>Event Convergence Alert: Mystery Monday missile launch off coast of Los Angeles puzzles viewers ahead of G20 summit in South Korea

>– Pentagon Denies Involvement with Sea-Borne Launch of “Massive” Missile near Los Angeles

– Kremlin Media Concocts Story of “Unauthorized Trident-2 Launch”

This past Monday night, someone launched an intercontinental ballistic missile off the coast of California. The “massive” missile’s smokey trail was visible to residents of Los Angeles, including a CBS helicopter news team. Doug Richardson, editor of Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, examined the CBS video for the Times of London. “It’s a solid propellant missile,” he told the Times. “You can tell from the efflux [smoke].”

Robert Ellsworth, former US ambassador to NATO and a former deputy secretary of defense, viewed video of the apparent missile and commented: “It’s spectacular… It takes people’s breath away. It is a big missile.”

Frustratingly, for those who want to find the culprit, the US Navy and Air Force not only deny responsibility but also deny that the projectile was a missile. CNN reports: “Officials at the Pentagon also did not know any details about the launch and said that it could not have been planned military action. Vandenberg Air Force says it sent a rocket skyward Friday night, but there have been no launches since then.”

A regular visitor to our blog, who has a past career in the US military, concurs: the Pentagon always announces missile tests, primarily to avoid potential disasters with commercial sea and air traffic.

US President Barack Hussein Obama is attending the G20 summit in South Korea. Thus, there has been speculation that Washington was sending a not-so-subtle message to the People’s Republic of China about its ballistic “throw weight.” Along the same theme, the White House could also have been warning North Korea to avoid doing anything “stupid” during the G20 meet-and-greet.

Additional speculation centers on a hoax consisting of Photoshopped contrails from an aircraft or possibly an amateur missile. (Whoa, dude, that’s quite an amateur missile!)

For its part, the Kremlin media concocted the story of an “unauthorized ICBM launch” to explain this “UFO”: “An unauthorized ICBM Trident-2 launch is likely to have occurred off California’s coast in the United States. The opinion has been ventured by the vice-president of the Russian Council of Military Experts Alexander Vladimirov.” Comrade Vladimirov: Are you sure? An unauthorized ICBM launch from a US submarine? Heads will surely roll in the Pentagon.

On the other hand, if the missile did not originate from the US military, then there are only a few likely alternatives. Russia, of course, has significant SLBM capability, while Red China has a limited SLBM capability. North Korea or Iran could potentially launch a Shahab or Taepodong-2 missile from a ship disguised as a civilian vessel. One thing is clear: This missile delivered a big message from someone to someone.

>Latin America File: Bogota extradites FARC middleman to Caracas, Makled poured $ into Chavez coffer, won concession at Venezuelan port to ship cocaine

>– Mexican Marines Ambush, Kill Gulf Cartel Boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen in Matamoros

– University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College Cancel Classes “Because of Gunfire Taking Place across the Rio Grande”

– Cartel Gunmen Shoot Up 20 Civilians, Police in War-Wracked Ciudad Juarez over Weekend

– US Consulate in Hermosillo Imposes Travel Restrictions on Employees in Sinaloa and Sonora States; Armored Vehicles Required, Night Travel and Some Regions Banned

Pictured above: Mexican soldiers stand next to a vehicle during a gunfight with cartel members in Matamoros, on November 5, 2010.

According to Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez, Colombia will extradite a Venezuelan businessman who is accused of being a major drug kingpin in league with the narco-trafficking Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Chavez, who is visiting Havana to sign more cooperation agreements with Cuba, announced the extradition on Cuban television.

Last Tuesday, during a face-to-face meeting, Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos promised Chavez that Walid “The Turk” Makled would be shipped back to Venezuela, not the USA, where he is also wanted on drug charges. Colombian authorities arrested Makled in August in a joint operation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration. “The Turk” is accused of transporting tons of cocaine each month to the USA and the European Union.

After their meeting, Santos and Chavez pledged to improve relations between their countries, which degenerated last year over a Colombian plan to allow US counter-narcotics troops more access to its bases. They did not disclose any specific accords on Makled, who admitted in an interview that in 2007 he poured US$2 million into Chavez’s constitutional referendum campaign and, in return, obtained a concession at Venezuela’s Puerto Cabello, his alleged shipping point for drugs.

On Cuban TV, Chavez railed that the US government planned to make Makled “vomit” accusations against him and then use the false charges to justify placing Venezuela on Washington’s list of countries that support drug trafficking. “I am sure that the Colombian government is not going to take part in that game,” he rumbled.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the narco-shipping routes maintained by Latin America’s Red Axis, Mexican narcistas shot up 20 more civilians and police in war-wracked Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Among the body count were seven men who were believed to have been attending a family party when they were gunned down on Saturday night, related Arturo Sandoval, spokesman for the attorney general’s office in Chihuahua state. Five were found dead in a car, while the other two were shot at the entrance of the home. Eleven other people, Sandoval said, were killed on Saturday in Ciudad Juarez, including two whose bodies were dismembered, which is a typical gesture from Mexico’s brutal drug cartels.

On Sunday, two city police officers, a man and a woman, were ambushed and shot dead inside their patrol car. More than 6,500 people in this city alone have been killed since January 2008.

The US consulate in Hermosillo has responded to the anarchy and bloodshed in northern Mexico by declaring new travel restrictions for its employees in the states of Sinaloa and Sonora. All official travel is banned along Benito Juarez Highway between Estacion Don and Guamuchil, Sinaloa, “due to extreme threats of violence.” Consular employees must travel in armored vehicles in the rest of Sinaloa. The consulate made an exception for the coastal resort city of Mazatlan, but offered no explanation. In Sonora, the consulate is requiring it employees to travel in armored vehicles south of Ciudad Obregon and banned travel south of Navojoa and in the mountainous eastern part of the state.

US personnel, furthermore, must travel in armored vehicles in the area around Nogales, a sister town across the border from Nogales, Arizona, “due to widespread violence” and “the threat of known drug trafficking activity throughout northern Sonora.” The consulate statement added: “US employees traveling from Nogales, Arizona, to Hermosillo, can only use their own vehicles on the Mexican toll road Highway 15 during daylight hours.” Lately, the US State Department has taken “drastic measures” to protect US government employees from the narco-insurgency in Mexico, including temporarily closing some consulates.

In southwest Mexico, police in the city of Oaxaca, which witnessed considerable political unrest in 2006, found a human head in a gift-wrapped box. On Saturday night, someone dropped off the grisly body part at a cliff frequented for its view of the city’s colonial center. A threatening message left with the head was signed “Z,” an apparent reference to the Los Zetas narco-mercenaries, the former enforcement arm of the Gulf cartel. The abhorrent discovery follows by one week the daylight execution of two young men who had been involved in violent university protests in one of Oaxaca’s public plazas. Although there have been some beheadings in recent years, cartel-style violence is unusual in Oaxaca.

Los Zetas, which consists of ex-special forces soldiers from Mexico and Guatemala, have waxed in power over the past 10 years. Experts warn their clout could grow following the death last Friday of Gulf cartel boss Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as “Tony Tormenta” or “Tony the Storm.” Cardenas was killed in a shootout with Mexican marines in Matamoros, which is east of Reynosa, a city purportedly under the near-total control of criminal mafias. Friday’s operation came after more than six months of intelligence gathering by the Mexican navy, which has joined the army in battling the cartels. The four other suspected cartel members killed with Cardenas were “part of the circle of protection closest to Tony Tormenta.”

On Saturday, narcistas and security forces continued to exchange fire near the US-Mexico border, the Mexican state media reported. Authorities in Reynosa, which is across the border from McAllen, Texas, warned people to avoid road travel due to shootouts. North of the border, the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College canceled classes “because of gunfire taking place across the Rio Grande.”

Recently, Mexican authorities have scored several important wins against the cartels. In September, officials arrested Sergio Villarreal, an alleged top leader of the Beltran Leyva cartel, which maintained a representative in Colombia to liaise with FARC. Villareal’s capture came soon after the August arrest of US-born Edgar Valdez, believed to be one of Mexico’s most ruthless drug traffickers.

>USSR2 File: Belarusian communist party boss, Minsk Telegraf refer to Russia, Belarus as “communist countries”—19 years after collapse of Soviet Union

>– President Lukashenko and Russian Communist Party Boss Mend Strained Russian-Belarusian Relations, Reaffirm Close Links between “Former” Soviet Republics

– 4,000 Communists Assemble in Moscow to Celebrate 93rd Anniversary of Bolshevik Revolution, Enjoy Security Provided by Almost as Many Police and Interior Troops

– Zyuganov Joins Russian Foreign Ministry in Pleading for Life of Saddam Hussein’s Former Deputy Premier, Iraqi Government Passes Death Sentence on Tariq Aziz

Every now and again the Eastern European media yields nuggets of truth that expose the fraudulent character of the “collapse” of communism nearly 20 years ago. On October 28, 2010, Belarus’ Telgraf website contained several gems related to President Alexander Lukashenko’s reception of Gennady Zyuganov in Minsk. Zyuganov (pictured above) is the long-time chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation, legal heir of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lukashenko, who is facing re-election next month, enthused:

I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov for his support and constructive position in the Belarusian-Russian question.

Thank you for having at least one person in Russia who has responded to everything that is happening, and suggested an urgent discussion of issues to make everything clear.

Of course, you’re a competent person. I am watching your work very closely, as well as the work of the Russian Communist Party. I think that having known each other for fifteen years or even more, you’ll never be able to throw a stone in my garden.

We were never shy to talk about socialism, communism, our past, World War, the expansion of NATO, our defense, though it was forbidden.

We have always maintained good relationships with you. I’ve always tried to inform you and the party as much as possible about the current events, which has recently begun to cause some resentment and allergies in your government. But, nevertheless, I really appreciate that you’ve applied to the problem that has always excited the party and will continue to excite. Since it’s probably one of the cornerstones of the policy of the Russian Communist Party.

Our assessment and our actions in Belarus are absolutely transparent and there are no discrepancies. Nevertheless, there are so many moments that I would like to discuss with you, to consult on some issues.

For his part, Chairman Zyuganov passed greetings from Russia’s “leftist and national-patriotic forces” to the Belarusian dictator. According to Tatiana Golubeva, First Secretary of the pro-Lukashenko Communist Party of Belarus, Zyuganov planned to meet with representatives of her party on October 28. Comrade Golubeva disclosed that the Russian and Belarusian communist parties will discuss “issues of cooperation between the two Communist countries [!?], the state and development prospects of the international communist movement, and Russian-Belarusian relations.”

It is possible, of course, that Golubeva meant to say “issues of cooperation between the two Communist parties,” because she does refer to “Russian-Belarusian relations” later in her quote. However, “country/motherland” (rodina) and “party” (partyia) are two very distinct words, even in the Belarusian language. Significantly, the Telegraf made no attempt to correct or criticize Golubeva’s reference to Russia and Belarus as “communist countries” in 2010. Apart from a few anti-communist bloggers, such as yours truly, this incriminating faux pas will no doubt go unnoticed in the Western MSM.

Although Belarus complained about unfair treatment related to its admission to the new Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, in truth there is no substantial disagreement between the “ex”-communists who reign in Moscow and Minsk. Indeed, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently endorsed a new military-technical treaty between the two countries, one that is designed to protect the Union State of Russia and Belarus from common threats of aggression and war (meaning NATO). Incidentally, in another sign of structural reorganization within the Communist Bloc, Vietnam has proposed a free trade agreement with the Russian-Belarusian-Kazakh customs union.

In a related story, on November 7 thousands of Communists assembled in downtown Moscow to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution, while at another rally in the Russian capital 1,300 former Soviet paratroopers demanded the ouster of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who has initiated widespread reforms in the Russian military’s command structure. Zyuganov told Ekho Moskvy radio that 30,000 participants showed up at his rally at Tverskaya Ploshchad, but a city police spokesman told the independent Moscow Times that only 4,000 attended.

Russia no longer officially celebrates the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 but, rather, Unity Day, which on November 4 marks the liberation of Russia from Polish invaders in 1612. However, this past Sunday, Moscow’s new mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, a slavish devotee of Putin, attended a parade in Red Square, in which Russian soldiers reenacted the Soviet counter-thrust against the “fascist” (Nazi German) invaders in November 1941.

In light of the 45-year Soviet occupation of Poland, the Russian military’s mock nuclear attack against Poland in 2009, and the suspicious demise this past March of President Lech Kaczynski and his top generals aboard a Polish Air Force jet in Russian airspace, Putin’s anti-Polish “Unity Day” is another sick communist joke.

Meanwhile, even though Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime in Iraq is long gone, the backing it once enjoyed from the Soviet Union and “post”-communist Russia came into view again when the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s potemkin ruling party United Russia, and Communist politicians rallied to the defense of Tariq Aziz. Last Tuesday, Iraq’s supreme criminal court convicted Hussein’s former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of murder and crimes against humanity. The court sentenced Aziz to death, along with former interior minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hmoud, one-time aide to Hussein.

Interfax registered the opposition of several Russian politicians to Aziz’s death sentence. “What has happened in Iraq is the elimination of a witness and a settling of accounts between different religions, not a victory for justice,” protested Mikhail Margelov, head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council. “Nothing can justify this sentence,” Margelov added. “We will . . . call on the international community and parliamentarians in Europe and the United States to prevent this assassination,” ranted Zyuganov, “Aziz is a very sick old man.” Russia strongly opposed the 2003 US-led invasion of its former client state Iraq.

The verdict also provoked quick reaction from the European Union and Amnesty International, while the Vatican urged clemency for Aziz, who is a professed Christian. Last year, Aziz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his part in the 1992 murder of dozens of merchants and to a further seven years for his role in the forced displacement of Kurds from northern Iraq.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: North Korea’s top general confers with Cuban counterpart; South Korea: Armed forces on “highest alert” for G20 summit

>Pictured here: On November 3, 2010 South Korean police officers inspect the Han River, prior to the upcoming G20 Summit in Seoul. South Korea’s police chief has raised the prospect that North Korea may attempt to disrupt the November 11-12 gathering of world leaders. Some 50,000 police will be deployed throughout the event.

The single-party communist dictatorships that terrorize Cuba and North Korea are closing ranks in the area of military cooperation. Last Friday, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, a senior military leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), arrived in Havana for an official visit. Ri, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, and his entourage are scheduled to meet with senior officers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba and visit military schools and units. Last April in Pyongyang, Ri held talks with a military delegation from Cuba, both praising the development of bilateral ties.

This is the first trip to Cuba by Ri, who was promoted to the post of vice marshal as part of a September leadership reshuffle that will probably pave the way for a hereditary power transfer in the reclusive state. Ri was also named, along with Kim Jong-il’s youngest son and heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, to the country’s powerful Central Military Commission.

Cuba’s retired dictator Fidel Castro has been a vocal supporter of North Korea, which was created in 1945 under the aegis of Soviet occupational troops. After an international investigation into the March 2010 sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan found a North Korean torpedo attack responsible, Castro branded the findings a “strange fabrication.”

In a related story, the chief of the Republic of Korea’s National Intelligence Service contends that North Korea has a force of 1,000 computer hackers who can be deployed to engage in cyber warfare. Addressing lawmakers in a parliamentary audit last Thursday the country’s spymaster called North Korea’s cyber skills “remarkable.” The red regime in Pyongyang also maintains hacking networks in the People’s Republic of China. Over the past year North Korea was believed to have instigated several cyber attacks on key government offices in Seoul.

Earlier this week, South Korea’s National Police Agency claimed to have found evidence that North Korean hackers were collecting information on sewage and traffic systems around the upcoming G20 summit site. However, the South Korean government has assured foreign dignitaries that security at the summit will be unprecedented, with the armed forces going on their “highest alert.” G20 leaders will converge in Seoul on November 11 and 12 to discuss the global financial system and the world economy. South Korea is the first non-G8 nation to host a G-20 Leaders’ Summit.

Invading South Korea during the G20 summit would be an ideal opportunity for the Communist North to potentially wipe out a number of Western leaders, but this would no doubt precipitate the Fourth World War. In June 2009, the 27-year-old Kim Jong-un reportedly travelled to Beijing where he secretly presented himself for the approval of the Communist Chinese leadership.

>Latin America File: Ortega predicts bloodshed if Costa Rica does not cease “provocations”; ex-guerrilla wins run-off vote for Brazilian presidency

>– Rousseff Surrounds Herself with Marxist Advisers: Personal Ally and Lula’s Finance Minister Antonio Palocci FARC’s Unofficial Brazilian Contact

– No “Dreadlock Holiday” in Mexico: More Bullet-Riddled Bodies Turn Up in Acapulco as Hotel Occupancy Plummets

Pictured here: Arturo Valenzuela, US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, speaks with Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega before a meeting in Managua, on October 28, 2010.

Daniel Ortega is fighting old battles in Central America. Harsh words from Managua reveal that Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator has not changed his warmongering ways, first exposed in the 1980s when the Sandinista Popular Army used Soviet arms and helicopter gunships to eradicate a US-backed counter-insurgency. This past Tuesday, President Ortega predicted bloodshed if Costa Rica does not cease its alleged provocations across the disputed San Juan River, which separates the two countries along their common eastern frontier.

Since October 24, each country has accused the other of illegal incursions by armed troops, in the case of Nicaragua its regular military and in the case of Costa Rica its national police. Costa Rica has no standing army, a fact that Sandinista propaganda conveniently overlooks. Both governments have fired off angry diplomatic protests, including, in the case of San Jose, to the Organization of American States.

Now Ortega is ratcheting up the rhetoric by denouncing peaceful Costa Rica’s “expansionist” intention to “steal” the San Juan. Appealing to the July 2009 resolution from the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which awarded ownership of the river to Nicaragua and navigation rights to Costa Rica, Ortega ranted:

Costa Rica is bellicosely threatening Nicaragua with elite troops dressed like “Rambo.” Who has any doubt that it’s part of the geopolitical vision of Costa Rica to claim ownership of the San Juan River?

In the 1600s and 1700s, the river covered an enormous amount of territory at its delta. And as the zone has dried, the river has moved and [Costa Rica] has continued to advance and take possession of terrain that doesn’t belong to it. The way things are going, if the San Juan River continues to move north and join with the Río Grande of Matagalpa [in the northern zone], that’s how far [Costa Rica] would claim its territory extended.

Nicaragua has the right to dredge the San Juan River to recover the flow of waters that existed in 1858, even if that affects the flow of water of other current recipients, such as the Colorado River.

Costa Rica cannot impede such an operation in Nicaraguan territory.

“We don’t want the blood of brothers to spill,” Ortega concluded ominously.

Following last Sunday’s run-off vote for the Brazilian presidency, South America’s largest country remains firmly in the camp of the Latin American Red Axis. Former urban guerrilla Dilma Rousseff won the election against her opponent Jose Serra, past governor of Sao Paulo state. Rousseff is a cadre of the ruling center-left Workers’ Party (PT) and outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s anointed successor. The daughter of a Bulgarian communist who found exile in Brazil between the two world wars, Rousseff enjoys the glowing endorsement of Venezuela’s red tyrant, Hugo Chavez. The PT governs in coalition with several other parties, including the Communist Party of Brazil.

Following her victory, Brazil’s next leader conferred by telephone with Chavez, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and US President Barack Hussein Obama. Rousseff also met with personal allies like former finance minister Antonio Palocci to discuss her transition to power, Rousseff’s foreign policy adviser Marco Aurelio Garcia told reporters in Brasilia on Monday.

The country’s first female president vowed her main goal is to eradicate poverty in Brazil while controlling spending. “We’ll care for our economy with complete responsibility,” the 62-year-old Rousseff told supporters in Brasilia. “The Brazilian people don’t accept governments that spend at unsustainable levels and for that reason we will make every effort to improve public spending.”

Brazil’s president-elect will benefit from a majority in Congress. The PT scooped up five additional Senate seats in last month’s preliminary elections, bringing to 14 the number of lawmakers the party has in the 81-seat chamber. Parties backing the government will control another 35. In Congress’ lower house Rousseff’s coalition obtained 311 of 513 seats.

Rousseff joins a shortlist of female presidents in Latin America, including Argentina’s Kirchner and Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla. Chile’s Michelle Bachelet stepped down earlier this year to make way for center-right opponent Sebastian Pinera. However, Rousseff joins a somewhat longer list of over-the-hill ex-guerrillas who occupy presidential and vice-presidential posts in the Western Hemisphere.

Investors will eyeball Rousseff’s cabinet picks for clues to how serious she is about controlling spending, explained Marcela Meirelles, an emerging-market analyst with TCW Group Inc. Returning campaign adviser Palocci to his former post as finance minister, she predicted, would trigger a “huge rally,” especially in fixed-income assets.

This would be an intriguing development because in 2005 Brazil’s Media without Mask website exposed Palocci, Lula’s 2002 campaign manager, as the unofficial Brazilian contact for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. For his part, Garcia, mentioned above, is a “hard-line Marxist” and past executive secretary of the subversive Sao Paulo Forum. Marxist Rousseff has surrounded herself with ideological kin who have thus far successfully disguised their true color.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s drug war rages in the tourist haven of Acapulco, where more than 30 people have been murdered over the past 10 days. On Tuesday, police found the bullet-riddled bodies of four young men on a road in the Pacific resort city. Last week, a Canadian businessman vacationing in Acapulco disappeared and is feared dead. A month ago, 20 Mexican tourists were allegedly abducted from the city. The Reforma daily reports that hotel occupancy in Acapulco has dropped to around 60 percent, compared to previous years, suggesting the narco-insurgency has in fact deterred tourists.

Across Mexico over the last few days more than 22 people have succumbed to drug violence. In eastern Veracruz state, six male bodies were thrown from a moving vehicle, acknowledged state attorney general Salvador Mikel Rivera, citing witnesses. Four others died in a shootout between the army and gunmen in northern Durango state, the attorney general’s office related. Six other violent deaths were reported overnight in Mexico’s “murder capital,” Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. Mexican and US authorities are probing the killings of four US citizens, two with criminal records, who were shot in Ciudad Juarez over the weekend.

In the same city, Mexican police have arrested a suspect in the March 13 killing of a US consular employee and her husband. Miguel Angel Nevarez Escajeda, alias “El Lentes” (Glasses), was detained last weekend on the basis of an anonymous tip. In early July, another suspect, Jesus Ernesto Chavez Castillo, the purported boss of a gang of gunmen enforcing for the Juarez cartel, was arrested in connection with those slayings.

Incidentally, in view of the latest bloodshed in Acapulco, communist guerrillas such as the Popular Revolutionary Army couldn’t do a better job in attacking Mexico’s “bourgeois” structures.

>Final Phase Backgrounder: The Soviet Story film exposes Stalin’s "class genocide" against Soviet citizens, cynical pact with fellow socialist Hitler

>The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century.
— Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent, current prime minister and past president of Russian Federation; statement made in April 2005

Pictured above: Pro-Kremlin youth burn an effigy of Soviet Story director Snore outside the Latvian embassy in Moscow.

Yesterday I watched The Soviet Story DVD which, surprisingly, I found at our public library. Directed by Edvins Snore and first released in 2008, this film documents the murder of millions of Soviet citizens under Stalin, as well as the Soviet dictator’s sordid, cynical pact with fellow Jew-hating socialist Hitler.

Among the experts interviewed are Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, GRU defector Viktor Suvorov, and contributers to Harvard University Press’ Black Book of Communism, first published in the late 1990s. The similarities between Nazism and communism are emphasized, demolishing the common perception of their mutual hostility.

This shocking documentary contains old footage and many pictures of mounds of corpses piled up by the Gestapo/SS and NKVD and, therefore, is not recommended for young children or the faint of heart. However, The Soviet Story ably supports many of the contentions made at this and related blogs. As the film’s promotional website relates, the Kremlin media has launched its own propaganda war against Snore.

>Latin America File: Chavez sends thugs to attack, kidnap business leaders, nationalizes more industries; Uribe warns against nuclear Venezuela

>– Israel Frets Russia Will Make Good on 2007 Contract, Evade UN Sanctions by Delivering S-300 Anti-Missile System to Iran Via Venezuela

Pictured here: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez consoles Argentine counterpart Cristina Kirchner at the wake of her husband, the late President Nestor Kirchner, in Buenos Aires, on October 28, 2010.

The descent of Venezuela into the hellhole of Bolivarian communism continued last week with the kidnapping and attempted murder of Venezuelan business leaders who are outspoken critics of President Hugo Chavez’s nationalization drive.

On Thursday, October 28 gunmen in Caracas opened fire on a car carrying leaders of Venezuela’s national business federation Fedecamaras, wounding one of them before hijacking the vehicle. Noel Alvarez, president of Fedecamaras, and Albis Munoz, a former president of the same organization, were in the hijacked vehicle. Alvarez relates his ordeal: “When we braked, they began shooting at us without saying a word. The former president [of the federation] Albis Munoz was hit by three bullets. They made us get out of the car and began to hit us. They drove us around Caracas for two hours, and then they released us.”

The gunmen dumped Munoz at a hospital, where she was later pronounced to be in stable condition. Alvarez and Fedecamaras treasurer Ernesto Villasmil were deposited at a motorway off-ramp.

Chavez’s interior minister, Tareck El Aissami, assured reporters that police had their best detectives on the case, and pledged the investigation would be “transparent and objective.” “All the evidence, including the recovered vehicle and interviews with those affected, everything points to the motive of robbery, although we do not rule out other hypotheses,” soothed El Aissami, leaving open the possibility of a political motivation, which is certainly the conclusion at this blog.

While it is true that Venezuela has witnessed a crime wave of late and that Caracas has one of the highest murder rates in the world, it is also true that Alvarez is a prominent opponent of Chavez’s Cuban-style communism. “But I do want to say that this forms part of the climate of insecurity that we have in Venezuela, and the government has the responsibility to try to establish greater security,” Alvarez admonished after his release. In June, President Chavez called Fedecamaras “one of the biggest obstacles to progress” in Venezuela and the business federation’s leaders “enemies of the nation.”

Over the weekend, Chavez plunged further into his latest expropriation binge by nationalizing Venezuela’s largest privately owned steel producer Siderurgica del Turbio SA. The company exports steel products to countries throughout Latin America, as well as to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Chavez has ordered the National Guard to “safeguard” the company’s seven plants. Telephone calls to the company’s headquarters in Caracas went unanswered late Sunday, shortly after the president announced the expropriation.

In early October, Chavez announced the nationalization of Industrias Venoco, the country’s largest independent automotive lubricants company. The Venezuelan dictator, whose communist regime has nationalized more than 300 companies in just the last two years, explained that the expropriation includes Venoco subsidiaries Nacional de Grasas Lubricantes and Aditivos de Orinoco. Chávez accuses Venoco of overcharging for lubricants and other oil derivative products.

Intriguingly, Venoco is almost entirely owned by Franklin Duran, who in 2008 was found guilty in a Miami federal court of being an unregistered agent of the Venezuelan government. Duran’s conviction stemmed from the so-called Suitcase-gate scandal, in which US government prosecutors proved that Duran transported US$800,000 from Chavez to Argentina, to aid the presidential campaign of then-candidate Cristina Kirchner. Center-leftist Kirchner, who is now president, denied any involvement in the case, while Duran is completing a four year prison sentence.

Incidentally, Cristina’s husband, Nestor, Argentina’s previous president, died of a heart attack on October 27, prompting a eulogy from Chavez. According to Venezuela’s top commie thug, Nestor, who was secretary general of the Lenin-inspired Union of South American Nations when he died, “left a legacy of dignity.”

Venezuela’s strategic alliance and nuclear partnership with Russia has also provoked concern among US allies in the region, including former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. Last Tuesday, speaking after receiving an award from Spain’s International Observatory of Victims of Terrorism, Uribe declared: “Venezuela’s arms race is very dangerous both for the security of its own citizens and Venezuela’s neighbors. The Venezuelan government has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but has not signed its additional protocols.” Last month, Caracas and Moscow announced a deal under which Russia will help the South American country to build its first nuclear power station. Chavez, a long-time nemesis of Uribe, claims that his country only seeks to “diversify energy sources.”

Uribe was presented with the award by John Frank Pinchao Blanco, a police officer who was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces in Colombia in 1998 and held captive until his escape in 2007. The former president dedicated his award to the Colombian police and armed forces. Uribe also commented that the proposed legalization of marijuana in California is a threat to regional security.

Meanwhile, Israel, which is on Chavez’s “Bad List,” along with the USA, is worried that Iran will eventually obtain, via Venezuela, the S-300 anti-missile systems that Russia, backing out of a 2007 contract, has now promised it will not hand over to Tehran. “This is a real possibility, considering the close ties between Venezuela and Iran,” an Israeli official familiar with the deal told The Jerusalem Post.

Venezuela and Iran are close allies. Indeed, Chavez has visited counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad eight times, most recently last month, when he inked a number of agreements aimed at increasing their strategic partnership. The S-300 is one of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft-missile systems in the world, with a purported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12. It has a range of about 200 kilometers and can take out targets at altitudes of 90,000 feet.

>Latin America File: Sandinistas escalate border row with San Jose, plant flag on Costa Rican soil, Chinchilla reinforces police deployments

>– Sandinistas Flout Constitutional Order, De Facto Elections Chief, Ortega Crony Announces Elections for November 2011

Nicaragua has escalated its border row with Costa Rica, which focuses on a dredging operation carried out by the government of President Daniel Ortega in the San Juan River. Under international law, the river belongs to Nicaragua, but Costa Rica enjoys navigation rights. A week ago this past Friday, San Jose alleged that Sandinista revolutionary hero Eden Pastora, who heads up the operation, illegally entered Costa Rican territory, accosted a rancher, asserted Nicaraguan sovereignty over the ranch, and then dredged a chunk of the man’s land into the river.

Yesterday, Costa Rican Security Minister José María Tijerino revealed that members of the Nicaraguan army had been spotted on Isla Calero, a piece of land on the Costa Rican side of the San Juan. Tijerino added that pictures and video reveal a Nicaraguan flag has been placed on the property. The flag is located on the same property, known as Finca Aragón, where trees were cut down and sediment deposited by the Russian-built Nicaraguan dredge.

“A flyover this morning above Isla Calero revealed the presence of Nicaraguan troops in national territory, Costa Rican territory,” Tijerino explained, adding:

There is a Nicaraguan flag and tents belonging to the Nicaraguan army. … Because of this, the National Police will reinforce its presence in the zone to protect national territory. Costa Rica, which doesn’t have an army, is looking for a solution to this conflict through diplomatic channels. We are looking for a solution that, if possible, will not further aggravate the situation.

Last week, the Costa Rican government lodged a formal protest with the Nicaraguan ambassador and dispatched up to 90 heavily armed police officers to the patrol the border (pictured above). Smarting from the accusations, Nicaragua’s acting foreign minister, Manuel Coronel Kautz, fired off a diplomatic note to San Jose, protesting apparent incursions by Costa Rican “troops” on Nicaraguan soil. Kautz bristled:

Our government rejects the incursion in past days of Nicaraguan territory by two armed officers of the OIJ [Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Organization], who were arrested during border monitoring activities and returned to Costa Rican authorities.

Nicaragua, respectful of the principle of International Law, will continue with the cleanup work in the river and will protect the borders and sovereignty of Nicaragua.

Notwithstanding Managua’s rhetoric, Costa Rica does not have “troops” per se since it disbanded its army after the Second World War, a fact that President Laura Chinchilla tersely pointed out afterwards. However, around 60 officers of the national police, some armed with M-60 machine guns, are stationed at the community center and elementary school in Barra del Colorado, a small town in the northeast corner of the country. Costa Rican Coast Guard boats are patrolling the mouth of the San Juan River, which flows into the Caribbean Sea.

Nicaragua’s Sandinista army commander, General Julio Aviles, maintains that his soldiers are on the northern side of the border as part of an anti-drug operation. Costa Rica has appealed to the Organization of American States.

While the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border row, like Managua’s tiff with Bogota over maritime rights in the Caribbean Sea, may seem like a “tempest in a tea cup,” these developments are worth monitoring. Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator is closely allied with Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela, as well as other Communist Bloc states like North Korea, Syria, Libya, and Iran. There is every sound reason for believing that Ortega may purposely enflame tensions in Central America to legitimize Venezuela’s massive, Made-in-Russia arms procurements, as well as Russia’s pledge to modernize Cuba and Nicaragua’s Soviet-vintage militaries.

Meanwhile, on October 28 the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front continued to flout Nicaragua’s constitutional order when craven party hack Roberto Rivas, de facto president of the Supreme Electoral Council, convoked general elections for November 6, 2011. Though Rivas’s term in this capacity expired four months ago, gridlock in the National Assembly has prevented the election of new magistrates. Rivas clings to his post by citing Ortega’s decree last January extending the terms of 25 top judges and magistrates. Nicaragua’s political parties have one week to submit their paperwork to participate in the electoral process and until March 18 to present their candidates.

Tellingly, Rivas made the announcement only to Sandinista-controlled media outlets during an event closed to independent media. Rivas, a close confidant of KGB asset Ortega, did not clarify the conditions under which international observers will be allowed to observe the electoral process. In fact, in recent statements to the local press, Rivas warned that foreign observers who criticize Nicaragua’s electoral process, “Will be put on the first plane back to their own country.”

“It’s paradoxical that the same people who are responsible for the [municipal electoral] fraud of Nov. 9, 2008 are convoking a new electoral process,” remarked Carlos Tünnerman, spokesman for the civic group Movement for Nicaragua, to The Nica Times. “The people of Nicaragua have to be aware of that.” Tünnerman cautioned that the convocation of elections could be a “trap” laid by Ortega to disqualify parties that refuse to participate in an election that many consider fraudulent from the get-go. “Of course we are going to participate in the electoral process,” protested Roberto Ferrey, president of the Nicaraguan Resistance Party, which represents the interests of the former US-backed Contra rebels.

In September, the White House for the first time ever named Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras as major transit hubs for drug trafficking. Army-less Costa Rica lacks the resources to combat the traffic. Several months ago, the US Treasury also identified two Costa Rican businesses as money laundering fronts for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which supplies 90 percent of the cocaine sold on US streets. The companies Agropecuaria San Cayetano de Costa Rica Ltda and Arrocera El Gaucho Ltda are owned by a “FARC financial associate,” Jose Cayetano Melo, revealed the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control in a June press release.

In 2008, Costa Rica’s Security Minister Fernando Berrocal resigned after insinuating possible links between FARC and some Costa Rican politicians. From the 1960s through the 1980s, admitted diplomat Melvin Saenz in an article posted on the website of Chinchilla’s National Liberation Party, “Costa Rica was a rest stop and medical rehabilitation location for Colombian rebel groups, including the FARC. They would interact with people in this country, not just the [left-wing] Popular Vanguard and Socialist Party but the [moderate] National Liberation too.”

“However, the tone has changed,” comments Alex Leff at the Global Post, “Today it’s faux pas to discuss FARC friends in most [Costa Rican] circles.” FARC is accused of infiltrating other countries in Central America, especially the dense jungles of southern Panama, where the guerrillas have exchange gunfire with Panamanian police patrols.

Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel is also suspected of being active in both Costa Rica and Panama, which may be one reason why anti-drug units unearthed a rare cache of illegal weapons in the home of a Guatemalan-born sociology professor. In May, Panamanian police arrested Professor Vinicio Jimenez, who teaches at the Chiriqui Regional University, following the raid on his residence. Police seized 47 assault rifles, 24 machine pistols, 487,000 rounds of ammunition, and almost 4,000 grenades. Pacific Coast province Chiriqui borders southern Costa Rica. Guatemala is home to violent drug gangs like Mara Salvatrucha.

>Latin America File: Mexico’s narcistas kill 3, wound 16 in coordinated attacks against four police HQs in Monterrey area, State Police Center targeted

>Mexico’s drug cartels are apparently determined to seize power from the legitimate government and transform the USA’s southern neighbor into an international base for lawlessness and criminality. On Saturday, narcistas armed with grenades and guns launched coordinated attacks against four police headquarters in the area of Monterrey and surrounding towns. At least 16 people were wounded and three killed. Pictured above: Mexican soldiers.

During the first attack, a bystander and two suspected gunmen were killed in the crossfire. Another 12 police and four civilians were left injured. The State Police Center, in the city of Monterrey, was a target, while the other attacks were against police HQs in Montemorelos, Allende, and Guadalupe. Monterrey, located about 140 miles from the US border, is Mexico’s most affluent city, producing eight percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Regional officials admit that an upsurge in drug violence is undermining economic growth in Monterrey. More than 650 drug killings have taken place this year in and around Monterrey, more than in the past four years combined. This weekend’s offensive against Monterrey’s police forces follows a week of massacres perpetrated by narcistas in various spots around the country. More than 29,000 people have died in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon launched his campaign to crush the drug cartels in late 2006.

>Latin America File: Narcistas kill 9 police in Mexico’s Jalisco state; shoot up employees of US-owned factory; 5 dead in Guadalajara grenade attack

>Massacres have arrived in the federal district.
— Mexico City’s El Universal newspaper, referring to October 28 drive-by shooting

This past week has witnessed an orgy of violence in Mexico’s narco-insurgency, revealing President Felipe Calderon’s ineffective response to this dangerous threat to his country’s political stability and economic viability. With 7,000 victims during the first 10 months of 2010, this year has been the bloodiest in Calderon’s four-year campaign against the drug cartels. These victims include cartel gunmen, soldiers, police, civilians, US tourists, and migrant workers from Central and South America. Neither adult nor child has been spared.

Since last Friday, heavily armed narcistas have carried out at least six massacres of civilians and police forces:

– Friday, October 22: Gunmen storm and shoot dead 14 teenagers and young people at a birthday party in Ciudad Juarez, in the border state of Chihuahua.

– Sunday, October 24: Gunmen storm a drug rehabilitation center in Tijuana, in the border state of Baja California, lining up and executing 13 recovering addicts.

– Wednesday, October 27: Gunmen massacre 15 people at a car wash in Tepic in the Pacific Coast state of Nayarit.

– Thursday, October 28: Gunmen ambush three buses carrying factory workers in the small village of Caseta, near Ciudad Juarez, killing at least five women. The deceased include three women and a man, all employees of Eagle Ottawa Leather, a firm headquartered in Detroit that makes upholstery for automobiles.

– Same day: Gunmen in two trucks shoot dead six young men in Mexico City, where mass shootings are rare.

On Friday, narcistas travelling in at least 10 SUVs ambushed 20 police on patrol in Jalisco state. The ambushers were armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers. Nine officers were shot dead, while a tenth was apprently kidnapped. The 10 officers who surived the ambush fought back for several hours, until the gunmen retreated into the neighboring state of Michoacan. In a separate incident, at least five people were injured in grenade attacks in a suburb of Guadelajara, the capital of Jalisco. Two of those wounded were toddlers and a third was a 17-year-old girl.

“Foreign-owned firms so far have been largely immune from Mexico’s rising extortion plague, trade association officials and security consultants say,” reports the Houston Chronicle, adding: “But they add that some Mexican employees, especially those with knowledge of merchandise shipments, occasionally have been targeted by gangsters.” The Chronicle quotes Daniel Johnson, an executive with Houston-based Medex Global Solutions, as saying: “There has been a perceived immunity for North Americans operating in Mexico But in the past year we’ve seen that immunity fade away rather quickly.”

To describe Mexico’s drug violence as an insurgency is not an overstatement. Even US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has compared Mexico’s descent into chaos to that of Colombia’s struggle with the Medellin and Cali cartels in the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recognizes Mexico’s narco-insurgency as a threat to US national security, but the Mexican government’s nationalism has thwarted the acceptance of significant military-technical assistance from Washington. If this was a communist rebellion, like the one in Colombia, Calderon’s government should have long since declared martial law and taken whatever measures are necessary to vanquish the cartels.

To implicate Latin America’s Red Axis in the destabilization of the USA’s southern neighbour, moreover, is not an overstatement either. Colombia’s communist rebels supply 90 percent of the cocaine passing through the hands of the Mexican drug lords. The red regimes in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia also have important roles to play in Moscow’s narco-subversion of the West, serving as transhipment hubs or providing safe havens to grow and process coca. The presidents of these countries—Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, and Evo Morales—spotlight high-profile drug busts but, tellingly, they have rejected any US counter-narcotics presence in their countries to decisively wipe out this scourge. Are their motives monetary or ideological? We would venture to say both.

>WW4 File: Russian Strategic Missile Forces, subs test-launch Topol ICBMs, Sineva SLBMs, target Kamchatka; Bulava successfully launched

>– Russian Air Force Carries Out Concurrent Large-Scale Cruise Missile Test Near Ural Mountains

The Soviet strategists, even as they hold out the promise of cooperation with NATO, continue to prepare for war with the West in the latest round of test launches of ICBMs and SLBMs. Red China’s state media reports that the Russian Armed Forces launched three strategic missiles on Thursday, one from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia and two from submarines in the submerged position.

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces launched a Topol-M ICBM at 01:59 p.m. Moscow time (0759 GMT). The RS-12M’s warhead successfully hit a target in the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Far East Russia, 20 minutes later. The test launch confirmed the missile’s performance after extending its service life. The Topol-M has a range of about 11,000 kilometers and can reportedly penetrate any current and future US missile shield defense.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet test fired an RSM-50 SLBM from the ballistic missile submarine K-433 St. George the Victorious, then prowling about the Sea of Okhotsk. The RSM-50, flying in the opposite direction as the Topol-M, struck a target in the Chizha testing ground, near Arkhangelsk. Russia’s Northern Fleet also test launched a Sineva ICBM from the K-117 Bryansk submarine in the Bering Sea, successfully hitting a target at the Kura range in Kamchatka.

On Friday, Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin announced that a Bulava SLBM was launched from the submarine Dmitry Donskoy and successfully reached its target at Kura. The new Bulava missile has had a troubled history of failed tests.

In addition to testing new and old ICBMs and SLBMs, the Russian Air Force carried out a large-scale cruise missile test at the Pemboi testing site in the Urals republic of Komi. During the aviation exercise, air crews flying Tu-160, Tu-95MS, and Tu-22M3 bombers refined their skills in aerial refueling and interacting with support planes. About 50 aircraft supported the bombers, including MiG-31 interceptors, Su- 27SM fighters, Beriev A-50 Shmel airborne warning and control systems aircraft, and Il-78 aerial refueling tankers.

>Latin America File: Narcistas in W. Mexico perpetrate 3rd massacre in one week, entire police force of small town resigns after HQ attacked

>October 28, 2010 Update: Gunmen in Two Trucks Open Fire in Mexico City, Kill Six

Mexico is fast descending into anarchy and pervasive organized criminality, while both the Mexican and US governments fiddle. In fact, the level of violence appears to be approaching that of the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and the Cristero War (1926-1929).

South of the Rio Grande, the drug cartels have been notoriously active over the past week, carrying out at least three large-scale massacres, each claiming more than a dozen lives. The first took place in Ciudad Juarez on Friday, at which time gunmen cut down 14 teenage partygoers. The second took place in Tijuana on Saturday, at which time gunmen executed 13 recovering drug addicts. The third incident took place today in Tepic, which is located in the western state of Nayarit, where narcistas shot up 13 patrons at a car wash.

In a related story, the entire police force of Los Ramones, a small town in Nuevo Leon, resigned Tuesday after narcistas sprayed the force’s new headquarters with more than 1,000 bullets and lobbed six grenades at the building on Monday night. No one was injured in the attack, but six police vehicles were destroyed (pictured above). Mayor Santos Salinas Garza told local media that the officers resigned because of the incident. (Uh, no kidding.) The station had been inaugurated only three days earlier.

The attack was the second in less than a week against police forces in Nuevo Leon. Last week, narcistas threw two grenades at police in Sabinas Hidalgo. Several mayors in the region have been assassinated. Mexico’s municipal police forces often hand in their badges out of fear after being attacked by cartels. About 90% of forces have less than 100 officers, while 61% of cops earn less than US$322 a month.

On Thursday morning, gunmen in two trucks opened fire after driving by a group of young men, aged between 20 and 25, who were standing at a street corner in Mexico City’s Cuauhtemoc district. Six died, but no motive for the killings is known.

>Latin America/USSR2/Middle East Files: Chavez wraps up “Axis of Evil” tour with 9th visit to Russia, pit stops in Belarus, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Libya

>Last week, Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez completed his ninth visit to Russia, meeting counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, laying a foundation stone in Moscow for a statue of the South American liberator Simon Bolivar, and inking an agreement with Rosatom to build a 2,400 megawatt nuclear reactor in Venezuela. The last, naturally, has provoked some consternation in Washington. Russia also agreed to set up a plant in Venezuela to manufacture Lada cars, as well as supply Venezuela with gas turbines and assistance in compressed gas production on Lake Maracaibo.

Medvedev pledged to continue arming Venezuela to the teeth. For his part, Chavez praised Russia’s expanding presence in Latin America which, during the Cold War, was thwarted by the presence of numerous right-wing military dictatorships. “Latin America is witnessing a revival, just as Russia did several years ago.” Referring to a future world with no US influence anywhere, he added: “We must join forces in an effort to build a multi-polar world.”

After conferring with his masters in Moscow, Chavez flew to Minsk, capital of the former Soviet republic of Belarus. There he rubbed elbows with “Europe’s last dictator,” Alexander Lukashenko, who is promising that the country’s upcoming presidential election will be free and fair, unlike previous ones that he rigged to his advantage. During their three-and-a-half-hour tete-a-tete, Chavez vowed: “Belarusian refineries will have no shortage of oil for the next 200 years. There are no debtors here; we are companions. We are jointly creating an alternative to global [US] imperialism.” Belarus has supplied Venezuela with tractors and promised to beef up the South American country’s air defenses.

From Minsk, Chavez flew to Kiev, where he met with another “ex”-communist, Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s slavishly pro-Moscow president. During his first visit to Ukraine, Chavez will visit the Antonov aircraft plant. Caracas has expressed an interest in purchasing the transport and maritime reconnaissance versions of the An-74 plane.

Political analysts suspect Chavez and Yanukovich will also discuss the pumping of Venezuelan oil to Belarus via the Ukrainian port of Odessa. According to Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuri Boiko, 10 oil tankers have already been unloaded at the Odessa port. Boiku elaborated: “Ukraine has technical facilities to receive oil at its Black Sea ports, to tranship it to be further delivered to Belarus by railway transport and via pipelines in volumes proposed by Belarus, i.e. up to 4 million tons of oil till April 2011 with the further increase of up to 10 million tons a year.”

At the end of his meeting with Yanukovich, Chavez began the Middle Eastern leg of his journey, which included pit stops in Iran, Syria, and Libya. There fellow dictators Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad, and Muammar al-Qaddafi were more than delighted to provide Chavez with platforms to rant against “US imperialism” and advocate a “new world order” sans America.

Chavez and Ahmadinejad signed 11 agreements promoting bilateral relations in the fields of oil, natural gas, and textiles production (pictured above). At the end of his two-day visit to Tehran, Chavez condemned possible US-Israeli military threats against Iran because of its disputed, Made-in-Russia nuclear program. The Venezuelan president sought the same support in Syria, which is under US sanctions because the State Department considers Damascus a sponsor of terrorism, especially with respect to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The USA also accuses Syria of secret nuclear activities.

In Tripoli, Chavez signed a series of accords with Qaddafi, a long-time Soviet ally who has been in power for over 40 years and until recently was secretary-general of the African Union. The Venezuelan-Libyan accords addressed cooperation in joint investments, commerce, and air and sea links, as well as cooperation in the energy, education, and cultural fields. State news agency JANA announced that Libya, which is almost entirely covered by the Sahara Desert, plans to cultivate 75,000 hectares (185,000 acres) of farmland in Venezuela.

Although not strictly speaking part of the extended Axis of Evil frequently portrayed at this blog, Portugal was Chavez’s last stop. There the Venezuelan president met with socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates, signing economic pacts that include the construction of two Venezuela-bound cargo ships at the Viana do Castelo shipyard, and the creation of a mixed transportation and natural gas liquefaction firm managed by Venezuela’s PDVSA and Portuguese counterpart Galp Energia Group. Along with Russia and Belarus, which have pledged to build public housing in Venezuela, Lisbon has promised to deliver 12,500 prefabricated houses to the South American country.

In a related story, Bolivia’s self-avowed Marxist-Leninist president, Evo Morales, arrived in Tehran on October 25, shortly after Chavez’s departure, to begin a three-day state visit. Speaking ahead of his junket, Morales explained that his aim was to enhance bilateral ties and entice Iran to invest in his country. This is Morales’ second visit to Iran in two years, while Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian president to visit Bolivia in 2007. During that trip, the two countries signed an agreement on conducting joint ventures worth US$1.1 billion over five years.

>USSR2 File: Russia Today justifies Soviet links with Nicaragua, vilifies US invasion of Grenada; Duma passes Communist resolution against Cuba embargo

>On the 27th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Grenada, the Kremlin media is still vilifying President Ronald Reagan’s anti-communist foreign policy and blames America’s toothless press for aiding and abetting Pentagon “warmongering.” Although much could be said about Russia’s toothless press under KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin, Russia Today is correct in exposing the paucity of independent journalism in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

RT, which regularly interviews US faux rightist Alex Jones, laments in hyperbolic fashion: “Washington justified its use of overwhelming force against a largely unarmed civilian population with quintessential Cold War rhetoric, that Grenada’s socialist government was an imminent threat to freedom and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere.” Then this Kremlin mouthpiece unearths a quote from the Ronald Reagan archives: “Grenada, we were told, was a friendly island paradise for tourism. Well it wasn’t. It was a Soviet Cuban colony being readied as a military bastion to export terror and undermine democracy. We got there just in time.”

Conveniently overlooking the presence of Russian occupational troops in Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) and Moldova (Transnistria), the Soviet/Russian annexation of Japan’s Kuril Islands, and the genocide of the Chechen people, RT complains about Washington’s unilateralism:

Nearly three decades later, the legacy of the invasion of Grenada lives on in US policy and interventions across the world.

The invasion of Grenada was a litmus test for US military intervention in the post-Vietnam War era, a blueprint applied to Panama [in 1989], the Gulf War [in 1990] and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The Pentagon’s skilful control of information and manipulation of journalists also set a precedent in media coverage and cooptation that continues today.

For more ammunition, RT quotes Glen Ford, author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of US Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion, who argues that, unless the Democratic Party cries foul, the US media generally fails to critique any White House decision to go to war:

They in fact can do a better job of propagandizing a war than the State can do, because actually they’re better. They have shown over and over again in the past several years they are quite capable of ignoring a hundred thousand people in the street. But when significant sections of the Democratic Party begin expressing anti-war views, then a portion of the press responds to that faction of power.

If nothing else, this RT editorial exposes the fact that “post”-communist Russia still resents US unilateralism. It also harmonizes with the stance that President Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian Foreign Ministry promote in international forums, namely, the concept of a “multi-polar world.” Moscow’s stated determination to integrate Russia and the European Union into a single security structure sans USA and NATO is one concrete example of this foreign policy objective.

Incidentally, Grenada is once again under Communist Bloc influence. Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has revitalized relations with Havana, invited investment from Red China and Communist Venezuela, and renamed the island’s main airport after deceased Marxist dictator Maurice Bishop.

Last year, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, RT predictably took sides with the Soviet/Cuban-backed insurgents who are once again ruling in Managua. No attempt was made to hide Soviet support for the Sandinistas:

Thousands of people have gathered in the capital of Nicaragua to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the socialist revolution that overthrew the country’s long-ruling authoritarian regime.

Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president and one of the leaders of the revolution, attended the celebrations. Supporters waved his party’s red and black flags and held banners praising the government’s focus on social programs.

Exactly three decades ago, the U.S.-backed dictator [Anastasio Somoza Debayle] was ousted and the revolutionaries enlisted Soviet help to resist American influence.

“The Soviet Union won that round,” RT gloats, “driving the US back.”

RT then quotes Oleg Nechiporenko, military adviser on Nicaragua for the Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs in 1984 and 1985, as saying: “Nicaragua was like a red rag to America.” Alluding to US plans to invade Nicaragua in the mid-1980s, Nechiporenko continues:

They didn’t want another Cuba in their backyard – a country with a US-hostile policy. There was information about possible attacks from the US. We were on high alert. To resist American pressure, the USSR sent its best intelligence service members to Nicaragua – and $3 billion worth of weapons.

RT also interviews Yury Drozdov, who organized a special KGB force called “Vympel,” which was deployed in communist-controlled countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Angola, and Nicaragua. Drozdov reminisces:

The force was only used in emergencies, where other methods had failed to stabilize the situation. Nicaragua was one of these hot spots. America’s subversives were more active than ever before. We had to learn about our enemy as well as about our Nicaraguan friends. It was a short mission – but a serious challenge for our guys.

Asked about the success of the Vympel mission in Nicaragua, Drozdov offered only a cunning smile, but Nechiporenko was more forthcoming:

The USSR’s interference not only helped Nicaragua to escape a military conflict, but saved the whole region from instability. We waited – but the US didn’t attack Nicaragua! And that was mainly because of the Soviet Union’s support. The times when you could brandish your missiles were over. And America understood that pretty well.

In the late 1980s, Valery Nikolaenko was Soviet ambassador to Nicaragua. He informs RT that the Sandinista Revolution continues to guide politics during Ortega’s second presidency: “The victory of the revolution was a turning point for Nicaragua. But I think the most important achievement was a staggering increase in people’s self-consciousness. People started to believe they could create their own and their country’s future.” RT enthuses: “After a break following the collapse of the Soviet Union, relations between Russia and Nicaragua began afresh. The two countries with a common past are now looking forward to a common future.”

The fact that Ortega has rehabilitated the Soviet-built runway at Punta Huete, staffed the air base with a special military brigade, and discussed the subject of Russian involvement at Punta Huete with visiting Russian diplomats, suggests that Moscow may redeploy its military assets in Central America. Not surprisingly, this strategically critical development has not materialized on the “radar screen” of the US MSM.

Russia has not only revitalized relations with Nicaragua, but even more so with Communist Cuba. On October 21, José Ramón Machado Ventura, First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, received Dimitrievich Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. During the meeting in Havana, Machado and Zhukov emphasized the “excellent state of bilateral relations and expression of the historical ties of friendship between both peoples and governments.” They also highlighted “the positive development of cooperation between the both countries and current potential to expand these links.”

This week, the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, repeated its call for the United Nations to urge the USA to end its 50-year economic blockade of Cuba. Not surprisingly, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation’s parliamentary faction prepared the resolution that was gladly adopted by United Russia, the country’s potemkin ruling party. Under President Barack Hussein Obama, the USA has lifted money transfer and travel restrictions on US citizens with relatives in Cuba, but insisted upon political and economic reforms as a condition for lifting the embargo. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has described the embargo as an “act of genocide.”

Of course, Latin America is not the only place the Soviet strategists wish to revitalize their Cold War-era influence, as Medvedev’s visits to Algeria and Cyprus in early October attest. North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean are viewed as prime dumping grounds for Russian “good will” in the form of armament and business investments. Incidentally, after 50 years, Algeria is still under the control of the socialist National Liberation Front, while Cyprus boasts the European Union’s only communist president, a slavish ally of Moscow who has also received CPRF Chairman Gennady Zyuganov.

>Latin America File: Costa Rica deploys police to border in response to alleged incursion by Nicaraguan army, Sandinistas denounce "provocation"

>– Mexico’s Failed Narco-State: Narcistas Gun Down 14, Mostly Teenage, Partygoers in Ciudad Juarez

– Cartel Gunmen Retaliate against Massive Police Pot Bust in Tijuana: Storm TJ Drug Rehab Center, Line Up and Execute 13 Recovering Addicts

Last Friday, President Laura Chinchilla sent at least 70 police officers armed with M-16 assault rifles and M-60 machine guns to the San Juan River, which forms the northeast border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The deployment was in response to reports that Nicaraguan soldiers were entering Costa Rican territory without authorization and that dredging carried out by President Daniel Ortega’s government was damaging properties on the Costa Rican side of the river. Interestingly, the dredge, which was built in El Viejo, a town in northwest Nicaragua, was designed by a Russian engineer.

Pictured above: Heavily armed officers of the Costa Rican National Police arrive at Barra del Colorado, near the Nicaraguan border. Costa Rica’s National Police do not have military training since San Jose has not maintained a standing army since 1948.

Costa Rica lodged a formal protest with the Nicaraguan ambassador in San Jose, prompting Managua to suspend the dredging. Chinchilla represents Costa Rica’s center-left National Liberation Party, while Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front is still, nearly 20 years after the Cold War, closely allied with Moscow.

Edén Pastora, the Sandinista revolutionary hero who later defected to the Contras, is in charge of the project to dredge the border river. On Friday morning, “Comandante Zero,” which is Pastora’s old nom de guerre, was overheard on a public radio channel frantically ordering that a pipe that was dumping sediment be redirected from the Costa Rican side of the San Juan River to the Nicaraguan side. “He was yelling and telling them ‘Move it! Move it now!’” said a Mexican sport fisherman visiting the Río Colorado Lodge in Barra del Colorado. The call was confirmed by other fishermen in the area.

Among the Costa Ricans affected by Nicaragua’s dredging of the San Juan is Marco Reyes. The landowner told Costa Rica’s Tico Times that on Thursday members of the Nicaraguan military arrived on his property and announced that the land belonged to Nicaragua. After Reyes demanded that the foreign soldiers leave his property, he discovered that two of his farmhands had disappeared and two of his cows had been killed. During a flyover of the property by a Tico Times journalist, it was evident that the dredge, then located only a few hundred meters west of Reyes’ land on the Nicaraguan riverbank, had cut through a corner of his property, knocking down dozens of trees.

By Sunday, tensions near the border appeared to ease. Costa Rican Coast Guard boats patrolled the mouth of the San Juan, while some of the National Police in Barra del Colorado boarded a transport plane to return to San José. “At this time the situation is at a standstill,” National Police Director Juan José Andrade told The Tico Times. “Police will remain [in Barra del Colorado] for approximately 15 to 20 more days and will be monitoring activity along the river daily. The dredge is currently stopped and will remain so until the two governments come to a decision regarding the dredging.”

According to the October 23 edition of Inside Costa Rica, “After discovering the alleged anomalies at the border, the Ministry of Security and the Intelligence and National Security Directorate (DIS) mobilized armed personnel (police) to the area, which is guarded by a battalion of 300 Nicaraguan soldiers.” However, the next day, the same news source reported that there were only 2 Nicaraguan soldiers in the vicinity: “Costa Rican officials report that they found no Nicaraguan police or soldiers on the Costa Rica side of the border and that only 2 Nicaraguan soldiers and on Nicaraguan territory, were stationed at the dredging operations of the San Juan river.”

The neo-Sandinista regime’s response to the deployment of the Costa Rican National Police was swift. On Friday, Rene Nunez, president of the Nicaraguan National Assembly, called the border deployment a “provocation.” “I do not understand the reason for this action of sending armed policemen, as Costa Rica knows that Nicaragua has the full sovereignty over San Juan River, so it has all the right to clean it,” FSLN cadre Nunez complained.

International law does in fact recognize Nicaragua’s ownership over the San Juan River, but Costa Rica has navigation rights. Since Ortega announced plans to dredge the river in July, concerns have mounted in Costa Rica about the potential environmental impact of the procedure. Many Costa Ricans also fear the environmental effects of Nicaragua’s planned construction of a US$600 million hydroelectric plant along the same river, near the town of El Castillo. As a result of Ortega’s December 2008 trip to Moscow, Russian firms have pledged to help Nicaragua build this facility.

In July 2009, in the wake of Manuel Zelaya’s ouster, Honduras’ interim president, Roberto Micheletti, accused Nicaragua of deploying troops to its northern border and Venezuela of planning to invade his country. Ortega denied the charge, although for several months Zelaya used Managua as a base of operations to eventually sneak back into his homeland. Within 24 hours of Zelaya’s removal from office, however, President Hugo Chavez did in fact threaten to launch a military strike against Honduras if Venezuelan diplomats were harmed.

This past July, Ortega threatened to go to war with Colombia if Bogota authorizes oil concessions in disputed waters arounds the islands of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. International law recognizes Colombia’s control over the islands themselves.

In the 1980s, Costa Rica’s sovereignty, as well as that of Honduras, was potentially threatened by the overtly Marxist Sandinista Popular Army (EPS), which boasted 97,000 troops, then the largest military in Central America. The EPS was “de-communized” and renamed the Nicaraguan National Army in 1995 and now boasts only 14,000 regular forces. Since returning to the presidency nearly four years ago, Ortega has received pledges from Russia to modernize Nicaragua’s Soviet-vintage military. However, Nicaragua is dirt-poor and relies on handouts from Chavez via front companies associated with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.

Meanwhile, the bloodshed in Mexico’s drug war continued over the weekend when cartel gunmen shot dead 14 partygoers, mostly teenagers, in Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, Texas. “The victims were in the backyard of the house having a party when hooded men, in dark uniforms and with rifles, arrived in several vans, broke in and began shooting indiscriminately at those inside,” a police official told the AFP news agency.

The Sinaloa cartel and Juarez cartel, also known as the Carillo Fuentes Organization, are competing in Ciudad Juarez over multi-billion-dollar drug smuggling routes into the US, making the city one of the bloodiest front lines in Mexico’s drug war, despite the presence of thousands of police and soldiers.

On Saturday, narcistas gunned down 13 recovering addicts at the Camino drug treatment centre in Tijuana. “They lined the victims up and shot them with high-powered weapons,” Mexico City’s El Universal newspaper reported. BBC News explains the rationale behind such breathtakingly ruthless murders: “Drug rehabilitation centres have been attacked by gunmen before–observers say the gangs accuse the clinics of protecting rival dealers. Police also believe drug cartels use the clinics to recruit hitmen and smugglers, threatening to kill those who fail to cooperate.”

Last week, police in Tijuana destroyed 134 tons of cannabis, the largest drug haul ever seized in the country.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Warsaw puts accused GRU agent on trial, Polish media alleges Medvedev dismissed GRU chief as a result

>This past Friday, reports the Polish media, Tadeusz J., a Russian citizen, was put on trial in Warsaw on charges of espionage. He was arrested in February 2009, but details of his identity and activities were not made known to the public until January of this year.

“J.” is accused of working for Russian military intelligence (GRU) and is believed to have been operating in Poland since the 1990s using a legitimate business as a cover. He had been under surveillance by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW) for a number of months before his arrest. The ABW found an encoding device and special recording equipment at his home. “J” is the first GRU agent to be apprehended in Poland in 20 years.

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports that “J” belonged to a hunting club whose members included a number of retired Polish generals who treated him as a close confidante. The daily speculates that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev probably used “J.’s” arrest as the reason for dismissing GRU chief General Valentina Korabelnikova in April 2009.

The trial is being held in the Polish Supreme Court, but most of the evidence remains classified. Before the trial “J.” asserted his innocence to members of the press. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

The fact that a GRU agent could infiltrate the ranks of Poland’s retired generals opens up the possibility that infiltration may have played a part in the suspicious downing of President Lech Kaczynski’s plane over western Russia on April 10. In addition to Kaczynski and his wife Maria, the following high-ranking military men and civilians perished aboard the president’s air force jet: Ryszard Kaczorowski, former last President of Poland in exile; joint chiefs of staff for the Polish army, air force, and navy; the national bank governor, a deputy foreign minister, chief of the National Security Bureau, three deputy parliament speakers, and many others.

There have been no official accusations from Warsaw that Moscow engineered the demise of Poland’s anti-communist, pro-USA president. Diplomacy has prevailed.

On October 1, Russian soldiers detained three Polish journalists who attempted to film the crash site, which is still under military control. An official at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Pawel Koc, described the incident as “serious.” Even though Russia handed over the plane’s “black box” recordings to Poland, festering tensions between the two countries have delayed the signing of a natural gas transit deal.

>Latin America File: FMLN regime closes ranks with former E. German commies, Russia as FM visits Moscow; Mexican Army battles narcistas along US border

>– Mexican Defense Department’s Response to Shootouts, Chaos in Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros: “No Immediate Information”

– US Tourist Gunned Down in Ciudad Juarez, El Paso Resident Jose Gil Hernandez a Texas National Guardsman

– Cartel Gunmen Murder Mayor of Praxedis Guerrero, Near Ciudad Juarez; 12th Such Assassination for 2010

– Narcistas Lob Grenade at Army Barracks in Matamoros, One Soldier Injured; Follows Failed Grenade Attack at Same Location Last Week

Pictured above: On October 20 a Mexican soldier guards packages of marijuana being incinerated after army and police seized 134 tons of US-bound pot in Tijuana.

Between October 18 and 19, Salvadoran Foreign Affairs Minister Hugo Martinez visited Berlin and, then, flew on to Moscow, where he will stay until October 23.

In Germany, Martinez made preparations for next year’s official visit by President Mauricio Funes, who represents the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). Martinez met German Foreign Minister Wido Westerwelle and Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Dirk Niebel, both of whom visited San Salvador last week. A statement released by the Salvadoran government quoted Martinez as saying: “Germany is the main buyer of Salvadoran products in Europe and a strategic partner in our coffee exports.” Intriguingly, El Salvador’s FM also planned to confer with members of two left-wing German think tanks, the Friedrich Ebert and Rosa Luxemburg foundations.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is named after Germany’s first democratically elected president and connected to the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is named after a German communist who supported the Spartacist uprising in January 1919 but was later executed by the new republican government. It is associated with the German Left Party, which traces its origin to the Socialist Unity Party, the Marxist-Leninist party that ruled Soviet-occupied East Germany. The Left Party operates in a political “grey zone” since the federal government in Berlin views some factions of the party as subversive to Germany’s constitutional prohibition against “extremism.”

In November 2009, the German Left Party, FMLN, and communists from around the world sent delegates to Caracas, where they rallied behind Hugo Chavez’s call for a “Fifth Socialist International,” an entity that is unquestionably more left wing in its aims than even the more well-known (Third) Socialist International. It may be that the “Fifth Socialist International” was the subject of Martinez’s conference with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

On October 21, Martinez arrived in Moscow, where he will start the first official visit by a Salvadoran foreign minister since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992. In Russia, Martinez and his counterpart will sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the areas of disaster management and increased trade. Although the news story linked above does not say expressly so, it would appear that Funes will also visit Russia after stopping over in Germany. Previously, the US-backed governments that ruled El Salvador during the 1980s shunned Russia, rightly perceiving the Soviet Union as one of the main sources of weapons and ideological inspiration for the FMLN, then a guerrilla army.

Russia holds observer status in the Organization of American States, which it uses for promoting its interests in the region, including the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. In 1997, Russia gained observer status in the Association of the Caribbean States and, in 2004, Russia and the Central American Integration System signed a memorandum of understanding that laid down a legal foundation for political interaction. In November 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, while visiting Caracas, articulated Moscow’s interest in joining the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, a bloc of socialist states committed to exporting anti-capitalist principles and anti-USA sentiments throughout the Western Hemisphere.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed reports that the Kremlin demanded that El Salvador recognize Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent republics. “We didn’t ask our Salvadorian colleagues to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” huffed Lavrov to journalists after talks with Martinez. He added: “We just discussed the situation around these republics, including the United Nations’ repeated efforts to politicize the humanitarian problems that appeared after Georgia attacked South Ossetia and the [Russian] peacemakers [peacekeeping soldiers].”

Russia recognized the separatist regions after fighting a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008. Thus far, the communist regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua, as well as the South Pacific nation of Nauru, have followed Russia’s lead, resulting in significant financial and commercial perks for Moscow’s allies. This past June, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov visited El Salvador and held consultations with Martinez.

Meanwhile, last Saturday, in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, Rito Grado Serrano, mayor of the town of Praxedis Guerrero, and his son were gunned down by assailants at their home. Grado is the 12th Mexican mayor to be killed so far this year. Praxedis Guerrero is near war-torn Ciudad Juarez where, over the last two months alone, 7,000 soldiers have failed to prevent the murder of more than 500 people. In spite of some high-profile drug lord arrests in 2010, it is estimated that more than 28,000 people have died in drug-related violence throughout Mexico since 2006.

Several days later, on Wednesday, Mexican soldiers battled cartel gunmen in Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, which are across the border from Laredo and McAllen, Texas, respectively. The US consulate in Nuevo Laredo warned US citizens to stay indoors, reporting that drug gangs had blocked at least one intersection near the consulate. The city government and witnesses reported several more blockades, a new tactic that has emerged this year in northeast Mexico, where the Gulf and Los Zetas cartels are battling to control the drug trade.

Shootouts also erupted in Reynosa, which is allegedly under the near-total control of criminal mafias, causing a massive traffic jam in the highway connecting the city with Monterrey and Matamoros, which is across the border from Brownsville, Texas. In yet another sign of the Mexican government’s barely effective response to the narco-insurgency, officials at the press office of the Defense Department indicated they had “no immediate information” on the shootouts.

In Matamoros itself, narcistas hurled a grenade at a military barracks. Five civilian passers-by and one soldier were lightly injured. The grenade exploded less than one week after another attack on the barracks, in which at least two grenades failed to detonate.

In war-wracked Ciudad Juarez, which is across the border from El Paso, a US tourist was reportedly one of two men killed, apparently caught in the cross-fire between rival drug gangs. Spokesman Arturo Sandoval of the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office says family members identified the Texas National Guard soldier as 21-year-old Jose Gil Hernandez.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s El Paso spokesman, Michael Martinez, told The El Paso Times that Hernandez was shot about 1 p.m. Wednesday in Ciudad Juarez’s Colonia Revolucion Mexicanaz. Martinez told the newspaper that the FBI and the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division were looking into the details of the shooting. More than 50 US citizens have been killed in the past two years in Ciudad Juarez.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Baltic states host NATO’s Sabre Strike 2010 drill, US troops; Russian combat planes probe Latvian airspace, repelled

>Today units from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and the USA started joint military exercises at the Adazi Training Area in Latvia. Over 1,700 servicemen from the five NATO countries will take part in the Sabre Strike 2010 until October 31, in preparation for a possible future deployment in Afghanistan.

In a likely provocation, Russian Su-24 tactical attack aircraft flew through international airspace near the Latvian ports of Liepaja and Vetspils. The NATO designation for the Su-24, which also saw service in the Soviet Air Force, is “Fencer.”

The Fencers flew over the Baltic Sea without identifying themselves, according to Latvia’s defence ministry. “They were flying in the direction of Kaliningrad,” ministry spokesman Airis Rikveilis told Reuters, referring to the militarily sensitive Russian exclave. “It is not a friendly gesture. But our security was not threatened.”

The next day, Dutch fighter jets from the Leeuwarden air base intercepted two Tu-95 strategic bombers over the North Sea. The Russian aircraft retreated without incident.

Lativa, Lithuania, and Estonia are former Soviet republics that have joined NATO. The president of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, was a board member of the Popular Front of Latvia 20 years ago. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) used the popular front to promote controlled “democratization” in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. The prime minister of Lithuania, Andrius Kubilius, was a member of the Reform Movement of Lithuania, which served a similar function in that Soviet republic. The prime minister of Estonia, Andrus Ansip, is an “ex”-cadre of the CPSU.

Although NATO was designed to oppose the Soviet Bloc’s combined forces, since the so-called collpase of communism NATO’s leadership has been double-minded on the seriousness of the “Russian threat.” A perfect example is the arrival on Tuesday of an Italian military delegation in Moscow for the purpose of finalizing plans for building LMV M65 tactical vehicles in Russia. Kremlin-run Rostekhnologii is reportedly holding talks with Italian manufacturer Iveco on launching the joint venture with a planned minimum capacity of 500 vehicles per year.

>Middle East/Latin America Files: Ahmadinejad’s provocative trip to Lebanon, rallies Hezbollah; Chavez’s Axis of Evil tour; Ortega cozies up to Syria

>On Thursday, Iranian dictator Mahmoud (“Iwannajihad”) Ahmadinejad made a provocative trip to Lebanon, visiting the Hezbollah strongholds of Bint Jbail and Qana in the southern part of the country, a short distance from the Israeli border. Both towns were devastated by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) during the 2006 war.

In Bint Jbail, Ahmadinejad warned the world that the Islamic Messiah, the Mahdi, was imminent and urged the “oppressed masses” of the Middle East to “wipe out” the Zionists. He praised Hezbollah, which has been not-so-discreetly armed by Iran, as a “model for Lebanon and the rest of the world.”

Nearby, a group of young men on horseback chanted slogans of loyalty to Ahmadinejad and Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader. “It’s a historic day,” triumphed Hussein Awada, one of the riders, who fought for Hezbollah in the 2006 war. “We have Ahmadinejad on the border of Palestine. Yes, this is Palestine, not Israel, and God willing, Israel will soon vanish with the blessing of this man.”

Pictured above: Hezbollah supporters welcome Iran’s president to Lebanese border town Bint Jbail, on October 14.

The Lebanese government, which contains Hezbollah members, feted the Iranian president, making sure the streets of Beirut were festooned with signs and billboards bearing Ahmadinejad’s mugshot. Iranian flags lined roads throughout southern Lebanon, where Ahmadinejad flew by helicopter, after meeting Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Michel Suleiman.

Israel’s center-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, promptly rebuffed Ahmadinejad’s provocation during remarks at the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, the site of the declaration of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. “The best answer was given here 62 years ago,” Netanyahu declared, adding: “All those people who think that Zionism will disappear—not only is it not disappearing, but it is growing stronger.”

Netanyahu vowed that Israel would continue to defend itself in collaboration with its allies. To substantiate his claim, he mentioned that this week the IAF will conduct joint maneuvers with the Hellenic Air Force in Greek airspace.

Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, described the area south of Beirut as “Hezbollah-stan,” while Uzi Landau, Minister of National Infrastructure, told Israel Radio, “The lesson we should learn from Ahmadinejad’s visit is that Iran is on the northern border of Israel.”

Meanwhile, this past Thursday, Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez, arrived in Moscow for his annual debriefing session with KGB handler, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as well as the titular president of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev. The Russian president elaborated on the meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart:

We are moving on to new agreements on a wide range of projects. We have a strategic partnership, we are close friends. A series of bilateral agreements will be signed later today. We hope that infrastructure projects will be developed. We talked about high technology and today for the first time ever we touched upon cooperation in the space sphere.

Referring to Georgia’s breakaway regions, Medvedev added: “Venezuela has acted like a real friend in recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

Among other bilateral agreements, Russia plans to build a nuclear power station and public housing in Venezuela, buy three of British Petroleum’s assets in Venezuela, and sell five S-300PMU-1 air defence systems to the South American country. The latter were originally ordered by Iran five years ago, but Moscow has decided to respect the United Nations interdict placed on the sale of such defensive weapons to Tehran. Instead, Russia intends to compensate Iran for reneging on their contract.

No doubt, Chavez will be more than happy to slap down US$800 million for some S-300 batteries. Moscow can then transfer the proceeds of the sale to Ahmadinjad’s Islamo-Nazi regime. “The S-300 is a very good product and Venezuela should pay the full amount in cash, as the country’s budget has enough funds to cover the deal,” commented Igor Korotchenko, head of a Moscow-based think tank.

Russia has already extended several loans to Venezuela to buy Russian-made weaponry, including a US$2.2-million loan on the purchase of at least 35 T-72M1M tanks and Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems, which will be positioned along the border of nemesis Colombia.

Chavez’s annual “Axis of Evil” tour will also include visits to Portugal, the former Soviet republics of Belarus and Ukraine, the terrorist-sponsoring states of Syria, Iran, and Libya, and the People’s Republic of China. He last visited Syria in 2006 and 2009, holding talks with President Bashar al-Assad. For their part, Cuba and Venezuela vie for Russia’s favors. Putin showed up in Caracas this past April, while Medvedev materialized in November 2008.

Meanwhile, neo-Sandinista Nicaragua is also cozying up to the fascist-communist-terrorist regime in Damascus. This past Wednesday, Assad received a letter from Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega, in which “El Comandante” advocated the promotion of deeper relations between the two countries. Nicaragua’s Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Santos Lopez presented Ortega’s letter in person during a meeting with the Syrian president. The letter included an invitation to Assad to visit Managua. This past summer, Assad visited Cuba and Venezuela, but bypassed Nicaragua.

For his part, Assad expressed “Syria’s great appreciation of Nicaragua’s stance towards the Arab issues,” and noted both the “positive transitions taking place in Central and Latin Americas,” meaning the installation of leftist regimes, and the “importance of developing the Arab-Latin America relations,” for the purpose of confronting “the attempts of big powers to control the resources of these countries,” meaning “US imperialism.” Together Assad and Santos condemned the “serious policies Israel adopts to undermine all hopes of achieving peace.”

Ortega recently hosted North Korea’s emissary in a move to restore Cold War-era relations with Pyongyang.

In a related story, Inside Costa Rica reports that the Sandinistas’ underhanded constitutional manipulations and street-level intimidation tactics have effectively scattered the opposition. A survey conducted in late September and published last Sunday by the independent, Managua-based polling firm M&R Consultores, shows that the Sandinistas are the “main political force” in Nicaragua.

In the survey, 36.8 percent of those interviewed admitted they sympathized with the Sandinista National Liberation Front, 49.8 percent indicated no party preference, and 13.4 percent explained they supported one of the opposition parties. As a result, Ortega, whose eligibility for re-election is contested, would win easily in the first round with 43.3 percent of the vote, if he competes against fair-weather ally and former president Arnoldo Aleman, and businessman Fabio Gadea.

>Useful Idiots Bin: Schwarzenegger leads Silicon Valley reps to Russia, Medvedev (jokingly?) offers vacant post of Moscow mayor to “Governator"

>This week, the “Governator”—California Governor Arnold (“I’ll Be Back”) Schwarzenegger—led a gaggle of Silicon Valley reps to Russia, where they were feted by President Dmitry Medvedev.

In Schwarzenegger’s entourage of 21st-century “Nepmen” were reps from Oracle; Google, which in 2006 collaborated with Red China in censoring its own search engine; and Microsoft, which voluntarily turned over the source code for its Windows 7 operating system to the Russian Federal Security Service. (BTW, this isn’t the first time that Bill Gates has snuggled up to the KGB’s successor. In 2003, he handed over the source code for Windows XP.)

Earlier this year, the Kremlin inaugurated a new technology center on the outskirts of Moscow, called Skolkovo but nicknamed “Russia’s Silicon Valley.” The Russian government has also allocated US$10 billion to innovation investment fund Rusnaro, which is financing 100 high-tech products in partnership with foreign firms.

“Arnie,” like many other pseudo-conservatives oblivious to the Soviet deception strategy, enthuses about Russia’s high-tech potential:

I have to say that I love places where there is an extraordinary potential. I think when I look at Russia, I think the potential for growth. I mean really blowing this thing up. The economy is just so extraordinary. I mean there are so many opportunities here in Russia, that you just look at this and say, “Oh my God.”

We [meaning the USA] are very happy to help in this process because, as I said, we are the best in the world when it comes to this. I mean when it comes to biotech, to nanotech, high tech, green tech. You know there is no one like us, but we are not like holding on to our knowledge. What we want to do, we want to spread it around the world.

In travelling to Russia, Schwarzenegger was reciprocating Medvedev’s visit to California earlier this year.

Political analyst Masha Lipman, who works at the Carnegie Center, was not so enthusiastic about prospects of joint US-Russian ventures in high tech:

Risks are indeed high. Russia is not a law-governed place. Russia is a place where decisions are taken in a non-transparent fashion. Russia is a place where businesses may fall out with the government and the government may take measures. Russia is a country in which government decisions are not contested. This of course creates a climate this is not auspicious, that is unpredictable.

The president of the US Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, Andrew Sommers, agrees: “Russia is trying to develop its own industries so it is not totally dependent on foreign investment, but at the same time exploit foreign investment and high-tech.”

Schwarzenegger arrived in Russia at an interesting time because on September 28 Medvedev sacked Moscow’s powerful, long-time mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. With tongue in cheek (we suppose), Medvedev offered the Governator the job of running Russia’s capital, which is also one of the world’s largest cities: “We have many different events here. You arrived at the moment when Moscow has no mayor. If you were a Russian citizen, you could work for us.”

Born in Austria, former body builder and Hollywood action movie star “Arnie” is a naturalized US citizen, although this did not prevent him from legally running for entering California politics. In 1988 Schwarzenegger starred with James Belushi in the buddy cop film Red Heat. He played Soviet counter-narcotics officer Ivan Danko. Red Heat was one of the first movies filmed in perestroika-era Russia, although most of the scenes were shot in (then communist) Hungary.

In the 1920s Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin did an about-face in his drive toward communism by implementing the New Economic Policy, a pseudo-capitalist venture that lured Western investors into civil war-ravaged Russia. At the end of the NEP, with the Russian economy propped up, socialism and bloody purges returned with a vengeance. In 1959, when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union formulated its long-range strategy for global domination—according to KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn–Lenin’s brief foray into capitalism became a template. In 1985, the Soviet leadership appointed Mikhail Gorbachev as the frontman to finally carry out this scheme.

With Gorbachev still making cameo appearances on the world stage, Medvedev and KGB-communist dictator Vladimir Putin are luring more heedless Western Nepmen to their destruction.

>USSR2 File: Medvedev sacks long-time Moscow mayor, Luzhkov’s wife world’s 3rd richest woman; police bust Left Front rally, AKM head anointed by Shenin

>On September 28, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired Moscow’s powerful mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, who has been in office since 1992. Like Medvedev, a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol, Luzhkov is connected to the old Soviet regime. A “former” cadre of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Luzhkov joined up with United Russia, the new potemkin “party of power” created by the Soviet strategists. Internationally, Comrade Luzhkov is renowned for his dislike of homosexuals and banning of “gay pride” parades in Moscow.

Pictured above: Friend or foes? Yuri Luzhkov with Vladimir Putin at a war memorial ceremony in May this year.

“Recently, being one of the party’s leaders, I have been fiercely attacked by state mass media, and the attacks were related to the attempts to push Moscow’s mayor off the political scene,” complained Luzhkov, who also resigned his membership in United Russia. He added in his resignation letter: “The party did not provide any support, did not want to sort things out and stop the flow of lies and slander.”

During Russia’s forest fire crisis this past summer, when Muscovites were choking on smoke, Luzhkov was attacked for remaining on holiday. Luzhkov’s billionaire wife, Yelena Baturina, has also been accused of corruption. According to Luzhkov’s latest financial disclosure, filed in May, Baturina earned more than US$1 billion in 2009, primarily by way of her property development company ZAO Inteco. Forbes magazine ranks Baturina as the world’s third-richest woman, with a fortune of $2.9 billion.

Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister and opposition politician, published a report last year in which he asserted that Inteco received preferential treatment in acquiring land from Moscow city hall, as well as securing building permits and exemptions from paying for connection to municipal utilities. Inteco and Baturina sued Nemtsov for defamation. On July 19, 2010, a Moscow appeals court ordered Nemtsov to retract these and other comments. However, neither side was pleased with the ruling. Both Baturina and Nemtsov launched another round of appeals.

Although Luzhkov was aligned with United Russia, he maintained his own power base outside the Kremlin, which may have been his cardinal sin. BBC’s Moscow correspondent Richard Galpin believes this battle was sparked by a newspaper article written by Luzhkov in which he appeared to criticize Medvedev and call for “a return to stronger national leadership.” Before the emergence of Vladimir Putin, in his first stint as prime minister in 1999, Luzhkov was tipped as a possible future Russian Federation president.

It appears that companies related to Putin’s St. Petersburg FSB/KGB power clan, which runs the day-to-day affairs of the Kremlin, will benefit from the putsch against Luzhkov and Baturina. One such company is the LSR Group, which is directed by Andrey Molchanov, son of St. Petersburg Vice-Governor Yuri Molchanov, a former classmate of Putin’s at Leningrad State University. Incidentally, it was at Leningrad State that former KGB man Putin joined the CPSU in 1975.

The day after Luzhkov’s ouster, Vladimir Dmitriev, chairman of the VEB development bank denied that his state-owned entity is in a position to proceed with a US$2.5 billion project to build housing with Inteco. “You have to look at which companies are close to the federal government; they will get the privileges,” remarked Sergei Zharkov, an analyst from Moscow-based property research group, IRN.

Speaking with an assertiveness that does not correspond with his image as Putin’s “lap dog,” Medvedev bragged while visiting Red China two weeks ago: “As the president of Russia I lost my trust in Yuri Mikhailovich Luzhkov as the mayor of Moscow. I will decide who will lead Moscow.” Putin reined in his “pet,” by demurring: “I hope I will have a chance to express my opinion. Luzhkov is a symbolic figure in modern Russia.” Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev endorsed Medvedev’s decree, exposing the continuity between Russia’s communist and “post”-communist leaders.

In truth, we rather suspect that the leadership of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation—that is, Chairman Gennady Zyuganov—had the final say in this shuffling of chairs on the deck of the neo-Soviet ship of state. In their ongoing drive toward recentralization of power, the last thing the Soviet strategists need is a loose cannon like Luzhkov.

Multi-party politics in “post”-Soviet Russia, as we have documented at this blog for nearly five years, is a deceptive, controlled affair related to the Soviet leadership’s strategy of creating a “mature socialist society,” as well as ideologically and militarily disarming the West. There is hardly a Russian politician, young or old, that is not in some way linked to the pillars of the old Soviet regime, such as the CPSU, the Komsomol, the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB), or Soviet military intelligence (GRU).

In the late 1980s, Russian politics was a drama between “reform” and “hardline” communists. Then, on Christmas Day 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the CCCP was no more. However, unlike the depraved leadership of Nazi Germany, which was tried in many cases executed, the anti-Gorbachev putschists endured very short prison sentences and, ruse accomplished, enjoyed comfortable retirement packages. Meanwhile, the Communist Party was unbanned (as if it had every really been banned to begin with).

Thereafter, Russian politics became a contest between, in the one camp, unrepentant open communists and, in the other, “ex”-communists constituting Russia’s new nationalist and liberal “right wing.” Nevertheless, regular closed-door meetings between open communists, like Zyuganov, and “fallen by the wayside” communists, like Putin, had the “feel” of cordial debriefing sessions. Incidentally, when Gennady Yanayev, who was president of the three-day putschist government in August 1991, died on September 24, Zyuganov was quick to praise the man as the Soviet Union’s “savior.”

On Tuesday, the Russian “opposition” once again held another unauthorized “Day of Wrath” protest outside the office of Vladimir Resin, Moscow’s acting mayor, during which the police detained about 40 participants. Detainees included the organizers of the rally: Sergei Udaltsov, the young coordinator of the Left Front, United Labor Front, and Red Youth Vanguard (AKM), all of which are committed to resurrecting the Soviet Union; Nikolai Alexeyev, leader of Russia’s homosexual movement; and Lev Ponomarev, a prominent human rights activist.

The participants of the rally, which amounted to several dozen, demanded the return of the direct election of the mayor of Moscow. Alexeyev complained that the police actions were unduly harsh: “We were dragged on the pavement almost in a reclining position. The same way they dragged us into the bus.”

In February, Russia’s Marxist-Leninists founded the “anti-Putinist” United Labor Front, which included Udaltsov’s Left Front, which in turn was organized in 2008. According to Russian law, a new party must recruit 45,000 members and set up branches in more than one half of Russia’s regions in order to apply for registration. Udaltsov predicted the United Labor Front would attract 60,000 to 65,000 members and open branches in 70 regions. The young communist is also leader of the street-fighting Red Youth Vanguard (AKM), whose logo is the AK-14 assault rifle.

On July 31 Left Front/Red Youth Vanguard cadres were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg for “anti-Putinist” agitation, which included lofting posters that read “Putin is the butcher of freedom.” Udaltsov is not averse to combining his communist agitators with the liberal forces of Nemtsov’s Other Russia coalition. During the August “Day of Wrath” protest in Moscow both men were arrested for protesting the Kremlin’s restrictions on freedom of assembly.

In 2005, Oleg Shenin—Stalinist mastermind behind the 1991 anti-Gorbachevist “coup” and past leader of the Union of Communist Parties-CPSU, which includes the CPRF and other communist parties in the “post”-Soviet space—anointed the AKM as the youthful torch-bearers for the reconstituted Soviet Union. Addressing the AKM’s Sixth Congress, he declared: “We are satisfied . . . about the fact that AKM works under the political leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and it prepares its members for entrance into the CPSU. The basis of our interrelations is complete ideological accord and the organizational independence of youth organization.”

Shenin died in May 2009, preceding his co-conspirator Yanayev by more than a year. He did not go to his grave, however, without first preparing for the resurrection of the USSR. Before the stage-managed collapse of the Soviet Union, he employed the services of Belgian-born US businessman Marc Rich–who was later pardoned for other crimes by President Bill Clinton–to secrete the CPSU’s vast financial holdings into Swiss bank accounts. There the Party’s slush fund awaits the arrival of Soviet Union Version 2.0.

>Latin America File: Ecuador extends state of emergency, opposition accuses Correa of staging hostage taking; FMLN regime warns ARENA against coup

>– Cuba Praises FMLN’s Commitment to Communist Revolution on 30th Anniversary of Founding; Party of Socialism and Liberation Holds Pro-FMLN Bash in San Francisco

– Ortega Hosts Former Presidents of Panama and Honduras, Backs Zelaya’s Restoration 15 Months after Ouster

– Narcistas Ambush Police Convoy, Gun Down Eight Officers in Mexico’s Western State of Sinaloa

– Russian-Venezuelan Oil Consortium to Invest US$20 Billion in Orinoco River’s Juin-6 Block, Production to Begin in 2013

Pictured above: Bolivia’s self-avowed Marxist-Leninist president, Evo Morales, visits Ecuadorean counterpart, Rafael Correa, in Quito, on October 12.

Since the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009, the spectre of counter-revolutionary coups haunts the feverish imaginations of communist and socialist regimes throughout Latin America. From their point of view, the police revolt against Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on September 30 has “confirmed” the existence of wide-ranging “CIA-backed right-wing conspiracies” to overthrow the region’s “progressive” governments.

This past Saturday Ecuador extended indefinitely a state of emergency first implemented when mutinous police assaulted Correa and held him hostage for 12 hours in a police hospital. The Ecuadorean president enjoys the special favour of Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez. The extension of the state of emergency empowers the military, rather than the police, to maintain law and order. It would appear that de facto martial law is now in place in Quito.

After loyal elements in the army rescued him, Correa accused the country’s main opposition leader, former president Lucio Gutierrez, of fomenting the police rebellion. Gutierrez heads up the nationalist 21st January Patriotic Society Party. In an October 11 interview with the Colombia-based Caracol TV, Ecuadorean congressman Gilmar Gutierrez, Lucio’s brother, charged: “Everything was staged by the president to hide the extreme corruption and to hide the poverty, hunger and unemployment that have arisen to an alarming level. There was no coup.”

Interior Minister Gustavo Jalkh asserted that two soldiers, a police officer, and a university student were killed in the standoff between dissident police and Correa and his supporters. Nearly 200 others were injured in unrest throughout the country, which included mutinous police setting up roadblocks and dissident soldiers temporarily closing down Quito’s international airport. More than 40 police officers were detained in connection with the revolt against the president.

“We will investigate all these things and try to take all precautions so there will not be a repeat,” ranted Correa, adding: “This insubordination was limited to a few hundred officers, from a force of 42,000 national police. We cannot blame the institution for a group of police officers who have denigrated their position.”

The restoration of Zelaya to the Honduran presidency also exercises Latin America’s Red Axis leaders. On September 17 the deposed leader appeared in Managua, one of his favourite haunts, with two sponsors, President Daniel Ortega and former Panamanian President Martin Torrijos, son of the former leftist military strongman, Omar Torrijos. There the wealthy rancher-turned-socialist vowed:

International efforts for my peaceful return to Honduras will continue. My return will be without any preconditions and, after my return, I will lead a movement in favor of restoring democratic order. I will also travel to Guatemala to campaign for a seat in the Central American Parliament.

“Zelaya was ousted on June 28 last year,” admits China’s state-run media, “in a coup as he pushed for a constitutional change which would allow him to run for another term.” In seeking to abolish presidential term limits, Zelaya was merely following his Red Axis benefactors, Chavez, Ortega, Correa, and Bolivian president Evo Morales. In 2008 he led his country into the Havana/Caracas-led Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), but late last year Roberto Micheletti’s interim government announced that the country was leaving ALBA.

Since January 2010, when democratically elected Porfirio Lobo assumed the Honduran presidency, Zelaya has been living in Dominican Republic. During last month’s press conference, Ortega threw his support behind the domestic political vehicle that is agitating for Zelaya’s return, the National Popular Resistance Front. The red hue of the front’s flag and the prominent socialist star plainly indicate Zelaya’s new-found ideological orientation (pictured above).

Pictured here: Salvadoran Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, terrorist mastermind of the FMLN when it was still an insurgent army.

In El Salvador, reports the Cuban state media, the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) vows that it, too, “will confront and defeat any attempt to stage a coup d’etat in El Salvador.” Last Friday, FMLN general coordinator Medardo Gonzalez warned that “he did not rule out that dark forces would try to disrupt democratic legality in the country.” Here “dark forces” were explicitly connected to the formerly ruling rightist ARENA party. “Here in El Salvador, we are on the alert and will not allow any coup d’etat to take place,” rumbled Gonzalez, whose nom de guerre during the Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) was Milton Mendez. Gonzalez continued:

The secretary general of the Organization of American States, [Chilean socialist] Jose Miguel Insulza, has been warned about the possibility of new coup attempts in the region. . . . Recently, forces from the Nationalist Republican Alliance [ARENA] invited former Honduran dictator Roberto Micheletti, who took power after the June 28, 2009 military coup, to visit El Salvador. We told him [Micheletti], “You are not welcome in our country. Go home immediately. We don’t accept coup leaders here.”

The FMLN leader made these comments at a ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the guerrilla army-turned-political party, and to honor “internationalists” (communists) who fought alongside the FMLN against a series of US-backed rightist governments. In attendance was Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban National Assembly, who praised the FMLNistas’ commitment to communist revolution: “The FMLN has been a model of loyalty to its revolutionary principles and the Salvadoran popular and political forces.”

Last week, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, the benign face of the FMLN, carried out an historic trip to Cuba which, along with the Soviet Union and Nicaragua’s first Sandinista regime, armed El Salvador’s leftist insurgents. Funes is a former correspondent for CNN Espanol and did not fight in the civil war. However, he reiterated Gonzalez’s sentiments at a meeting of the Permanent Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Political Parties (COPPPAL) in San Salvador. Referring to the Honduran coup, Funes declared: “The OAS and its member states should intervene at the opportune moment to avoid the germination of a military coup or any other situation that could translate into ungovernability and destabilization.”

It was not clear whether Funes was advocating multilateral military intervention on the part of the Organization of American States, although Chavez and Ortega have over the last three years supported the formation of an “anti-imperialist” army to oppose the USA.

Incidentally, in the USA, the Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the coordinator of the FMLN’s Northern California section hosted a dinner dance in San Francisco, in honor of the FMLN’s 30th anniversary. FMLNista Salvador Cordon reflected:

For 11 years the FMLN waged guerrilla war and would have achieved victory if not for US military intervention [under President Ronald Reagan] on a gigantic scale in a country of just 6 million people. It was this intervention that prolonged the war, exhausting much of the population. At the same time, the Salvadoran military could not achieve victory; a stalemate developed. That factor and the fall of the socialist camp [Soviet Bloc] between 1989 and 1991, prevented the triumph of the Salvadoran Revolution.

However, the Salvadoran Revolution did finally triumph in 2009, when voters elected the country’s first leftist government. For its part, the PSL was organized in 2004 by defectors from the Stalinist Workers’ World Party. PSL cadres sit on the steering committee of the ANSWER Coalition, which is active in the US anti-war movement.

Meanwhile, on Monday in the western Mexican state of Sinaloa, suspected drug cartel gunmen ambushed a police convoy, killing eight officers. “The gunmen, travelling in three or four vehicles, began shooting with automatic weapons,” a Mexican official explained. Sinaloa is home to one of the country’s most powerful cartels, run by Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman. The police were patrolling a road 50 miles form the state capital, Culiacan, when they were attacked. The cartels often recruit police officers, luring them with promises of a “cut” from the drug profits.

Finally, in yet another example of Russia’s revitalized, post-Cold War presence in the Caribbean Basin, Gazprom Neft, a tentacle of global energy monster Gazprom, has been appointed project leader for the 25-year Junin-6 project in the heavy oil basin of Venezuela’s Orinoco River. The Kremlin-run company made the announcement on Tuesday. This status was awarded to Gazprom Neft by the National Oil Consortium (NNK), established by Gazprom Neft, LUKoil, Rosneft, Surgutneftegas, and TNK-BP, which hold equal stakes in the project. NNK has dished out US$600 million as the first payment for the right to take part in the joint venture with CVP, a subsidiary of Venezuela’s PDVSA. CVP owns 60 percent in the venture, while NNK holds the rest.

“In its capacity as project leader, Gazprom Neft will coordinate the [Russian side of] operations in the Russian-Venezuelan joint venture PetroMiranda,” stated Gazprom Neft. PetroMiranda was established to exploit the Junin-6 block. The company will make the final investment decision on future development of the block, planned for 2013. The 447-850-square-kilometer Junin-6 block contains an estimated 52.6 billion barrels of oil. Within the block, 14 wells have already been drilled, Gazprom Neft explained.

The total investment by both Russia and Venezuela in the Juin-6 block is estimated at US$20 billion. Chavez expects the joint venture to produce 50,000 barrels of oil per day by 2014 and 450,000 barrels by 2017. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that Moscow is ready to pay Venezuela another US$1 billon to develop more fields. Putin’s energy minister, Sergei Shmatko, has admitted that the bonus could be paid for exploiting the Ayacucho-2, Ayacucho-3, and Junin-3 blocks.

Chavez will make his annual pilgrimage to Moscow on October 14. No doubt, the NNK-CVP venture will be high on the agenda as he meets with his KGB handler, Putin. For its part, Russia also plans to drill for oil in Cuban waters, almost cheek by jowl with US platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Strategically speaking, Russia’s drilling for oil under Uncle Sam’s nose is not a bad idea. Should Missile Day arrive, US military strikes against Russian oil platforms in the Caribbean will not only enrage Moscow’s communist allies in the Western Hemisphere, but also threaten to repeat the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Checkmate.

>Latin America File: Ex-guerrilla, Lula’s anointed successor, poised to lead Brazil; El Salvador’s 1st FMLN president makes historic trip to Cuba

>– 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.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Iran opens airspace for joint Turkish-Red Chinese air force exercise, PRC PM to visit Ankara

>– A Soviet Invasion of Another Kind? Russian Railways Extends Broad-Gauge Track to Vienna, Service to France, Finland; Corporate Head Good Comrade of Vladimir Putin

Errant NATO member Turkey has become a thorn in the side of the North Atlantic Alliance. The Justice and Development Party regime in Ankara has not only aligned itself with Israel’s mortal enemies, such as Syria and Hamas, but also in recent years has snuggled up to Russia, an alliance that would have been unthinkable when Russia was still “Soviet Russia.”

Now the Turkish Air Force is conducting joint exercises with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in its own airspace. The PLAAF is fresh from holding combined maneuvers with its Russian and Central Asian counterparts in Kazakhstan. There Red Chinese fighter pilots carried out mock long-range strikes as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Peace Mission 2010 war game, the SCO’s seventh such “anti-terrorist drill” since 2005. On September 30, Aviation Week reported on the outcome of “Anatolian Eagle”:

An unexpected military cooperative exercise between China and Turkey has caught the eye of Washington-based analysts.

The two air forces were involved in a joint air exercise in the central Anatolian province of Konya, the first such exercise involving the air forces of China (People’s Liberation Army Air Force – PLAAF) and NATO member Turkey.

Part of the significance is that the PLAAF recently demonstrated major advances in long-range strike during their own “Peace Mission 2010.”

The latest joint exercise, “Anatolian Eagle,” in the past has been conducted jointly with the U.S. Air Force, other NATO air forces and the Israeli Air Force.

Ankara’s Zama newspaper reported that Turkish F-16s and Chinese Su-27s staged a mock dogfight. Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao plans a visit to Turkey next month where several agreements on economic and cultural cooperation are expected to be signed. Chinese aircraft, including the JF-17 export fighter, stopped in Turkey to refuel on the way to last summer’s Farnborough air show.

In support of the Turkish-Red Chinese air force drill, Iran opened its airspace so the PLAAF could reach Turkey, presumably from the temporary PLA base in Kazakhstan via Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Iranian state media notes: “The maneuvers come ahead of a planned visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Turkey.” The same source also reports: “Turkey and China took their first step in military cooperation in the late 1990s with joint missile production, manufacturing weapons with a 150-kilometer range, the Hurriyet daily reported on its website.”

Incidentally, for Bible prophecy enthusiasts, the new Ankara-Beijing Axis forbodes the Magog invasion of Israel at the introduction of the tribulation and even the Battle of Armageddon at the end of this seven-year period.

Pictured here: August 1968: Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces invade Czechoslovakia, ending the “Prague Spring.”

Meanwhile, with a hat tip to one of our regular visitors, Russian Railways plans to extend an existing broad-gauge railroad to Vienna, Austria, via eastern Slovakia. Construction is expected to start in 2013–2015. “At present,” reports Prime-Tass, “Russian and Ukrainian trains have to change gauges in eastern Slovakia to deliver goods to Western Europe, with some goods being carried by lorries.” This new railway extending from Russia into Western Europe can certainly be used to ship commerical goods, but it also has definite military applications ahead of or during a Soviet re-invasion of Europe.

Not so coincidentally, Russian Railways has also inked an agreement with France to operate a train service between Moscow and Nice, as well as an arrangement with Finland, to run a high-speed train between St. Petersburg and Helsinki.

BTW, Vladimir Yakunin, chief of Russian Railways, is a good comrade of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s KGB-communist dictator. Between 1985 and 1991 Yakunin was a member of the Soviet diplomatic mission in the United Nations and appointed as First Secretary of the mission after 1988. According to some sources, during this term he worked as an officer of the First Chief Directorate of the Soviet KGB. Now he wants to build a railroad from Moscow to Vienna, site of famous superpower spy swaps–past and present. I’m savoring the irony.

>Latin America File: Castro, Chavez, Ortega decry “right-wing coup attempt” in Ecuador, army rescues Correa from mutinous police, predecessor fingered

>A state of emergency has been declared in Ecuador after socialist President Rafael Correa accused mutinous elements in the army and police of a coup attempt. Correa specifically identified opposition leader, former president Lucio Gutierrez and his nationalist 21st January Patriotic Society Party, of fomenting the attack against Correa’s life at a police barracks.

Pictured above: Troops loyal to Correa stand guard outside the presidential palace in Quito, on October 1.

On Thursday Correa arrived at the barracks in north Quito, the capital, to confront police angered over his veto of legislation that would have given police and soldiers higher salaries and better benefits. There mutinous police shoved the president and threw tear-gas canisters at him and his wife. Enraged, Correa challenged the mutineers: “If you want to kill the President, here he is. Kill him, if you are brave enough.”

Overcome by tear gas, Correa sought treatment in the police hospital, but mutineers surrounded the building for 12 hours, preventing government officials and Correa supporters from liberating the president. Inside the hospital, Correa remained defiant, telephoning his ideological mentor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for encouragement. “While I am here,” he declared to a radio reporter, “there is nothing to discuss. I won’t sign anything under pressure . . . I leave here as president or they take me out as a corpse.”

Finally, 500 troops loyal to the president stormed the hospital, rescuing Correa. In the midst of the mutiny, Ecuador’s top general, General Luis Ernesto Gonzalez Villarreal, also declared his loyalty to Correa. Speaking from the balcony of the presidential palace after the incident, Correa vowed to purge the army and police of “all bad elements”: “I’m not going to negotiate absolutely anything. Nothing will be forgiven and nothing will be forgotten.”

Meanwhile, 300 dissident air force personnel and soldiers seized control of the runway at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, temporarily grounding flights. Mutinous police blocked highways in Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. The breakdown in authority prompted bank robberies and looting in the capital and Guayaquil.

Like his red chums in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua—Chavez, Evo Morales, and Daniel Ortega—Correa has rewritten his country’s constitution to entrench socialist reforms and remove presidential term limits. In response to the political turmoil in Ecuador, the Havana-Caracas-Managua Axis, which leads the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), a bloc of eight socialist states to which Ecuador belongs, was especially swift in its denunciation of the “right-wing coup attempt” in Quito.

On his Twitter account, Chavez offered solidarity for his Ecuadorean “mini me”: “They are trying to oust President Correa. Wake up the people of the Bolivarian Alliance! Wake up the people of Unasur [Union of South American Nations]! Viva Correa!” Venezuela’s communist dictator later related the substance of his phone conversation with Correa, mentioned above. “Once he had left he would be very happy to receive [the protesters],” Chavez explained, “but they had kidnapped him, and he would not give in to blackmail.”

For his part, Ortega, flanked by top military and police officials, addressed the Obama White House in a televised speech, demanding to know Washington’s position on the Ecuadorean “coup attempt”:

What has the government of the United States said? Listen to me Ambassador [Robert] Callahan [the US representative in Managua]. Listen to me carefully. What has your government said? Now is the moment to define yourself. Is the new administration of the United States in favour of coup d’etats, or are you against coup d’etats. The US government says it is watching the situation [in Ecuador] with interest. But what is the interest? Are they interested to see if the coup culminates with the assassination of President Correa?

Ortega boasted that a similar coup attempt will never happen in Nicaragua because the armed forces and police are under the control of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN): “There isn’t even a minimal possibility of a coup. Why? Because of the nature of our armed forces. The army and police were born with the revolution [of 1979]. They have been institutions loyal to the Constitution.” He then warned his opposition:

The opposition in Nicaragua is calling for the people to take to the streets against the government without taking into account that it’s the people who are in the government [meaning the Sandinistas]. They are calling for the people to take to the streets. But be careful, because the people could take to the streets. Of course they could. And we’ll be the first ones out there with the people.

Ortega’s threat was not too subtle since mortar-toting Sandinista thugs have roamed the streets of Managua for nearly four years now, intimidating Nicaragua’s divided opposition parties.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry released a statement at the request of communist president Raul Castro, an excerpt of which follows:

The government of the Republic of Cuba firmly condemns and rejects the coup in Ecuador. President Correa has declared that a coup is taking place and that he has been attacked and is being forcibly held at the Police Metropolitan Hospital in Quito.

Cuba expects the leadership of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces to fulfill its obligation to respect and enforce the Constitution, and ensure the inviolability of the legitimately elected President and the democracy.

We hold the head of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces responsible for President Correa’s physical integrity and life. His full freedom of movement and exercise of their functions must be ensured.

We strongly reject statements attributed to the so-called Patriotic Society of Lucio Gutierrez which has openly proclaimed its coup intentions.

Cuba completely supports the legitimate and constitutional government of President Rafael Correa and the Ecuadorian people who are mobilizing to rescue the President.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton articulated President Barack Hussein Obama’s support for Correa, while the pro-US governments in Colombia and Peru expressed their solidarity by closing their borders with Ecuador. The Organization of American States called an emergency session to address the crisis and passed a resolution of support for the Ecuadorean president.

Since the Honduran coup that deposed Chavez lackey Manuel Zelaya in June 2009, the first such military-backed ouster in Latin America since the Cold War, the Havana-Caracas-Managua Axis has characterized any anti-leftist manifestations in ALBA countries as “US-sponsored coup attempts.” Although Latin America’s Red Axis leaders are up in arms over the USA’s allegedly baleful influence in the region, they are more than pleased to accept Moscow’s ideological and military support. “Post”-communist Russia’s snugly relationship with Communist Cuba is a case in point. Indeed, it bears a striking resemblance to the patronage Havana once enjoyed from the “former” Soviet Union.

On Wednesday, Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation at the UN, addressed the General Assembly, at which time he called on Washington to end its 50-year commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. Calling the embargo an “anachronism,” Comrade Churkin elaborated: “We call on all members of the international community to act in solidarity and on the basis of shared responsibility, to reject unilateral decisions on sanctions, including extra-territorial agreements adopted in parallel to the Security Council.” I’m sure Nikita Krushchev could not have said it better during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Return of the Sandinistas, North Korea, and the United Nations’ Global Government Grab

Old commies never die, they just stage comebacks per Moscow’s long-range plan for global domination. The neo-Sandinista regime in Managua, under the leadership of “Comandante” Ortega, is still committed to advancing world communism, just as its predecessor in the 1980s. Only now, the Soviets have shifted the responsibility of paying Ortega’s bills to their faithful ally Chavez, who is covertly injecting petro-dollars into Nicaragua via ALBA front companies.

Until September 2009 the FSLN’s spokesman at the United Nations was “Padre” Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, President of the General Assembly. The “good Father” is not only an advocate of liberation theology, but is determined to foist global government on the USA via an 80-point, Soviet-style scheme that includes a Global Stimulus Fund, Global Public Goods Authority, Global Tax Authority, Global Financial Products Safety Commission, Global Financial Regulatory Authority, Global Competition Authority, Global Council of Financial and Economic Advisors, Global Economic Coordination Council, and World Monetary Board.

Joseph Stiglitz, who previously chaired both the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, and the Socialist International’s Commission on Global Financial Issues, has pledged to realize D’Escoto’s dream of killing capitalism. To that end, Columbia University professor Stiglitz will enjoy the smiling approval of President Obama, who has also demanded the imposition of a global tax to implement the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

On the home front, Ortega recently declared a public holiday and, while opposition legislators took their vacation, mangled the 1995 Nicaraguan Constitution to facilitate his illegal re-election bid in 2011. When a Russian destroyer laden with “humanitarian aid” appeared off the country’s Caribbean coast in December 2008, Nicaragua’s opposition lodged a protest with the Russian ambassador in Managua. The Soviet strategists are no doubt waiting for compliant lackey Ortega to neutralize his opposition before test-landing their supersonic Tu-160 bombers at Punta Huete, a 23-year-old runway north of Lake Managua. Earlier this year, the Nicaraguan military quietly reactivated and upgraded this Soviet-built air base for, we suspect, this very purpose.

On the diplomatic front, the neo-Sandinista regime has re-established formal relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the retro-Stalinist hellhole set up by occupying Soviet troops at the end of the Second World War. This past Tuesday Ortega welcomed North Korea’s deputy foreign minister, Kim Hyong Jun, to Managua.

“Comandante” first announced his intention to re-forge links with North Korea in early 2007, shortly after he was re-inaugurated as president. At the time, Ortega reminded the world that North Korea helped to train his Sandinista guerrillas before they overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1979. Incidentally, according to a 1984 lecture delivered by Major J.W. Wilson at the Marine Corp Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia, Nicaragua was then crawling with some 5,000 Soviet, Eastern European, Cuban, and Libyan military advisors. At the same time, Soviet military aid to Nicaragua exceeded the total US military aid to all Latin American countries combined.

The message from Ortega in 2010, therefore, is loud and clear: Nicaragua is still part of the Communist Bloc and he has no intention of re-vacating the presidency anytime soon.

>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

>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

>– Narcistas Gun Down 10th Mexican Mayor for 2010, 15th since President Calderon Launched Counter-Insurgency Ops

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

>– Russian Military Employs Glonass Navigation System for Missile Targeting and Acquisition, Satellite Network Fully Operational as of September 2010

– 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

>– US Border Patrol Exchanges Gunfire with Narcistas at Texas Crossing

– 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”

>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

>– Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force Grills Suspects from Former Soviet Union, Releases Them on Grounds of Holding Valid Visas

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

>– Red China’s Defense Minister Wraps Up Latin American Tour in Colombia and Brazil after Promoting Mil-Mil Cooperation with Mexico

– 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

>– Mexican Narco-State: CPJ Report Alleges Gulf Cartel Controls “Nearly Every Aspect of Local Government” in Reynosa, Border City of 500,000

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"

>– Colombia’s Communist Guerrillas Shipping Cocaine to Mexico’s Beltran Leyva Cartel

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

>– 5,000 Communist Bloc Troops, Including 1,000 Russian Soldiers, to Participate in Fourth “Peace Mission” Anti-terrorist Drill (Anti-NATO War Game)

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

>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

>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

>– Mexican Government Sacks 3,200 Police on Corruption and Incompetence Charges, Disciplines More than 1,000 for Dubious Loyalties

– Nuevo Leon State Attorney General: Seven Police Arrested in Murder of Santiago Mayor, Several Worked for Narco-Mercenaries as Lookouts

– 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.

>WW4 File: Russian attack subs lurking outside UK naval base, recording "acoustic signature" of Vanguard SSBNs for potential torpedoeing

>– Senior Royal Navy Commanders:

1) Trafalgar Hunter-Killer Subs Escorting SSBNs to Counter Russian Akulas, Protect UK’s Nuclear Deterrent

2) Russian Sub Movements in North Atlantic Highest Since 1987

3) Russian Subs Also Tracking US and French Submarines

In yet one more proof that the Cold War never really ended, the British media has learned that Russian Akula-class attack submarines have in the last six months been caught trying to record the acoustic signature of the Royal Navy’s Vanguard ballistic subs (pictured above), which carry Trident nuclear missiles. Furthermore, according to the Daily Telegraph, which cites “senior Navy officers,” British submariners in the North Atlantic Ocean report that they are experiencing the highest number of “contacts” with Russian subs since 1987.

“If the Russians are able to obtain a recording of the unique noise of the boat’s propellers,” explains the news site, “it would have serious implications for Britain’s nuclear deterrent.” The Daily Telegraph adds: “Using its sophisticated sonar, the Akula would be able to track Vanguards and potentially sink them before they could launch their Trident D4 missiles.”

Russian subs are reportedly lurking off the coast of Faslane, Scotland, where the British nuclear force is based. There they wait for Trident-carrying Vanguards to emerge for their three-month patrol to provide the United Kingdom’s Continuous At Sea Deterrent. The Daily Telegraph continues:

While patrolling in the North Atlantic, there are a limited number of places the Vanguard is permitted to go and it is thought that the Akula attempted to track it on several occasions. Navy commanders are understood to have ordered a Trafalgar-class hunter-killer submarine to protect the Vanguard. A recording of the Akula was made by the Trafalgar submarine’s sonar operators and has been played to The Daily Telegraph.

“The Russians have been playing games with us, the Americans and French in the North Atlantic,” a senior Navy commander stated, adding: “We have put a lot of resources into protecting Trident because we cannot afford by any stretch to let the Russians learn the acoustic profile of one of our bombers [SSBNs] as that would compromise the deterrent.”

Is there any connection between the mysterious murder this month of British signals intelligence officer Gareth Williams, who may have been rubbed out by a Slovenian communist, and the new “Hunt for Red October” in the North Atlantic? We may never know until Missile Day, which appears to be looming on the horizon if the Kremlin’s purchase of inflatable decoy aircraft, missiles, and tanks is any indication.

>Red Terror File: British GCHQ officer, MI6 secondment found dead in his upscale London flat; Slovenian blogger: “Communist involved in death of spy”

>– Spy’s Apartment Presumed MI6 “Safe House,” Owned by Russian Company Registered in British Virgin Islands

Scotland Yard is investigating the murder of a British spy who apparently died up to two weeks ago. The decomposing body of Gareth Williams, reports the Daily Mail, was found in a large sports bag in his bathroom. Williams rented an upscale, two-storey apartment only a few hundred yards from the headquarters of MI6, the United Kingdom’s Secret Intelligence Service. His flat is believed to be an MI6 “safe house,” one of several in the area.

Williams’ mobile phone and a collection of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) cards were carefully spread out on a table. Police believe Williams was murdered on site, and possibly by someone he knew since there were no signs of forced entry.

The Welsh-born, 31-year-old Williams was an employee of the British government’s signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, Gloustershire. The cipher and codes specialist was on secondment to MI6 at the time of his disappearance and death. A mathematics genius, according to a family friend, Williams studied at Cambridge University. He was an avid cyclist, but a loner. Williams’ neighbors, many of whom are bankers and politicians, are horrified by his demise. Tellingly, details of the murder investigation have been forwarded to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The British Foreign Office is saying little: “There is an ongoing police investigation. It is a long-standing Government policy not to confirm or deny that any individual works for the intelligence agencies.” Patrick Mercer, former chairman of the House of Commons Counter-terrorism Subcommittee, admonished: “This underlines the danger that our outstanding security services have to face on a minute-by-minute basis every single day.”

MI6 fears that “Britain’s enemies” could have stolen classified material from Williams’ laptop computer or MP3 player. “Whether he was killed by Islamic extremists, Russian gangsters or someone altogether closer to him, MI6 operative Dr. Gareth Williams died a spook’s death,” ponders the Daily Mail in another article.

According to the British tabloids Williams was a homosexual and transvestite which, if true, would make him a prime target for blackmail and manipulation by foreign intelligence services, especially the Russian SVR. Williams allegedly had a “close friendship” with former GCHQ colleague Raphael L’hoste-Morton, but Raphael denies this.

The last spy to have perished on British soil was former Russian Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006. He was poisoned by radioactive polonium-210. British authorities suspect that former colleague Andrei Lugovoi, now a deputy in the Russian State Duma, perpetrated Litvinenko’s death. Prior to Litvinenko, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was killed by a communist agent who used an umbrella to fire a ricin pellet into his leg as he crossed Waterloo Bridge in September 1978.

Upon learning of Williams’ demise, we immediately speculated that the Not-So-Former Communist Bloc was somehow involved. We have no hard leads, except the following tantalizing morsels.

First, Land Registry documents reveal that the building in which Williams lived is owned by a private company called New Rodina. This company is registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), not the UK proper. Someone purchased the property for 675,250 pounds (US$1 million) in 2000 with a mortgage from the Royal Bank of Scotland, and remortgaged the property in 2005 and 2006. New Rodina’s owner operated through a law firm called Park Nelson, which once occupied a rented office in Bell Yard, off Fleet Street, but no longer appears to exist. The word “rodina,” we should highlight, means “motherland” in Russian and Bulgarian. The BVI, incidentally, is a known haunt of the Russian mafia.

Second, on August 26 a blogger at the Slovenian website Polonika attributed Williams’ death to a communist agent from his own country. The post was deleted the same day. The only information that can be obtained is from the post’s title, which search engines can still locate. According to this unknown individual “[A] communist from Slovenia [is] involved into [sic] the death of spy Gareth Williams. He [that is, Williams] was researching mind control, prostitution, and kidnapping (because Slovenia is [a] Russian satellite).”

Until 1991 Slovenia was part of Communist Yugoslavia. Slovenia’s prime minister, Borut Pahor, is an “ex”-communist. In June 2010 Pahor attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where he met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

That a Russian company, possibly a front for the SVR, owns property near MI6 headquarters, probably for the purpose of snooping, is not surprising. That MI6 would rent an apartment from an offshore-registered Russian company to be used as a “safe house” is surprising. Actually, it’s unbelievably stupid. Former MI6 officer Harry Ferguson told the Daily Mail: “There are lots of flats in this area owned by MI6 and their big worry will be that a terrorist group or intelligence group was involved.” Williams’ flat could very well have been bugged before MI6 made the first rental payment.

That the SVR, moreover, might lure Williams into a compromising relationship with a Russian agent, especially a male agent if Williams was indeed a homosexual, is not surprising either. “Another possibility is that he was the victim of a dangerous sex game gone wrong,” muses the Daily Mail. Any standard history of the Soviet/Russian secret services will confirm that “dangerous sex games” are useful tools for entrapping Western agents. From Russia with love?

>Latin America File: Cuba-Venezuela “economic union,” Salvadoran pres. heads for Havana, Nicaragua busts Gulf Cartel cell; gunmen kill Mexican mayor

>– Moscow Praises Resumption of Colombian-Venezuelan Diplomatic Relations, Second Restoration since March 2008 Andean Crisis

– Silent Invasion: Fourth Sino-Mexican Summit in Mexico City Advances Strategic Partnership Established in 2003

– Argentine Foreign Minister Welcomes Narco-Communist-Terrorist Sao Paulo Forum to Buenos Aires

Pictured above: On July 26, 2010 Cuban President Raul Castro (center) salutes during a ceremony at Che Guevara Revolution Square in Santa Clara, during the 57th anniversary of the Moncada Barracks attacks, which marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. From left to right: Cuba’s Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Venezuela’s Electricity Minister Ali Rodriguez, Castro, Venezuela’s Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, and Cuba’s Revolution Commander Ramiro Valdez.

Valdez is also Havana’s pointman in allied communist states like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Earlier this year he was appointed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to head a government commission to fix that country’s energy crisis.

During the last week of July Cuban and Venezuelan officials met in Cayo Santa Maria, a city in northeastern Cuba, where they signed 139 bilateral cooperation agreements designed to advance “economic union” between the two communist states. In 2007 then Cuban President Fidel Castro and his disciple, Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, spoke of uniting their countries in a federation. At the time Fidel’s younger brother Raul, who is now president, referred ominously to “Venecuba.”

Raul hosted last month’s Cuban-Venezuelan summit. Leading the Venezuelan delegation were vice presidents Ricardo Cabrisas and Rafael Ramirez, who is also boss of the state-run PDVSA oil company. Chavez did not attend the summit, claiming that he feared an impending Colombian military raid on his country. He pointed to the imposing presence of 46 US warships with 7,000 Marines off the coast of Costa Rica, ostensibly to help San Jose interdict drug shipments, as proof of Washington’s ill intent and collaboration with Bogota.

Cuba’s communist-controlled media assessed the Cuban-Venezuelan summit in the following fashion: “The Cuba-Venezuela Economic Union represents an important contribution to the increasing process of integration and further strengthening of the bilateral links, based on the principles of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America [ALBA].” Some sources estimate that there are as many as 60,000 Cuban agents in Venezuela, many holding important posts in the military and intelligence structures. At least 30,000 Cuban medical doctors and teachers are known to plying their trade in the South American country.

El Salvador’s president, Mauricio Funes, is slated to visit Cuba during the first week of September. This is the first time in nearly 50 years that a Salvadoran head of state has made an official visit to the communist island. El Salvador, under the government of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), restored diplomatic relations with Cuba shortly after the ex-guerrillas came peacefully to power in 2009. At that time, the Salvadoran vice president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the FMLN’s former battlefield commander and a “doctrinaire Leninist” who praised the 911 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC, dutifully put in an appearance in Havana. Although touted as a “moderate,” former CNN Espanol correspondent Funes will now make his own pilgrimage to worship at the feet of Raul and Fidel Castro.

The FMLN has been slow to communize El Salvador and integrate the drug war-wracked country into the ALBA bloc of socialist states. Many Salvadorans believe that Sanchez is the real ruler of El Salvador and expect this past ally of the Soviet Union and Communist Cuba to “ease” Funes, who was not a combatant in the 1980s Salvadoran Civil War, out of office with a bullet to the head. The FMLN is closely allied with the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front in Nicaragua. During the 1980s the first Sandinista regime supplied arms to the FMLN, which was then seeking to topple a series of US-backed rightist governments. More recently, since 2006 FMLNistas have been accused of infiltrating operatives into Nicaragua to help the Sandinistas intimidate the opposition during street confrontations.

Both the FMLN and FSLN are opposed to re-admitting Honduras into the Organization of American States after a military-backed parliamentary coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya, a slavish pawn of Venezuela’s communist dictator, Hugo Chavez, in June 2009. His ouster was the first coup d’etat in Latin America since the end of the Cold War. Last January 2010 the FMLN went so far as to brand Honduras’ post-coup president Roberto Micheletti, then visiting business leaders in San Salvador, persona non grata.

During Zelaya’s four-year presidency, Honduras became a new hub in the international narcotics trade. Drug planes from Venezuela, the region’s biggest transshipment point, landed on a regular basis on Honduran highways and remote jungle landing strips. High-ranking officers in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Intelligence Service and the National Guard are accused of facilitating the flow of Colombian cocaine northward to the USA and eastward, across the Atlantic Ocean, to West Africa, where Al Qaeda operatives allegedly smuggle the stuff into the European Union.

During the 1980s Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his Maoist interior minister, Tomas Borge, now ambassador to Peru, provided safe haven to the Medellin Cartel’s Pablo Escobar, thereby facilitating Moscow’s “red cocaine” plot against the USA. Ortega’s current involvement in the narcotics trade extends to the provision of safe haven for suspected agents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which supplies 90 percent of the cocaine sold on US streets.

At the same time, the Sandinistas endeavor to obscure their complicity by carrying out high-profile drug busts, such as the arrest of three suspected members of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel in Nicaragua. According to National Police spokesperson Vilma Reyes, Carlos Alberto Gonzalez Pena was in charge of the cartel’s Nicaraguan cell. Along with Gonzalez, brothers Rony and Carlos Olivas Zavala were arrested. According to Nicaraguan authorities, the Gulf Cartel cell received orders from Juan Cordoba, Manuel Lopez, and Danilo Lopez, all three of whom are based in Guatemala and who are, in turn, supervised by an unidentified Honduran.

According to Nicaraguan Police legal affairs director Glenda Zavala, “The Gulf cartel cell was trying to organize a logistics network for smuggling drugs in Nicaragua. The suspects modified trucks and other vehicles, adding secret compartments used to smuggle drugs across international borders.” Another Gulf Cartel cell leader busted by Nicaraguan authorities in recent weeks was Gerardo Lazo Serrano.

Meanwhile, Colombia’ right-wing government, recently re-elected under the leadership of a new president, Juan Manuel Santos, outgoing president Alvaro Uribe’s former defense minister, remains a pariah among the region’s predominantly left-wing regimes.

In late June, for example, Ecuador’s socialist president, Rafael Correa, accused Colombia’s DAS spy agency of using a “mobile platform” in Quito to tap his telephone and those of his highest officials. Although Quito and Bogota recently patched up relations, severed in 2008 after Colombian security forces raided a FARC jungle camp in Ecuador, Correa complained to Sonorama radio: “We would have to again break off diplomatic relations with Colombia if they have been spying on the president of Ecuador [himself] and the Ecuadorian government, on our high officials . . . as the report states.” He also alleged: “Officials of the Ecuadorean consulate in Colombia have been bought and paid for with the full knowledge of Uribe and Santos.” Correa cited an article published in the Quito daily El Universo for substantiation.

In late July Nicaragua’s Sandinista president threatened to attack Colombia militarily if Bogota grants oil concessions to private companies in disputed waters around the islands of San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina. In 2001 the International Court of Justice recognized Colombia’s claim to these islands, which are a popular resort destination, but made no decision regarding ownership of the surrounding waters. Ortega first pressed Nicaragua’s claims on this island group during his first dictatorship.

The Soviet strategists are not only supplying arms to FARC via Russian Mafia cells in Ecuador, but also are anxious to woo the Colombians into the Communist Bloc by peaceful deception, if possible. Last week, Moscow indicated that it was pleased with the resumption of diplomatic relations between Colombia and Venezuela, whose President Chavez is a slavish ally of Russia, for the second time since the March 2008 Andean Crisis. A press release from the Russian Foreign Ministry stated:

Russia has received with satisfaction the news about reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Colombia. We are convinced that this will help build relations between Caracas and Bogota in the spirit of good neighborhood and taking into account mutual concerns, as well as reinforcing peace and stability in Latin America, with which Russia actively increases its engagement.

In August 2009 Chavez “froze” relations with Bogota over the planned deployment of US counter-narcotics troops in Colombia, rumbling that Washington was preparing to invade Venezuela, and over the Colombian government’s accusations that Chavez was providing FARC with safe haven on Venezuelan soil.

The bloody trail of drug violence in the Western Hemisphere extends from the 45-year-old civil war raging in Colombia to the piles of decapitated, butchered bodies of rival narcistas, soldiers, police, and civilians in northern Mexico. On August 16 BBC News reported that the mayor of Santiago, a suburb of the prosperous metropolis of Monterrey, was kidnapped. On Sunday night, 15 gunmen stormed the residence of Edelmiro Cavazos after the mayor returned from a public function in the city’s main square. State governor Rodrigo Medina believes that Cavazos may have been targeted because of his determination to eradicate police corruption. On Wednesday, Cavazos’ body was found by the side of a highway.

This past weekend, Monterrey itself was the scene of several violence incidents, including the blockading of 13 major streets by drug gangs on Saturday and the detonation of an explosive device outside the studios of Mexico’s largest television network, Televisa, on Sunday. This past March narcistas set up road blocks throughout Monterrey in an effort to thwart the counter-insurgency operations of the Mexican Army. The trail of “red cocaine” does not stop at the US-Mexican border, as we have blogged before, but actually ends in the streets of Los Angeles, where Los Zetas recruits former California inmates for assassination training in Mexico.

Into the mess which is the Mexican narco-state steps the ruling Communist Party of China, which first used opium addiction as a means to destroy the enemies of proletarian revolution. On July 29 and 30 the foreign ministers of both countries, Patricia Espinosa and Yang Jiechi, met in Mexico City for the Fourth Meeting of the Permanent Binational Commission. The Sino-Mexican strategic partnership was formed in 2003. Since then three bilateral meetings have already taken place: two in Beijing, in August 2004 and July 2008, and one in Mexico, in May 2006. More than 150 Mexican and Red Chinese officials will attend the current summit, where they will discuss bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, commercial, scientific, technological, cultural, and education fields. The Permanent Binational Commission will adopt a Joint Action Program for the 2011-2015 timeframe, establishing concrete goals to advance Sino-Mexican cooperation.

In 2003 investigative reporter Scott Gulbransen published a book called Silent Invasion, in which he endeavored to document the presence in Mexico of military reconnaissance units from Red China, Russia, Cuba, and North Korea. It is a known fact that the Russian Mafia, which is little more than a front for the GRU/SVR, is supplying arms to the drug cartels. It is also a known fact that Hutchison-Whamphoa, which is owned by Hong Kong shipping magnate Li Ka-shing, a close ally of the communist hierarchy in Beijing, operates container port facilities at four locations in Mexico: Ensenada, Manzanillo, and Lazaro Cardenas on the Pacific Coast, and Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. Gulbransen contends that the PRC has been pumping arms and military equipment into Mexico via the port of Ensenada, as well as across the border into the USA, with the complicity of corrupt US Border Patrol officials.

Both Jeff Nyquist and Ryan Mauro have interviewed Gulbransen. Nyquist cautiously assesses Gulbransen’s evidence and concludes that Red China may be establishing ammunition dumps in the Continental USA ahead of an invasion, ala the 2010 remake of Red Dawn. The Communist Chinese, as the linked website reveals, are not happy about the re-tooled version of John Milnius’ Cold War-era film, which originally depicted a Soviet-Cuban invasion of the USA.

The ruling and non-ruling leftist parties and insurgent armies of Latin America and the Caribbean coordinate hemispheric revolution through the Sao Paulo Forum (FSP), founded in 1990 by the Brazilian Workers’ Party, the party of Brazilian President Lula da Silva. The FSP holds a plenary summit nearly every year, while committees sometimes meet several times yearly.

On August 17, 200 delegates converged in Buenos Aires to hold the FSP’s 16th summit. In the Argentine capital this collection of communists, socialists, and past and current terrorists was welcomed by President Cristina Kirchner’s foreign minister, Hector Timerman, at the Palace of San Martin. There the FSP, which includes the Communist Party of Cuba, praised “Commander Fidel Castro” for his role in establishing a communist beachhead 90 miles from the shores of the USA. “The triumph of the Cuban Revolution through a genuine popular struggle led by Commander Fidel Castro was a decisive landmark in the history of Latin America,” read the text of an FSP communiqué.

>Latin America File: Fidel Castro rejects legitimacy of Calderon, lauds Obrador; ex-Contra leader prepares to launch new insurgency against Sandinistas

>– Mexican Leftist Leader Overlooks 2006 Electoral Failure, Thanks Retired Cuban Dictator for Endorsement, Praises Communist Luminaries, Predicts 2012 Victory

Pictured here: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador presents his candidacy in Mexico City on July 25, 2010.

We’re back from a two-week vacation. Communists, however, never go on vacation, so our work here continues.

“Fidel Castro’s article in support of the runner-up in Mexico’s 2006 presidential election,” reports Novosti, “threatens to revive diplomatic tensions between Cuba and Mexico.” According to the Kremlin media, Mexican political analysts believe that the candor of Cuba’s retired dictator may again delay the visit of the President Felipe Calderon to Havana, slated to take place by the end of this year. In a recent Reflections column, which is published in various state-controlled media outlets, the 84-year-old Castro casts doubt on the political legitimacy of Calderon, who bested far left rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) by only 0.57 percent in a run-off vote.

“Obrador went to the polls and defeated the candidate nominated by the National Action Party, but the [U.S.] empire did not allow him to take office,” Fidel complained. On August 14 an indignant Mexican Foreign Ministry repudiated Fidel’s comments: “The Mexican government denies statements by ex-president Fidel Castro, in which he questions the legitimacy of the incumbent leadership and the choice… made by the people.”

Since 2006 AMLO has in fact styled himself as the “Legitimate President of Mexico,” a title recognized only by his most slavish followers in the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). Obrador has declared his intention to run again for the presidency in 2012. The PRD was organized in 1989 through a merger of the Mexican Communist Party, Unified Socialist Party of Mexico, Mexican Socialist Party, and Mexican Workers’ Party. The party holds 127 of 500 seats in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, and 26 out of 128 seats in the Senate, and controls five state governments. Obrador stepped down as PRD president in 2008 but maintains links to the organization.

AMLO was not shy in expressing his pleasure with Castro’s endorsement. While launching his new book The Mafia that Took Over Mexico…and the Year 2012 (“La mafia que se adueñó de Mexico…y el 2012”) in his hometown of Tabasco, the former president of Mexico’s Federal District read a communiqué that referred to Fidel’s “distinguished” position among great communists of the past. “I thank the comments and opinions of a distinguished personality like Fidel Castro,” gushed Obrador, adding: “He is undoubtedly one of the most important leaders of the world of our times, as well as others like Ghandi, Charles de Gaulle, Martin Luther King [US pro-communist], Ho Chi Minh [Vietnamese communist], Salvador Allende [Chilean communist], and our beloved Nelson Mandela [South African communist].”

AMLO also made a plug for his book, which “aims at letting the world know the bitter reality that characterizes Mexico today, controlled by rapacious oligarchic groups that have imposed a policy of pillage over national interests and the people’s well-being.” In his speech, Obrador predicted that he will oust Calderon’s center-right Panistas in 2012: “Those who stole the election from us thought that we could not stand up again, but they were wrong.”

Some observers of Latin American politics suspect that Communist Venezuela is discreetly financing and radicalizing the PRD via “Bolivarian” cells in Mexico. It is a documented fact that current agents of Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate and “ex”-employees of Cuba’s Interior Ministry and “ex”-soldiers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba are active in Mexico. The Cuban embassy in Mexico City has long served as a strategic base of operations to infiltrate spies into the USA. Moreover, in 2007 with little fanfare Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation, travelled to Cuba, Venezuela, and Mexico, where he reportedly met with Obrador.

Further south, Gabriel Jose Garmendia, a former Contra rebel who fought the first Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) regime in the 1980s, has declared that he is preparing to launch another uprising against President Daniel Ortega. Long-time KGB asset Ortega is widely believed to be seeking a third term in 2011. Last year, in a legally dubious ruling, the Nicaraguan Supreme Court overturned a constitutional ban against presidential term limits. Garmendia did not provide details of his planned insurrection in his August 4 interview with Managua’s El Nuevo Diario.

Since his re-inauguration in January 2007 Ortega has shut down opposition media through street-level intimidation and corporate buy-outs financed by red buddy Hugo Chavez, dispatched FSLN cadres to break up meetings of the Constitutionalist Liberal Party (PLC) and other opposition politicians, and cozied up to Cold War-era ally Russia by promising joint military exercises in Central America. Earlier this year the Nicaraguan military modernized the never-used Soviet-built air base at Punta Huete, a facility that can accommodate Russian strategic bombers, which have since 2008 again made their appearance in the skies over the Caribbean Sea.

At the same time, the Sandinista-controlled Nicaraguan National Army is denying reports that the Contras are re-arming under the banner of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force. “The war has ended; there are no conditions for armed groups to operate here,” huffed General Julio Cesar Aviles. Garmendia apparently travels under the nom de guerre “Comandante Yahob.” Last month Aviles referred to Yahob as a “common criminal,” but admitted that the former Contra special forces commander is seeking to establish contacts with other “delinquent groups” in Honduras.

On July 25 former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo “Fatso” Aleman asserted that he and his family were the targets of a failed assassination in the southern department of Rio San Juan, near the Costa Rican border. According to a PLC press release, masked Sandinista thugs attacked a campaign convoy consisting of Aleman, members of his family, local mayors, and party officials. The opposition convoy was forced to retreat to the center of San Miguelito, a town in Rio San Juan.

Aleman likened the ambush to another incident that took place 14 years ago, when FSLN cadres attacked another PLC campaign caravan. During the 1996 incident one person was killed by an AK-47-toting Sandinista. Aleman, who is internationally regarded as one of the world’s most corrupt politicians and who did not hesitate to enter a sordid power-sharing arrangement with Ortega in 2000, declared his presidential candidacy on July 11. The government of President Ortega refused to comment on Aleman’s allegations.

Meanwhile, on August 12 Nicaragua’s constitutional crisis deepened as Supreme Court justices who support Ortega selected seven lawyers from the FSLN to replace opposition judges who have boycotted court sessions over the last 10 months. The legitimacy of the Sandinista-friendly justices is itself contested by Nicaragua’s opposition parties. The National Assembly, which is also in a state of political deadlock, has been unable to appoint replacements for 22 government officials whose terms have expired. Ortega has extended their tenures by presidential decree. Neither the FSLN nor PLC controls enough seats in the National Assembly to end the deadlock.

Just when you thought Ronald Reagan and Oliver North made Central America safe for democracy, communist sharks are once again seeking blood 20 years later.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Canadian fighter jets repel Russian bombers near Labrador coast, Ottawa’s DM: Moscow gave no advance notice

>This past Wednesday Canadian fighter jets repelled two Russian strategic bombers near the coast of Labrador. “The response as always was a rapid, effective deterrent,” explained Canada’s Defence Minister Peter MacKay, adding: “They were in the buffer zone. They did not give us any advance notice. We certainly weren’t aware of what if any weapons were on board.” One senior Canadian official described the attempted Russian incursion as “not the usual s–t.” Pictured above: Canadian Forces Air Command CF-18.

Canada’s Conservative government plans to purchase 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets for C$9 billion. The Russian Air Force’s revitalized long-range patrols have provided a pretext for Ottawa’s acquisition. Canada is a partner in the Joint Strike Fighter Program, which produced the F-35 in collaboration with the USA and United Kingdom.

BTW, we begin our summer vacation today. No further posts likely until August 16.

>USA File: FBI, LAPD: Mexican cartels set up operations in CA, TX; Los Zetas trains LA gangs in Mexico for hit jobs; AZ sheriff: Cartels control Hwy. 8

>– California Voters to Potentially Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana in November, Mexican Cartels Already Control State’s Black Market Grow Ops

– Mexican Army Officer: Lebanon’s Hezbollah Terrorists May Be Training “Narcistas” How to Assemble Car Bombs

Pictured above: The brazenly Satanic cult of Holy Death, embraced by many Mexicans involved in the drug trade.

Long feared, Mexico’s narco-insurgency has finally spilled over into USA, at least according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles Police Department. Seven drug cartels have set up distribution and recruitment operations in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, as well as Texas. Moreover, according to local sheriffs in Arizona, the Mexican drug cartels control the highway between Phoenix and the international border. However, the Obama Admin, which earlier this year refused to extend more military assistance to the Mexican government, is saying nothing and doing less.

In an interview with La Opinion journalist Jorge Morales Almada, Lieutenant Alvin Jackson, chief of the LAPD’s Narcotics Division, admitted:

Here in the city, the Sinaloa, Gulf and Los Zetas cartels are operating. They are operating at the middle level and at the street level. The [anti-drug] agencies working in Los Angeles are combating seven major cartels from Mexico. We’ve detected two of them, Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, working in distribution for the area covering San Fernando Valley, Westside, Central and South Central [LA].

The other cartels operating in LA are the Arellano Felix, Beltran Leyva, Sinaloa, Juarez, and La Familia. Since 2006, the Sinaloa cartel, whose main drug lords in Mexico are Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has taken over the California territory, displacing Felix’s Tijuana cartel. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have identified one of the top henchmen working for “El Mayo” and “El Chapo” as Victor Emilio Cazares Salazar.

Morales secured some of his information concerning cartel operations in the USA from an informant who sympathizes with La Familia. The journalist met his source, a former Mexican soldier from the state of Michoacan, at a bench on the corner of 83rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Central LA. Casting nervous glances over his shoulder, the ponytail-sporting fiftysomething whistleblower elaborated:

The truth is that La Familia does more for the people than the f—— government. They do care about the people, so the people protect them, and they’ll never be able to destroy them. Los Zetas have been recruiting people after they get out of Los Angeles jails, gang members who are unemployed and would be more than happy to fire an AK-47. They’re bringing them to Mexico where they’ll train them. That is their army.

Morales sought confirmation of his informant’s statements from the FBI’s LA director, Steven Martinez. “That is something we can’t say,” Martinez said stiffly, but conceded that the Mexican drug cartels control California’s not-so-underground marijuana industry: “There are people here who are connected with these major groups, for distribution networks, but the cartels are in Mexico, the drug lords are there. There are operations for growing marijuana, but it’s a production sponsored by cartels in Mexico, Central and South America, something that our intelligence is very interested in and we are working to fight these activities.”

Some US leftists are wistfully hoping that passage of Proposition 19 this November by California voters will legalize the recreational use of marijuana, thereby pushing down the price of this narcotic and forcing the cartels to find new sources of income. Not likely. The bulk of the traffic passing through the hands of the narcistas is cocaine. If Californians decide to legalize pot and Sacramento imposes a tax on the same, then Mexico’s billionaire drug lords will just buy out the legitimate companies that market the weed.

In a related story, a local affiliate of ABC reported in June that Mexico’s drug lords now control parts of Arizona: “Pinal County investigators say an area known as the smuggling corridor now stretches from Mexico’s border to metro Phoenix. The area, once an area for family hiking and off road vehicles has government signs warning residents of the drug and human smugglers. Night vision cameras have photographed military armed cartel members delivering drugs to vehicles along Highway 8.” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was quoted as saying: “We are three counties deep. How is it that you see pictures like these, not American with semi and fully automatic rifles. How is that okay? We are outgunned, we are out manned and we don’t have the resources here locally to fight this.”

In another related story, on July 16 La Linea, the armed wing of the Juarez cartel, detonated a car bomb in Ciudad Juarez, escalating the narco-insurgency to the most violent level yet since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon declared war against the country’s drug cartels. In this particular attack, narcistas lured a police officer, medical doctor and rescue worker to their demise by shooting another police man as bait. When the other emergency personnel arrived, the guerrillas used a cell phone to blow up 22 pounds of C4 plastic explosive. In the explosion two federal police vehicles were destroyed along with the car bomb itself.

An anonymous US law enforcement source was quoted by Reuters as saying: “What you are seeing now is a whole new level of violence. It’s a vehicle-born improvised explosive device. This has raised the bar to a level of violence that Mexico has not seen yet. It is reminiscent of Colombia . . . What we are seeing now is what the military is running into in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Other terrorism experts noted that the car bomb’s sophistication was similar to Hezbollah’s “professional” terrorism.

The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels are fighting each other for control of Ciudad Juarez, a major drug transshipment hub across the border from El Paso, Texas, as well as against the Mexican government. This formerly prosperous city has been the scene of 6,000 drug murders in the past 42 months. On the same day 12 people, including two civilians died in shootouts between the army and drug gangs in Nuevo Laredo, the main haunt of Los Zetas, a technologically sophisticated group of mercenaries consisting of ex-special forces from the Mexican and Guatemalan armies.

In a small victory against the narcistas, Mexico’s federal police announced on July 26 that Carlos Vazquez Barragan, one of several suspected leaders of La Linea, had been arrested. Barragan, also known as “El 20,” ran La Linea’s financial operations, paid the smugglers who handled the Juarez cartel’s shipments, and laundered money from US drug sales. Barragan’s boss was Juarez cartel chief, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, a.k.a. “El Viceroy.”

Some analysts who are following the course of the Mexican drug war are in fact concerned that Hezbollah, the Lebanese political party/terrorist army, is training the cartels in the fine art of assembling car bombs. US Congresswoman Sue Myrick has requested that the Department of Homeland Security investigate the possibility of Hezbollah’s continued presence in Mexico after one of its agents, Jameel Nasr, was arrested in Tijuana in early July 2010. It is conceivable that the Lebanese terrorists have already offered their services to Mexico’s drug lords. Myrick has written: “A high-ranking Mexican Army officer, who asked not be named for security reasons, states they believe Hezbollah may be training the Mexican drug cartels’ enforcers in the art of bomb making. This might lead to Israel-like car bombings of Mexican/USA border personnel or National Guard units in the border regions.”

The cocaine trade, which constitutes the bulk of the cartel’s illicit profit, is truly a product of Communist Bloc subversion. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s alliance with the Mexican drug lords is well documented. We have also blogged about the involvement of figures from the Cuban security and military apparatus in the Mexican nacro-insurgency. Last year, for example, an “ex”-soldier of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba in the employ of the former mayor of Cancun was convicted of assassinating the counter-narcotics czar assigned to the resort city by the federal government.

In 2007 Larry Martines, director of the Nevada Department of Homeland Security, offered this prediction to FrontPage magazine: “If the USA does not increase assistance via military resources, funding, advisors, plus most importantly, expanded intelligence gathering technology, we might very well end up with a Narco-Republic on our southern border. . . . We do not have much time left.” Two years later Joint Forces Command published a similar recipe for disaster, warning that Mexico and Pakistan were two countries most at risk of becoming “failed states.” The Moscow Leninists, as we have repeatedly insisted, have every reason, in harmony with communism’s long-range plan for the destruction of the USA, to push Mexico into the abyss.

>USSR2 File: Putin rides with Russian bikers; KGB-communist dictator sang “patriotic Soviet songs” with repatriated spies, fingers "traitor" Tretyakov

>Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, may not be “Born to Be Wild” but, with a hat tip to blues rocker George Thorogood, he’s definitely “Born to Be Vlad” or “Vlad to the Bone.” This past week, Putin donned black and mounted a Harley-Davidson motortrike and rode off into the steppes with a Russian biker gang called the “Night Wolves.”

Since emerging onto the stage of Russian politics in late 1999, judo master Putin has been careful to cultivate the stereotypical Russian “tough guy” image. On one occasion, he waded bare-chested into a Siberian river to catch fish, causing tongues to wag across the Internet, and on another occasion saving a TV crew by shooting a Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun. Whenever terrorism strikes the Russian heartland, Putin lashes out at the villains, threatening to decimate them. Whenever there’s an opportunity to fly a nuclear bomber or test a new fighter jet, Putin shows up at the air base for a photo op. In a superpower showdown with Barack Hussein (“Born to Be Mild”) Obama, I rather suspect Putin would have the US president’s head for lunch. To quote my father in law, who is an ethnic Russian, the height-challenged Putin is a “mean bugger.” No debate there.

During a visit to Ukraine, Putin admitted that after their repatriation to Russia several weeks ago he met the 10 Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents who were exposed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, arrested, and deported in a spy swap that took place in Vienna. With surprising candor, the Russian PM acknowledged that he sung “patriotic Soviet songs” with the failed spies. “We sang ‘From Where the Motherland Begins,’” he stated, referring to the 1968 cult film about a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany. “I’m not joking. I’m serious. And other songs with a similar content,” he added. Although the Western media has pilloried the SVR spy ring as incompetent, Putin glorified the secret agents’ service to the Kremlin:

Just imagine. You need to master a language like your mother tongue. You need to think in it, speak in it. You need to fulfill the task set in the interests of your motherland for many, many years, not counting on diplomatic cover, expose yourself and your loved ones to danger. They will be found worthy jobs in Russia and will lead interesting lives.

With these comments Putin has pretty much confessed that these Russian nationals were bona fide espionage agents.

Putin insisted that the SVR operation in the USA was betrayed and hinted that he knew the identity of the Russian defector who betrayed them. He rumbled ominously: “This was the result of treason and traitors always end badly. They finish up as drunks and addicts on the street.” Or, we might add, in the case of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, just plain dead. “Secret services live by their own laws,” Putin warned, “and these laws are very well known to anyone who works for a secret service.”

Russia’s KGB-communist dictator may have been referring to Sergei Tretyakov, a top Russian spy working at the United Nations, who defected to the West in 2000 and died of a heart attack in June. Some espionage watchers suspect that Tretyakov may have tipped off the FBI to the presence of the SVR ring in the USA. His death around the same time as the exposure of the Russian spies is certainly intriguing.

Putin, who is not constitutionally barred from running for a third, non-consecutive presidential term, is widely expected to announce his candidacy before 2012. Although his public approval rating is the lowest since he became PM in May 2008, the figure still hovers in the high 40s. While attending a motorbike convention in Sevastopol, Putin enthused: “Motorbikes are the ultimate symbol of freedom.” Perhaps Putin hopes to ride his “hog” across North America after a few surgical nuke strikes wipe out the US political-military hierarchy.

>Latin America File: Cuba, Abkhazia, S. Ossetia leaders attend Sandinista bash; Borge fawns over Havana pointman Valdez; ALBA sets up perm. commission

>– Former Honduran President, Chavez Pawn Zelaya Fingers US Southern Command for Plotting His Ouster in 2009

In Nicaragua this week the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) is celebrating the 31st anniversary of its Soviet/Cuban-backed revolution, which toppled the US-backed dictatorship of the Somoza dynasty. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega seized the occasion to denounce the possibility of a US-Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear energy program. Latin America’s Red Axis leaders are stridently anti-USA and anti-Israel.

Present at the festivities in Managua were the de facto presidents of Georgia’s two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Abkhazian “President” Sergei Bagapsh is an “ex”-cadre of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, while South Ossetian “President” Eduard Kokoity is a graduate of the Soviet Komsomol, or Communist Youth League. Along with Russia, Venezuela, and the diminutive South Pacific state of Nauru, Ortega is the only head of state in the world to recognize Georgia’s secessionist regimes. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are occupied by Russian troops, contrary to a cease-fire agreement brokered by the European Union after the Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008.

Incidentally, Nauru is the recipient of a US$9 million loan from Moscow to upgrade its port facilities by the end of 2010. Nauru’s parliament, like Nicaragua’s National Assembly, has been deadlocked for months in a dispute between the country’s president and opposition leaders. It may be for this reason that a delegation from Russia, which was expected in Nauru back in March, failed to materialize.

In addition to Comrades Bagapsh and Kokoity, Ramiro Valdez Menendez, Cuba’s Vice President of the Council of State and Minister of Information Technology and Communication, along with a retinue of civil servants from Cuba’s foreign ministry, touched down in Managua. There they rubbed elbows with Ortega, his foreign minister Samuel Santos Lopez, Tomas Borge, the only living co-founder of the FSLN, and the president of the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications. Ortega and Valdez are pictured above.

During the first Sandinista regime in the 1980s, Borge, then Ortega’s interior minister, hosted numerous representatives of Soviet Bloc militaries and secret police. Borge also provided the Medellin Cartel with a safe route through which to smuggle cocaine to the USA. This die-hard Maoist has reprised his political role in the second Sandinista regime as ambassador to Peru, from whence his wife hails.

Upon his arrival in Managua, Valdez expressed his solidarity with the Sandinistas and noted that 20 years had passed since he last visited the Central American country. Borge was evidently thrilled by the presence of his Cuban mentors. He gushed:

I want to indicate to Ramiro our love for him and the people of Cuba, our unconditional solidarity with the people of Cuba and toward their glorious revolution. The Nicaraguan people will be able to count on the solidarity, friendship, and brotherhood of the people of Cuba, and their revolution. From before and after the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution, Cuba always supported Nicaragua’s liberating fight.

Earlier this year, in February, Comandante Valdez’s name was newsworthy since this hero from the Cuban Revolution was appointed by President Hugo Chavez to head a technical commission tasked with fixing the electrical blackouts afflicting Venezuela. More than three years ago, Valdez defended Internet censorship on the communist island, insisting that such restrictions on the Cuban populace were necessary to resist “US imperialism.” The Venezuelan Engineers’ Association was appalled by the appointment of a figure from the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba to advise the Chavezista regime, claiming that there are “enough skilled professionals” to resolve the issue.

Critics of Chavez’s Cubanization of the South American country responded with concern. “President Chavez has never concealed his deep sympathy with the Cuban model,” explains Demitrio Boersner, a former Venezuelan ambassador who now teaches at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas. Boersner elaborates:

The arrival of thousands of Cuban medics and teachers in Venezuela is part of a wider effort by Mr. Chavez to move our nation towards Castro-style communism. Chavez has referred frequently to Cuba as an ‘ocean of happiness’ for the common people and that something very similar will be established in Venezuela gradually. Fidel Castro has become a father figure for him: Fidel the father, Hugo the son.

Following Valdez’s appointment, the former civil defense chief of Venezuela, General Antonio Rivero, resigned and went public with accusations that Cuban “advisors” hold important posts in the country’s military and intelligence bureaucracies. Rivero contends:

There are various areas in which Cuban advisors are concentrated, particularly military engineering, which includes the areas of military fortifications. That’s where the state’s main security equipment, resources, maps and plans are stored. That another country helps plan, carry out and, indeed correct work at such a sensitive level to national security—is not something which other countries would allow.

Rivero also alleges that Cuban military officers are training Venezuelan troops in combat techniques. Chavez flippantly dismisses charges of Cubanizing Venezuela by saying: “Yes, there is military cooperation which perhaps worries the bourgeoisie. Well, the bourgeoisie can rest easy! Everything Cuba does for us is to strengthen the fatherland!” According to Venezuela’s communist dictator, relations between Caracas and Havana are proceeding naturally within the context of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), to which both countries belong.

The communization of Latin America—nearly 20 years after the red disease supposedly died in Eastern Europe and the Not-So-Former Soviet Union—continues apace with the formation of a permanent commission to guide ALBA. On June 24 representatives of the eight communist and center-left governments comprising ALBA converged in Otavalo, Ecuador to discuss issues of mutual concern, including economic, social, and political rights of citizens in member countries. ALBA includes Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. An observer from Guatemala’s center-left government was present during the 10th summit in Ecuador.

In 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, then conferring with strategic partner Chavez in Caracas, voiced the Kremlin’s interest in obtaining observer status in ALBA. Similarly, during President Bashar al-Assad’s tour of Latin America several weeks ago, Chavez invited Syria to join ALBA as an observer.

Honduras was briefly affiliated with ALBA in 2008 and 2009, when President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military-backed constitutional coup. Wealthy rancher-turned socialist Zelaya now lives in exile in the Dominican Republic. Like Cuban official Valdez, he also moonlights as a Chavez appointee, in this case as head of the Political Council of Petrocaribe, a state-run organization that ships subsidized PDVSA oil to regimes that sympathize with Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution.” This includes Guatemala’s president, Alvaro Colom.

Zelaya is still perturbed that the leadership of then ruling Honduran Liberal Party, the Honduran Congress, the Honduran Supreme Court, and the Honduran military brass ganged up against him more than one year ago. Like all good Latin American leftists, however, he blames Washington for his ill fortune:

Everything indicates that the coup was planned at the Palmerola military base by the US Southern Command and clumsily executed by incompetent Hondurans. The United States was behind the coup d’etat. The intellectual authors of this crime were an illicit association of old Washington hawks and Honduran capitalists with their partners, American affiliates and financial agencies.

One year after the blow against democracy it has all been confirmed that the exiles are victims of this interference and that the Lobo government has surrendered to American interests.

In an email dispatched from the Dominican Republic on the first anniversary of his downfall, June 28, Zelaya reveals that the National Popular Resistance Front is the main vehicle by which he hopes to affect his return to Honduras and implement a constitutional convention. Anger over Zelaya’s intention to force through constitutional reforms that could have removed a ban against presidential term limits provoked the Supreme Court to nullify a planned referendum, the ballots for which were printed in Venezuela. The front is backed by Honduran labor union leaders and other assorted leftists, as well as sympathizers in the European Left, such as the Tricontinental Centre, which is headed by Belgian Jesuit priest, liberationist, and World Social Forum agitator Francois Houtart.

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Kremlin to build 5,000 new bomb shelters by 2012, Tu-95s test-fire cruise missiles, Duma awards FSB with KGB powers

>The Kremlin-run media reports that Moscow regional authorities have given the green light to architects to design and build 5,000 bomb shelters for the express purpose of protecting Muscovites from strategic nuclear attack. Moscow’s outdated shelters were built during the Soviet era and can house no more than one half of the city’s current population. The Russian capital is the seventh largest urban center in the world.

Pictured above: The new and improved KGB: A Russian Federal Security Service officer.

More emergency shelters are needed in Moscow’s suburbs, reports Russia Today. According to the requirements of civil defence authorities, the new shelters must be easy to build and will be situated 10 to 15 meters under apartment blocks, shopping centers, sport complexes, and parks. Beginning in the 1930s, Soviet authorities built 7,000 bomb shelters throughout Moscow. Some subway stations were purposely built deep under the city to double as air raid shelters. In the early 1990s many shelters were privatized by entrepreneurs who transformed them into warehouses, parking lots, and restaurants.

The modernization of Moscow’s air raid shelter network is to be completed by 2012, which suggests that Missile Day will probably not take place before that date. The US government has implemented no comparable program since the supposed end of the Cold War in 1991.

Question for dot.gov: If the Cold War is over, then why are Russian authorities building new bomb shelters? Fact: There are only two countries that are capable of lobbing nuclear warhead-tipped ballistic missiles at Russia. One is Red China, with which Russia buried the hatchet in an open alliance formed in 2001. The other, of course, is the USA. So, ahem, got CD?

Incidentally, Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s civil defence czar, is an “ex”-CPSU cadre and related by marriage to Oleg Shenin, mastermind of the phoney anti-Gorbachevist coup of August 1991. Shenin died in 2009. Last year, Shoigu visited Serbia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to help the red regimes there to set up “emergency situations” centers. The “ex”-communist Socialist Party of Serbia holds several important government portfolios in Belgrade, including the interior ministry.

Another newsworthy development shows that Russia continues to prepare for war against its old adversary, the USA. Last Friday, two Tu-95 strategic bombers test-fired cruise missiles at targets in the Pemboi testing site during a 12-hour flight. Pemboi is located in the internal republic of Komi. The Bear bombers returned to the Ukrainka air base in Far East Russia. A MiG-31 interceptor jet and a Beriev A-50 Shmel airborne early warning aircraft also participated in the exercise.

Communist Bloc Power Plays in Eurasia and Latin America

Several weeks ago, the Russian Far East was the location of a multi-branch military exercise called Vostok 2010, personally observed by President Dmitry Medvedev aboard the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great. In attendance were military delegations from Ukraine, which since February has boasted a pro-Moscow government, and the People’s Republic of China.

General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, dispelled any notion that Vostok 2010 was intended to be an unfriendly signal toward Red China. “The exercises took place on a vast territory near China, our ally,” he explained, adding: “So, it was quite logical to invite their representatives and thus avoid possible questions who the exercises were targeted against, and why. I think we scattered any possible doubts.”

With respect to the Ukrainian presence at Vostok 2010, Makarov commented: “This was a considerable improvement of bilateral relations and the Ukrainian desire to develop the[ir] armed forces proceeding from our experience. They wanted to see the effect of the [Russian] armed forces’ reform on the operation of servicemen. We met their desire, and the defence minister [Anatoly Serdyukov] invited a Ukrainian delegation to the exercises.” The Russian and Ukrainian air forces are slated to hold a joint exercise this fall.

The Moscow-Beijing Axis, which was predicted by KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in his 1984 book New Lies for Old, will hold another multilateral military drill in Kazakhstan later this year. “Peace Mission 2010” will take place under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and represents the fifth significant Sino-Russian war game since 2005. According to Golitsyn, the Soviet and Chinese communists intend to form “one clenched fist” to smash the “bourgeois” nations.

The Soviet strategists are also moving cautiously back into Latin America. In February we reported that Russia intends to carry out for the first time ever a combined exercise with Nicaragua. However, no date for this event was offered by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was then visiting Managua. This would not be the first time Russia has held combined exercises with a Latin American country. In September 2008 the Russian Air Force deployed two Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuela for a week-long exercise over the southern Caribbean Sea. Two months later the Russian Navy arrived in South America to hold a joint drill with its Venezuelan counterpart. At the time further Russian-Venezuelan naval and air force exercises were promised, but have yet to materialize.

For their part, the communist regimes in Caracas and Managua were slated to hold a joint exercise in Central America in May and June of this year, but this also has yet to occur. According to articles published in the Latin American media in September and December 2009, a small contingent of Venezuelan troops was to oversee the deployment of combat aircraft and warships in Nicaragua. Since Hugo Chavez has over the last 10 years accumulated considerable firepower from Russia, including fighter jets, tactical missiles, and tanks, we have considered the possibility that the Soviet strategists may position their military assets in Nicaragua under the guise of Nicaraguan-Venezuelan exercises.

In a not unrelated development, the Nicaraguan military has modernized and reactivated the air base at Punta Huete, built with Soviet help in the 1980s but never utilized. The Panchito Aerodrome, which caused some consternation for the Reagan Administration, can accommodate Russia’s Tu-160 and Tu-95 nuclear bombers.

In Russia’s “Backyard”: FM Lavrov Attends International Conference in Kabul, Pledges Arms and Training for Afghan Military and Police

Latin America is sometimes referred to as the USA’s “backyard.” If Russia has a backyard, then Afghanistan certainly falls within this domain. In another story that exposes Moscow’s continued meddling in Afghanistan and, thus, the deceptive nature of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, state-run Novosti reports that Russia will arm the Afghan military and police forces, as well as train Afghan police in Russia. At an international conference on restoring peace to Afghanistan, held in Kabul, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared:

We are working with our partners on additional measures for supplying the Afghan army and police and expanding cooperation in training personnel for the Afghan armed forces. We will henceforth assist in forming the Afghan armed forces, including by increasing the number of Afghan police officers, trained in Russia, who contribute to the restoration of the country’s economy.

Lavrov joined other conference participants in discussing the timeframe for troop withdrawal by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Earlier this year Moscow cancelled a US$891 million debt owed to Russia by the US-backed Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai. As a sidenote, the Left.ru website alleges that Russian military intelligence (GRU) is arming the Taliban via Russian and Chechen criminal syndicates that operate across the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.

Back in the USSR: FSB Receives KGB-Style Powers to Crush Anti-Kremlin Dissent

Even though the Communist Party of the Soviet Union abandoned its public monopoly of power in 1991, the Soviet strategists continue to rely on a passive population that obediently votes for potemkin parties like United Russia. Last Friday, the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, approved a bill that will permit the Federal Security Service (FSB), which was hived off from the Soviet Committee for State Security (KGB), to warn (intimidate) people who have broken no laws but are regarded as potential “criminals, terrorists, and radicals.”

President Dmitry Medvedev, who like his Soviet-era predecessor Yuri Andropov, was initially portrayed as a “pro-Western liberal reformer,” was quick to justify his support for the new law. “I would like to turn your attention to the fact that it is our domestic legislation, and not an international act,” Medvedev huffed, adding: “Each country has the right to perfect its own legislation, including that which affects special services. And we will do this.” The legislation was advanced immediately after two female suicide bombers, allegedly from Chechnya, attacked the Moscow subway in March, while its stated objective is to thwart the growth of ideological “radicalism” among young Russians.

“It’s a plain attempt on the part of the FSB to return to the old KGB methods . . . when a person committed no crime but still became an object of KGB attention,” protested Nikita Petrov, a historian who works for the Memorial human rights organization. Another anti-Kremlin activist, Lev Ponomarev of the group For Human Rights, observed: “Liberals in Russia saw the bill as a litmus test for Medvedev and were surprised to hear him take credit for it. This is a pretty important moment.”

No on who recognizes the dialectical nature of the fall of Soviet communism, however, should be surprised by Medvedev’s support for the re-KGB-ization of the Russian secret police. The Russian president is a Soviet Komsomol graduate and a compliant tool in the hands of Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

In his 2002 book Blowing up Russia, FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko traces the origin of the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow, Volgodonsk, and Buynaksk to the FSB. Four years later, Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium-210, allegedly administered by an active agent of his former employers in the Lubyanka. In a statement dictated from his death bed, he accused Putin by name as his murderer. Along the same theme of an “FSB trace” behind Russia’s domestic terrorism, geopolitical analyst Jeff Nyquist unearths a sinister strategic purpose behind suspect dramas like the Nord-Ost theater and Beslan school hostage crises. This strategic purpose includes greater centralization of power in the Kremlin and the depiction of Islam as a common enemy of both Russia and the USA.

>USA/USSR2 Files: Kremlin tacitly admits guilt in spy pleas as Washington, Moscow swap spooks in Vienna, communist agents promised new lives in Russia

>Russian Communist Party Boss “Condemns” Putinist Regime for “Bowing to West” over Spy Scandal, Zyuganov Beats Drum over US Patriot Deployment in Poland

Last Friday the US and Russian governments swapped spies, hurriedly sweeping under the carpet a two-week saga of international intrigue with Cold War overtones. A Vision Airlines jet chartered by the US government landed at the airport in Vienna, Austria, and disgorged the 10 men and women who last Thursday admitted in court they were secret agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The US jet parked next to a Russian government plane, which carried four people who had been convicted of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency. The Russian and Western spies transferred from one plane to the other.

US Attorney Preet Bharara informed reporters that the Kremlin’s deep cover agents had been requested to tell their employers in SVR headquarters: “If you come to America to spy on Americans, you will be caught and exposed.” US officials explained that the grade school daughters of the New Jersey couple that went by the name of Richard and Cynthia Murphy were also on the spy swap plane. The teenage sons of the spy couple Andrei Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova, who went by the pseudonyms Donald Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley, were reported to have left for Moscow last Wednesday. Their real names were disclosed in court the following day.

Before they entered their guilty pleas, the 10 spies met with Russian diplomats to discuss the details of their new lives in the homeland of the Bolshevik Revolution. In the case of ardent Castroist Vicky Pelaez–who is believed to have been born in Peru, rather than Russia, unlike her comrades–her lawyer explained to the court that the Russian government promised to give her free housing, a monthly stipend of US$2,000 for life, and visas and an all-expense paid trip for her children to travel to Russia.

Juan Lazaro, Pelaez’s husband and a former Baruch College professor who is reputed to have handled money for Peru’s Shining Path guerrillas, admitted that his wife travelled to Red Venezuela to pick up money from the SVR. Lazaro’s true identity is unknown but, like Pelaez, this outspoken leftist may find the Order of Lenin waiting for him in the Not-So-Former Soviet Union.

Mystery man “Christopher Metsos,” the Russian citizen who hid behind a Canadian identity as he couriered funds to this decade-old spy ring, is still on the lam, having first fled the USA and then skipping bail in communist-ruled Cyprus.

Jeffrey Burds, professor of Russian and Soviet history at Northeastern University, remarked that the quick spy exchange proves that Washington and Moscow are eager to “reset” bilateral relations:

It was in everyone’s best interest to put this scandal behind them as quickly as possible. I think that both the Russian foreign diplomats as well as the United States State Department have made it very clear that they did not want this scandal to derail US-Russian relations, which have been quite good in the recent months. The Russian Government will be inclined to celebrate their service, award them with medals and then they’ll quietly go back into their lives. They [the SVR] will use this, in other words, as a sort of a recruitment poster rather than a reason for embarrassment.

Of the four Russian citizens accused of spying for the CIA and who will find new homes in the West, nuclear weapons scientist Igor Sutyagin continues to maintain his innocence, but was compelled by the Kremlin to acknowledge his “guilt” in writing as part of the spy swap deal.

Gennady Zyuganov, chairman of the (secretly ruling) Communist Party of the Russian Federation, portrayed the FBI’s exposure of the SVR spy ring as an attempt by the USA to give Russia a “black eye” and denounced the “ex”-communists who staff the Russian government, like Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, as “weak-kneed” in the face of the US government’s nefarious plans. On the party website Chairman Zyuganov mocked: “The Russian leadership strives to strengthen cooperation with the US and strongly believes in its friendly intensions. However, the behavior of our new ‘comrades’ – well illustrated by the recent ‘spy scandal’ – hardly resembles a friendly one.”

Zyuganov then noted that the “alleged” presence of a Russian spy ring in the USA was announced shortly after President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Washington, insinuating that this “stone to be thrown at Russia’s window had been prepared in advance.” “Trying to please the US, the Russian leadership keeps making new concessions and pushes away those very few allies that we have left. In return, Moscow gets gifts like the spy scandal,” Zyuganov growled.

The Communist Party chief then condemned the USA for deploying Patriot anti-missile batteries in Poland: “Moscow, in return, announced it was abandoning all counter measures it was planning. But today the US is deploying Patriot missile systems… and are planning to deploy the most up-to-date SM3 missile interceptors.”

Meanwhile, FBI counterintelligence has exposed yet another suspected Russian agent, 23-year-old Alexei Karetnikov, who is presently undergoing deportation proceedings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began monitoring this 12th “spy” shortly after he entered the USA in October 2009. Karetnikov lived in Seattle and worked for Microsoft. However, investigators were unable to collect enough evidence to charge him with espionage and believe his case is different from that of the 10 spies shipped back to Russia.

The last publicized spy swap between the USA and Russia took place on February 11, 1986 at Glienicke Bridge in Berlin, when the city was still divided between the Free West and the Communist East. In this superpower exchange, the human rights campaigner and political prisoner Anatoly Sharansky and three Western agents were exchanged for Karl Koecher and four other Soviet Bloc agents.

“Many of these [swaps] have been done in secret, but this one has created a lot of publicity and everyone just wants this to go away now,” commented former CIA Russia analyst Mark Stout. So, this ex-spook hopes Putin’s spies will go away. Wishful thinking. The Soviet plan for world conquest continues apace under the guise of sham political pluralism and state-guided “capitalism” in the Motherland, and under the skilful manipulation of “ex”-CPSU cadres and “ex”-KGB types.

>Red Dawn Alert: Bay of Pigs vet: Cuban DI, Venezuelan SEBIN helped Russia run spy ring in USA, Cyprus’ red pres.: SVR paymaster’s flight not our fault

>– Peruvian-American Journalist Pelaez Visited Havana, Photographed in Company of Cuban Intelligence, Received Payments at SVR Drops in Venezuela

– Pelaez’s Husband US-Based Money Handler for Shining Path Guerrillas, Former Baruch College Prof Arrested with Wife

– Cue Twilight Zone Theme Song: SVR Paymaster Materializes in Cyprus, Skips Bail, Allegedly Escapes aboard Infamous Freighter MV Arctic Sea

Communism’s dead, we’ve been told a gazillion times by the MSM, academic, and dot.gov. However, this ruse has served as an effective cover for communist agents to ply their trade in the USA, well into the 21st century.

The plot has thickened behind the 10 accused Russian spies busted by the FBI in late June, as well as their paymaster, “Christopher Metsos,” who was detained by Cypriot authorities then released on bail, only to escape altogether. The Canada Free Press has picked up some eye-popping quotes from Cuban-American writer Arthuro Cobo that exposes a dark nexus between Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), heir to the Soviet KGB; Cuba’s Intelligence Directorate (DI), formerly known as the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI); and Venezuela’s Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), known as the National Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP) until 2009.

In 1980 Bay of Pigs invasion veteran Cobo alerted US authorities to the presence of Castroist spies among the Mariel Boatlift refugees. Cobo is quoted as saying regarding the current Kremlin spy flap in the USA:

The 11 arrests so far are the tip of the iceberg. Many more to follow, many in South Florida.

The South American country where Vicky Pelaez [one of the accused] picked up her payments from Russia’s SVR was Venezuela.

Russia’s SVR, Castro’s DGI (Directorio General de Inteligencia) and Chavez’s SEBIN (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia) are all linked. They all share agents and information. Castro-Cubans run Chavez’s intelligence agency practically lock, stock and barrel.

Vicky Pelaez was a frequent traveler to Cuba where she met with Castro’s DGI. Pictures exist of those meetings.

Prominent figures in South Florida are under investigation and the net is closing on them. One suspect was very close to a US presidential candidate [Barrack Hussein Obama?] during the 2008 campaign.

Peruvian-American journalist Pelaez (pictured above in undated photo), who was formerly employed by New York’s El Diario/La Prensa, has also written for Cuba’s state-run media. In 2006 she prostrated herself before Cuba’s retired communist dictator:

Fidel Castro is already immortal! He is a man who inspired and demonstrated the fertile path of truth for other leaders! We had the moments of Christ, Mohammed, Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Newton, Pascal, Bolivar, Marti, Che Guevara, etc.

Fidel Castro Ruz belongs to that glorious group of rebels! With his towering intelligence, discipline, drive, and persistence he launched his heroic struggle and gained his people’s support to fight for a new and sovereign Cuba! But his fight is not over!

For his part, Castro quoted Pelaez extensively and approvingly in his May 8, 2010 column “Reflections,” which appears in the Communist Party of Cuba organ Granma.

Significantly, Pelaez’s husband Juan Lazaro, according to Miguel Angel Sanchez, one of Vicky’s former colleagues at El Diario/La Prensa, once served as the US-based treasurer of Shining Path, Peru’s bloodthirsty Maoist rebels. At one time Lazaro taught at Baruch College-The City University of New York. Lazaro has admitted to US authorities that his wife made several trips to South America to receive money at SVR drops, but his own identity is unknown. “Lazaro” is an alias. It is no exaggeration to refer to Pelaez and Lazaro as “communist agents.”

Meanwhile, Metsos, the Russian national who channelled funds to the SVR spy ring by way of covert money drops, skipped the USA and fled to Cyprus, where he was arrested, only to be released on bail on June 30. He paid for his own bail from a bank account in Larnaca, Cyprus. The mysterious “Metsos” promptly disappeared, but Cypriot President Dmitris Christofias defended the actions of his underlings, charging the US Justice Department with negligence in forwarding pertinent documents to Nicosia. “Only now are they providing them, only now are they preparing them,” protested Christofias, the European Union’s only communist leader and a slavish ally of Russian Communist Party boss Gennady Zyuganov. He added: “I don’t think it is appropriate to apportion blame to the Cyprus Republic.”

Cypriot authorities seized Metsos’ laptop computer, which is also sought by US counterparts. Incidentally, “Metsos” is a false identity stolen from a Canadian citizen.

During the Cold War Cyprus was a haunt for spies from both the Free World and the Soviet Bloc and an important SIGINT post for the US and British militaries. Today, the island is divided between the internationally recognized, Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus, which is a haven for the Russian Mafia, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is occupied by Turkish troops. Cypriot authorities suspect that Metsos might have snuck into northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaties with other countries.

In a bizarre twist to the SVR-DI-SEBIN nexus in America, the Information Dissemination website, citing sources in “maritime circles,” asserts that Metsos left Cyprus by rendezvousing with a certain freighter that was passing the island. It is known that on July 1 the infamous MV Arctic Sea just “happened” to be steaming past Cyprus. On July 24, 2009 eight to 10 English-speaking men, travelling in an inflatable boat, approached the Canadian-owned Arctic Sea off the coast of Sweden as it began its voyage from Jakobstad, Finland to Bejaia, Algeria, supposedly transporting 6,700 cubic meters of lumber. Fifteen Russian nationals manned the ship. The Arctic Sea crew claimed that the intruders, who professed to be Swedish policemen, searched the ship and left, leaving some crew injured.

A hijack alert was belatedly issued by Interpol on August 3 and the Russian Navy dispatched its Baltic Sea Fleet to search for the Arctic Sea. The vessel failed to reach its destination on the scheduled date of August 5 and was never seen passing through the Strait of Gibraltar. On August 14 the Arctic Sea was at last sighted off the Cape Verde Islands and three days later Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov announced that the Russian Navy had seized the ship. No suspicious cargo was discovered. Intriguingly, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, admitted that Moscow had deliberately supplied false information to the media in order keep Russian plans secret.

On August 18 Serdyukov confirmed that eight hijackers had been arrested, and two days later the Estonian Security Police listed one of these men as Estonian, two as Latvians, and two as Russians. Some of them had prior criminal records.

At this time Finnish police acknowledged that the hijackers had demanded a ransom but, strangely, the Arctic Sea’s owners denied receiving any such communication. On August 18 the security chief of a Russian insurance agency, Renaissance Insurance Group, told newspapers that two weeks prior someone claiming to represent the Arctic Sea hijackers telephoned his office, demanding 1.5 million pounds or else the ship would be sunk and crew killed.

On October 29, more than two months after its seizure, the Russian Navy finally delivered the Arctic Sea to Malta, where it was inspected by Maltese police, and on November 11 the ship, repaired and re-certified, finally delivered its cargo of lumber to Algeria.

On June 11, 2010 the Russian Prosecution Service sentenced Latvian citizen Dmitry Savins to seven years imprisonment for leading the would-be hijackers. In his testimony Savins identified Eerik-Niiles Kross, head of the Security Coordination Office in the Estonian State Chancellery in the late 1990s, as the operation’s mastermind. Eerik-Niiles is the son of Jaan Kross, one of Estonia’s most famous writers. He denies Savins’ charges.

Since the summer of 2009 conspiracy theories have abounded concerning the Russian government’s account of the Arctic Sea saga. One theory posits that Russia, instead of taking the easy route over the Caspian Sea, was shipping S-300 air defense units to Iran, while a second theory holds that Moscow as possibly transporting MiG-31 fighter jets to Syria. Tarmo Kouts, former commander of the Estonian Defense Forces, offers yet another theory: “Only the presence of cruise missiles on board the ship can explain Russia’s strange behavior in the whole story.” Indeed, in addition to the Russian Navy deploying its Baltic Fleet to chase the Arctic Sea, the Russian Air Force dispatched two Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes to Sal International Airport in the Cape Verde Islands. Both during and after the Cold War, the communist regime in Cape Verde has permitted Soviet and Russian aircraft to utilize Sal as a refuelling base en route to Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Big oceans, small world,” concludes Information Dissemination blogger “Galrahn” as he ponders Metsos’ alleged rendezvous with the Arctic Sea. If true, we can only say: No kidding.

Since the FBI believes that some elements of the SVR spy ring have been operating in the USA for as long as 20 years, that is, since before the collapse of the Soviet Union, we should consider the possibility that this subversive entity, which apparently has links to Communist Cuba and Red Venezuela, may have ties to the Cuban Five, which were convicted in 2001 of spying for the Castroist regime. Russian politicians have on several occasions called for the release of the Cuban Five. As quoted above, Bay of Pigs vet Cobo alludes to future arrests of foreign agents in South Florida. “At one point in 1978,” writes the Miami Herald, “Castro boasted to a visitor that he had 300 agents in South Florida alone.” KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, who resides in the United Kingdom, contends that the Russian Federation presently operates 400 SVR agents in the USA.

To this real-life Tom Clancy-esque drama, we should add the following data. Russia’s primary allies in the Caribbean Basin are Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. In November 2008 David Smith, senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, observed: “In the medium term, beware of a potential Cuba-Nicaragua-Venezuela military triangle astride the approaches to Florida, the Mississippi, Houston and the Panama Canal, within [Russian] bomber range of America’s eastern seaboard. This would replicate the Soviet Cuba-Nicaragua-Grenada triangle smashed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983.”

>Communist Bloc Military Updates: Medvedev observes Vostok 2010 drills from missile cruiser, Makarov denies specific country, bloc of nations targeted

>– Russian Air Force Test-Lands Ka-27 and Ka-52 Combat Choppers on French Navy’s Amphibious Assault Ship during Port of Call at St. Petersburg

– Leaders of Eurasian Economic Community Converge in Astana to Enforce Implementation of New Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus

The Kazakh opposition claims that Russia is using the Customs Union to restore the Soviet empire.
— Alexei Vlasov, Director, Center for the Study of Political Processes in the CIS, Moscow State University; Novosti, July 2, 2010

On Sunday President Dmitry Medvedev boarded the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great to observe the naval phase of the biannual Vostok (East) military drill in the Sea of Okhotsk. Former Gazprom chairman Medvedev began his political career in the Soviet Komsomol and is widely perceived as a pliable pawn in the hands of Russia’s KGB-communist dictator, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Vostok 2010 began on June 29 at various military training sites in Russia’s Far East and involved some 10,000 troops and 1,000 items of military hardware. The first, land-based phase of the drills ended on Saturday, while the second phase will continue until July 8. In addition to Peter the Great, which is commissioned with the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, based out of Murmansk, the Black Sea Fleet’s missile cruiser Moskva will also participate. The Pacific Fleet’s missile cruiser Varyag lately weighed anchor in San Francisco in a friendly, once-in-a-century port of call. The Black Sea Fleet’s home port is Sevastopol in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, while the Pacific Fleet is based out of Vladivostok.

Prior to the maneuvers, General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, explained that Vostok 2010 would include live-fire drills and simulated airborne assaults and amphibious landings. The Russian Ground Forces will also practice the deployment of additional troops in Siberia and the Far East to reinforce the existing military contingents in the region.

Makarov emphasized that the Vostok 2010 drills were not aimed against any country. “This exercise…is not directed against any specific country or military-political bloc. It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of the [Russian] state in the Far East,” he explained. During the 1980s Makarov was a battalion commander in the Soviet Group of Forces in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

Realistically speaking, though, the only state that is in a position to challenge the Kremlin’s hegemony over the sparsely settled Russian Far East is the People’s Republic of China, the world’s most populous country. Since the world congress of communists that took place in Moscow in 1960, the Russian and Chinese Communists are still committed to advancing global proletarian revolution, by deception, pseudo-capitalism, or conquest as necessary. Until 2001, when Moscow and Beijing signed the ground-breaking Treaty of Cooperation and Good Neighborliness, the Soviets and Red Chinese feigned disunity and even hostility in the so-called “Sino-Soviet split.” Still, cultural differences and residual nationalist sentiment no doubt stain the ideological purity of Russian and Chinese communism to this day. We strongly suspect that there is a lingering distrust between the RF and PRC, in spite of their common devotion to the same ideology.

Alternately, it is possible that the Russian Armed Forces’ Vostok drills represent a preparation for war on the Korean Peninsula, especially a confrontation with the USA, which has 27,000 soldiers stationed in the Republic of Korea. Soviet troops occupied the northern part of Korea at the end of the Second World War, helping the Korean Workers’ Party to set up the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Five years later, the North Korean army invaded and attacked the South, with a little help from hundreds of thousands of People’s Liberation Army troops and Soviet pilots flying DPRK fighter jets.

During Vostok 2010 the Russian military once again, as it did in last September’s Zapad (West) 2009 drill, tested its new command structure, which was altered from the Soviet era’s four-level system (military district, army, division, regiment) to a three-level system (strategic command, tactical command, brigade). Since the Kremlin intends to transform Russia’s military from a conscripted army into a somewhat smaller, professional force, unit mobility and combat readiness are imperative.

“The Vostok-2010 war games,” state-run Novosti elaborates, “included flights of frontline [tactical] bombers with midair refueling. Many motorized and air defense units also covered long distances by rail and in self-propelled mode.” Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov acknowledged that “The goal of the exercise is to see how the new structure works, to check whether our decisions were correct, and if necessary, change them.” Incidentally, Serdyukov is son in law to current Gazprom chairman and former prime minister Viktor Zubkov.

Graduating a whole new cadre of military officers, skilled in waging 21st-century warfare, is another imperative for Russia’s military reforms. Novosti editorializes:

A new army needs new officers. The methods of warfare have changed so much in the past [two] decades that officers now need to have broader military knowledge to be able to command and coordinate inter-service groups, and also better civilian skills allowing them to act as managers, diplomats, financiers and lawyers. Taken together, these skills will allow modern officers to be more flexible in a situation that implies a broad use of non-military methods of conflict settlement and to be highly selective as regards military instruments.

In fact, the industrialized Western countries put these requirements to their officers, in particular high-ranking ones. In Western armies, officers hold a variety of related posts during their carrier, which makes them versatile professionals. Russia has only entered this path.

Clearly, the Soviet strategists, observing the Russian army’s failures in the 2008 Georgia campaign, not to mention the failed test-launches of the new Bulava SLBM, are anxious to create a fighting force that can challenge NATO. For this reason, as we have blogged before, the Kremlin is swallowing its pride in order to fast-track military modernization by simply buying equipment, armaments, and vessels from the very countries it intends to attack one day. In April, Mikhail Dmitriev, chief of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, confirmed that Moscow will close the much-discussed Mistral deal with Paris by the end of 2010.

To equip these four amphibious assault ships, one to be purchased and three to be built under license, the Russian Air Force will procure at least 100 combat helicopters from the Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise.

“During a visit by Mistral to St. Petersburg [in November 2009], we tested the landing of our Ka-27 Helix and Ka-52 Alligator helicopters on the vessel. Currently, the state armament program stipulates the purchase of several dozens helicopters for this deal,” admitted Vyacheslav Kovalyov, first deputy director of Kumertau. He added: “The Russian Air Force plans to buy the Ka-52 Alligator, Ka-226 Hoodlum helicopters and a new modification of the Ka-27 helix helicopter, the Ka-27M, the development of which is now in its final stage.”

A “high-ranking source” in the Kremlin’s United Industrial Corporation (OPK) confirmed that the air force will buy up to 100 Ka-class helicopters, including some 70 Ka-27M choppers, to equip Mistral ships.

“Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase,” concedes Novosti, “and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.” Indeed.

Meanwhile, the Soviet strategists continue to patiently assemble the building blocks for the restored, revitalized Soviet Union. Three of these building blocks are the Commonwealth of Independent States, which immediately replaced the USSR in November 1991; the Union State of Russia and Belarus, formed in 1997; and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which partly replaces the Warsaw Pact, dismantled in 1991. Two others are the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) and the brand-new Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

The Interstate Council of Eurasec, which doubles as the supreme body of the Customs Union, will hold meetings in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on July 5. The heads of these “former” Soviet republics plan to sign a joint statement on the enforcement of the Customs Code Treaty, which came into effect on July 1, within the framework of Eurasec. In addition to Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan, Eurasec encompasses strife-torn Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

During the Third Astana Economic Forum on July 1 and 2, Kazakhstan’s long-ruling “ex”-communist president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, complained “that the potential of Europe-Asia interaction has so far not been used in full, but there is hope that the enforcement of a common document on the fundamental norms of Eurasian integration will help consolidate rival projects in the region, giving them a common ideology and development goals.”

We rather suspect that the “common ideology and development goals” of the Eurasec leaders are a “friendly” form of communism. By contrast, reports Novosti, “the Kazakh opposition claims that Russia is using the Customs Union to restore the Soviet empire.” The Kazakh opposition is correct, but its candor will lead to its demise.