Monthly Archives: September 2010
>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russia, PRC, C. Asian states wrap up SCO’s Peace Mission 2010 war game with Medvedev-Hu conclave in NE China
September 28, 2010Posted by on
>On September 25 the militaries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) wrapped up two weeks of deployment and live-fire drills in Kazakhstan, the seventh such combined exercise since the SCO was founded in 2001 and the fourth under the deceptive label “Peace Mission.” The SCO consists of the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the former republics of Soviet Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Although a full member of the SCO, Uzbekistan did not participate in Peace Mission 2010.
The latest SCO war game involved 5,000 troops and 1,600 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 artillery and rocket launchers, and 50 warplanes and helicopters. Defense ministers from the participating countries attended a number of live-fire drills at the 1,600-square-kilometer Matybulak Range, in the southern part of Kazakhstan.
The deployment of 1,000 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Kazakhstan, in particular, offered the PLA General Staff a practical venue to establish field barracks in a foreign state, coordinate military operations with allied armies, and utilize PLA military hardware on foreign soil. For Peace Mission 2010, Red China dispatched H-6 tactical bombers, J-10 fighter jets (pictured above), early warning aircraft, aerial tankers, and T-99 main battle tanks. Ground exercises included house-to-house combat, while aerial exercises involved “cross-border” bombing runs and mid-air refueling. The J-10 is a multi-role combat plane comparable to the F-16, Mirage 2000, and Sukhoi Su-27. The PLAAF operates 80 of these aircraft.
“By improving the quality of service and logistics in various links,” noted Li Zhujun, deputy chief of exterior liaison for the Red Chinese command, “we have created conditions for the soldiers and officers to devote themselves to the exercises in high spirits and full of vitality.”
For its part, the Russian Armed Forces contributed 1,000 troops, along with tanks and MiG-29 fighter jets, with the intent of applying military reforms now under implementation by the Kremlin. Among other objectives, the Russian Defense Ministry intends to transform the Ground Forces “from the old Soviet model of a huge military mass into a modern, compact and mobile type of army.” The Russians intend to outlay US$600 billion on new military procurements between now and 2020. In the process, they are swallowing their nationalism as they seek more technologically advanced armament and delivery systems from NATO countries like France and even the USA.
On September 19 SCO military commanders organized a day of remembrance for Soviet troops killed during Nazi Germany’s invasion of Russia. Representatives from the drill forces and Kazakhstan’s aged war veterans laid wreaths at a military monument in Paniflov Park in the capital Almaty. Paniflov Park is named after a battalion of the 316th Infantry Division led by Soviet General Ivan Paniflov, which served with distinction during the defense of Moscow in 1941 and 1942. About 100 Red Chinese soldiers attended the wreath-laying ceremony.
Kang Chunyuan, deputy chief of the PLA’s Beijing Military Region Political Department, offered the following comments: “All countries participating in the [Peace Mission] drill made outstanding contributions to the anti-fascist war [Second World War] and enormous sacrifices. Now the gathering of the representatives of their armed forces in remembrance of the heroes and martyrs in the anti-fascist war is of great significance.”
Although billed as an operation against the “Three Evil Forces” of terrorism, separatism, and extremism, the Peace Mission drills are without question preparations for war against NATO since they are expressly designed to test and promote interoperability between the armed forces of SCO states. Although SCO representatives have for some years denied that their alliance is a “military league,” a Red Chinese military officer admitted to state-run Xinhua that Peace Mission 2010 is a “thorough implementation and a comprehensive test of the agreement on holding joint military exercises signed by members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).” Major General Zhu Jianye, legal adviser to the PLA command participating in the drill, continued:
The agreement provides institutional, standardized and practical guarantees for holding joint military exercises by the armed forces of all SCO members. The signing of the agreement is a milestone in the history of the SCO. According to the agreement, the purpose of the join military exercises is to combat the three “evil forces”—terrorism, separatism, and extremism, and maintain peace, security and stability in the region. Through the exercise, the Chinese military officers and soldiers have enhanced their awareness of observing foreign-related laws.
This past Sunday, Russia and Red China wrapped up their latest joint military exercise by holding a round of economic cooperation meetings in the PRC’s northeast port city Dalian. There Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a Soviet Komsomol graduate, met his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. Medvedev and Hu inked agreements to fight the “Three Evils” mentioned above, as well as commercial deals covering coal, nuclear energy, and banking. Hu praised the completion of a 1,000-kilometer oil pipeline, connecting oil fields in eastern Siberia and a major refinery in northeast China, which will come “online” in November. Under this arrangement, the PRC will lend US$25 billion to Russia, while Russia ships 300,000 barrels of oil per day to China for the next 20 years.
Last year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, showed up in Beijing, where he signed US$3 billion worth of commercial deals that included an agreement to build two natural gas pipelines between the two countries. The Sino-Russian strategic partnership, established in 2001, appears to reverse many years of distrust between Moscow and Beijing, but which astute observers of communist strategy understand was part of a temporary deception implemented by the Soviet and Chinese communists.
>Latin America File: Venezuelan revolution falters as Chavez’s socialist party loses absolute majority; Sandinistas rewrite constitution over holiday
September 27, 2010Posted by on
– Update: 11th Mayor Murdered This Year in Mexico: Gustavo Sanchez and Personal Secretary Stoned to Death in Michoacan State; Predecessor Resigned after Death Threats from Drug Cartels
– Mexico’s Border Town Mayors and Their Families Seek Refuge in USA
Pictured above: Newly elected lawmaker Julio Borges, from Venezuela’s centrist Justice First party, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Caracas, on September 27, 2010. Venezuelan opposition parties hope to oust President Hugo Chavez in the 2012 presidential election.
With the exception of countries like Colombia, Honduras, and Panama, which feature pro-business, pro-Washington governments, the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean continue to “tank” into a morass dominated by warmed-over communist recipes that were discredited 20 years ago.
This past Sunday Venezuelan voters handed a stinging rebuke to the country’s Marxist dictator, President Hugo Chavez, by reducing his party’s absolute majority in the National Assembly to a plurality. According to incomplete returns released today, Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which was organized in 2007 from the president’s older Fifth Republic Movement and allied leftist groups, won at least 94 of 165 seats. His foes on both the left and right of the political spectrum, such as Fatherland for All and Democratic Unity Table, scooped up 60 seats.
The Venezuelan opposition was in a buoyant mood following the election. “Clearly a majority of the country has expressed itself for change in the National Assembly,” trumpeted Ramon Guillermo Avelado, president of the opposition coalition. In his interview with Venevision TV, he added: “That is a win for all Venezuelans, not just for those who voted for our candidates.” Victorious opposition candidate Maria Corina Machado declared: “Here it is very clear: Venezuela said no to Cuban-style communism. Venezuela said yes to the path of democracy. We now have the legitimacy of the citizen vote. We are the representatives of the people.”
The Chavezista regime downplayed the PSUV’s failure to secure a two-thirds majority. On his Twitter account, Chavez, who has been president since 1999, stoutly remarked: “The vote is a solid victory, sufficient to continue deepening Bolivarian and democratic socialism.” Aristobulo Isturiz, who coordinated the PSUV’s election campaign and won a seat in the National Assembly, confided: “We had good results. However, two-thirds permits structural changes with the least resistance possible, with the least confrontation.”
In view of Chavez’s strategic partnership with Russia, Red China, and Communist Cuba, the presence of up to 60,000 Cuban agents on Venezuelan soil, the determination with which Chavez has persecuted opponents, and the speed with which his regime has nationalized Venezuela’s industries and natural resources, it is very unlikely that the PSUV leadership will reverse Venezuela’s communist revolution. Instead, as Chavez presses onward, we can expect to see a more heavy-handed response to dissent as Chavez unleashes his instruments of repression, such as the secret police, known since 2009 as the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, where the Sandinista National Liberation Front is once again openly ruling, President Daniel Ortega’s toadies have been scurrying about rewriting the country’s constitution to facilitate the re-consolidation of Ortega’s Cold War-era dictatorship. Several weeks ago Ortega decreed a public holiday that prompted the politically deadlocked National Assembly to declare a recess. While opposition deputies vacationed, top Sandinista legislator Rene Nunez ordered the reprinting of the Nicaraguan Constitution, which was promulgated in 1995, with a forgotten article that was drafted in the late 1980s, during the first Sandinista regime.
According to “resurrected” second paragraph of Law 201, Supreme Court judges, electoral magistrates, and other public officials can remain in office beyond their term limits until new officials are appointed. Ortega and his henchentities, however, conveniently overlooked the fact that Law 201 was a temporary provision in the 1987 Constitution and expired more than 20 years ago. Law 201 was omitted from the 1995 constitutional rewrite.
Sandinista deputy Edwin Castro pontificated: “The people have to understand clearly that laws that are not reformed or overturned are still in effect.” Castro assured Nicaraguans that Law 201 will ensure “government stability” and “prevent anarchy” ahead of next year’s election. Billboards announcing “Daniel 2011” have already popped up throughout the country. Supreme Court judge Rafael Solis, who refused to turn in his gavel last April, gloated that the “new” constitution is all the “proof” he needs to remain on the bench, along with other Sandinista appointees.
Upon reconvening the assembly on September 20, Nicaragua’s opposition was quick to cry foul as they inspected the “new” constitution. Carlos Tunnerman, a lawyer in the employ of Movement for Nicaragua, complained: “The Sandinistas’ argument is absolutely absurd. Ortega and those around him are desperate to perpetuate their power.” Felix Maradiaga, a political science professor at Universidad Americana who was formerly senior advisor to the Ministry of Defense when the Constitutionalist Liberal Party was in power, called a spade a spade: “This eccentric and arbitrary decision by President Ortega is a demolition blow to the rule of law and a step towards a totally lawless government. With this decision, Ortega has turned back the clock to a time before the social contract.”
Alejandro Serrano, who was president of the Supreme Court during the first FSLN regime, expressed his disgust with his former comrades: “The Sandinistas have no legal arguments. This government is no longer legal or legitimate.”
Further north, in war-torn Mexico, on September 23 cartel gunmen assassinated their 10th mayor this year and their fifth in six weeks. Prisciliano Rodriguez Salinas, 53, mayor of the town of Doctor Gonzalez near the large city of Monterrey, was gunned down, along with another municipal official. The attack took place at 9:30 pm on Rodriguez’s ranch. Mexican President Felipe Calderon condemned the assassination, as he has others in recent weeks.
Narcistas have murdered 10 mayors in 2010 in incidents related to organized crime, in addition to Rodolfo Cantu, who was favored to win the gubernatorial election in Tamaulipas this past July. A total of 15 mayors have been rubbed out since Calderon declared war on the drug cartels in December 2006. This tally is part of the larger body count of 28,000 narco-operatives, soldiers, police, and civilians who have perished in Mexico’s destabilizing drug war.
The fact that the drug cartels have targeted municipal officials for execution has frightened a number of mayors living in the border states of Tamaulipas, Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon to seek refuge in the USA. Some of these Mexican officials and their families have taken up permanent residence north of the border, while others divide their time between the USA and their homeland.
Many of Mexico’s northern border cities boast only between two to five patrol cars for an average of 30 police officers. In these locations Mexican law enforcement also has few firearms to take on cartel gunmen, many of whom pack fully automatic weapons and RPGs. In a previous post, we cited the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists as reporting that the government of the large border city of Reynosa is almost totally under the control of the Mexican Mafia.
>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Moscow, Havana finalize plans to integrate Cuba into Russian Space Forces’ satellite-based Glonass navigation system
September 21, 2010Posted by on
– Cuba: Soviet Base for Electronic Warfare in the Western Hemisphere, Island Boasts Second Largest Number of SIGINT Facilities in World–After USA
Following the Soviet communists’ long-range plan for global domination, the Putinist regime is closing ranks with its three most reliable allies in Latin America: Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Individually or even together, of course, the Havana-Caracas-Managua troika poses no threat to the USA. However, since Russia, or Red China for that matter, could conceivably use Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as platforms to launch military attacks against North America, relations between the two communist superpowers and their Latin American client states should be monitored closely.
The Soviet Union did not hesitate to use Cuba as a platform to stage a potential ballistic missile attack against the USA during the early 1960s. The Soviets did not hesitate to drop East Bloc “advisors” and billions of dollars of arms into Nicaragua during the first Sandinista dictatorship in the 1980s. Since the KGB-managed demise of the Soviet Union, the Russians have not hesitated to offload four billion dollars worth of tanks, missiles, fighter jets, combat helicopters, and diesel submarines into Venezuela since communist paratrooper Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999. The Moscow-Caracas Axis includes the now-completed construction of two plants in Venezuela for the manufacture of Kalashnikov assault rifles and their ammunition.
Grenada is no longer a tool for the Soviet strategists, thanks to the US-led invasion in 1983, but its current prime minister has snuggled up to Cuba. Tillman Thomas has also renamed the island’s main airport after deceased Marxist dictator Maurice Bishop. Some infrastructure investment from Red China and Venezuela, furthermore, is taking place on the island.
At this blog we have repeatedly made reference to the on-site control that hundreds of Cuban “advisors” exercise in the Venezuelan military, security, and intelligence services, as well as Russia’s stated interest in the recently refurbished, Soviet-built, strategic bomber-capable runway in Punta Huete, Nicaragua. In the last two years Russia and Cuba’s top generals have paid official visits to the other’s country. For his part, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega often boasts about the military and police’s loyalty to the socialist principles of the Sandinista Revolution.
Under Putin and Medvedev, Russia has promised to re-equip the Soviet-vintage militaries of Cuba and Nicaragua, Russia’s air defense commander has inspected and promised to upgrade Cuban air defenses, Russia has pledged to train Cuban soldiers and Nicaraguan police, the Russian Air Force has floated the idea of re-fueling its bombers in Cuba and Venezuela, and the Russian Navy has made friendly ports of call in Cuba and Nicaragua, not to mention carried out a joint exercise with its Venezuelan counterpart in late 2008. Of course, Cuba and Nicaragua, unlike Venezuela, are strapped for cash and Ortega is employing every dirty trick in the communist playbook to legitimize next year’s re-election bid. Thus, we have yet to see Russian-built armament once again pour into Cuba and Central America.
During the Cold War and since Cuba has supplied the Soviet Union and Russia with signals intelligence (SIGINT) collected from North American communications, both civilian and military. According to Manuel Cerejo, who wrote an article “Cuba and Information Warfare” in the early 2000s, “Cuba probably now has more facilities for intercepting foreign satellite communications than any other country in the world, except the United States.” SIGINT bases are known to exist at Bejucal, Wajay, Santiago de Cuba, and Paseo.
Most of these systems were inherited from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. However, Russia maintained a SIGINT base at Lourdes until January 2002. Then President Vladimir Putin announced the decision to withdraw the Russian personnel staffing the facility barely a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Not so coincidentally, Putin visited Havana in 2000, the first time a Russian leader carried out official business in Cuba since the “demise” of Soviet communism nine years before. In early 1999 the People’s Republic of China opened SIGINT bases in Bejucal and Santiago de Cuba. The former specializes in intercepting US telephone communications and computer data traffic, while the latter specializes in intercepting US military satellite communications.
Using a jamming system purchased from Russian company Aviaconversia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba (FAR) has also developed limited capabilities for disrupting US satellite communication and the US military’s satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS), which is essential for missile targeting and acquisition. The FAR established a Counter-Electronic Warfare Department in 1992. Using SIGINT facilities based at Lourdes and the Cuban embassy in Baghdad, the Cuban military command carefully assessed the US Armed Forces’ performance in Iraq in 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, and ten years later in Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cerejo contends that “Cuba is home to the most virulent computer hackers in the world,” many of whom are dedicated to destroying NATO computer networks. In 1997 the FAR’s Central Military Commission set up an elite, 100-member corps tasked with devising “ways to planting disabling computer viruses into American and other Western command and control defense systems.” In 2000 the Cuban brass set up a strategic information warfare (IW) unit, dubbed Net Force by US military analysts, designed to “wage combat through computer networks to manipulate enemy information systems spanning spare parts deliveries to fire control and guidance systems.” Cuban IW units, continues Cerejo:
have reportedly developed “detailed procedures,” for Internet warfare, including software for network scanning, obtaining passwords and breaking codes, and stealing data; information-paralyzing software, information-blocking software, and information-deception software; and software for affecting counter-measures. These procedures have been tested in recent field exercises. Cuban radio spectrum management officials have declared that Cuba has capabilities of intercepting satellite up-link signals.
In summary, when the Soviet strategists decide that the time is ripe to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the USA, they will without question rely heavily on electronic data gathered by SIGINT bases in Cuba. Mohammed Atta’s secret meeting with a high-level Cuban defense official in Miami and the not-so-coincidental presence of Russian strategic bombers over the Arctic Ocean during the 911 skyjackings suggest that this scenario has already been tested.
The publicized integration of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua into the Russian military’s satellite-based Glonass navigation system, the counterpart to the US Armed Forces’ GPS, reveals that the Communist Bloc is very much alive and well. Both Glonass and GPS enable users to plot their own or enemy positions and targets, in the case of military users, within a few meters. The most recent comments from the Kremlin concern Havana’s access to Glonass. On September 15, Mikhail Kamynin, Russia’s ambassador to Cuba, acknowledged: “Our plans include a detailed work on connecting Cuba to the Glonass system.”
The Soviet Defense Ministry originally developed Glonass in the 1980s for missile targeting and acquisition. Glonass development was suspended in 1991, when the Soviet Union “collapsed,” but was revived in 2001. The Russian military presently uses Glonass chips in smart weapons and the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which was designed and manufactured in concert with strategic partner India. The BrahMos has a range of 180 miles and a maximum speed of Mach 2.8, which is three times faster than the US Tomahawk. This cruise missile can deliver a 660 pound conventional warhead and engage targets from an altitude as low as 30 feet.
On September 2 a Proton-M rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying three more Glonass satellites into orbit (pictured above). There they joined 23 others, although two are non-operational. The Russian Space Forces, a branch of the Russian Armed Forces, operates the satellites and requires 24 functioning satellites to provide worldwide navigation service. Between now and the end of 2010 the Russian Space Forces will launch two more Proton-M rockets, placing six more Glonass satellites into orbit, but the network is already fully operational.
The fact that the Russian military is anxious to include the Havana-Caracas-Managua Axis in its Glonass network is significant in the light of a future confrontation with the USA. The fact that last year Kremlin front company Yota brought wireless Internet service to neo-Sandinista Nicaragua in a rapid three-month installation project is not insignificant too. Wireless Internet has important C3 applications at the tactical/battlefield level. The fact that the People’s Republic of China, Russia’s main ally, is openly promoting military cooperation with insurgency-wracked Mexico should be examined accordingly.
For 20 years Western governments have mistakenly believed that communism is no longer a threat. Hence, strategic moves in the Western Hemisphere by Russia and Red China are no longer perceived as dangerous to America’s survival.
>Latin America File: Russian, PLA troops march through Mexico City as country turns 200, faces “failed state” stigma; army kills 19 cartel gunmen
September 16, 2010Posted by on
– Mexico Arrests Second Druglord from Beltran Levya Cartel, Sergio “El Grande” Villareal
– Maras Shut Down Public Transit in El Salvador, FMLN Regime Deploys Troops to Protect Commuters
Pictured above: Russian honor guard participates in Mexico’s bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City, on September 16, 2010.
Today a massive military parade, including foreign honor guards, concluded celebrations marking Mexico’s 200th anniversary as an independent country. Six hundred troops from 17 countries, including units from the USA, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, Spain, and France, joined their Mexican counterparts in a march-past in Mexico City. In a speech given near the capital’s Angel of Independence monument, President Felipe Calderon made reference to the drug war that had taken the lives of more than 28,000 people since 2006. “Future Mexicans need to know that the bicentenary generation took on, with integrity, the challenge of being a society based on legality and order,” he declared.
Unprecedented security measures in the capital, including rooftop snipers, apparently deterred the narcistas from putting in an appearance. The partying in Mexico City, however, did not stop the army from clashing with cartel gunmen at an illegal roadblock near Monterrey on Wednesday. Nineteen narcistas died as a result of the seven-hour gun battle with troops. An army official told the AFP news agency that the people manning the roadblock had been wearing uniforms, a standard diversionary ploy used by Mexico’s narco-guerrillas.
Pictured here: People’s Liberation Army honor guard participates in Mexico’s bicentennial celebrations in Mexico City on September 16. The PLA’s symbolic presence in Mexico is evidence of the expanding strategic partnership between the two countries and follows the visit of Red China’s defense minister to Mexico, as well as Colombia and Brazil, two weeks ago.
Some communities cancelled their bicentenary bash after criminal mafias threatened to disrupt them. This was the case in the particularly violent Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. There the traditional independence ceremony took place behind closed doors. On September 9, 25 people perished in drug-related killings in Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest single day of violence not only for that city, but also for all of Mexico. Incidentally, Ciudad Juarez lost 75,000 manufacturing jobs in 2009, the result of an exodus of panic-stricken citizens fleeing vindictive drug operatives.
Last weekend, several noteworthy developments in Mexico’s drug war occurred. On Saturday, September 11, US Border Patrol agents at the Mission, Texas, crossing exchanged fire with cartel gunmen across the border. The shootout took place as the Border Patrol seized a shipment of marijuana. “Several Border Patrol Agents returned fire after being fired upon multiple times from the Mexican side,” the Customs and Border Protection Agency related. No Border Patrol agent was injured. Cross-border shootouts, however, are not unusual.
The previous day, 85 inmates, mainly cartel members, escaped from a prison in Reynosa, a large border city in northeast Mexico. The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, as we previously reported, alleges that Reynosa’s government is under the almost total control of criminal mafias. In yet another example of pervasive official corruption in Mexico, police arrested more than 40 prison guards and staff who were on duty when the inmates escaped. Two prison guards were missing. The Reynosa jailbreak follows a similar scandal that occurred in another prison, in the state of Durango, in July. In this case, prison officials allowed convicts out of their facility to carry out revenge attacks before returning to their cells for the night.
In spite of the daily menu of bloodshed served by the narcistas, the Mexican government’s counter-insurgency efforts have paid off somewhat. This year police arrested two druglords, Edgar “The Barbie” Valdez, and Sergio “El Grande” Villareal. Both men were top lieutenants in the Beltran Levya cartel, the head of which, Arturo Beltran Levya, was shot dead by the Mexican military last December. Valdez’s arrest took place several weeks ago. Over the weekend, however, Mexican marines swooped down on Villareal in the city of Puebla, east of Mexico City. “El Grande” was arrested without incident after a well-planned intelligence operation.
Mexico’s narco-insurgency has engulfed other countries along the drug shipment corridors stretching between Colombia, the source of most cocaine in the Western Hemisphere, and the US-Mexican border. Earlier this month, 18 factory workers in Honduras were gunned down in the midst of a turf war between two criminal gangs with an international presence, Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
Last week, the same gangs demonstrated their formidable power over their homeland, El Salvador, by ordering a three-day public transportation strike that prompted leftist President Mauricio Funes to deploy thousands of troops to protect bus drivers and commuters. The Maras were protesting a new law, enacted by the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), that would criminalize gang membership. The anti-gang law was introduced in July after Maras torched a bus, killing 17 people. Ironically, Mara Salvatrucha traces its origin in part to FMLNistas who immigrated to the USA after the Salvadoran Civil War.
Incidentally, although the FMLN portrays Funes as a “moderate,” the party’s Marxist leaders are still closely aligned with Communist Cuba, to wit Funes’ pending visit to Havana this October.
>Latin America File: Sandinistas expel OAS rep. ahead of hotly contested Ortega bid for re-election; Kremlin’s Russia Today interviews “Comandante”
September 14, 2010Posted by on
>The neo-Sandinista regime in Managua continues to refortify its dictatorship, first established in 1979, when the Soviet/Cuban-backed revolutionaries overthrew the Somoza dynasty, and put “on hold” in early 1990, when President Daniel Ortega lost his post in a democratic election. Pictured above: A man walks past a painting of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, on August 7, 2010.
On September 10 Denis Moncada, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Organization of American States, sent a letter to the OAS secretary general, demanding the “immediate removal” of Pedro Vuskovic, the organization’s representative in the Central American country. Several hours before the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) demanded his ouster, Vuskovic agreed to meet with the Italian-Nicaraguan Catholic missionary, Alberto Boschi, a harsh critic of Ortega, who re-assumed the presidency in January 2007. Boschi has attempted to make his allegations of political persecution in neo-Sandinista Nicaragua known to the OAS. In retaliation, Managua stripped Boschi of his Nicaraguan citizenship last June, accusing him of “repeated political meddling.”
Domestic and international opponents of the Sandinistas believe Vuskovic’s ouster represents the “increasing intolerance and anti-democratic tendencies of the Ortega administration.” This, of course, was well known in the 1980s, when Soviet, East German, Bulgarian, and Cuban “advisors” roamed freely about Managua. Ortega’s critics also fear that his unwillingness to further discuss the incident is a “ploy” to prevent the OAS from acting as on-the-ground observers in next year’s presidential election. Although the Nicaraguan constitution was amended in 1995 to prevent a repeat of the Ortega dictatorship, last year the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, which is stacked with Sandinistas, ruled that presidential term limits are “invalid.” Ortega is expected to seek re-election in 2011.
Die-hard communist Ortega’s animosity toward the “North American empire” (USA) has not changed in 20 years. Last month Kremlin-run Russia Today published an exclusive interview with this long-time KGB asset. “Comandante,” as Russia Today sympathetically addressed Ortega, used the platform to lambaste the “US forces of reaction” (fascists) that have allegedly subverted President Barack Hussein Obama’s policy of “mutual respect” for other countries in the Western Hemisphere. Fretting over Washington’s supposed role behind last year’s military-backed parliamentary coup in Honduras, Ortega resorted to Cold War-era jargon to reject US influence in Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean:
In Trinidad and Tobago [at the OAS summit], President Obama said he wanted our relations to be based on mutual respect, and so on. But how can anyone explain US involvement in the coup in Honduras just a few months later? And how can we explain the fact that the US was fighting to recognize the Honduran government? The only thing we see is that the US hasn’t change in its essence. The world is changing, the US isn’t. This isn’t a problem just for Latin America, but rather for the entire world. This country has military and economic power, and at the same time, it’s not changing its expansionary and imperialistic policy.
Ortega then assesses the ability of the USA to instigate coups against “progressive” (socialist) governments in the Western Hemisphere, including the FSLN, which he leads:
At present, they don’t have any means for organizing a coup in Nicaragua, for instance. If they had, they would’ve tried doing it. But they don’t have the tools for it; they cannot rely on the army, or the police [both of which, in fact, are controlled by the FLSN]; they don’t have the military vehicle to provoke a coup. Otherwise, I’m convinced they would’ve tried doing it. They cannot start a war against Venezuela, or against Bolivia, or Ecuador, or Nicaragua. They do have the means within the US, but the situation in Latin America wouldn’t let it happen, even though the US always keeps it in their plans.
Ortega champions regional integration as a means by which to deter US “meddling” in Latin America’s new leftist regimes (Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador):
It is necessary to strengthen unity and mutual integration of Latin American countries. . . . I think the main thing US policy did was to divide us, to rule us. If we are really integrated and united, the partner will not be Nicaragua, nor Venezuela, nor Cuba, nor Bolivia, nor Ecuador; the partner will be Latin America and the Caribbean countries. Such a partner will be more authoritative and will have the opportunity to look for ways to reach an agreement respecting each other and feeling equal.
Ortega then placed his support for the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, within the context of the Sandinistas’ support for Puerto Rican independence, the annexation of the Falkland Islands by Argentina, and the re-absorption of Guantanamo Bay into Cuba. “Many interpreted Nicaragua’s position as an expression of solidarity with Russia. What can you say about that?” coaxes Russia Today. Ortega responds:
Yes, it’s necessary to take into account that Nicaragua and Russia had developed their relations long before the events in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Historically, we used to have very warm relations with the former Soviet Union, and those relations developed intensively between 1979 and 1990. . . . We are restoring our historical relations with the Russian people in new conditions.
In addition to mentioning Russia and Venezuela’s interest in building a canal across Nicaragua, Ortega enthused about the revitalized partnership between Managua and Moscow: “I feel that relations with Russia are progressing in all directions. Our visit to Moscow [in December 2008] was very important. All the treaties that we signed were also important, just as the format of developing cooperation between Russia and Nicaragua was.”
As evidence of his commitment to regional integration, President Ortega will host the 17th forum of the narco-communist-terrorist Sao Paulo Forum in 2011, which is also the 50th anniversary of the founding of the FSLN and, as reported above, an election year in Nicaragua. With the blessings of the Argentine foreign minister, the 16th forum of the FSP converged in Buenos Aires in August. There Latin America and the Caribbean’s communists once again condemned the coup that ousted President Manual Zelaya, a slavish ally of Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, and reiterated its opposition to his US-backed successor, Porfirio Lobo.
As evidence of Ortega’s slavish devotion to the Moscow Leninists, Nicaragua’s Sandinista-controlled military has modernized the Soviet-built runway at Punta Huete, in expectation, it appears, of Russian strategic bombers that never arrived in the 1980s. Over the last four years high-level networking has occurred between Nicaraguan and Russian political and military officials, including an expression of interest from Moscow in assisting in Punta Huete’s renovation. Incidentally, two supersonic Tu-160 bombers touched down in Venezuela on September 10, 2008 in a post-cold War “first,” suggesting that the Russian Air Force’s next provocative appearance may take place in Nicaragua.
The fact that the Russians dispatched their largest combat aircraft to South America on the eve of 911’s seventh anniversary was not lost on your resident blogger. Vladimir Putin’s idol, Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet Cheka, was born on this date in 1877.
Joint Russian-Nicaraguan military exercises were also announced this past February, but nothing concrete has materialized to date. In late 2009 joint Nicaraguan-Venezuelan maneuvers were announced for May and June of this year, but these also failed to materialize. It is very likely that both neo-Soviet Russia and Communist Venezuela are waiting for Ortega to re-consolidate his hold on Nicaragua before (re)positioning military assets in Central America.
>Grey Terror File: Georgia sheriffs arrest 2 Russians, 1 Kazakh outside Georgia power plant, charge men with possessing tools for committing break-in
September 13, 2010Posted by on
– Flashback: Maryland Police Detain Russian Diplomat after Man Spotted Photographing Waterfront LNG Terminal in August 2004
It has been a few years since we last posted in the Grey Terror File. The term originates from GRU defector Viktor Suvorov’s 1987 expose, Spetsnaz: The History behind the Soviet SAS. In this book this former officer of Soviet/Russian military intelligence envisions the Third World War beginning when a covert Spetsnaz unit targets the White House with an unmanned, bomb-laden aerial drone. This attack is actually the first of several “decapitation strikes” against the USA’s political-military elite before the Soviet Armed Forces unleash their ICBMs, ALCMs, and SLBMs against North America.
According to Suvorov, “grey terror” refers to terrorism committed by organizations that are not openly linked to the Soviet Union, such as Islamists or neo-Nazis. In the days or hours immediately before the Soviet Strategic Missile Forces go on alert, the Kremlin’s special forces carry out “pink terror” that is still not directly linked to Moscow. These acts include assassinating US and Western European political leaders, disrupting official communication links, and sewing unrest in the streets among militant leftist groups.
During the same period, if the Soviet strategists are convinced they can safely reveal their hand, their special forces will openly carry out terrorism in the name of communist revolution. This is called “red terror,” which characterized the early decades of the Bolshevik state and led to the horrific massacres of millions of “counter-revolutionaries,” such as chronicled by the monumental Black Book of Communism (Harvard University Press, 1997). At our blog we post news story under the “Red Terror File” if we believe that a murder or bombing is somehow related to the Kremlin.
Along the “Grey Terror” theme, however, the local media in Effingham, Georgia has reported that on September 5 county sheriffs arrested two Russian nationals and one Kazakh national outside Georgia Power’s McIntosh Plant, near Springfield. On that day a ranger with the state Department of Natural Resources noticed a suspicious vehicle with three occupants near the facility. Deputies arrested Russian citizens Nail Idaiatullin and Rustem Ibragimov, and Evgeniy Luzhetskhy, a citizen of Kazakhstan, in Central Asia. In their 1995 Nissan Pathfinder were a machete, shovel, wire cutters, and ski masks. One suspect also had black silk stockings in a pocket.
Pictured above: Although a citizen of Kazakhstan, Luzhetskhy appears to be ethnic Russian in appearance, rather than Kazakh. There are about 4 million ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan.
Effingham County sheriffs charged the men with possession of tools relevant to the commission of a crime, specifically a break-in. They also reported the arrest to the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force, which interviewed the suspects from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) before releasing them. David Ehsanipoor, a spokesman for the Effingham County sheriff’s office, commented defensively: “They did all have visas that allowed them to be here [in the USA] and are supposed to be leaving the country soon.”
Maybe this is nothing more than a simple case of “copper theft.” On the other hand, perhaps these shifty characters from the FSU represent the tip of the iceberg with respect to the Kremlin’s fifth column in the USA. This is not the first time since the demise of the Soviet Union that Russian “visitors” have been involved in questionable activities on US soil.
In August 2004, a Russian national was questioned by local and federal authorities after a 911 caller became suspicious of the man, who was photographing a liquefied natural gas terminal in Calvert County, Maryland. Yevgeny V. Khorishko, press secretary for the Russian Federation Embassy in Washington, refused to provide the man’s name, but confirmed that he was a high-ranking diplomat on the embassy staff. Khorishko explained that his colleague declined to invoke diplomatic immunity to retain his camera, but opted instead to cooperate with US authorities.
One year prior to that, reports Michelle Malkin, Canadian authorities stopped two Russian nationals, dressed in military battle dress uniforms, as they attempted to enter the USA at an unguarded crossing approximately 20 miles south of Limestone, Maine. Limestone is the site of a Maine National Guard facility, from which a Humvee was stolen in June 2003. At the time Border Patrol agents apprehended a Russian illegal alien nearby. He had a valid New York State commercial driver’s license allowing him to transport hazardous materials and a pass that afforded him access to sea ports along the East Coast, including high-level security-bonded customs areas.
>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian, PLA, C. Asian troops in Kazakhstan for Peace Mission 2010 war game; N. Fleet “shows muscles” in Barents Sea
September 10, 2010Posted by on
– Chinese Troops in Mexico for Real: 36-Member People’s Liberation Army Honor Guard to Attend Mexico’s 200th Independence Day Celebration
On September 9, 5,000 troops from the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) converged in the “former” Soviet republic of Kazakhstan to carry out the SCO’s seventh “anti-terrorist drill,” Peace Mission 2010. Founded nine years ago, the SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and represents the Eurasian section of the Communist Bloc. In June Kazakhstan assumed the SCO’s rotating presidency.
Pictured above: Chen Bingde (right), chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, meets with Saken Zhasuzakov, first deputy defense minister and chief of the General Staff of the Kazakh Armed Forces, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on September 9.
Russia will contribute 1,000 troops; 130 tanks, self-propelled artillery systems, and infantry fighting vehicles; 100 trucks, and 10 aircraft, including Su-24 Fencer tactical bombers, Su-25 Frogfoot close-support aircraft, and Mi-8 transport helicopters. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) will deploy 1,000 ground and airborne troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and People’s Liberation Army Air Force, as well as a logistical group. Host Kazakhstan, which recently completed the Steppe Eagle maneuver with the US Armed Forces, will contribute 1,000 troops, 120 tanks, 30 armored personnel carriers, and an assortment of armored fighting vehicles, planes, and helicopters. Each SCO member state is expected to contribute at least on operational-tactical group.
“The active stage of the exercise will take place on September 24. The defense ministers of the SCO member states will arrive at the Matybulak training range to watch the ‘joint anti-terrorist operation,’” the Kazakh Defense Ministry commented blandly, ignoring the obvious fact that the Peace Mission drills are nothing less than a preparation for war against NATO. The first Sino-Soviet Peace Mission war game took place in 2005. Two others so named followed in 2007 and 2009. In addition, as noted above, the SCO has conducted three other “anti-terrorist drills.”
In a related story, the Northern Fleet, the Russian Navy’s most powerful, is presently carrying out a “large-scale” maneuver in the Barents Sea, involving 4,000 sailors and submariners. Surface vessels include the missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov, destroyer Admiral Ushakov, anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, in addition to some submarines. The servicemen of the Northern Fleet practiced torpedo and missile launches, artillery shooting, submarine search and destroy missions, and downing enemy aviation. Prior to the drill, the Russian Navy shipped an S-300 anti-missile battery to Kildin Island. From this location the S-300 air defense system successfully shot down four cruise missiles launched by naval vessels.
State-run Novosti also reports that between September 3 and 6, the Russian and French navies conducted a joint exercise that included replenishment of supplies, ship-to-ship transfer of goods, and helicopter landings. The lead Russian vessel was the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, although the Kremlin report did not indicate where the Franco-Russian drill occurred, presumably somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean. In view of NATO member France’s willingness to participate in an international tender to sell/build four helicopter carrier/ amphibious assault ships for Russia, combined drills between the Russian and French militaries is not surprising.
Pictured here: On September 11 Red Chinese honor guard marches through streets of Mexico City in rehearsal of upcoming celebration of Mexico’s 200th year of independence.
Like “post”-communist Russia, which is seeking to reestablish Cold War-era ties with new and old leftist regimes in Latin America, the PRC is also moving rapidly into region with trade deals and arms packages. In a symbolic gesture that portends deeper bilateral military cooperation, Communist China has been invited to send a 36-person honor guard to attend September 15 celebrations in connection with Mexico’s 200th anniversary as an independent country.
The arrival of the PLA squad in Mexico follows an official four-day visit by Red China’s defense minister, Liang Guanglie. At this time Beijing and Mexico City pledged to promote “military cooperation,” which expressly included training exchanges for military officers and, later no doubt, an option for the Mexican government to buy Chinese weapons. The scenario of Sino-Mexican military exercises was not publicized, but the new Beijing-Mexico City Axis definitely opens the door to this possibility.
Afterward, with the same mission in mind, Liang flew to Bogota, where he met with Colombia’s new president, Juan Manuel Santos, formerly defense minister under the last center-right Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe. Liang commented on his tete-a-tete with Santos:
Ties between the two countries have been developing smoothly since diplomatic relations were established 30 years ago. China attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties and would like to make joint efforts with Colombia to further boost the ties. Military ties, an important component of bilateral ties between China and Colombia, have been strengthened, with great achievements made in the fields of mutual visits and personnel training. China is willing to enhance its military ties with Colombia and expand bilateral military exchanges and cooperation.
President Santos replied that “the two countries should join hands to continuously explore the cooperative fields.” Liang also met with Santos’ defense minister, Rodrigo Rivera, who invited the Red Chinese official to Colombia. Rivera also agreed to promote military exchanges and cooperation.
For the last 45 years, Colombia has been wracked by a Moscow-backed communist insurgency that also fuels the Western Hemisphere’s drug wars. Liang’s promise to deepen bilateral military cooperation between the PRC and Colombia exposes the Communist Bloc’s scheme to subvert this South American ally of the USA into a web of entangling alliances.
Following his three-day stopover in Bogota, Liang proceeded to his final destination, Brazil. There he met with the official who invited him, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim. After conferring with Jobim and other high-ranking officials, Liang inspected some military bases. In a prepared speech that largely regurgitated his comments in Mexico and Colombia, Liang “offered his sincere greetings and good wishes to the Brazilian people and armed forces on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.” He continued:
The aim of this visit is to strengthen mutual understanding between the two armies, deepen friendship, promote cooperation, and explore more areas for cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries. China is keen to develop bilateral relations of the armies, to deepen military cooperation with the Brazilian side, to promote relations between the two countries, and devote our due contributions to safeguarding international and regional stability and safety.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s center-left government includes the Communist Party of Brazil. Twenty years ago Lula’s Workers’ Party, along with the Communist Party of Cuba, co-founded the subversive Sao Paulo Forum, which will next meet in a plenary session in Managua in 2011. In 2002, when Lula first ran for president, Communist Cuba illegally funneled US$3 million into the coffers of the Workers’ Party.
>Latin America File: Mexican narcistas kill 7th mayor this year in brazen day attack, target journalists; Maras massacre 18 factory workers in Honduras
September 9, 2010Posted by on
The narco-insurgency in Mexico, now recognized as such by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claimed new victims yesterday and today—in Mexico itself and in Honduras, a transshipment hub between FARC-occupied regions of Colombia and Communist Venezuela at one end and the USA at the other end. Pictured above: Mexican soldiers disable weapons seized from drug cartels.
On September 8, around 1:30 local time, four hooded gunmen, presumably working for one of the country’s powerful drug cartels, drove up to city hall in El Naranjo, a city in the central state of San Luis Potosi. As they entered the government building, two gunmen took up positions at the front entrance while the others found and shot Mayor Alexander Lopez Garcia in his office on the top storey. Lopez, who died on site, assumed office last October as a candidate for an alliance between the formerly long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party and Ecologist Green Party. Embattled Mexican President Felipe Calderon once again condemned the “criminal and cowardly” assassination of a mayor, the seventh this year, and pledged to “continue working for the security of the citizens, with all the available resources of the state.”
In a separate incident yesterday, six police were killed in a clash with narcistas near the town of Padilla, in the northeast border state of Tamaulipas. This region has become the battleground for a bloody turf war between the Gulf cartel and their former enforcement squad, Los Zetas. The Mexican government also announced that marines arrested seven gunmen suspected of massacring 72 Central and South American migrants last month on orders of Los Zetas.
Earlier today, in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, four gunmen armed with assault rifles burst into a shoe factory, killing 18 workers. The city’s police chief, Hector Mejia, asserts that the attack was part of an “escalating dispute” between the rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18, which together boast tens of thousands of members throughout Central America. “This area is considered a Mara 18 stronghold and the people inside [the factory] were close to the MS,” explained Honduran Security Minister Oscar Alvarez. San Pedro Sula, which is about 100 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa, is an area where gangs are known to refine cocaine from South America before shipping it to the USA via Mexico.
In a related story, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, released a report on September 8 stating that cartel gunmen have murdered at least 22 Mexican journalists since President Calderon declared war on the narcistas in 2006. At least eight of these reporters were killed because of their investigations into drug violence and official corruption. “Violence against the press has swept the nation and destroyed Mexicans’ right to freedom of expression,” lamented the CPJ report, adding: “This national crisis demands a full-scale federal response.” In the border city of Reynosa, in Tamaulipas state, the same report contends, the Gulf cartel “controls nearly every aspect of the local government, from law enforcement down to street vendor permits.”
>Latin America File: Explosions at Mexican refineries; narcistas kidnap Pemex workers, contractors; Clinton to CFR: "Drug war looks like insurgency"
September 8, 2010Posted by on
On September 7 Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest oil producer, acknowledged that its 235,000 barrel-a-day Cadereyta refinery outside the northeastern city of Monterrey was hit by an explosion, the second such incident at the company in the past six weeks. One person died and 10 were injured, two seriously. According to Pemex, a compressor blew up in a desulfurization unit at the plant. The refinery continues to operate.
The Cadereyta incident follows a similar explosion at a coking unit gasoline storage tank at the company’s Francisco I Madero refinery on the Gulf of Mexico on July 29. Pemex is building its first refinery in 30 years in the state of Hidalgo to keep up with rising gasoline demand as more Mexicans buy cars. Coincidentally or not, two offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico owned by US-based companies have also been hit by seemingly accidental explosions this year: British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon on April 20, and Mariner Energy’s Vermilion 380 oil and natural gas platform on September 1.
There is no reason to suspect at this time that Mexico’s powerful drug cartels were behind these particular Pemex refinery explosions. However, Mexico’s ability to finance counter-insurgency operations against the cartels is heavily dependent on the revenue generated by Pemex, which pulls in about one third of the government’s income. Not surprisingly, therefore, narcistas have previously targeted this symbol of the seven-decade reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
This past year alone cartel gunmen kidnapped five Pemex workers and 30 oilfield contractors, terrorizing production operations in Tamaulipas, where the Gigante No. 1 plant is located, as well as in Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. These states have become the site of a bloody turf war between the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas. The latter consists of ex-special forces troops from both the Mexican and Guatemalan armies, who once provided muscle for the cartel but decided to go independent in early 2010.
“The traffickers are establishing it clearly,” commented Graco Ramirez, a member of the congressional energy committee, to the Los Angeles Times. Ramirez added: “You collaborate, or you die.” A relative of a kidnapped worker asked: “How is it that Pemex, supposedly the backbone of the nation, can be made to bow down like this?” The oil rig workers are still missing. In 2007 the Popular Revolutionary Army bombed several Pemex pipelines, but Mexico’s small Marxist guerrilla army has been quiet since then, apparently content to allow the drug traffickers to topple President Felipe Calderon’s “bourgeois regime.”
On September 8, while addressing the pro-communist globalist cabal known as the Council on Foreign Relations, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yanked her head out of the sand and commented that the bloodshed and anarchy perpetrated by Mexico’s powerful drug cartels were “starting to look like an insurgency.” No kidding, Hillary. What a brilliant observation. The former First Lady of the USA and Arkansas offered the following unenthusiastic analysis:
These drug cartels are now showing more and more indices of insurgency. All of a sudden, car bombs show up, which weren’t there before. It’s looking more and more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, where the narco-traffickers control certain parts of the country.
We are working very hard to assist the Mexicans in improving their law enforcement and their intelligence, their capacity to detain and prosecute those who they arrest.
Hillary’s speech, however, offered no assurances that Washington would help Mexico improve its “institutional capacity,” either by expanding or expediting limited US military aid, stalled in Congress since last year. This was the same prescription that Hillary wrote in March, when she showed up in Mexico City to rub elbows with counterpart Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa. Is the CFR clique in the Obama White House quietly hoping to push Mexico over the edge through studied neglect, thereby requiring a messy US or United Nations intervention in the near future?
That the Communist Bloc is facilitating the creation of a failed state in Mexico and the demise of the USA by supplying the drug cartels is by now well documented. On September 2 Colombia Reports exposed the connection between arrested Mexican drug lord Edgar (“La Barbie”) Valdez Villareal and Colombia’s communist guerrillas:
Following the capo’s arrest, Colombian authorities on Tuesday [August 31] arrested eleven people accused of shipping drugs from the FARC to La Barbie’s Beltran Leyva cartel. Among those detained was Julio Cesar Pina Soberanis, alias “Julio,” a Mexican believed to be La Barbie’s representative in Colombia.
Meanwhile, various news sites report that the lead investigator into the massacre of 72 migrants in northeastern Mexico, along with another police officer who disappeared during the probe, have turned up dead. The two vanished just days into the investigation into the biggest mass killing yet discovered in Mexico’s four-year drug war.
Five days ago, the Mexican Army announced that it had killed 27 suspected cartel gunmen in a clash near the US border. An army patrol came under fire as it approached an apparent training camp operated by Los Zetas near Ciudad Mier, in the state of Tamaulipas. Two soldiers were wounded in the fighting. In recent weeks, Tamaulipas has been the scene of major firefights between cartels competing for control of smuggling routes into the USA. The raid was ordered after a military plane spotted several gunmen in front of a building. Three people, all believed to be kidnap victims, were freed during the raid. Twenty-five rifles, four grenades, 4,200 rounds of ammunition, and 23 vehicles, including two painted to look like military vehicles, were also seized. In most cases, past sightings of putative Mexican Army vehicles on the northern side of the US-Mexican border have probably been driven by drug smugglers.
>Red Dawn Alert: Red China’s DM arrives in Mexico to promote military cooperation; 1st PLA unit arrives in Kazakhstan for Peace Mission 2010
September 3, 2010Posted by on
Since the late 1990s rumors have circulated that small numbers of Russian, Red Chinese, North Korean, and Cuban troops have been conducting reconnaissance operations south of the US-Mexican border. In 2003 journalist Scott Gulbransen endeavored to document these activities in Silent Invasion. In this work he contends that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been pumping arms through Hutchison-Whampoa-controlled Mexican ports like Ensanada and over the US-Mexican border with the complicity of corrupt US Border Patrol agents. The purpose of these covert shipments, suggests Jeff Nyquist, who reviewed Gulbransen’s book, could be to establish arms dumps in the Continental USA prior to a Red Dawn-style invasion.
Along this theme, a delegation from the People’s Republic of China recently visited Mexico City to attend a permanent bilateral commission tasked with advancing their strategic partnership, formed in 2003. With the arrival in Mexico of Red China’s defense minister Liang Guanglie, the Sino-Mexican partnership’s military component has been revealed. After meeting Mexican counterpart Guillermo Galvan Galvan on September 1, Liang summarized the intentions of the new Sino-Mexican military alliance:
Mexico is China’s good friend and partner in the Latin American region. China attaches great importance to developing ties with Mexico. China is willing to boost its military ties with Mexico and deepen bilateral military exchanges and cooperation in various fields. We are grateful for the Mexican government’s support to China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.
For his part, Mexican defense minister Galvan gushed: “China is a great country, and Mexico has high expectations for boosting military ties with China. The two sides can strengthen exchanges to expand military cooperation.” Liang also met Mexico’s Navy Minister, Mariano Francisco Sainez Mendoza, with whom he pledged to promote military exchanges and cooperation. Liang’s official visit to Mexico will last four days. He is pictured above, reviewing an honor guard at the defense ministry in Mexico City.
Nothing is specifically said in this article of joint Sino-Mexican military exercises, but this is a distinct possibility. Certainly, the quotes above from Xinhua indicate that the PLA and Mexican Armed Forces will exchange officers and troops for training, and that the PRC will probably sell weapons systems to Mexico. No doubt, the Mexican government would be very keen on procuring more firepower to combat the powerful (Russian Mafia-armed) drug cartels that are close to pushing the country into total anarchy. After all, the Obama White House has closed the door to further counter-narcotics military assistance to Mexico. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton–whose husband Bill is a possible SVR/KGB asset—and Defense Secretary Robert Gates traveled to Mexico City where they conveyed this disappointing news to President Felipe Calderon.
When Mexico’s revolutionary constitution, with its many ideological influences including socialism, came into effect in early 1917, months before the Bolshevik Revolution, many Americans referred to “Soviet Mexico.” After 70 years in power, however, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which inherited the torch of the Mexican Revolution, became a mildly social democratic entity and the threat of a Communist Mexico evaporated. Now the PRI is seeking to regain the Mexican presidency from Calderon’s center-right National Action Party.
However, should communist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who enjoys the endorsement of Fidel Castro, and his hard-left Democratic Revolutionary Party reverse their 2006 defeat and win the 2012 general elections, Mexico’s absorption into the Communist Bloc would likely accelerate. In that case, Sino-Mexican military drills and/or United Nation-sanctioned Chinese “counter-insurgency” operations south of the US border could become very real scenarios. Last year, business leaders in the war-wracked Ciudad Juarez begged the UN to send peacekeepers to their city, which is just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
Incidentally, the retooled version of the Cold War action film Red Dawn depicts a Communist Chinese invasion of the USA, with some help from America’s old nemesis, Russia. The movie is scheduled to hit the screens in November 2010. The original 1984 film depicted a Soviet-Cuban invasion, in which the invaders had to contend with a band of high school students who organized themselves into a guerrilla outfit called the Wolverines. Beijing’s sympathizers have already set up websites to express their displeasure with the new film, which is guaranteed to tarnish the PRC’s image as a reliable economic partner.
Meanwhile, the PLA has dispatched its first contingent of 107 troops to the “former” Soviet republic of Kazakhstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Peace Mission 2010 “anti-terror drill.” This will be the fifth Sino-Russian military exercise, following the first, Peace Mission 2005, and three others, Peace Mission 2007, Peace Mission 2009, and Norak Antiterror 2009. The SCO not only includes Russia and Red China, but also Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Observer state Iran has applied for full membership. A total of 5,000 Communist Bloc troops, including 1,000 Russian soldiers and 130 tanks and armored vehicles, will participate in Peace Mission 2010, which runs from September 9 to 25. State-run Novosti reports: “The drills will test the interoperability of the SCO armed forces in rendering assistance to a member state involved in an internal armed conflict or subjected to a mass terrorist attack.”
Many geopolitical analysts perceive the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization as Eurasian counterweights to NATO. The SCO and CSTO are already committed to inter-bloc cooperation, but no one in the Pentagon appears to be alarmed by this new and improved Warsaw Pact Version 2.0, which preps for war against the West under the cover of “anti-terrorist” drills. Last month, for example, the US military thought nothing of participating in the Kazakh army’s annual Steppe Eagle war game. Kazakhstan is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.
Most people born after the contrived “collapse” of the Soviet Union and the communist regimes in Eastern Europe will have little awareness of the ongoing world communist threat. For example, last month I was talking to a 20-year-old, iPod-savvy individual about the Red Dawn remake. He had never heard of the original film. This is the ideological vacuum the West is facing today.
>Red Terror File: British tabloid: Murder of GCHQ officer linked to SVR ring in USA, celeb Russian spy “Red Anna”; Williams liaised with CIA, NSA
September 3, 2010Posted by on
>The British tabloid Daily Star, citing a “high-level source,” alleges that murdered spy Gareth Williams was involved in a joint MI6-NSA counter-intelligence probe that busted a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) ring in the USA back in June. Williams was employed by the United Kingdom’s signals intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), but was on secondment to the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) at the time of his disappearance after August 15. The Daily Star’s source alleges:
Mr. Williams’ work in America is forming part of the inquiry. We need to know what he was working on during his visits there. MI6 and CIA code crackers played a vital part in outing Chapman and the Russian spy ring. Any evidence he did play a part will be treated as a possible motive for his killing.
The way the SIM [phone] cards were found carefully placed next to the [Williams’ mobile] phone is of particular interest to detectives. Early indications are that it is some sort of message, someone saying, ‘I know who your contacts are and I’m coming for them.’
Williams is reported to have frequently travelled to the USA, where he liaised with counterparts in the National Security Agency. Conversely, admitted SVR agent Anna Vasil’evna Kushchenko (a.k.a. Anna Chapman) previously lived in the UK, before moving across the Atlantic Ocean with orders from the Kremlin to infiltrate Washington’s political decision-making clique and send information back to Moscow via Wi-Fi on a laptop computer. After the US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Chapman and her comrades, they were deported in July.
Celebrity spy-socialite Chapman is known as “Red Anna” because of her red hair. However, two facts about this spy ring suggest another connotation for “red” that exposes the continuing Soviet deception strategy: 1) at least two SVR agents, Vicky Pelaez and her husband Mikhail Anatolyevich Vasenkov (a.k.a. Juan Lazaro), were outspoken pro-Castro, pro-Shining Path communists and 2) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, an “ex”-KGB officer, admitted he sang “patriotic Soviet songs” with the spies after their repatriation during a superpower spy swap in Vienna, the first since 1986.
The CIA refuses to comment on the possibility that Williams was assassinated, but we believe this story has legs. For this reason, we will be following it closely and posting as circumstances permit.
>Red Terror File: GRU dep. head dies mysteriously in Syria, Turkish fishermen find body; UK espionage expert: Spy’s death "wet job" by Russian SVR
September 2, 2010Posted by on
>Some time last month, reports the British media, the “badly decomposed” body of the deputy head of Russian military intelligence (GRU), Major-General Yuri Ivanov (aged 52), washed up on the Turkish coast after he disappeared in the Syrian coastal resort of Latakia. The Russian Armed Forces in-house newspaper, Red Star, did not report Ivanov’s death until August 28, when he was “quietly” buried in Moscow. According to the Kremlin, the GRU’s second-in-command was on holiday in Latakia at the time and perished in a “tragic swimming accident.”
Latakia, as it turns out, is only 50 miles from Tartus, the site of a Soviet/Russian naval facility, and relatively near the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which is the terminus for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. In South Ossetia, one of Georgia’s breakaway regions, Russian occupation troops are only a short distance from this pipeline. During Russia’s 2008 re-invasion of Georgia, the Russian Air Force tried to bomb the BTC pipeline. According to The Guardian, General Ivanov inspected the naval base at Tartus, before heading off for a visit with Syrian intelligence agents.
“Other reports,” state The Telegraph, suggest that Ivanov was on “official business” when he died. The British newspaper intimates that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, may know something about Ivanov’s death: “The facility is Russia’s only foothold in the Mediterranean Sea, and Mossad . . . is known to be concerned that Moscow will use the upgraded facility as a base for spy ships and electronic espionage directed at the Middle East.” The Russian Defense Ministry, like its Soviet predecessor, is “overwhelmingly” pro-Arab.
In view of the Kremlin’s lengthy body count–which includes military and security service officers, politicians, bankers, journalists, dissidents, expatriates, subway riders, theater patrons, school children, and harmless apartment dwellers–we are not inclined to accept the official line promulgated by Moscow concerning Ivanov’s death. Still, we can only speculate concerning the source of his demise. If Ivanov was assassinated, we do not believe that a foreign intelligence agency, even the Mossad, would be bold enough to perpetrate such a deed. It is more probable that someone higher up in the Kremlin chain of command determined that Ivanov had outlived his usefulness to the Soviet deception strategy.
The refurbished Soviet naval base in Syria is not all the Israelis are worried about with respect to Moscow’s long-time strategic alliance with Damascus. According to Haaretz, last Friday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conversed with counterpart Vladmir Putin, at which time he urged Russia to scrap its promise to sell P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Damascus. The “highly accurate” Yakhont has a maximum range of 300 kilometers, can deliver a 200-kilogram warhead, and can elude radar by cruising several meters above the water, making it a dangerous threat to the Israeli Navy, including warships based in Haifa and Ashdod. During his telephone conversation with Putin, Netanyahu told the Russian leader that C-802 missiles the Kremlin sold to Syria were transferred to Hezbollah, which were then used against Israeli Defense Forces in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
In a related story, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has scheduled an official visit to Moscow, which would be the first time any Israeli DM has ever traveled to Russia in a formal capacity. Barak will meet with Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov and presumably discuss Russia’s arm sales to Syria and Palestinians’ aspirations for an independent state.
Pictured here: Murdered British spy Gareth Williams’ flat in London. Meanwhile, British investigators at the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide Command are puzzling over another decomposing body, that of Gareth Williams, a reclusive math genius and avid cyclist who was employed by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Williams, a signals intelligence officer on secondment at the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), is believed to have returned from a foreign trip on August 11. He was last seen alive on August 15. Police found his decomposing body padlocked in a sports bag in his bathroom eight days later. Pathologists have yet to determine the method by which Williams was killed. Early published reports alleging that the Welsh-born spy was stabbed or dismembered have been officially denied.
William’s upscale apartment was located near MI6 headquarters in London and, intriguingly, is owned by a Russian company, New Rodina, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. In a previous post we reproduced part of a deleted post from a Slovenian blogger alleging that a communist agent from that former Yugoslav republic was involved in Williams’ death. We have been unable to confirm this allegation from separate sources, nor have we been able to retrieve the full post at the Polonika blog.
Although British tabloids have published sensational stories purporting to document Williams’ “kinky sex life” and rumors that his death could have the result of a “sex game gone wrong,” one of the UK’s leading espionage experts believes the spy was a victim of the Russian or Iranian foreign intelligence service. When this story broke on August 23, this was precisely our line of thought. Now Professor Anthony Glees, director of Buckingham University’s Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, is calling upon Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to issue an official statement concerning Williams’ murder. Glees’ comments follow:
To me it smacks of a very professional killing job and that means the Russian security service—they’ve murdered people in London before [such as Alexander Litvinenko in 2006]—or conceivably the Iranians. It looks more and more like an intelligence killing—what people call a “wet job,” meaning intelligence officers have murdered somebody and blood has flown. Mr. Williams may have been blackmailed into passing on secrets to a hostile intelligence service which wanted to leave no trace of any links back to its organization.
Glees questions why police took so long to find Williams’ body. Normally, MI6 makes a home visit to any agent who fails to report to work for even one day without explanation. Glees adds: “They don’t appear to have come round to see this chap. Why not? We can only speculate. If they had been frantically looking for him, they would have found him. Until we’re told, people will continue to speculate and that in itself undermines national security and that’s why the Government must now explain what they know about this person and why his body was not discovered for two weeks. That, to me, is a really chilling fact.”
Investigative reporter Gordon Thomas, who has for nearly 40 years written many non-fiction books on international intrigue, including Inside British Intelligence: 100 Years of MI5 and MI6, points out that “Mr. Williams’ mathematical brain made him a vital tool in the fight against terrorism and cyber-warfare. The security services have played down his role so as not to alarm the world over his importance to anyone involved in this matter.”
>Latin America File: Los Zetas firebomb Cancun nightclub, kill 8 nationals; follows Aug. 22 grenade attack on Puerto Vallarta bar
September 1, 2010Posted by on
– Nuevo Leon State Attorney General: Seven Police Arrested in Murder of Santiago Mayor, Several Worked for Narco-Mercenaries as Lookouts
– Washington to Deploy Total of 6 Aerial Surveillance Drones along US-Mexican Border
The drug cartels are out of control in Mexico, especially in the states bordering the USA. On August 31 New York Daily News journalist Helen Kennedy opined: “The Mexican government appears to be losing the war against the cartels, who are also fighting each other over the $25 billion-a-year cocaine smuggling business.”
– Tamaulipas Morgue Where Bodies of Massacred Migrants Transported Bombed on August 28
– Washington to Deploy Total of 6 Aerial Surveillance Drones along US-Mexican Border
The drug cartels are out of control in Mexico, especially in the states bordering the USA. On August 31 New York Daily News journalist Helen Kennedy opined: “The Mexican government appears to be losing the war against the cartels, who are also fighting each other over the $25 billion-a-year cocaine smuggling business.”
In an escalation of tactics, on Tuesday narcistas firebombed a bar in Cancun, killing six women and two men. Shortly after 1 am gunmen pulled up to the Castillo de Mar in two vehicles and burst into the nightclub with long guns, herding patrons into a section of the bar with no exits as they tossed Molotov cocktails about the premises. The bar owner was not apparently one of the victims, but Mexican newspaper El Universal reports that he refused to cough up US$40,000 to extortionists from the Los Zetas cartel several weeks ago.
Castillo de Mar is several miles from those areas most frequented by visitors in the tourist mecca. Moreover, no foreigners were killed or hurt. Still this incident will likely force tourists to reconsider Cancun as their next resort destination.
In May federal police arrested Cancun Mayor Gregorio Sanchez for money laundering and links to the drug cartels. A past candidate of the center-left Democratic Revolutionary Party, Sanchez also has shady relations with “ex”-members of the Cuban military and security apparatus. In 2009 a former soldier of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba on the municipal payroll assassinated the federal government’s counter-narcotics chief for Cancun.
Narcistas have also targeted rivals and law enforcement in other resort cities, like Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast, but have not specifically singled out tourists. On August 22 at least 15 patrons were injured, some seriously, when someone threw a grenade into a crowded bar in Puerto Vallarta. Four of the injured people lost limbs in the midnight attack. In March two US citizens and a third victim connected to the consulate in Ciudad Juarez were gunned down in that city. Jesus Ernesto Chavez, an enforcer for the Juarez cartel who was arrested in July, alleges that he ordered the murder of Lesley Enriquez to thwart the plans of a rival cartel that had infiltrated the US consulate in order to secure visas.
This past Sunday in Tamaulipas, another border state, narcistas gunned down their sixth mayor in eight months and their second in one month, Marco Antonio Leal Garcia, mayor of Hidalgo. Leal was driving a truck on his property when assassins ambushed him, pumping 27 bullets into his body, and injuring his 10-year-old daughter, who was also riding in the vehicle. Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who initiated the federal government’s war against the drug cartels in 2006, and the state governor denounced the murder.
Last week, in the same state an Ecuadorean migrant led Mexican naval personnel to the site of 72 murdered migrants from other countries in Latin America. Los Zetas is suspected of the massacre. Shockingly, this past Saturday the morgue where those bodies were transported was bombed, presumably also by the narco-mercenary army that once provided muscle for the Gulf cartel.
Mexican authorities also believe that Los Zetas was responsible for kidnapping and murdering another official in the state of Nuevo Leon in August, Edelmiro Cavazos, mayor of Santiago. Nuevo Leon state Attorney General Alejandro Garza y Garza acknowledged that several of the seven police officers arrested in the killing of Cavazos admitted they worked for Los Zetas as lookouts.
In a related story, n Monday Mexico’s federal government announced that it had sacked 3,200 police on charges of corruption and incompetence and intended to discipline 1,020 more on grounds of dubious loyalties. When superiors asked the latter group whether it was permissible according to the law for police to accept a bribe, they were unable to provide the right answer: No. The 3,200 officers who lost their jobs represent 10 percent of the Federal Preventive Police.
Finally, earlier this week the US Department of Homeland Security announced that a new Predator aerial surveillance drone will begin patrolling the Texas-Mexican border on September 1, with two more drones deployed along the same stretch of border in 2011. Presently, Customs and Border Protection operates three Predators (pictured above) along the international border between El Centro, California and the Big Bend region of West Texas. The three new Predators will be stationed out of Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi. In addition, the Government of Texas will deploy 250 National Guard troops along the Mexican border.
These deployments are part of the Southwest Border Initiative launched in March 2009 by the DHS to assist the US Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in apprehending illegal immigrants and drug and human smugglers. While they are probably not enough to completely halt the illegal alien invasion or crush the Mexican drug cartels’ US-based operations, it’s certainly better than nothing.