– Nicaraguan Delegation Arrives in Moscow to Clinch Agreements Worth US$600 Million, Revive Historic Relationship between Soviets and Sandinistas
– Red Cocaine Update: Mexican Navy Intercepts 195 Tons of Crystal Meth Precursor Chemical, Shipment Originated from China, Port of Lazaro Cardenas Controlled by Beijing Buddy Li Ka-shing
On January 9, the foreign ministers of Chile, Cuba, and Venezuela met in Santiago, capital of the first country, to discuss the implementation of resolutions passed by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Spanish acronym CELAC). CELAC is an international body formally founded in Caracas at a two-day summit in early December. Notably, it excludes the USA and Canada. The ministers meeting in Santiago this month included Chile’s Alfredo Moreno, Cuba’s Bruno Rodríguez, and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro (pictured above).
Chile, whose president is billionaire Sebastian Pinera, currently holds the rotating chair of CELAC. For their parts, Cuba is a single-party communist dictatorship while President Hugo Chavez has incrementally communized Venezuela since 1999. Some of the region’s Red Axis leaders have plainly declared that CELAC is an “anti-imperialist” and “anti-capitalist” counterweight to the US-dominated Organization of American States, headquartered in Washington DC. Together, the CELAC nations have nearly 600 million people and a gross domestic product of about $US6 trillion.
In Caracas, Nicaragua’s past/present president and veteran communist Daniel Ortega triumphed over CELAC’s formation. “It’s the death sentence for the Monroe Doctrine,” he said, referring to a 19th-century US policy that many Latin Americans regard as pretext for the USA’s “meddling” in their region. Western Hemisphere analysts observe that “the new body shows the region’s wish to move out of the shadow of Washington.” The inaugural session of CELAC, for example, ratified Argentina’s claim to sovereignty over the British-ruled Falkland Islands–previously contested 30 years ago in a brief war provoked by the military junta then ruling in Buenos Aires–and condemned 50-year-old US sanctions against Cuba.
Not surprisingly, Russia, which is closely allied with the leftist-communist regimes in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin–especially Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua but also Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina–hailed the creation of CELAC. “The new structure, added to other regional and multilateral mechanisms, will contribute to increased cooperation among the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a communique. “The new organization can be an important factor for the formation of a multipolar world order. Russia is ready to undertake cooperation and political dialogue with it to strengthen the equilibrium of international relations,” stated the Kremlin, ever eager to demote the USA.
Grappling with the internal crises resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia ignored Latin America throughout that decade. In 2000, however, newly minted Russian President Vladimir Putin made a rare trip to Cuba and, eight years later, his successor, Dmitry Medvedev toured the region, visiting Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, and Cuba. For its part, Moscow has hosted Chavez, Ortega (both during and after the Cold War), Cuba’s Raul Castro (both during and after the Cold War), Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.
Russia has made no secret concerning its exportation of arms to the Western Hemisphere, continuing a long tradition extending back to the Cuban Missile Crisis; rebuilding old ideological and commercial alliances, such as with Nicaragua’s second Sandinista regime; and exploiting oil and gas reserves in joint ventures with Venezuela and Cuba.
On January 23, 2012, Russian communist organ Pravda enthusiastically endorsed the “Latin American power trio” consisting of Chavez, Morales, and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, offering the following praise and worship: “As a socialist tide sweeps the Latin American continent, three outstanding leaders of the New Left have emerged, the power trio of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.”
Pravda pontificates: “Twenty-first century socialism in Latin America is founded on strong moral and ethical principles such as fraternity and solidarity.” The same source plays up the left-nationalist component of South America’s 13-year-old Bolivarian Revolution: “Socialism in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela features a strong patriotic component, inspired by the historical experience of fighting for liberty against the Spanish invaders. Simon Bolivar – El Libertador – has become a common national symbol.”
Finally, Pravda notes with satisfaction the devotion of Latin America’s Red Axis leaders to Russia, Cuba, China, and Iran, as well as regional integration:
Chavez, Morales and Correa are charismatic leaders who have gained global admiration and support. They favor a multi-polar world, anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism. They share strong ties to other Latin American countries, Cuba, China, Russia and Iran.
Latin American strength is founded on unification. Chavez, Morales and Correa are fiery champions of ALBA (Alliance for the Peoples of our America), UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) and the newly created CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States). Latin America has its own virtual currency, the SUCRE, and its own regional bank, BANCO DEL SUR.
Something tells me, though, that even if a Republican returns to the White House in 2013, Washington’s response to the “Red Spread” south of the border will be piecemeal at best. The Oval Office needs the robust ideological presence of another Ronald Reagan, in our opinion, America’s last great president.
Incidentally, Communist China, which had virtually no presence in Latin America and the Caribbean during the Cold War, has carved out new niches in this region, including one that suggests a “Red Cocaine” scenario.
Earlier this month, the Mexican navy reported the seizure of 195 tons of methylamine, a chemical used to make the synthetic drug methamphetamine, as well as synthetic cocaine. Mexican authorities found 12 shipping containers full of this precursor chemical at the Pacific coast port of Lazaro Cardenas. The shipment originated in Red China and was destined for Guatemala and Nicaragua. Mexican navy officials said the drug cartels terrorizing their country have expanded their methamphetamine operations to Guatemala. Not so coincidentally, the port facility at Lazaro Cardenas is operated by Hutchison-Whampoa, which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who in turn is closely allied with the Communist Party of China.
According to a 2011 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the world’s main producers of synthetic drugs remain the Netherlands and Myanmar (Burma), but manufacture has lately spread to Latin America.