Monthly Archives: January 2010

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Putin lauds maiden flight of Russia’s 1st stealth fighter; T-50 to enter evaluation unit by 2013, production by 2015

>Russian aeronautical technology finally caught up with the 21st century on January 29, 2010. The country’s first stealth fighter intended to match the latest “radar-invisible” US design made its maiden flight on Friday, boosting the Kremlin’s efforts to modernize its air force and retain its global export market. The Sukhoi PAKFA T-50 flew for 47 minutes, taking off from an airfield at the manufacturer’s production plant in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. After the test flight, the aircraft’s pilot, Sergei Bogdan, remarked that the T-50 was “easy and pleasant to fly.”

“The flight is a big step forward,” trumpeted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. However, Russia’s KGB-communist dictator admitted: “A lot remains to be done in terms of engines and armament. The first batch of new fighters is set to enter an Air Force evaluation unit in 2013 and serial production is set to begin in 2015.”

Development of Russia’s fifth-generation combat aircraft has been cloaked in secrecy and no images of it had been released before the flight. Strategic partner India played an important role in the creation of the T-50. The fighter’s maiden flight comes nearly 20 years after the first prototype of the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the aircraft the T-50 is designed to counter, took to the air. Still, the flight also marked a major step in Moscow’s efforts to restore the faded glory of its Soviet-era aviation bureaus, now largely consolidated in the Kremlin-run United Aircraft Corporation (Obyedinyonnaya Aviasroitelnaya Korporatsiya).

Following the T-50’s initial flight, Russian and foreign military analysts offered different assessments of the airplane’s performance and potential.

Craig Caffrey, analyst for Jane’s Defense Procurement-Military Aircraft, opined: “The T-50 should offer the Russian Air Force a significant boost in its capabilities and ensure that it remains one of the best equipped air forces in the world. For those countries that don’t traditionally purchase military equipment from the U.S. it will be the only fifth generation aircraft available.”

The NPO Saturn company acknowledged that the jet has new engines. Independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, however, was not impressed, explaining: “It’s a humbug. It’s just a prototype lacking new engines and a new radar. It takes new materials to build a fifth-generation fighter, and Russia lacks them.” Alexander Konovalov, director of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Assessment, an independent think tank, was even more dubious about the T-50’s future: “The schedule will likely be pushed back as usual. There is no mission and no adversary for such plane. It would be more expedient to fit modern avionics to older generation jets.”

If further tests of the T-50 prove successful, its technology will no doubt be incorporated into the stealth bomber that Russia intends to introduce into service by 2025. Unless political events between the Communist Bloc and what’s left of the Free World spiral out of control in the next few months or years, it’s likely that the Soviet strategists will wait until their military is mostly or fully modernized before taking on NATO.

Last year the US Senate voted to halt production of the F-22 Raptor, the world’s most expensive fighter jet at more than US$140 million per machine, capping the fleet at 186, the number already ordered. In doing so, the Democrat-dominated Senate handed President Barack Hussein Obama the victory he needed to curb defense spending.

>WW4 File: Colombia protests airspace violation by Venezuelan combat helicopter, National Guard takes control of major cities amid anti-Chavez protests

>– Will Chavez Shortly Provoke War with Colombia to Divert Attention Away from the Failure of His Socialist Revolution to “Deliver the Goods?”

The simmering political tensions in the “mini Cold War” between Colombia and Venezuela erupted again this week when Bogota lodged a formal diplomatic protest against Caracas, alleging that a Venezuelan combat helicopter hovered over the Colombian border city of Arauca for 20 minutes today. Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva condemned the airspace violation and praised his forces for showing restraint in the face of the provocation. Since last October the two South American neighbors have been involved in a dispute over Colombia’s decision to grant the US military access to its bases for the purpose of eradicating the country’s cocaine producers.

Pictured above: Venezuelan police intimidate anti-Chavez protesters in Caracas on January 26.

Most Colombian coke originates from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) with covert but documented support from the leadership of Venezuela’s Cuba-controlled Bolivarian Intelligence Service (or DISIP before 2009) and the Venezuelan National Guard. A 2008 US Department of Homeland Security report alleges that the FARC and the Venezuelan government are using retired or stolen commercial and executive jets to ferry multi-tons of cocaine to West Africa, where operatives of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb pack the narcotic across the Sahara Desert, to be infiltrated into the European Union.

Last year Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia and blocked a variety of Colombian imports, with bilateral trade suffering a 70 percent decline. In November he urged the armed forces, civilian population, and cadres of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela to “prepare for war” with Colombia. To back their president’s bombast, the Venezuelan military has moved to the border at least 15,000 troops and presumably thousands of tactical missiles that it recently purchased from Russia.

Claiming the need to thwart drug traffickers, Venezuelan soldiers also blew up at least two pedestrian bridges linking the two countries. Venezuelan authorities have arrested alleged Colombian spies and saboteurs, as well as fighters of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Caracas charges that the anti-communist paramilitary group is in league with President Alvaro Uribe’s government, which responded last month by activating six airborne battalions and pledging to build a military base near the Venezuelan border.

For his part, Chavez has also accused the USA of airspace violations, specifically charging Washington with using Colombia and the Netherlands Antilles as bases to dispatch aerial spy drones and maritime reconnaissance aircraft over Venezuelan territory.

Venezuela’s communist dictator is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Russian-built tanks and military helicopters which he intends to deploy along the Colombian border. On Christmas Eve Chavez held a telephone conversation with Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, no doubt to inquire about the status of his order, and this week he ordered his new defense minister to accompany the boss of PDVSA on an errand to Moscow and Beijing. Russian engineers are currently on the ground in Venezuela supervising the construction of two plants that will produce Kalashnikov automatic rifles and their ammunition.

On the domestic front Chavez is this week facing some serious challenges to his authoritarian rule. On January 23, The Epoch Times reports, “waves of protests” blew up throughout the country in response to the Chavezista regime’s rationing of water, another devaluation of the Venezuelan currency, and the recently mandated weekly rationing of electricity. Three days later even larger protests were triggered after Chavez shut down six television channels, among them RCTV Internacional, a channel with an editorial slant critical of Chavez’s socialist “Bolivarian Revolution.” During an Organization of American States meeting in Washington on Wednesday, the USA, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Canada condemned the Venezuelan government for its decision to suspend the six channels.

To suppress a possible uprising in an election year, the National Guard has taken up positions in the streets of Merida and along El Trigal Highway in the city of Valencia, capital of Carabobo State. On Wednesday Marcos Díaz, the pro-Chavez governor of Mérida State, justified the de facto state of martial law in his own jurisdiction by weaving a story of opposition-sponsored “urban warfare”:

The city is militarized since early hours of the morning and will remain like that as long as its necessary in order to avoid further confrontations in the city of Mérida. The military action is due to the presence of snipers and urban warfare in the state, which aim to subvert order. The National Guard and the state government are taking measures to control these groups that belong to the opposition.

The Epoch Times predicts that the Chavezista regime is on its last legs: “The events are viewed as what could be the beginning of the end for Chavez. The National Assembly is occupied by an overwhelming majority of government supporters. A victory by the opposition could limit Chavez’s ability to implement laws and policies to his liking.” In light of these developments, students of the international communist conspiracy should seriously consider the possibility that Chavez may shortly provoke war with Colombia to divert attention away from the failure of his socialist revolution to “deliver the goods.”

Chavez Denounces Government of Honduran President Lobo as “Illegitimate,” Deposed Predecessor Zelaya Finds New Home in Dominican Republic

In Central America Porfirio Lobo was inaugurated as Honduras’ new president on Wednesday, seven months after an internal Liberal Party coup d’etat, supported by the Congress, Supreme Court, and military brass, ousted Manuel Zelaya from office. A threat by the National Front against the Coup D’etat, a consortium of Honduran leftists, to disrupt Lobo’s swearing in failed to materialize but, according to one source, “hundreds of thousands” of demonstraters protested during the ceremony.

Lobo, the 62-year-old candidate for the National Party, won a controversial presidential election on November 29 with 52 per cent of the votes. The election had been scheduled before the coup, but slavish Chavez ally Zelaya and many leftist regimes in Latin America refused to recognize its legitimacy since the poll took place under the watch care of interim president Roberto Micheletti.

Lobo opposed then President Zelaya’s proposed constitutional reforms that would have eliminated term limits, but he kept a low profile during and after the coup. Later, Lobo vowed to assure Zelaya’s safe conduct from the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa so the deposed leader could seek exile in the Dominican Republic, per previous negotiations with Dominican President Leonel Fernandez. In what appears to be an anomaly in his career, conservative agra-businessman Lobo is a Soviet-era graduate of Patrice Lumumba University, Moscow’s terrorist indoctrination center, now known as People’s Friendship University of Russia.

Meanwhile, a private jet whisked Zelaya and his entourage to Santo Domingo, where President Fernandez welcomed the former Honduran leader as a “distinguished guest.” The Dominican Republic’s center-left leader, however, made it clear that, in spite of his rapprochement with the new administration in Tegucigalpa, “the interruption of democracy in that government was an insult to Honduras’ Constitution, to the Dominican Republic and all of Latin America.” An amnesty passed by the Honduran Congress has cleared all participants in Zelaya’s ouster, including the armed forces’ top commanders, of any wrongdoing.

So, is the Honduran crisis finally over? Not if Zelaya’s chief benefactor, Comrade Hugo, has anything to say about it. “The United States, Colombia, Peru, Panama and Canada were applauding the inauguration of an illegitimate president,” Venezuela’s president ranted on Thursday, adding: “He [Zelaya] knows that he and his family have brothers here.” Both Chavez and Zelaya are implicated in the Communist Bloc’s narco-subversion plot against the USA. Major South American countries such as Argentina and Brazil refuse to accept the legitimacy of President Lobo’s new government. Not so coincidentally, Venezuela intends to carry out a joint military exercise in Nicaragua this May and June, an operation that could be designed to intimidate Honduras’ new government.

FMLN Regime in San Salvador Cultivates “Moderate” Image: Apologizes for “Excesses” Committed as Guerrilla Army, Recognizes New Government in Tegucigalpa

Conflicting messages related to ideological direction are emanating from the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) regime in San Salvador, now about eight months hold. Although the FMLN Politburo is dominated by hard-core Marxists, it appears that President Mauricio Funes has decided to pursue a “moderate” approach for the present. For example, even though Zelaya enjoyed San Salvador’s hospitality during the regional capital-hopping that marked the early days of his exile last summer, Funes has stated that he will re-establish diplomatic relations with neighboring Honduras after Lobo’s inauguration. In adopting this position, it appears that El Salvador’s leftist regime is attempting to deflate pre-election accusations that the FMLN is beholden to Chavez.

The FMLN regime is also taking steps to bury the legacy of the Salvadoran Civil War, which raged between 1980 and 1992 when the Soviet/Cuban-backed FMLNistas sought to overthrow a succession of US-backed rightist governments. Presuming to speak on behalf of those governments, Funes apologized for the “grave human rights violations carried out by government forces against defenseless civilians.” Funes declared:

I acknowledge that agents, at the time belonging to government branches including the armed forces and public security … committed grave human rights violations and abuses of power. Those abuses included massacres, extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances. For all of the previously mentioned, in the name of the Salvadoran state I ask for forgiveness.

For his part, Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a doctrinaire Leninist who led the FMLN’s battlefield operations, urged Salvadorans to forgive the former guerrillas for any “excesses” committed during the civil war. The conflict left 75,000 people dead and 7,000 missing, produced about US$1.6 billion in infrastructure damage, and forced many Salvadorans to seek refuge in the USA, where they were recruited into the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, narco-terrorist gang. It is believed that MS-13 derived its name by combining “La Mara,” a violent street gang in El Salvador, with Salvatruchas, a term used to denote members of the FMLN.

Last month Sanchez Ceren, who lauded Al Qaeda’s attacks against the USA on September 11, 2001, trooped to Havana where he conferred with his long-time masters in Cuba’s communist dictatorship. There he indicated that El Salvador will most likely join the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). Earlier this month, however, Funes indicated that his country will not be joining ALBA. Incidentally, many Salvadorans believe that Sanchez Ceren is the one calling the shots for their country’s FMLN government, darkly joking that he is only “9 millimeters” from the presidency. This alludes to the possibility that the FMLN Politburo may one day decide that former CNN correspondent Funes is expendable. In that case a 9-millimeter bullet will end Funes’ career.

>Latin America File: Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela send delegations to Russia; Chavez, Pravda allege US military caused Haiti quake with shockwave weapon

>– Chavez Dispatches PDVSA’s Communist Boss and New Defense Minister to Moscow and Beijing

– Utilizing ALBA Front Company Chavez Helps Ortega Family Purchase Nicaragua’s Most Important Private TV Station

– Telenica News Host Resigns in Protest, Carlos Chamorro Son of Assassinated Newspaper Editor Pedro and Former President Violeta

Pictured above: On January 26 police and protesters clashed in several Venezuelan cities after RCTV International, which opposes President Hugo Chavez, was forced off air. The poster above says: “Chavez: You’re Struck Out.” In response to the protests, Venezuela’s communist dictator threatened to accelerate his country’s socialist revolution.

The Soviet strategists continue their stealthy process of reconsolidating linkages with Communist Cuba and neo-Sandinista Nicaragua, as well as expanding ties with the Communist Bloc’s South American showpiece, Venezuela. The Moscow-backed Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) also continues to consolidate linkages within that bloc of socialist states, minus Honduras, which escaped the clutches of the Havana-Caracas Axis several weeks ago.

On January 25 Ricardo Cabrisas, Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers, trooped to Moscow for a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Ivanovich Sechin, the Kremlin’s pointman for Latin America. During the Cold War Sechin, an agent of Russian military intelligence, facilitated the smuggling of weapons to leftist guerrillas such as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, which now rules El Salvador.

During their meeting Cabrisas and Sechin prepared the agenda for the 10th meeting of the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission that will take place in Havana next April. Cabrisas and Sechin, who head the commission’s Cuban and Russian delegations, respectively, will look at the implementation of government credits and investment processes, as outlined in the resolutions of the ninth meeting of the commission. They will also examine bilateral cooperation in the cultural, education and technical-scientific fields, as well as in communications, computing, aeronautics, transportation, and industry.

Prior to the next conclave of the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will carry out a two-day official visit to Cuba beginning on February 11. The visit was announced by the Deputy Director of the Latin America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Victor Koronelli, before the Cuban-Russian Entrepreneurial Council, gathered at the site of the Russian Chamber of Commerce.

In a related story octogenarian Yevgeny Primakov, who has held various posts in the Soviet/Russian hierarchy, including KGB/SVR boss, prime minister, and foreign minister, attended a ceremony at the Cuban embassy in Moscow. There on January 22 Primakov, an expert Orientalist who liaised with Saddam Hussein in 1990 and then 2003, was presented with the Order of Solidarity by Cuba’s Council of State. In the awarding ceremony Cuban ambassador Juan Valdes Figueroa praised Primakov for being “a prominent politician and statesman, an astute diplomat, an experienced academician and a close friend of Cuba.” Valdes gushed: “Cuban authorities appreciate Primakov’s solidarity and honest friendship.”

For his part, Primakov noted that “on many occasions he talked for hours with comrades Fidel and Raul.” He then conveyed to the Castro Bros. his “most sincere appreciation for this order.” Primakov concluded his speech by assuring his Cuban comrades that through the Russian Chamber of Commerce “he will do everything possible to develop bilateral relations because he believes it to be very important, both for Cuba and Russia.”

A planned port of call by Russian warships in Havana Bay this past December, as far as we can determine, did not materialize. Otherwise, this would have been the second post-Cold War visit of the Russian Navy to Communist Cuba. The first occurred in December 2008, at which time Cuban President Raul Castro and brass of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba held a closed-door meeting with Vladimir I. Koraliov, Vice Admiral of the Northern Fleet.

The Russian Navy recently popped up in the news in connection with Haiti when Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, citing a report allegedly produced by the Northern Fleet, accused the US military of using a “shockwave weapon” to cause the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12. Chavez and his communist buddies Daniel Ortega and Evo Morales have already condemned Washington for “invading and occupying” Haiti under the pretext of humanitarian relief.

Chavez’s outlandish conspiracy theory linking unconfirmed experimental US weapons to the Haiti quake initially appeared on Venezuela’s state-run ViVe television. Perhaps Comrade Hugo picked up his “information” from communist organ Pravda. There Lisa Karpova, who lately denounced Poland and the USA for deploying a Patriot Air Defense Unit to the Central European country, quoted the alleged report from the Northern Fleet. In her article Comrade Karpova notes, probably accurately, that the Russian Navy has been “monitoring” the reactivation of the US Navy’s Fourth Fleet in the Caribbean Sea:

The Russian Navy reports that the U.S. created the earthquake in Haiti.

The Russian Northern Fleet indicates that the earthquake that devastated Haiti was clearly the result of a test by the U.S. Navy through one of its earthquake weapons and drew up a diagram of linear succession in relation to earthquakes reported to have occurred by chance to the same depth in Venezuela and Honduras.

The Northern Fleet has been monitoring the movements and activities of U.S. Marines in the Caribbean since 2008 when the Americans announced their intention to reestablish the Fourth Fleet, which was disbanded in 1950, and that Russia responded a year later, with the Fleet led by the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great “by starting its first exercises in this region since the end of the Cold War.”

As it stands, nearly 20,000 US troops, 1,000 Canadian troops, 800 Italian troops, and 12,000 international soldiers and police under United Nations/Brazilian command are already deployed or en route to Haiti to distribute food, water, and medicine, maintain law and order, and rebuild the country’s shattered infrastructure. Incidentally, Canada’s governor-general is Haitian born, which may partly explain that country’s relatively large commitment to the relief effort. More significantly, the growing presence of UN troops in Haiti may offer that organization a justification for honoring last November’s plea from Ciudad Juarez business leaders to send troops to help the Mexican army suppress the narco-insurgency in that city, which borders Texas.

One week before receiving the Cuban delegation, Moscow also welcomed a representative of another close ally in Latin America, Nicaragua. On January 18 Nicaraguan Deputy Foreign Minister Manuel Coronel Kautz met with Russian Deputy Transport Minister Sergei Aristov in Moscow. There the two parties once again discussed the subject of building a canal across Nicaragua, a century-old dream that President Daniel Ortega has resuscitated.

“The Nicaraguan side asked the Russian side to participate in the construction of the canal running across Nicaragua and linking the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans,” commented a Russian Transport Ministry spokesentity. According to state-run Itar-Tass, the project will cost US$18 billion dollars. Aristov admitted that the concept of a “Nicaragua Canal” requires “further examination due to a change in economic conditions and the financial situation in the world.” In other words, the Kremlin can’t cough up all the cash for this project, so Moscow will probably organize a consortium consisting of Russia, Red China, and a few deluded, pro-communist Western Nepmen with some bucks to burn.

If the canal project falls through, however, Russia will find other pretexts to restore its baleful influence in Nicaragua, such as rehabilitating its never-used, Soviet-era military runway north of Lake Managua. The fact that open sources have yet to report the arrival of Russian military engineers at Punta Huete, after the proposal was first publicized in November 2008, suggests that Moscow is waiting for Comrade Ortega to first crush Nicaragua’s pro-Washington opposition, eliminate presidential term limits, and re-establish his communist dictatorship in earnest. With some help from red buddy Chavez, Nicaragua’s president appears to be doing exactly that.

Venezuela’s top commie thug has already been criticized for forcing six TV stations in his country off the air. The Central American media is now asserting that Chavez may have played a covert role in helping relatives of Ortega to purchase Nicaragua’s most important private TV station, Channel 8 Telenica, for US$10 million. Media outlets like Nicaragua Hoy, El Nuevo Diario, and Diario las Americas report that Telenica was purchased in part with funds from the ALBA front company Albanisa. This petroleum consortium consists of Venezuela’s state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) as the controlling shakeholder and Nicaragua’s state-run Petronic. Ortega’s family already controls several private news agencies in Nicaragua, not to mention the country’s state-run media outlets.

Earlier this month we reported that Albanisa chairman and Sandinista cadre José Francisco López Centeno stepped down from his post in the wake of charges that he embezzled 1.4 million cordobas from the company. Albanisa is now reportedly headed by interim chairman, Rafael Paniagua, a Venezuelan citizen. Last July the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists contended that “Ortega had launched a personal war against media critical of his government.”

Until last weekend Channel 8 broadcast the programs This Week and Tonight, both hosted by well-known journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro. Like many critics of the second Ortegista regime, Chamorro is a former cadre of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), having edited Barricada, which served as the FSLN’s newspaper in the 1980s. On Sunday Chamorro announced that he was resigning from Telenica now that the company is controlled by the government. Carlos was quoted by Nica Times as saying during his last broadcast: “Today I ratify my position in front of Nicaraguan society that I don’t want to be a partner or collaborator with Mr. Ortega, either directly or indirectly, in any of his economic or political businesses that seek to help him whitewash his authoritarian image.”

Carlos is the son of newspaper publisher Pedro Joaquín Chamorro, who was gunned down in 1978 for criticizing the US-backed dictatorship of President Anastasio Somoza, and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who defeated Ortega in the 1990 election. Between 1979 and 1980 Violeta sat with Ortega on the multi-party Junta of National Reconstruction. However, there’s obviously some “bad blood” between the Ortega and Chamorro families.

Meanwhile, Chavez has dispatched his oil and energy minister Rafael Ramirez, a staunch communist who heads PDVSA, to Moscow and then Beijing to discuss plans for the trilateral development of heavy crude blocks in the eastern Orinoco region. “The group will work on advances in oil drilling [deals] with Russia and China in the Junin Block of the Orinoco oil belt,” the Bolivarian News Agency reported, citing comments from Chavez himself.

A preliminary joint venture deal on the Junin 6 block was signed in September between PDVSA and a consortium of Russian oil firms, including privately owned Lukoil Holdings and Kremlin-run Gazprom OAO. With the People’s Republic of China, Venezuela intends to develop the Junin 4 block, a US$16 billion project with the potential to produce 400,000 barrels per day. A government statement revealed that Venezuela also plans to build, with Red China’s participation, an electricity-generating plant that will be used for refineries.

Significantly, Venezuela’s newly named defense minister Carlos Mata will be traveling with Ramirez, possibly to discuss the shipment of Russian tanks and combat helicopters that Chavez is awaiting so he can advance plans to attack neighboring Colombia. Until recently 40 percent of Colombian exports made their way to Venezuela. However, the “mini Cold War” between the two countries, one socialist, the other capitalist, has reduced those exports by 38 percent and forced 30,000 Colombians out of work. “To find a solution,” reports El Universal, “the Colombian government is establishing partnerships with other countries to seek new markets, among them in Ecuador.” Establishing commercial links with Quito may not be the wisest move, though, since Ecuador’s socialist president Rafael Correa is closely allied with Chavez. Instead, Colombia should expand its economic relations with Chile and Honduras, both of which feature incoming center-right governments, as well as Panama, whose president, Ricardo Martinelli, is a businessman.

>WW4 File: USA to deploy Patriots, 100 soldiers in Poland by March, Russia threatens to strengthen Baltic Fleet, Warsaw arrested GRU agent in 2009

>Poland is cruising for a bruising. The USA will eat its own vomit. . . . The hostile intentions of the west, the US and Poland are so thick, they can be cut a knife. . . . So Poland is asking for trouble. Unfortunately, Poland is likely to find it, along with their American enablers.
— from the nice folks at Pravda, January 22, 2010

The USA is once again poking Russia in the ribs, rousing the Soviet Bear from its slumber along the Polish-Belarusian-Kaliningrad front.

On January 21 Novosti quoted a senior Russian Navy official as saying that the Kremlin will strengthen its Baltic Fleet in response to US plans to deploy Patriot missiles in Poland, which borders the Russian exclave Kaliningrad and Belarus, a “former” Soviet republic that is joined at the hip with Russia in the Union State. “In connection with the plans to install the Patriots on Polish territory in the next 5 to 7 years, there may be significant changes in the approach to define the tasks and the military potential of the Baltic Fleet,” the same source acknowledged.

The Russian Navy probably intends to increase and modernize the Baltic Fleet’s firepower and naval infantry deployment capabilities through the acquisition of French-built Mistral-class amphibious helicopter assault ships. One Mistral from the French Navy weighed anchor in St. Petersburg last November during a friendly port of call. Russia plans to buy one of the vessels from NATO member France, as well as secure the blueprints to build four more. Mistrals can carry 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters, four landing craft, 900 naval infantry troops, and up to 70 military vehicles, including as many as 40 tanks. With five Mistrals the Russian Navy could conceivably throw up to 5,000 marines at Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, or Poland if the Kremlin were so inclined to re-invade and re-occupy these “former” communist states.

“I can assure you,” Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, told a press conference during his last visit to Paris, “that if we purchase the armament, we will use it wherever deemed necessary.”

Upon receiving news of Moscow’s plans for a Baltic Fleet upgrade, the Polish Foreign Ministry declined to succumb to any fears of Russian aggression. A source in the Polish government told Reuters: “Let’s stay calm. Such strengthening, even if it becomes true, is no direct threat to Poland. The Russians have known about the Patriots for at least two years. So there is no reason to react to unofficial comments.”

The Russian Navy source quoted above was mistaken in his assumption that the timeframe for Patriot installation in Poland is five to seven years. In reality, the first Patriot air defense unit, consisting of eight missile launchers manned by 100 US soldiers, will be redeployed from Germany to a Polish military base in Morag, 35 miles south of Kaliningrad, by the end of March. Warsaw and Washington signed a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) last December laying out the conditions for the Patriots’ arrival. The Patriot (MIM-104) is a theater air-defense system designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft.

On January 20 Polish Defense Minister Klich denied that his country was sending a political or military message to its “former” communist overlord: “It did not have any significance—neither political nor strategic. The only reason was the good infrastructure. In Morag we could offer the best conditions for American soldiers and the best technical base for the equipment.”

Russia strongly opposed the Bush Administration’s plan to deploy 10 long-range, ground -based interceptor missiles in Poland. Moscow’s angry opposition to National Missile Defense (NMD) plans for Central Europe included a threat to deploy Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad. However, last September President Barack Hussein Obama shelved the NMD shield and Russia withdrew its Iskander threat, at least for the present.

Patriot anti-missile missiles intercept their ballistic counterpart during the terminal stage of the latter’s flight path, whereas the long-range NMD interceptors are designed to destroy ballistic missiles when the latter is at the midpoint of its trajectory. Clearly, long-range interceptors pose a more serious obstacle to a Russian preemptive strike against the West and the Kremlin knows this.

Riki Ellison, chairman and founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, doesn’t mince words about the obvious purpose behind the revised US-Polish pact. The Patriots are designed to thwart Russian aggression via Kaliningrad, not a hypothetical attack against Europe by Iran:

This decision can been seen as provocative to Russia, as the U.S. Patriot Air Defense Units to be deployed can only defend a very small area which will be composed of Polish military forces that directly oppose Russian military forces across the border in Kaliningrad. This defensive system manned by approximately 100 U.S. Army Soldiers, will have the capability to defend against the Russian Iskander tactical nuclear missiles, which the Russians have threatened to deploy around Kaliningrad, if not already in place, as well as defend against other Russian short- range missiles and aircraft.

Contrary to the administration’s decision, the President’s new missile defense plan and its sensitivity to Russia to withdraw long-range ballistic missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to defend Europe and the United States from Iran, this decision is directly providing Poland a capability with deployed U.S. troops to defend Polish military against Russia with no intention of the future threat from Iran to Europe.

Ellison suggests that the Iskanders may already be in place in Kaliningrad and, furthermore, observes that “This decision would also seem to be against the [Obama] Administration’s goodwill and intention to move forward with Russia on the START Follow-On Treaty to reduce strategic nuclear weapons and delivery platforms.”

Conveniently forgetting last fall’s saber rattling in the form of the Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2009, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov feigned shock at news of the Patriot deployment. Lavrov demurred: “I can’t understand the need to create the impression as if Poland is bracing itself against Russia.”

Communist organ Pravda was less diplomatic, declaring on January 22 that “Poland is cruising for a bruising” and that the “USA will eat its own vomit.” Editorialist Lisa Karpova can hardly contain her vitriol and reports that the Kremlin will resurrect its plans to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad: “Poland seems to be bound and determined to make itself a flashpoint for another world war, just like the last one. What Hitler failed to do during the Great Patriotic War, the US seems determined to make up for and reverse. The only thing Poland is accomplishing is to make itself the ground zero, primary first strike target in any conflict.” Comrade Karpova continues her rant:

Why is the US placing men and materials so close to the border of Russia? Throw away that reset button. It was all a sham and a farce. A match needs to be placed on everything to do with START, which won’t be worth the paper it gets written on. Absolutely everything in every realm with the US needs to start from scratch.

“The appearance of American soldiers in Russia’s vicinity will be a nail in a coffin in US-Russia relations,” said military analyst Pavel Felgengauer. Indeed it will be.

Meanwhile, the Russian daily Viedomosti has written that Russia is going to pursue its initial plan to install the Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad, the Russian land corridor near the Polish border. Moscow withdrew that plan when the US backed down from installing the anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Whatever the plans were for the Iskander missile system, they should be doubled now. The hostile intentions of the west, the US and Poland are so thick, they can be cut a knife.

So Poland is asking for trouble. Unfortunately, Poland is likely to find it, along with their American enablers.

That Russia is possibly preparing for a showdown with NATO over renegade communist fiefdom Poland should be considered in light of the Internal Security Agency’s (ABW) arrest of an alleged agent of Russian military intelligence (GRU) in March 2009. “The suspect,” reported the Polish media for the first time earlier this month, “headed a small business and lived in Poland for more than a decade [that is, at least since 1999], the daily [Dziennik Gazeta Prawna] reported. He was arrested after his actions became ‘intolerable’ and ‘harmful’ to Poland, an anonymous government source told the daily. . . . He was arrested by the anti-terrorism department of Poland’s Internal Security Agency.”

“It’s the first case since 1989 when a Russian spy was detected,” remarked an employee of the Chancellery of the President. The arresting officers received awards from Poland’s head of state, President Lech Kaczynski. Intriguingly, a few weeks after the alleged GRU agent was detained, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed General Valentin Korabelniko, who had been in charge of military intelligence for 12 years.

In a related story, relations between Poland and Belarus have remained unsettled since the Zapad 2009 drill, which took place near the Polish border and simulated a nuclear attack on the “former” Soviet vassal state. Last week, the Polish embassy in Minsk expressed its “concern” over the January 21 detention of 40 ethnic Polish activists organized under the banner of the Union of Poles in Belarus. The liberal Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza articulated its outrage: “Polish policy towards Belarus is being put to a hard test. As an answer to the EU’s gesture of friendship to Minsk which came about largely thanks to Warsaw’s initiative, President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime has carried out reprisals against Andżelika Bory.” The Union of Poles in Belarus features both an official and unofficial wing. Bory leads the outlawed wing.

During a subsequent telephone conversation with his Belarusian counterpart, former Soviet apparatchik Sergei Martynov, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski protested Minsk’s crackdown on Belarus’ Polish minority. Sikorski’s deputy Jan Borkowski told Polish Radio: “Such actions do not serve Poland’s relations with Belarus. Though minister Martynov created the impression this was not the intention of Minsk authorities, minister Sikorski pointed out it is hard to imagine the local police to undertake on its own such actions against the Poles on their way to Ivenec.” As the Soviet strategists prepare their military for a confrontation with NATO, expect more such provocations.

>Latin America File: Pinera wins Chile’s presidential run-off, calls Chavez “anti-democratic,” Chavez to billionaire: “Mind your own business"

>– Honduran Conflict Settled? Lobo to Be Inaugurated as President on January 27, Dominican Republic to Receive Zelaya in Exile

– Honduran Congress Amnesties Last Year’s “Coup Plotters” even as Supreme Court Puts Top Army Commanders on Trial

This past Sunday, after 20 years of center-left rule by the Concertacion coalition, Chileans elected their first conservative leader in more than 50 years, Harvard-educated billionaire Sebastian Pinera. Communist-backed Concertacion candidate Eduardo Frei, who is actually a Christian Democrat, conceded defeat after results from 60 percent of polling stations showed Pinera with 52 percent of the vote to Frei’s 48 percent. This weekend’s run-off vote follows December’s first round of voting.

Pinera, pictured above on January 18, ran on the National Renewal ticket, a center-right party belonging to the Coalition for Change, which also includes the Independent Democratic Union and Chile First. “Better times are coming for Chile. There is a great new phase on the way,” gushed Pinera on Sunday, adding: “After 20 years I think a change will be good for Chile. It’s like opening the windows of your home to let fresh air come in.”

Although Pinera has promised to boost Chile’s formerly supercharged economy–which Concertacion actually inherited from Augusto Pinochet–and implement a tough law-and-order program, he is not a true conservative in that he has pledged to maintain outgoing president Michelle Bachelet’s popular social policies. In 1973 then General Pinochet seized power in a controversial coup that ousted Soviet/Cuban-backed Marxist president Salvador Allende who, like Bachelet, was a Socialist Party cadre. Since then leftists worldwide have transformed Pinochet into their favorite “punching bag” and veritable “bête noire” of “US imperialism.”

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe offered cautious praise for Pinera’s victory, refuting descriptions of Chile’s president-elect as a “right-winger.” “I do not agree with the division of Latin America between left- and right-wing governments,” complained Uribe, whose country is surrounded by leftist regimes, adding: “It was valid in the past when ideas from the European left were brought over to fight Latin American dictatorships, but today it is a description that polarizes. Colombia Reports notes that Pinera has been described by political analysts as “Chile’s Berlusconi,” a reference to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Pinera is in fact a personal friend of Uribe and an outspoken critic of Venezuela’s communist dictator President Hugo Chavez.

For his part, Chavez’s response to Pinera’s stunning triumph was a typical case of leftist sour grapes. “The hemispheric rightwing is overexcited,” he mocked, chiding Pinera for accusing him of being “anti-democratic.” Chavez continued his rant:

He is a businessman; I think he is among the richest in Chile; and among the richest in the hemisphere. We respect that. But we cannot allow them to pick a fight with us. I expect that Mr. Piñera will not purport to turn Chile into another platform to attack Venezuela.

Pinera’s disagreements with the Venezuelan revolution are expected, considering that he is a wealthy businessman. The least we can ask for is respect for the Venezuelan people, as we respect the Chilean people. We do not get involved in Chileans’ matters, so they should mind their own business.

The Chilean Left, like Chavez, is not pleased with Pinera’s handy win. Forty years ago the Socialist Party of Chile and the Chilean Communist Party combined their forces under the Popular Unity banner to install Allende in the presidential palace. During the 2009-2010 election campaign Chile’s Socialist and Communist forces once again united under one banner, Concertación y Junto Podemos por Más Democracia, or “Concertacion and Together We Can Achieve More Democracy.” The Socialists are the main force behind Concertacion, while the Communists guide Junto Podemos. Noteworthy in this historic election was the admission of three Communist deputies into the Chilean Congress, the first time since 1973. The “three comrades” are party boss Guillermo Teillier, party general secretary Lautaro Carmona, and Hugo Gutierrez.

On January 16, 2010 Political Affairs, an organ of the Communist Party USA, interviewed Teillier, who did not hesitate to accuse Pinera of being “soft” on the crimes of the Pinochet regime and to label him as a “friend of US imperialism”:

And speaking of human rights, we want the repeal of the Amnesty law, because there is a risk of amnestying those who are guilty of crimes against humanity. One thing is sure: if Piñera, the candidate of the Right, would win, this would happen.

Piñera is an intimate friend of US imperialism. He has been in Colombia, and is in favor of U.S. military bases in Colombia.

Chairman Teillier also revealed the fact that the Communists not only actively supported the campaign of Concertacion candidate Eduard Frei, urging cadres to vote for the former president (1994-2000), but also supplied much of Frei’s policy platform:

So what we told leaders of the Eduardo Frei campaign is that they had to get closer to the people’s progressive and leftist feelings. So, he made a twelve-point proposal, adopting a big part of our platform. This is directed to that 26 percent of the electorate who did not vote for the Right but who did not want “business as usual.”

This is opening the way. We, as “Juntos podemos” and also as the Communist Party, have announced that we will vote for Eduardo Frei, and that we’re going to campaign based on those twelve points. Our role will be to demand the fulfillment of those twelve points.

The admirable electoral victory of Chile’s center-right, especially in the face of a concerted socialist-communist counter-thrust, reflects a small, but spreading rightward shift in Latin American politics. This shift includes last year’s Panamanian and Honduran elections, although center-right Porfirio Lobo’s victory in the latter country has been rejected by many of the region’s leftist regimes. The recent leftward trend in Latin American politics began in late 1998, when Chavez was elected president, as South and Central American voters rejected the US-backed, anti-communist military regimes of the Cold War and opted for “progressive” politicians who in some cases were previously gun-toting guerrillas.

Pictured here: Honduran President-Elect Porfirio Lobo on January 21.

For his part, Lobo, with the Obama White House’s blessing, will be inaugurated as Honduras’ next president on January 27. On Thursday he concluded a meeting in Santo Domingo with the Dominican president, Leonel Fernandez who, like Costa Rican counterpart Oscar Arias, has assumed the role of regional peacemaker. As a token of his commitment to “national reconciliation,” Lobo agreed that his incoming government would dismiss all charges of treason against deposed predecessor Manuel Zelaya, who is still holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, and permit him to seek exile in the Dominican Republic. The Organization of American States has promised to “establish contact” with the new Lobo administration.

In a related story, on January 15 the Honduran Congress passed an amnesty that protects interim President Roberto Micheletti and other members of the de facto government from prosecution. President-elect Lobo supports this decision, including its application to the military officers involved in Zelaya’s ouster. In a contrary move, however, on January 21 the Honduran Supreme Court, which actually ordered Zelaya’s arrest last June, initiated legal proceedings against the military’s high command, including armed forces chief of staff General Romero Vasquez. Honduras’ military brass is charged with exceeding the parameters of the arrest order by forcing Zelaya into exile and thereby trampling on Zelaya’s constitutional rights. Unimpressed, the former president has derided Vasquez’s appearance in court as a show trial.

In reality, though, the army commanders were only following the orders of the de facto civilian government, which decided Zelaya’s plans for a referendum on presidential term limits was a threat to the country’s national security. Thus, it seems that General Vasquez will take the heat for what was essentially a parliamentary coup within the then ruling Liberal Party. The humiliation of the Honduran military should silence any critics on the Left who describe last year’s upheaval in Tegucigalpa as a “military coup.”

>Latin America File: Ecuadorean troops, FARC clash; commission links Correa officials and guerrillas; US DHS report exposes Chavez-FARC-Al Qaeda nexus

>On January 19 Ecuadorean soldiers patrolling their country’s border with Colombia clashed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), killing three guerrilla fighters. “Our soldiers were able to defend themselves and the three casualties were on the part of the FARC,” Ecuador’s socialist president, Rafael Correa, said in a statement released by his press office. However, casting some sympathy toward the Marxist guerrillas, Correa–a slavish follower of Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez– added: “Our soldiers are much better equipped and are no longer cannon fodder for anyone. No one could be pleased with incidents resulting in death, no matter the identity of the victims.”

Monday’s clash took place in the Amazonian province of Sucumbios, where an Ecuadorean army patrol stumbled across a boat ferrying FARC irregulars across the Opuno River.

Pictured above: President Correa waves a flag during a rally to commemorate his third year in government, in Ambato, Ecuador, on January 16, 2010.

The FARC, reports Bogota’s El Tiempo newspaper, is currently executing a plan to retake six “strategic corridors” lost during the past five years of operations launched by the Colombian army. Re-establishing control over one of these corridors would allow the FARC to access to the border with Ecuador unhindered, El Tiempo noted. The information, which was obtained by Colombian military intelligence, was found on the computer of a guerrilla killed two weeks ago. The order to reclaim Colombian territory for the communist insurgency was actually issued by FARC’s top commander Alfonso Cano six months ago. Cano is the nom de guerre of Guillermo Leon Saenz.

Even as Ecuadorean troops clashed with the FARC, Colombian regular forces were on the same day battling the Marxist insurgents in a rural area south of Bogota. “Operations conducted by 13th Brigade troops in the boundaries between the rural area of the city of Cabrera and the town of 20 de Bogota, in the Tunal Bajo area, led to the killing of the No. 2 leader of the FARC’s 51st Front,” 13th Brigade commander General Juan Pablo Amaya related.

Last November Ecuador and Colombia restored low-level diplomatic relations after Correa severed ties with Bogota in March 2008, when Colombian security forces raided a clandestine FARC camp just inside Ecuadorean territory, killing 25 people, including civilians. It may be for reasons of diplomacy that three weeks ago Ecuador’s defense minister downplayed accusations that Colombia is plotting to destabilize its southern neighbor with paramilitaries, as alleged by the FARC. Javier Ponce, however, contended that “The FARC’s accusations are mostly aimed to cause a media controversy inside Colombia.” He added: “Talking about a plan to destabilize the Government of Ecuador would require more elements of analysis.”

The FARC’s contention that the Colombian government intends to “destabilize” Ecuador echoes similar accusations articulated by Chavez, who contends that both Colombia and the USA are presently carrying out acts of subversion in and acts of provocation against Venezuela.

The Ecuadorean government’s attempt to portray itself as committed to the defeat of narco-terrorism should be taken with some grain of salt. This past December a commission appointed by Correa himself conceded that several former and current officials in his regime have “ties” with the FARC. Specifically, the commission report alleges that Gustavo Larrea, Correa’s ex-interior minister, and Jose Ignacio Chauvin, briefly Larrea’s deputy in the interior ministry, and Maria Augusta Calle, a television journalist who is now a legislator for Correa’s Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance, harbor “direct links” to the FARC.

Prior to his death at the hands of Colombian security forces, FARC commander Raul Reyes alleged in an interview that Larrea and Chauvin, two prominent leftist who are also associated with Correa’s ruling party, were working for Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel. Larrea, Chauvin, and Calle deny the charges. If the commission’s findings are true, however, these Ecuadorean politicians offer concrete proof of the alliance between the Mexican drug cartels and their main supplier, the FARC.

The Venezuelan government’s attempt to portray itself as committed to the defeat of narco-terrorism should be taken with an even larger grain of salt, as we have blogged on many previous occasions. “Venezuela’s reputation as a key link on the global drugs trade,” reported Reuters on January 21, “was enhanced in November with the discovery of a burnt out Boeing 727 jet containing traces of cocaine on a patch of Mali’s desert frequented by militants with links to al Qaeda. The United Nations says the jet hopscotched around Latin America and stopped to pick up fuel in Venezuela.” The same story notes that Caracas, after evicting agents of the US Drug Enforcement Administration in 2005, has actually committed minimal resources to interdicting the cocaine traffic on its soil.

This isn’t surprising in view of Venezuela’s ever-accelerating communist revolution. The Chavezista regime is too busy transforming private enterprises like the French/ Colombian-owned chain of Hipermercado Exito stores into “socialist mega-stores” to pay attention to the “drug problem” within its borders.

This revelation follows another based on a 2008 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that explains how FARC uses retired or stolen commercial and executive jets to ferry multi-tons of cocaine from Venezuela across the Atlantic Ocean to remote landing strips in Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Mali. There, also according to Reuters, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb transports the drug across the Sahara Desert to Morocco, Algeria, and Libya, where operatives finally infiltrate the narcotic into the European Union. In short, Colombia’s Marxist insurgents, Chavez, and Al Qaeda are collaborating in reaping mega-profits from the international drug trade. So what did the higher-ups at the DHS do with this report’s strategic implications? That’s right, you got it: nothing.

Into this messy nexus of state-sponsored narco-terrorism in “America’s backyard” blunders US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has accepted an invitation from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) to attend “direct talks” on security and defense issues of mutual concern. Clinton responded to Unasur’s overture in a letter addressed to President Correa, who is the regional bloc’s president pro tempore. To put it mildly, especially in the case of Venezuela, South America’s leftist regimes are annoyed by Washington’s plan to deploy 800 counter-narcotics troops to Colombia. In the letter, reports Prensa Latina, Clinton expressed her hope that the meetings “may increase mutual understanding, as well as contribute to identify areas of potential cooperation.”

Uh, keep dreaming, Hillary. The Obama White House has never acknowledged the reality of Communist Bloc strategy in Latin America. On the other hand, perhaps President Barack Hussein Obama, Dmitry Medvedev’s “new comrade,” is in fact skillfully guiding the USA into the Red World Order. Either way, America loses.

>Latin America File: UN dispatches 3,500 troops to augment 9,000-member force in quake-ravaged Haiti; Chavez, Ortega accuse Washington of “invading”

>Since 2004 the United Nations has garrisoned nearly 7,200 troops and 1,900 police in politically tumultuous, French-speaking Haiti, which occupies the western one third of Hispaniola. The Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island, which is located to the east of Cuba. The commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), General Enza Peri, is a Brazilian national.

During the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12 at least 46 UN personnel died. This includes MINUSTAH operations chief Hédi Annabi and his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, who perished in the ruins of MINUSTAH headquarters in Port-au-Prince. Two days after the quake, the UN dispatched the former head of MINUSTAH, who is also current Assistant Secretary-General for the UN’s Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet, as the mission’s interim chief.

In a move that should surprise no student of the UN’s history, on January 19 the UN Security Council voted to throw 2,000 additional troops and 1,500 extra police at Haiti to expedite the delivery and distribution of food, water, and medicine. “I am … grateful to the Security Council for their swift action,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters, adding: “It was a clear signal that the world is with Haiti.”

The human misery resulting from this disaster is truly heart-breaking. The massive quake, which may have killed more than 200,000 people, ripped up roads, demolished the capital’s port facilities, leveled the presidential palace, and toppled the control tower at the country’s only international airport, hindering international efforts to introduce humanitarian aid. Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

In an interview with the Caracas-based regional television network, Telesur, Haiti’s center-left president Rene Preval expressed gratitude for the international aid flowing into his country, calling the response “quick, concrete and massive.” Incidentally, Telesur is funded by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, and other members of Latin America’s Moscow-backed Red Axis. Subservient Cuban ally Preval is operating his government from a police station near the airport.

For its part, the USA dispatched paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division to secure Port-au-Prince’s single-runway airport to facilitate the arrival of relief supplies. This contingent is part of an 11,000-member force that the Pentagon quickly deployed to Haiti. On Tuesday 20 Black Hawk helicopters landed in relay on the grounds of the ruined presidential palace (pictured above). There US troops in “full combat gear,” according to witnesses, set up a “forward base” with the possible intent of later distributing aid to the general population. Hoping for immediate handouts, quake survivors from a nearby camp rushed the palace gate to welcome the Americans. “We would not wish to see foreign military disembarking in our country but given the terrible situation we are in, their presence is necessary,” commented one witness, Moline Augustin.

In the midst of the renewed international interest in Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a former Catholic priest and devotee of liberation theology, has maneuvered himself into the media limelight once again. The twice-deposed president, living in exile in South Africa, has offered to lead Haiti’s disaster recovery efforts. Quirky, unabashed Marxist Aristide, who enjoyed former US President Bill Clinton’s patronage during the 1990s, was ousted in two military coups, one in 1991 and another in 2004, the latter leading to the current deployment of UN troops in his country.

Two of the three major center-left parties that dominate Haiti’s bicameral National Assembly—Front for Hope and Struggling People’s Organization—are spin-off organizations from Aristide’s Famni Lavalas, which has one deputy in that body as a result of the 2006 elections. The other important center-left party, Fusion of Haitian Social Democrats, supports President Preval’s Front for Hope, something Haitians are lacking these days.

The USA’s large role in Haiti relief effort does not sit well with the demagogues of the regional Red Axis, such as Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and his comrade Daniel Ortega. On Sunday Chavez, who appears to be preparing for his own invasion of neighboring Colombia, a US ally, accused Washington of occupying Haiti under the pretext of humanitarian assistance:

I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that’s what the United States should send. They are occupying Haiti undercover. On top of that, you don’t see them in the streets. Are they picking up bodies? … Are they looking for the injured? You don’t see them. I haven’t seen them. Where are they?

Big-talking commie thug Chavez promised to ship as much gasoline as Haiti needs for electricity generation and transportation.

Along the same lines, on Saturday Ortega, referring to the US-Colombian alliance, condemned Washington for taking advantage of Haiti’s plight to “occupy” another Latin American country:

What is happening in Haiti seriously concerns me as US troops have already taken control of the airport. It seems that the bases [in Colombia] are not sufficient. There is no logic that US troops landed in Haiti. Haiti seeks humanitarian aid, not troops. It would be madness we all began to send troops to Haiti. I hope they will withdraw troops occupying Haiti.

Last Thursday Ortega dispatched 31 military doctors to battered, impoverished Haiti to assist in humanitarian relief. Ironically, Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America, a fact that has forced the Sandinista leader to court aid for infrastructure development from oil-rich Red Venezuela, as well as Nicaragua’s Cold War-era benefactor, Russia.

>USSR2 File: “Ex”-red wins 1st round in Ukrainian presidential vote; recalling Putin’s support for Yanukovich in 2004, Kremlin cautiously returns envoy

>Even though Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is a former Soviet-era banker and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko a former Komsomol entrepreneur, “Moscow’s man in Kiev” is Viktor Yanukovich (pictured here on January 18). This past Sunday Yanukovich credibly won the first round of a presidential ballot. A former cadre of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and presently leader of the Party of Regions, Yanukovich also “won” the last presidential election in 2004, only to suffer defeat when Ukraine’s Supreme Court agreed that his victory was secured by fraud. At the time, he was prime minister, a post he re-assumed between 2006 and 2007.

“Today marks the end of Orange power,” Yanukovich gloated in televised remarks, referring to Yushchenko’s “pro”-Western victory five years ago. “There will be no room for [Yushchenko] in the second round. He has officially lost the faith of the people.” Last week Ukraine’s front-running presidential candidates traded accusations of plans to steal the election, with at least one threat of possible street confrontations. Tymoshenko, who along with Yushchenko, led the Orange forces in 2004, accused Yanukovich of plotting “large-scale fraud” using falsified absentee ballots and other methods.

Incumbent Yushchenko ran for re-election in this poll but came in a distant fifth. The former Soviet KGB Border Guard was the target of a well-publicized dioxin poisoning attempt that disfigured his face. This was apparently carried out by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and its Ukrainian counterpart, the State Security Service (SBU), itself the Ukrainian branch of the old Soviet KGB. “An illicitly transcribed telephone conversation,” reported the Eurasia Daily Monitor in January 2005, “between a Ukrainian informant and an FSB officer showed how the Russian authorities were fully aware of the dirty tricks being used by Russian political advisors working for Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.”

On September 27, 2009 President Yushchenko maintained in a Channel 1+1 interview that the conspirators are still hiding in Russia. The plotters include the former deputy chief of the SBU, Vladimir Satsyuk, whom Russian authorities refuse to extradite because Satsyuk holds both Russian and Ukrainian citizenship. Yushchenko contends that he was poisoned during a September 5, 2004 dinner at Satsyuk’s home, where then SBU chief Igor Smeshko was also in attendance. It would appear, therefore, that Yushchenko is a not-so-willing pawn in the Soviet deception strategy against the West.

Twenty years after the Cold War supposedly ended, Russia is still a haven for government-sponsored assassins. For example, as a State Duma deputy Andrei Lugovoi–who is suspected by British authorities of poisoning former colleague Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006– enjoys immunity from extradition. In Litvinenko’s murder polonium-210, not dioxin, was the KGB’s poison of choice.

In an intriguing side note, Yushchenko, Tymoshenko, and Yanukovich employed US consultants to provide a polished look to their campaigns. In the first case, Yushchenko, whose popularity has waned since the Orange Revolution, picked the brains of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s former campaign strategist Mark Penn, as well as the election gurus at PBN, a Washington-based consulting company that has a storefront in Kiev. During the 2008 Democratic Party primaries in the USA Clinton unsuccessfully ran against Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama. Fellow Orange “revolutionary” Tymoshenko has retained media consulting firm AKPD, which was founded by President Obama’s current chief of staff David Axelrod. Axelrod no longer works for AKPD.

For his part, “ex”-red Yanukovich retained Paul Manafort, a Washington political strategist who guided John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and whose partner Rick Davis was McCain’s campaign manager. Yanukovich took advantage of Manafort’s services to downplay his communist past and cozy friendship with the Kremlin. In summary, these alliances between cadres of the old Soviet system and US political hacks reveal the extent to which the Moscow Leninists have pulled the wool over the eyes of the West.

There is no doubt that Yanukovich will obediently bring Kiev back into Moscow’s orbit. On January 16 Megan K. Stack, a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, interviewed Yanukovich, who outlined his (Moscow-scripted) policy of embracing the European Union while rejecting NATO, which is dominated by the USA. Stack asks: “You have said that you would keep Ukraine out of NATO, and also that you believe integration into the EU is in Ukraine’s strategic interests. Why one and not the other?” Yanukovich responded at length:

Integration into the EU is connected with making the lives of people better: economics, the defense of human rights, the development of the country in the direction of democratic values. This is in the interest of the majority of people, that Ukrainians should enjoy European standards of living. People are also looking for the harmonization of the Ukrainian legal system, to have the same rights and freedoms as in Europe.

Joining NATO, from the point of view of Ukrainians, will politically destabilize us, especially taking into account the closeness of another [Russian-led] defense system on our borders. Ukrainian folk believe that Ukraine must preserve its neutral status, and must not join any military organization. This is proved by polls.

Meanwhile we believe that Ukraine has to build a partnership with NATO using the principles of those EU countries that are not members of NATO. We believe that Ukraine can and must take an active part in the creation of a European collective defense system. And also must support the initiatives of both Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Stack then asks: “There is a long-standing perception that your ties to Moscow are strong, and you’ve been a supporter of [Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin. How is your relationship with Russia now?” Yanukovich replied as follows: “I’ve always had a pragmatic, stable relationship with Russia, and it has stayed the same now. I really do think the relations between Ukraine and Russia must be friendly. This is what both the Russian and Ukrainian nations want.”

Finally, Stack queries: “Your main competition in this campaign has been Yulia Tymoshenko. What is your opinion of Tymoshenko, and what kind of president would she be?” Yanukovich does not hesitate to berate his opponents for letting congenial relations between Kiev and Moscow slide:

I think that for the last five years, the politics of Tymoshenko have been false. The politics of Tymoshenko and Yushchenko brought us economic and political instability in Ukraine, and made the international image of Ukraine suffer around the world. These politics made Ukraine blow up its obligations to the EU and also destabilized relations with Russia.

Meanwhile, over the weekend the Kremlin activated one of its rent-a-mobs to make its preference for the outcome of the Ukrainian election well known. On January 17, as Ukrainians trooped to polling stations, more than 100 cadres of Young Russia materialized outside the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow to agitate in support of ethnic Russians living in the not-so-former Soviet republic. Prior to its demonstration, Young Russia released a statement that denounced the Orange regime in Kiev:

On the day of Ukraine’s presidential elections, activists of the movement will demand that the future president recognize the rights of the Russian-speaking population in the territory of Ukraine and abandon Victor Yushchenko’s anti-Russian policy in order to build friendly relations with Russia and preserve the Russian language and culture in Ukraine.

A large number of ethnic Russians live in the Crimean Peninsula, where the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet is parked.

Finally, on Tuesday the Kremlin, embarrassed by its outspoken support for Yanukovich in 2004, broke its official silence on Ukraine’s latest presidential election. “I am sure that the new Ukrainian president will fully understand the need to develop relations and not make them hostage to their own, or someone else’s, political ambitions,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by Novosti as urging. To reward Ukrainians for voting for “Moscow’s man,” the Kremlin has announced that after a five-month falling out with Kiev it is sending its ambassador back to Ukraine. Medvedev stated: “I hope relations under the new president will be constructive and friendly.” In other words, Medvedev’s comments reveal that the Moscow Leninists are confident that Comrade Yanukovich will once again prostrate Ukraine before its Soviet masters.

Yanukovich will run against Tymoshenko in February’s presidential run-off poll, but his victory appears assured. In any case, both politicians have called for improved ties with Russia and the EU, Mikhail Gorbachev’s “new European Soviet.” Thus, we see that in the “former” Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic voters have a choice beween “Ex”-Communist Candidate A versus “Ex”-Communist Candidate B. Frankly, without being too cynical, there’s not too much difference between US and “post”-Soviet elections.

>Latin America File: Moscow to prop up ALBA regimes via new Russian-Venezuelan bank; Honduran Congress pulls country out of ALBA over Chavez’s protests

>– Sandinista Chief of Managua-Caracas Oil Consortium Charged with Embezzlement, Venezuelan Assumes Interim Position

– Nicaragua’s Marxist Dictator Extends Terms for Supporters as Opposition Leader Montealegre Calls for Ortega’s Impeachment

– Honduras’ National Front against the Coup D’Etat Vows to Disrupt Lobo Inauguration on January 27

Pictured above: Honduras’ center-right president-elect Porfirio Lobo Sosa.

As hinted by President Dmitry Medvedev during his November 2008 visit to Caracas, Russia intends to prop up the communist/leftist regimes of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) via a joint Russian-Venezuelan bank to be set up in early 2010 with an initial capitalization of US$4 billion.

“The bank will finance bilateral trade and economic projects,” Itar-Tass quoted Venezuelan Economy and Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez as saying. The bank will be headquartered in Moscow with a branch in Caracas per the agreement signed in June 2009. The new Russian-Venezuelan bank will finance a major energy project in the Junin-6 bloc of the Orinoco River belt, where a bilateral venture plans to produce 450,000 barrels of heavy and extra heavy crude daily.

Not so coincidentally, the new Russian-Venezuelan bank will be set up even as ALBA’s new virtual currency, the sucre, comes online for transactions between member states. All of this suggests that Kremlin credits can be moved secretly from one ALBA state to another. ALBA consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela and, until yesterday, Honduras. El Salvador’s guerrilla commander-turned vice president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, has expressed the determination of that country’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front government to join ALBA.

Shady dealings within the international institutions of ALBA have already surfaced, most lately in the management of Albanisa (ALBA de Nicaragua SA), a consortium consisting of Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, the majority owner, and Nicaragua’s state-run oil company Petróleos de Nicaragua (Petronic). In response to charges of embezzling 1.4 million cordobas from Albanisa, the organization’s director, José Francisco López Centeno, resigned. López, former chief of the secretary of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), then moved laterally into the management of a different state-run firm. He is a close ally of President Daniel Ortega, First Lady Rosario Murillo, and their son Rafael Ortega Murillo.

One of the likely successors of López at Albanisa, founded in 2007, is Major General Ramón Calderón Vindell, inspector general of the Nicaraguan National Army. However, Nicaragua’s Albanisa is now reportedly under the interim management of Venezuelan citizen Rafael Paniagua.

On the verge of Hugo Chavez’s latest visit to Managua this week, Nicaragua’s political opposition has complained repeatedly that Ortega is not accountable for the allocation of financial aid from Venezuela. Nicaragua’s past and present Marxist dictator continues to face challenges to his attempt to reconsolidate the FSLN dictatorship.

This past Saturday, in his first official act of the year Ortega, wearing the presidential sash, issued a decree to extend the terms of more than a dozen top judges, magistrates, and other key government officials. Unable to muster the votes needed in the National Assembly to appoint Sandinistas to key posts, Ortega ordered term extensions for the current magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Council, the Supreme Court, the Comptroller General’s Office, the Superintendent of Banks, and the Ombudsman’s Office.

In response, congressman Eduardo Montealegre, leader of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party, is calling for Ortega’s impeachment. “He cannot act like a supreme power and pass over the law,” complained Montealegre, who lost the 2006 presidential election to Ortega. “He wants a dictatorship in Nicaragua,” Montealegre told local television. The Nicaraguan Democratic Bloc (NDB), which Montealegre also leads, opines that Ortega must be removed from office and brought to justice for violating the Constitution. “According to the Constitution, President Ortega can be declared incapacitated to continue governing the country [now that he’s shown] he can’t even follow the most basic attribution of a chief of state, which is to comply with the Constitution and the laws,” the NDB proclaimed in a statement Sunday evening.

Ortega’s red chums–Chavez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa–have already managed to overturn constitutional bans against consecutive presidential terms. Moreover, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Bolivia’s Movement toward Socialism, and Ecuador’s Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance have numerical superiority in the congresses of these countries, creating veritable communist dictatorships.

Last year Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who is stilled holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, was deposed by his ruling Liberal Party for reportedly planning to establish a leftist dictatorship with the aid of forged referendum ballots printed in Venezuela. In November Hondurans resoundingly voted for the National Party’s presidential candidate Porfirio Lobo Sosa, who will assume office on January 27. Meanwhile, former Congress speaker Roberto Micheletti remains interim president. Latin America’s leftist regimes refuse to recognize either Micheletti or Lobo, an intransigence that will only harden in the face of the Honduran Congress’ resounding vote yesterday to withdraw the country from ALBA, barely two years after Zelaya led the country into the embrace of that bloc of socialist nations.

On Wednesday Chavez joined his puppet Zelaya in lamenting the end of Honduras’ subservience to the Havana-Caracas Axis. The National Front against the Coup D’etat, a coalition of Honduran leftists that backs Zelaya’s re-installation over the USA’s support for Lobo, vows to instigate “massive street demonstrations” and to disrupt Lobo’s inaugural ceremony. In February a Brazilian delegation intends to visit Honduras to ensure Zelaya’s personal safety after his presidential term formally expires.

It is likely that Russia’s involvement with ALBA institutions via Venezuela, Honduras’ withdrawal from ALBA, and this spring’s joint Nicaraguan-Venezuelan military exercise will be high on the agenda when Ortega and Chavez meet in Managua. Last summer the Nicaraguan capital served for many weeks as Zelaya’s base of operations. In light of Honduras’ flight from the Red Axis, the Nicaraguan-Venezuelan army drill in Central America will no doubt appear to the Hondurans as another intimidation tactic by Chavez and Co.

>Oceania File: Soviets establish "beachhead" on Nauru, send team of experts, US$50 million to tiny S. Pacific island, pledge airport upgrade

>The Soviets are desperate to secure international recognition for the independence of the two regions of Georgia that their military occupies, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Thus far, only Nicaragua and Venezuela, two slavish Latin American allies, have granted that recognition. Ironically, last month, Russia, the world’s largest country, secured additional international support from the world’s smallest island nation, the South Pacific state of Nauru. Needless to say, Nauru’s President Marcus Stephen, a former top-class weightlifter, did not cozy up to Moscow without a quid pro quo.

The South Pacific media reports on the Russian takeover of Nauru, an uplifted, phosphate-stripped coral formation, which is located northeast of the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, and only 40 kilometers south of the equator. Fijian journalist Alfred Sasako asks the following question: “The Russians are coming to rebuild Nauru. But could other islands follow Nauru’s way?” This is a geopolitically important question that Washington needs to answer sooner rather than later.

“Well, the good thing about Russia is that when I met their foreign minister [Sergei Lavrov], he seemed to have a perfect understanding of our nation’s needs and is willing to help,” Nauru’s foreign minister Kieren Keke told Sasako, refering to his own trip to Moscow. Keke reveals that Russia is very much up to speed on Nauru’s development needs:

The Russian minister knows where in the Pacific we are, the impact the global financial situation is having on our people and the ability of our government to provide essential services. He knows all that, quite unlike Washington where when you talk with Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for example, one has to show her where on the map one’s country is located in the Pacific. No, Washington does not have ears for small islands nations like Nauru. All I had to do was to provide the minister with a range of projects Nauru considers as priorities and as I said earlier, these were all to do with infrastructure.

Moscow has pledged to upgrade Nauru’s sole airport and renovate the island’s hospital and schools. “I am pleased to say that Russia has accepted all that,” Keke gushed. At 7,054 feet in length Nauru International Airport cannot accommodate Russia’s Tu-160 and Tu-95 nuclear bombers, which require about 10,000 feet of blacktop. Looking at the photo above, it is hard to envision stretching that runway another 3,000 feet to provide a haven for the Russian Air Force’s strategic bombers, unless, of course, the runway is extended into the sea atop a causeway of sorts.

Moscow will be sending a team of experts to Nauru this month. Keke explains: “They will do the physical inspection of all the facilities we have identified as priorities. Their work is to put the project details together so that work would follow almost immediately.” Nauru’s foreign minister then revealed that the two countries intend to implement some commercial ventures. “Yes,” Keke told journalist Sasako, “we did touch on potential areas of commercial undertaking. Fisheries is one. At this point in time, however, infrastructure is the priority and will be dealt with as such.”

Sasako then astutely notes that Russia is probably eyeing alliances with other Pacific island states, all of which are hungry for handouts: “Given what Nauru is about to receive from Russia, it is almost certain that some cash-strapped Pacific islands states, could be eyeing Nauru’s lead. If they did fall for Russia’s too tempting bait, those who are unwilling to give without strings attached, shouldn’t be complaining.”

According to the Moscow News, which is partly owned by Kremlin-run Novosti, US$70 billion in Russian money passed through Nauru financial institutions during the 1990s. No doubt, much of that money was “dirty” and generated by the business operations of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB/KGB). This could be one reason why Moscow wants to dig its heels into the island’s sand again.

>WW4 File: Chavez admits shipment of Russian tanks, combat helicopters to reinforce units in Barinas state, along Colombian border

>The Bulgarian media, citing Novosti, reports that Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez plans to deploy Russian-made tanks and helicopters along his country’s border with Colombia. Focus Information Agency describes South America’s move toward war:

Ties between Venezuela and Colombia deteriorated last August after Washington signed a deal with Bogota allowing U.S. forces to run anti-drug operations from Colombian bases. Chavez has criticized the deal and called for the Venezuelan people and army to prepare for a war.

“We are expecting the arrival of the first shipment of tanks [from Russia] which will be sent to Barracas [in the state of Barinas] to reinforce a motorized infantry brigade,” Chavez said in his weekly TV program, Alo Presidente, on Sunday.

“In addition, attack helicopters arriving from Russia will be deployed along the Colombian border,” he said.

Chavez secured a USD 2.2 billion loan from Russia during his visit to Moscow last September for the purchase of 92 T-72 main battle tanks, an undisclosed number of Smerch multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), and a variety of air defense systems, including the advanced S-300 complexes.

Between 2005 and 2007, Moscow and Caracas signed 12 contracts worth more than USD 4.4 billion to supply arms to Venezuela, including fighter jets, helicopters and Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The report concludes by noting, as we have done before, that the “Venezuelan military already has nearly 200 tanks, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, while Colombia has no tank units.”

Pictured above: Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro talks to the media after meeting John Caulfield, the charge d’affaires of the US embassy in Caracas, on January 11, 2010.

The Pentagon has responded to Chavez’s latest saber rattling, which includes accusations of intruding into Venezuelan airspace by US maritime reconnaissance aircraft, with scorn. Frank Mora, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, commented:

The more that President Chavez is confronted with domestic challenges, the more his rhetoric heats up. It is interesting that he made this unfounded accusation … at the same time he was announcing a major currency devaluation. It is, in my view, a diversion of attention away from a particularly domestic challenge — and trying to scapegoat the issue by once again accusing the United States government.

Meanwhile, Mora’s colleague, Arturo Valenzuela, who is Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, denies that Venezuela and Colombia are edging toward war. No surprise here. The US State Department has obviously adopted the leftist mantra: “Think peace.”

>WW4 File: Chavez accuses USA of twice sending P-3 Orion maritime reconnaissance plane into Venezuelan airspace in latest "imperialist provocation"

>On Friday Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez, accused the USA of twice sending a military plane into Venezuelan airspace, only to be intercepted by Venezuelan Air Force F-16 fighter jets. In response, Washington denied that its planes flew over the South American country. The US Defense Department released an email that stated: “We can confirm no U.S. military aircraft entered Venezuelan airspace today. As a matter of policy we do not fly over a nation’s airspace without prior consent or coordination.”

Flourishing a photo of the alleged intruder, which he described as a Lockheed P-3 Orion, Chavez asserted that the two overflights were the latest violation of Venezuelan airspace by the US military from its bases in the Netherlands Antilles and from neighboring Colombia. “They are provoking us … these are warplanes,” he ranted. Senior officials from the Obama White House related that “the US Southern Command was unaware of any incident involving U.S. government aircraft in Venezuelan airspace on Friday. “

Last month Chavez accused the USA of sending an unmanned aerial reconnaissance plane (or drone) over a Venezuelan military base near the Colombian border.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia’s Yota installs WiMAX mobile network in Nicaragua in record time, DARPA urges creation of "4G" soldier

>– Are the Russian Armed Forces Forward Deploying a Mobile Communication Network in Nicaragua?

– Kremlin’s Rostechnologii Purchased 25.1 Percent Stake in Yota’s Parent Company, Investors behind Yota’s Corporate Partner Telconet Unknown (FSB/KGB?)

– Chavez to Visit Ortega in Several Days, Possibly Discuss Combined Venezuelan-Nicaraguan Military Exercise to Take Place in May-June

We wrote most of the following post about three weeks ago. However, no additional, open-source developments in Russian-Nicaraguan relations have surfaced since then. In the interest of laying a foundation for understanding future interaction between Moscow and Managua, we post it now.

Pictured above: Tecore Networks’ Military Secured Rapid Deployment System (MilSec-RDS), a multi-technology voice and data communications platform built for the US Armed Forces. This 3G Radio Network Controller can be upgraded to a 4G LTE capability when the latter becomes available in 2011.

On December 15, 2009 PR Newswire reported that Russia’s mobile communication service developer and provider Yota conducted the test run of a 4th-generation (4G) Internet network in Managua. Yota’s Nicaragua project was rolled out in record time—three months since the beginning of construction. A press conference in the Nicaraguan capital was attended by representatives of Yota’s strategic business partners: WiMAX Forum, Intel, and Samsung Electronics.

“The record time of deployment of the network in Nicaragua shows that Yota has accumulated strong expertise and has created the proven network infrastructure based on Samsung equipment. All these issues allow Yota to deploy networks in any country in the world extremely fast,” remarked Dr. Song of Samsung.

“We see great potential in our project in Nicaragua. The demand for communications services in this country is enormous. According to recent studies, the country cries out for telephony and for at least 300,000 new Internet connections,” gushed Yegor Ivanov, vice president of business development at Yota. He added: “Aside from Nicaragua, Yota includes Latin America, the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States], as well as a series of countries in Asia and Africa, a total of 75 nations, into its global expansion plan.”

The sale of end-user Samsung-brand equipment for service subscribers will begin in the spring, while the commercial use of Nicaragua’s WiMAX network will begin in mid-2010. As you probably suspected by the news category chosen above, “Communist Bloc Military Updates,” 4G communication technology (comtech) has critical military application.

According to a 2003 article by Larry Williams, a principle investigator for the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Allen Kupetz, DARPA is “concertedly working” to provide US soldiers with 4G comtech. A handheld 4G device, for example, can provide tactical broadband voice, video, and data with a “minimal amount of fixed infrastructure” like cell towers, which are not practical in a battle situation. Specific capabilities for 21st-century battlefield communication, contend Williams and Kupetz, must include:

1. Deployability with network activation automatically beginning the moment troops exit a transport, helicopter, or ship. Conversely, the network will disappear as soon as soldiers leave the area.

2. Geo-location well beyond the limitations of the Global Positioning System.

3. Security from unauthorized use if a portable 4G device is captured by enemy forces.

4. Mesh networks allowing for route diversity, lowering the probability of detection by enemy forces.

5. Anti-jamming “robustness” based on “self-forming, self-healing” networks.

6. High-mobility connectivity so 4G soldiers can receive real-time streaming video from unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the Predator drone.

7. End-to-end IP so the 4G soldier, using instant messaging, can send photos of enemy positions back to the Pentagon for analysis.

“While commercial versions of the technology will require some fixed infrastructure mounted on streetlights, billboards, and buildings, the 4G battlefield will be entirely mobile,” Williams and Kupetz explain, “with satellites or other communications systems providing the backhaul.” In 2007 the US Army’s Communications Electronic Research and Development Engineering Center was still studying whether the US military can use mobile WiMAX equipment in a “military environment.”

In November 2008 Russia’s Yota network, in cooperation with HTC, which provided the end-user GSM/WiMAX handset, inaugurated the world’s first commercial WiMAX network in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Together these two cities contain a potential market of 20 million subscribers. Yota is the brand name of Scartel LLC which, in turn, is owned by WiMAX Holding Ltd. That November Rostechnologii, a non-profit state corporation that supports Russian high-tech enterprises, purchased a 25.1 percent stake in WiMAX Holding. The remaining equity in WiMAX Holding is held by Telconet Capital Limited Partnership, a private investment fund. In June 2009 The Economist reported: “The state involvement in Yota (via WiMAX Holding), combined with a lack of transparency related to Telconet investors, has fuelled speculation in some quarters that Yota is managing to pull strings in order to get an unfair head start.”

Interestingly, neither the Russian State Spectrum Committee nor the Russian military have given public approval to Yota or Comstar, Moscow’s number-one fixed broadband operator, to deploy mobile WiMAX technology at either 2.5 GHz or 2.3 GHz. Yota deployed its WiMAX network in Nicaragua across the 2.5-2.7 GHz bandwidth.

The entrance of Nicaragua, Central America’s most impoverished country, into the Cyber Age is commendable. However, the introduction of advanced ICT into a country controlled by the Sandinista National Liberation Front has troubling ramifications since, as pointed out above, this technology has acknowledged battlefield potential. Yota’s activities in Nicaragua should in fact be viewed in the light of current bilateral relations between Managua and Moscow, which were revived in 2007, after former guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega re-assumed the presidency after a nearly 17-year hiatus. In addition to modernizing the country’s energy infrastructure, renovating the military runway at Punta Huete, dredging a port at Monkey Point on the country’s Caribbean coast, and digging a canal across the Central American country, Russia has pledged to upgrade the armament and equipment of the Nicaraguan National Army, known as the Sandinista Popular Army until its supposed de-communization in 1995.

While faithful lackey Ortega is still waiting for the Kremlin to come through on these pledges, the Soviet strategists are already shipping a small amount of suspect cargo to their Central American satellite. In November 2008, for example, the Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko weighed anchor off Bluefields, on the country’s Caribbean coast, where it unloaded “medical equipment and computers” earmarked for the Nicaraguan army and police forces. Last October the Russians promised to send 23 metric tons of medical equipment to Nicaragua via two shipping containers. Of course, we would like to know if those containers contain anything in addition to “medical equipment.”

In a related development, a small contingent of Venezuelan troops, with an unspecified number of warships and warplanes, will arrive in Nicaragua in several months to carry out joint exercises with their Nicaraguan counterparts, beginning on May 1. Venezuela’s communist dictator also plans to visit Nicaragua in several days. At that time Hugo Chavez will probably confer with red counterpart Daniel Ortega on the subject of this combined military drill, which is scheduled to last two months. Both leaders have stated their interest in combining the militaries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas into an “anti-imperialist army.”

Will the armed forces of Nicaragua and Venezuela test the Central American country’s new WiMAX network for military communications? More pointedly, are the Russian Armed Forces “forward deploying” 4G comtech in Soviet satellite states like Nicaragua with the expectation of confronting the US military in this region at some point? We can only speculate at this time, but inquiring minds would like to know.

>End Times File: Ezekiel 38-39’s anti-Israel military coalition continues to coalesce: Syria, Turkey seek alliance with Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon

>On January 1, 2010 Syria’s Al-Thawra news source reported that Syria and Turkey, which enjoy a new strategic partnership, are also seeking an alliance with Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon: “Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal praised the excellent and strategic relations between Syria and Turkey, and said that the two countries were seeking to expand their strategic alliance to include Iran, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.” Ominously, Syria’s information minister alluded to Israel’s occupation and annexation of the Golan Heights and Damascus’ right to “liberate” that region, presumably with the help of the multinational coalition Syria and Turkey are seeking to build: “Bilal also said that a people whose land has been occupied may use any means to liberate it, because resistance is a sacred right recognized by all international charters.”

Although Jordan is technically at peace with Israel, all of these Muslim countries are to one degree or another opposed to Israel’s existence and all of them are aligned with Russia, most likely “Magog” in Ezekiel’s end-times prophecy. An alliance like this was unthinkable during the Cold War, when NATO member Turkey was reliably anti-Soviet. Last month we reported that Syria and Iran have formed a military pact that requires the one country to defend the other if involved in a war with Israel. From the vantage of Bible prophecy, God is setting the stage for the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th week, sometimes known as the seven-year tribulation period, and the rapture of the church.

>Latin America File: 202,000 Mexican troops on "heightened alert"; US DEA: Drug cartels may stage New Year’s counter-strike against Mexican government

>As freedom lovers in the USA monitor developments in Mexico’s narco-insurgency, they should keep in mind that that country’s drug cartels are being supplied with weapons by the Red Mafiya (FSB/KGB). The Soviet strategists are anxious to transform Mexico into a failed state that will in turn jeopardize the national security of the USA, their main target. All Headlines News reports that the US Drug Enforcement Administration has warned the Mexican government that the well-armed drug cartels are planning to launch a counter-offensive against federal troops and government targets.

The Mexican military went on a heightened alert yesterday after a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warning that drug cartels might use the New Year to stage a counter-strike against Mexican government targets.

The Mexican Secretariat of National Defense issued a statement saying 202,000 soldiers would stay on active duty during the alert in areas where drug cartels are active. Mexican government officials declined to give details of the military’s planned actions. The soldiers are stationed at 131 installations, many in the Michoacán and Chihuahua states.

The warning follows a wave of violence in northern Mexico in recent weeks, which included the kidnapping of news reporter Jose Luis Romero this week. Romero frequently reported on police activities in the Sinaloa state of Mexico, where drug cartels are notorious for their violence and inciting corruption among public officials.

In recent weeks, the violence has included use of high-powered rifles and grenades by gang members against local and federal government sites. Some of them were located in high security zones.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s armed wing is Los Negros, while the Gulf Cartel’s armed wing is Los Zetas. Since overt communist insurgencies in Mexico, such as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation and the Popular Revolutionary Army have little public support, the Moscow Leninists are instead utilizing their decades-old red cocaine plot against the West to subvert America ahead of Missile Day. Our updated Red World map contains information on the Communist Bloc’s narco-routes.