>– Cuba’s Vice President Travels to Moscow to Promote Bilateral Relations with Russia; Follows Trip to Beijing in Late September
– Chavez to Visit Russia, Belarus, Iran, and People’s Republic of China; Announces Nationalization of More Land, Seizure of Agricultural Companies
– Chavez Scoffs at Spanish Accusations as His Regime Opens Investigation into Purported Presence of Basque Militants Training on Venezuelan Soil
– Sandinistas Complete Judicial Coup, Unlawfully Elect President of Nicaragua’s Supreme Court
– Russia and Mexico to Increase Cooperation in Telecommunications and Information Technology, Rosatom to Supply Mexico with Enriched Uranium
It’s good for us to say this name, repeat it, and present Brazilian Minister Dilma Rousseff as the new president of Brazil. Dilma, Dilma, Dilma. We will get to know her. She was a prisoner of the rightwing dictatorship and tortured. She was a member of the revolutionary leftwing in the sixties.
— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; quoted by AFP news agency, November 13, 2009
In spite of a few victories for center-right parties in Latin America and the Caribbean over the last four years–primarily in Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, and Chile–as well as a slight electoral setback for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela on September 25, communist, socialist, and social democratic parties prevail throughout the region. Most of these political parties coordinate their strategy for hemispheric domination through the little-known Sao Paulo Forum, founded in 1990 by the Communist Party of Cuba and Brazil’s Workers’ Party.
Latin American and Caribbean leftists also network with comrades around the globe through organizations such as the International Communist Seminar, which is hosted by the Workers’ Party of Belgium, and the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
On October 31, Brazil’s ruling party candidate, Dilma Rousseff (pictured above), and opposition member Jose Serra will face off in a runoff election for the presidency after the leading candidates failed to win a majority of the vote in balloting on October 3. According to calculations by the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Rousseff leads with 46.9% of the votes, ahead of Serra, who captured 32.61%. Surprisingly, Green Party candidate Marina Silva put in a strong showing, with 20.31 percent, according to the TSE’s partial tally with 72.11 percent of the ballots counted.
“I consider this stage a very special moment in my life,” Rousseff said in brief statements to reporters. Indeed. On voting day she was quoted as saying: “Our party members are brave, they are warlike and never give up. They are better in the face of obstacles than easy situations. I’m not scared of anything. Whatever happens, we’ll put up a good fight.” By contrast, Rousseff’s opponent, Sera, represents the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, which in spite of its name is actually center-right in orientation.
Rousseff is President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s anointed successor to lead the center-left Workers’ Party, which governs in coalition with the Communist Party of Brazil and several other leftist parties. Lula, who has “played nice” with the USA, is a former union organizer, but Rousseff’s credentials are guaranteed to “wow” communists worldwide: she is a former Marxist guerrilla. Dilma, in fact, is the daughter of a Bulgarian communist, Pétar Rusév, who fled his homeland in 1929. Between 1967 and 1969, Dilma was a cadre of the short-lived National Liberation Command, which merged with the Revolutionary Armed Vanguard to form the Revolutionary Armed Vanguard Palmares.
Ex-members of Brazilian military intelligence (OBAN) and fellow insurgents allege Rousseff was the “she-pope of subversion.” In January 1970, she was arrested by OBAN and allegedly tortured for 22 days by punching, ferule, and electric shock devices. In December 2006, the Special Commission for Reparation of the Human Rights Office for the State of Rio de Janeiro approved a request for indemnification by Rousseff and 18 others imprisoned by law enforcement agencies of the São Paulo state government in the 1970s.
Should Rousseff win the Brazilian presidency, she will not only lead the Western Hemisphere’s second most populous country, after the USA, but also control South America’s largest armed forces. Incidentally, in this “post”-Cold War era, Brazilian generals are not averse to purchasing Russian armament and jointly developing top-line fighter jets. “Former” Marxist guerrillas and assorted commie coup plotters can be found leading other countries in the hemisphere: including Raul Castro, Cuba’s president; Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s past/present president; Salvador Sanchez Ceren, El Salvador’s vice president; Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s president; Álvaro García Linera, Bolivia’s vice president; and José Alberto Mujica Cordano, Uruguay’s president.
Meanwhile, this week Cuba’s vice president, Ricardo Cabrisas, dutifully presented himself in Moscow, where he conferred with deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, the GRU’s former pointman for funnelling weapons to Latin American guerrillas during the 1980s. On behalf of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, reports the Cuban state media, Sechin conveyed “warm greetings to Cuban President Raul Castro and to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.”
After exchanging comradely pleasantries, Cabrisas and Sechin got down to business and signed bilateral cooperation agreements in the economic, commercial, technical, scientific, cultural, educational, and tourist sectors. High on the agenda was the shipping of Russian-built consumables and equipment to Cuba for the electricity, energy, and automotive industries, including spare parts, as well as consumables and equipment to support agricultural and construction programs on the island. In addition, Cabrisas and Sechin discussed the modernization of Cuba’s railroad and sea transport capacities, as well as topics related to the development of Cuba’s civil aviation.
Although then President Putin made an official visit to Havana in 2000, Russian-Cuban relations have spiked since 2008, including top-level political and military exchanges.
Late last month, Cabrisas flew to Beijing, where he met with Red China’s Vice President Xi Jinping to promote bilateral relations between the two single-party communist states.
While his vice president rubbed elbows with the Communist Party of Cuba’s Moscow masters, President Raul Castro welcomed Salvadoran President Carlos Mauricio Funes to the Palace of the Revolution in Havana (pictured here). Shortly before the welcoming ceremony, the Salvadoran head of state placed a wreath by the monument to Cuba’s National Hero Jose Marti, located at Revolution Square.
The arrival in Cuba of Funes, El Salvador’s first leftist president and the moderate face of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, was an historic event since the two countries only re-established diplomatic relations in June 2009, after an interruption of 48 years. During the 1980s FMLN guerrillas, with covert weapons support from the Soviet Union, Cuba and the first Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, sought to overthrow a series of US-backed rightist governments in San Salvador.
Also participating in the meeting were Hugo Roger Martinez, El Salvador’s Foreign Affairs; Esteban Lazo, Vice President of the Cuban Council of State, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. Accompanying Funes were Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez, Tourism Minister and former Salvadoran president Jose Napoleon Duarte, Economy Minister Hector Dada, and the head of the cabinet, Alexander Segovia. For this visit Funes was accompanied by over 40 entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized companies. Funes’ business-like demeanor cannot hide the fact that the CPC and FMLN are ideological cousins and network through the Sao Paulo Forum, nor does it soften the fact that Funes’ vice president, former battlefield commander and “doctrinaire Leninist” Sanchez, already put in an appearance in Havana last year.
South America’s top commie thug is also making his annual “Axis of Evil” pilgrimage to Russia, Belarus, Iran, and the People’s Republic of China. On October 4 President Chavez announced: “In a few days, I will be travelling to Russia. We have important projects with Russia. A bilateral finance bank to which Russia and Venezuela agreed two years ago could be ready to launch on time for the visit.” He confided: “A few days ago, I received a letter from the Russian president in which he was insisting that we iron out the technical and financial details of the bank. It is very likely that when I get to Moscow it will be ready.” Red China and Venezuela also have a joint finance fund, capitalized to the tune of US$12 billion. Beijing has revealed that it outlay US$16 billion to develop a heavy crude well in Venezuela’s Orinoco delta area.
Even as Chavez expels US companies from Venezuela and invites Communist Bloc consortiums to do business in South America, he is also nationalizing still more, supposedly “idle” land in three states. “We’re accelerating the agrarian revolution and to do that, lands in the western regions of Lara, Apure and Zulia will be intervened right now in October,” Chavez trumpeted during his weekly rant-fest, Alo Presidente (pictured above). “In November it will be double…and in 2011, full speed ahead!” Chavez gushed, adding: “The plan of our socialist revolution is to mount a new offensive to boost the nation’s food production.” Land Minister Juan Carlos Loyo explained: “The total area of the operation in October will be 250,000 hectares (617,000 acres), to be intervened by the National Land Institute.”
Chavez also announced his regime’s expropriation of two companies, Venezuelan company Agroisleña, which distributes and sells agrochemical products and the so-called English Company, a British firm that owns nine cattle ranches in Venezuela with a total area of 200,000 hectares (494,000 acres). “All the lands of the so-called English Company are being nationalized now, I don’t want any more delays,” grumbled Chavez, who announced the expropriation of those lands in 2005.
Chavez declared “war on big landowners” in 2004 and, according to official information, in 2009 his regime expropriated a total of 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of land that was either “unproductive” or whose ownership was not verifiable, in order “to guarantee its social use” in compliance with the National Agricultural Plan. In June, the National Assembly, which is controlled by Chavez’s PSUV, approved a reform of the Land Law that bans the leasing of agricultural land and, where leasing exists, authorizes the government to seize the land for the direct production and distribution of food products. Venezuela’s opposition denounces the expropriations as illegal, pointing out that due to Chavez’s socialist agriculture policies, Venezuelans must import 60 percent of their food.
In a related story exposing Chavez’s ties to international terrorism, Venezuela’s president is again scoffing at claims by the Spanish government that his regime is harboring Basque militants on Venezuelan soil. However, the Venezuelan government has decided to open an investigation regarding the activities of one of its employees, Arturo Cubillas, who was born in the Spanish Basque Country, after it was discovered that he apparently helped to trained suspected ETA members Xabier Atristain and Juan Carlos Besance in Venezuela. Cubillas was deported to Venezuela ten years before Chavez assumed power, but now has a position in Venezuela’s Agricultural Department, along with citizenship.
The FMLN’s comrades in Nicaragua, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, are busy re-consolidating their dictatorship, first established in 1979 after ousting the Somoza dynasty in a Soviet/Cuban-backed insurgency. This past Wednesday Sandinista judges and ex-judges “legalized” their de facto takeover of the country’s highest tribunal by electing fellow Sandinista judge Alba Luz Ramos as the new president of the Supreme Court (pictured above). The vote was “approved” by a cabal of eight Sandinista judges, including two ex-magistrates whose terms have expired, but boycotted by opposition judges, who insist the Supreme Court has been illegally constituted since last April. The Sandinista judges argue that since they hold the largest number of seats on the Supreme Court, they therefore have enough votes to elect a new directorate, even if the opposition continues to boycott the sessions. Ramos has been de facto president of the court since the spring.
“Nicaragua has lost all its institutional legitimacy and rule of law,” complained constitutional analyst Gabriel Alvarez. “This has become a de facto state where government decisions are made by force.” “A bad tree can’t produce good fruit and an illegal court can’t pass legal resolutions,” judicial analyst Sergio García told The Nica Times on October 6. García recently tore up his license to practice law in protest against President Daniel Ortega’s political pretensions and usurpations since re-assuming that post in 2007. “Nicaragua is in a complete de facto state [of lawlessness],” Garcia lamented, adding: “There is no rule of law or democracy here anymore and we are only one step away from a coup or civil war.”
Meanwhile, “post”-communist Russia is strengthening its political and economic ties with Mexico, a country whose revolution led to the world’s first socialist constitution in 1917, months before the Bolsheviks seized power in Moscow. On October 4, Igor Shchegolev, Russia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Communications, attended the International Telecommunications Union conference in Guadalajara. There he and Mexican colleague Juan Molinar, Minister of Communications and Transport, signed an agreement to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of telecommunications and information technology.
“Russia is one of major technological powers in the world and was always such a country in telecommunications. Russia is a pioneer of satellite technologies and has a vast potential that can very useful for Mexico,” Molinar enthused. Shchegolev replied: “We hope that cooperation will promote higher activities of Russian companies on the Mexican market, and companies from Mexico will receive the additional information about their opportunities in Russia.”
Molinar and Shchegolev also signed an agreement that would facilitate the sale of enriched uranium by the Russian Federal Atomic Agency (Rosatom) to Mexico. Back in Moscow, Rosatom’s head Sergei Kirienko revealed that a US firm called Nukem Inc. would act as middleman between OJSC Tekhsnabexport, the Russian company that exports nuclear materials, and the Mexican company that will take delivery of the uranium. There is only one active civilian nuclear power facility in Mexico, Laguna Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Alto Lucero, Veracruz, which produces about 4.5% of the country’s electrical energy. It is to this state-run facility, which came online in 1990, that Rosatom’s enriched uranium is presumably destined. The Mexican government considers Laguna Verde a “strategic facility” for Sistema Eléctrico Nacional.
Last February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Mexico City to offer President Felipe Calderon’s government resources to combat the country’s powerful drug cartels, a move that was later blessed by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. Those resources included military assistance, but Calderon has yet to succumb to Moscow’s temptations, even the in the face of the latest atrocities committed by the drug cartels.
On October 2 narcistas lobbed a grenade into a plaza in the town of Guadalupe, injuring 15 people, including six children. Fortunately, none of the injuries was life threatening. This was the fourth such attack in two days in the area around the large, prosperous northeast city of Monterrey, which has been victimized by a vicious turf war between the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas, renegade Mexican Army commandos who once served as the Gulf cartel’s enforcement arm. Last Friday night, separate grenade attacks occurred near the federal courts, outside a prison, and near the US consulate in Monterrey. In Acapulco, meanwhile, police continued to search for 20 Mexican nationals who were kidnapped while traveling together in the Pacific Coast resort city.
The Democratization of Mexican Politics and the Rise of the PAN-PRD Alliance
Between 1930 and 2000, one party dominated Mexican politics: the monolithic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Like other crypto-fascist-corporatist-nationalist-social democratic parties in Latin America, such as Peru’s ruling American Revolutionary Popular Alliance and Argentina’s ruling Justicialists, the PRI rejects Marxism’s class struggle concept in favour of class harmony under the banner of economic nationalism and a strong central government. At various times, a pronounced internal left-right schism was present in these three particular parties, prompting the hard-core Marxists to leave and form new organizations.
Beginning with President Plutarco Calles (1924-1928), the left wing of the PRI endeavoured to implement the neglected provisions of the 1917 constitution, including state control over natural resources and land reform. In response, some members of the US government started to refer to Mexico as “Soviet Mexico,” while the US ambassador to Mexico called Calles a “communist,” which he was not. In addition, Calles’ anti-clerical laws stripped the Catholic Church of its power, leading to the Cristero War between government troops and religious rebels, and resulting in the deaths of 90,000 people, including up to 4,000 Catholic priests.
Later, Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) promoted the socialist Confederation of Mexican Workers, implemented land reforms per the 1917 constitution, nationalized the country’s petroleum reserves, legalized the Communist Party, harboured Soviet exile Leon Trotsky, and offered safe haven for Republican exiles fleeing Falangist Spain.
Later still, between 1970 and 1976, President Luis Echeverria nationalized the mining and electrical industries, redistributed private land in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora to peasants, opposed US “expansionism,” supported Chile’s self-avowed Marxist president Salvador Allende, condemned Zionism, and allowing the Palestine Liberation Organization to open an office in Mexico City.
By the 1980s, however, President Miguel de la Madrid steered the PRI in a market-oriented direction, prompting the left wing of the party to split in 1990 and form the more clearly class-based Democratic Revolutionary Party, along with elements of the Mexican Communist Party. The election in 2000 of Vicente Fox and his center-right National Action Party, which has long enjoyed the backing of the Catholic Church, heralded a new dawn in Mexican politics. Fox’s presidency also coincided with the rise of Mexico’s drug cartels, which filled the power vacuum created by the eradication of Colombia’s Cali and Medellin cartels in the mid-1990s.
In state elections this past July the PAN and PRD entered a rare left-right alliance in six states to prevent the now centrist, once hopelessly corrupt PRI from staging a comeback that could potentially lead to the presidential palace in Mexico City in July 2012. The anti-PRI alliance was only somewhat successful, since the former party of power bagged nine out of the 12 governorships. “This election proves the PRI is the leading political force in the country,” boasted the PRI’s national leader Beatriz Paredes.
Pristas did not hesitate to cynically brand the PAN-PRD alliance “unholy” since the PRD accused the PAN of fraudulently thwarting Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s bid for the presidency in 2006. For his part, self-styled “Legitimate President of Mexico” Obrador (AMLO) stepped down from the top post in the PRD in 2008 in order to support the Workers’ Party-Convergence for Democracy (PT-CD) ticket. In reality, he remains a “red eminence” behind the PRD. This past summer AMLO, who has declared his presidential candidacy for 2012, revelled in the endorsement he received from retired Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, but he denies reports that he is receiving covert financial backing from Communist Venezuela via Mexican “Bolivarian cells.”
In public opinion polls, PRI poster boy Enrique Peña Nieto (pictured above) is leading the way for the presidential bid. According to a poll by Reforma, 40 per cent of respondents would vote for the current State of Mexico governor in the 2012 ballot. Former Mexico City mayor Obrador and former interior secretary Santiago Creel of the PAN are tied for second with 14 per cent, followed by current Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard of the PRD with nine per cent.
“Some analysts,” reports the English-language Guadalajara Reporter, “believe an left-right alliance may be a positive step for Mexico, permitting the PAN and PRD to move closer to the center as they each try to find common ground. But the union doesn’t please left-wing maverick Lopez Obrador, who vowed never to enter into an alliance with the party that ‘robbed me of victory in 2006 presidential election.'” The PRD’s new president, Jesus Ortega, cannot understand why AMLO does not support a strategic alliance to lock out the PRI. “He himself has said that the return of the PRI would be like the return of (General) Santa Ana,” commented Ortega, who ruled out any idea of running a joint presidential candidate with the Panistas in 2012.