telesur, a multi-national agitprop platform for Latin America’s Red Axis. “The order was to corrupt and bribe local officials and make contact with leaders of the opposition.”

Felipe Munoz, director of the DAS, answered El Aissami’s allegations on Colombia’s W Radio by denying that the two Colombians charged with spying are employed by his organization. A statement published on the DAS website on October 27, moreover, insists that the DAS prohibits officials from operating in other countries. Munoz then demanded that Caracas release a known DAS official who was arrested in September in the city of Maracaibo, during a holiday as a guest of a Venezuelan immigration official.

In a second related story, this past Sunday Venezuela’s Vice President Ramón Carrizález boasted that he has evidence that eight of the 11 “amateur soccer players” killed in Tachira state last week were Colombian paramilitaries training in Venezuela. The anti-communist irregulars were allegedly operating under the direction of the DAS.

Incidentally, the National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP), Venezuela’s espionage agency, has since Chavez’s ascent to power in 1999 come under the baleful influence of its Cuban counterpart, the Intelligence Directorate, formerly known as the DGI. It may be truly said that Communist Cuba is using the state security apparatus of its wealthier ally Venezuela to export red revolution throughout the Western Hemisphere. In turn, the Cuban intelligence structure remains under the firm control of the Russian Federation’s Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB).

On Monday Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro complained that the new military pact between Bogota and Washington is “a shame for the history of our continent.” The 10-year deal, which was signed last Friday during a brief closed-door ceremony in Bogota, will facilitate the deployment of 800 US troops and 600 civilian contractors at seven military bases in Colombia. Maduro ranted: “The presence of US troops in Colombia poses a serious threat to stability in the region. There is no guarantee that the Colombian territory could not be used against other countries in the region. The deal was signed under a shroud of secrecy.” The US soldiers will be tasked with rendering “practical aid” to Colombia’s armed forces in the suppression of the drug trade and the country’s Marxist guerrillas. Incidentally, this past summer Maduro was seen escorting soon-to-be-reinstalled Honduran president Manuel Zelaya about Nicaragua.

In response to the new US-Colombian military pact, the Chavezista regime is reinforcing its military in Tachira state. A total of 515 border guards have been deployed there, explained Javier Rosales, deputy commander of the No.1 Regional Command of the National Guard. Chavez has also frozen diplomatic ties with Bogota again, as he did during last year’s Andean Crisis. In a third punitive measure, Venezuela, which is facing domestic food shortages, has curbed the import of such staples from Colombia, its second-biggest trading partner after the USA. Instead, Caracas has diversified commerce with Red Axis allies like Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia. This past August Colombian exports to Venezuela plunged 45.7 percent from a year earlier. For his part, Uribe accused Chavez of funding and supplying FARC with weapons.

If a hot war breaks out between the two countries, as it almost did in March 2008, then Ecuador will probably support Venezuela and FARC by opening up a southern front in Colombia with its small air force. The latter includes six Mirage 50 fighter jets newly acquired from Comrade Hugo, who lately purchased 24 Sukhoi Su-30 multi-role strike fighters from Russia. In terms of ground-based firepower Venezuela operates 84 French-built AMX-30 main battle tanks (MBTs), 36 AMX-13C.90 light tanks, and 78 British-built Scorpion light tanks. Chavez is also awaiting delivery of 92 Soviet-built T-72 MBTs. Venezuela’s army, therefore, has a growing edge over Colombia’s, which has no tank capacity whatsoever.

After 50 years of communist insurgency in Colombia, the Soviet strategists are no doubt anxious to topple this stubborn “domino.” A red regime in Bogota would transform the country into an impregnable narco-terrorist state and base for hemispheric Soviet subversion.

>MISSILE DAY ALERT: Poles angered by media report: Zapad 2009 war game offensive in nature, simulated nuclear attack against Poland, amphibious landing

>Russia has laid bare its real intentions with respect to Poland. Every Pole must get off the fence and be counted as a patriot or a traitor.
— “Ted,” Polish patriot, speaking to Polskie Radio in response to recent Russian-Belarusian war game

– Estonian President Urges NATO to Counter Kremlin Saber Rattling by Holding “Large-Scale” Military Drill in Baltics, Latvia to Host War Game in Summer 2010

– French Warship to Visit St. Petersburg, Paris to Deliver 650-Foot Mistral-Class Helicopter Carrier/ Amphibious Assault Ship after Deal Conclusion

Pictured above: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (left) and Polish counterpart Donald Tusk take part in a joint press conference after their meeting in Gdansk on September 1, 2009.

In his 1999 book Origins of the Fourth World War, American geopolitical analyst Jeff Nyquist begins his narrative of a Communist Bloc-instigated nuclear war by writing: “There are news flashes . . .” Will 2009 witness news flashes similar to those of 1939? Seven decades after the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland, the Kremlin’s imperialistic designs on Europe are once again evident.

We extensively covered the Union State of Russia and Belarus’ Zapad (“West”) 2009 war game in September. The combined military drill took place in both countries, including Russia’s Baltic exclave Kaliningrad, and witnessed the deployment of 12,500 Russian soldiers and Belarusian KGB troops in the latter country, adjacent to former Warsaw Pact-turned-NATO member Poland. (In Belarus the KGB is still called by its old, dreaded name.) At the same time, thousands of Russian troops carried out another drill near Lake Ladoga, close to the Finnish border. Both war games, in which NATO forces hypothetically invaded Russia via Finland, the Baltic republics, and Poland, were originally billed as defensive in nature.

Belarusian nationalists protested against the deployment of 6,000 Russian soldiers on their soil, but the communist regime of President Alexander Lukashenko, a compliant lackey of the Soviet strategists, quickly smashed the street demonstrations. One week after Zapad 2009 finished, the Belarusian opposition media reported that many Russian troops had yet to decamp and head back to their homeland. Charter 97 contended that the Russians had no intention of leaving and that a creeping re-occupation of Belarus by the Russian Ground Forces had begun. Four weeks later we have been unable to confirm that all Russian troops have vacated Belarus.

This week Wprost, one of Poland’s leading news magazines, has obtained documents proving that Zapad 2009 was offensive, not defensive, in nature, a fact that we strongly suspected during our own coverage of the event. Among other simulations, the Russian Air Force practiced a nuclear attack against Polish targets, while Russian marines used the beaches of Kaliningrad to carry out a mock amphibious landing along Poland’s Baltic coast, which included securing a natural gas pipeline. The latter battle scenario is an obvious wink toward the still-in-development Soviet-German NordStream project. Russian soldiers and Belarusian KGB troops also simulated the suppression of an uprising by Belarus’s Polish minority.

Wprost’s revelations are historically significant because nearly three decades ago “Zapad 1981” also simulated a Soviet invasion of Poland, then under Moscow’s overt control. Martial law, implemented by the ruling Polish United Workers’ Party, was then in effect following the Gdansk shipyard strikes. In reporting this information from Wprost, moreover, Britain’s Telegraph, interestingly, referred to the Russian Armed Forces as the “Red Army.” In view of the “ex”-communists and “ex”-KGB/GRU types who still despotically rule in Moscow and Minsk and in view of the red star of Bolshevism that is still displayed by the Russian and Belarusian armies, can one honestly say that there’s much difference between Zapad 1981 and Zapad 2009?

Polish politicians and citizens were outraged by Wprost’s revelations. Conservative member of parliament Karol Karski has protested to the European Commission, while his colleague Marek Opiola pointed out: “It’s an attempt [by Russia] to put us in our place. Don’t forget all this happened on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.” At the time the Zapad 2009 drill was unfolding, Poland’s Defense Minister Bogdan Klich warned: “It is a demonstration of strength. We are monitoring the exercises to see what has been planned.” Wladyslaw Stasiak, chief of President Lech Kaczynski’s office and former chief of Poland’s National Security Council, confided: “We didn’t like the appearance of the exercises and the name harkened back to the days of the Warsaw Pact.”

One man in the street, “Ted,” told Polskie Radio: “Russia has laid bare its real intentions with respect to Poland. Every Pole must get off the fence and be counted as a patriot or a traitor.” It seems, however, that Poles are divided on the matter of Russia’s intentions toward Poland because “conservative” Prime Minister Donald Tusk has pursued a policy of rapprochement with Moscow, including a little-reported meeting between Poland’s top general and his Russian counterpart. This meeting of generals apparently took place on the sidelines of the Tusk-Putin conference in Gdansk. Although “Ted” is speaking for his countrymen in Poland, the Obama White House should also take heed and “get off the fence” by openly acknowledging the neo-Soviet threat breathing down NATO’s neck.

In response to Zapad 2009, Estonian President Hendrik Ilves suggested carrying out a NATO military exercise in the Baltic states. Latvia has agreed to host a “large-scale” war game in the summer of 2010.

NATO’s policy toward Russia, though, is schizophrenic. As we have previously reported, Russia will shortly purchase a 650-Foot Mistral-class helicopter carrier/ amphibious assault ship from veteran NATO member France. The negotiations for the deal were hammered out between STX France and DCNS, France’s civil and naval shipbuilders, and the Russian Defense Ministry. A similar ship will visit St. Petersburg in late November. UPI editorializes: “The deal will mark the most important transfer of military equipment to Russia by a NATO member.” In light of the Soviets’ mock amphibious assault against Poland during Zapad 2009, this deal is also a very troubling transfer of military technology.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy’s strategic submarines continue to test their nuclear arsenal. On Sunday the Bryansk successfully fired a missile from the submerged position in the Barents Sea. The report from state-run Novosti did not indicate whether this missile was part of the Kremlin’s new Bulava series of SLBMs, which have a spotty record of success in their trial launches. The last Bulava launch took place in October 2008 and was a failure. The Bryansk carries 16 nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.