Archive for the ‘Fidel Castro’ Category

Meet John McCain: Mr. Big Stick in Latin America

February 15, 2008

Meet John McCain: Mr. Big Stick in Latin America

By Nikolas Kozloff

Nikolas Kozloff’s ZSpace Page

 

Now that John McCain has presumably wrapped up the Republican nomination, it’s natural to wonder what kind of foreign policy he might pursue towards the rest of the world if he were elected President.  For example, how would the “maverick” McCain deal with Latin America?  In recent years, the region has taken a decidedly leftist turn; new leaders such as Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua have openly challenged U.S. diplomatic and political influence.  McCain’s record suggests that he would pursue a very hawkish and antagonistic policy in the hemisphere.  It’s even possible that the Arizona Republican, who has suggested that the United States might be in Iraq for hundreds of years and might “bomb, bomb, bomb, Iran,” could ratchet up military tensions in Latin America and escalate conflict with countries like Venezuela.
 

 

The International Republican Institute (IRI)

 

McCain has chaired the International Republican Institute (IRI) since 1993.  Ostensibly a non-partisan, democracy-building outfit, in reality the IRI serves as an instrument to advance and promote the most far right Republican foreign policy agenda.  More a cloak-and-dagger operation than a conventional research group, IRI has aligned itself with some of the most antidemocratic factions in the Third World. 

 

On the surface at least, IRI seems to have a rather innocuous agenda including party building, media training, the organization of leadership trainings, dissemination of newsletters, and strengthening of civil society.  In reality, however, the IRI is more concerned with crushing incipient left movements in Latin America. 

 

One of the least known Washington institutions, IRI receives taxpayer money via the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. A.I.D.).  The organization is active in around sixty countries and has a budget of $74 million.        On the board of IRI, McCain has been joined by a who’s who of Republican bigwigs such as Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick. 

 


IRI’s Latin American Activities

 

In Haiti, IRI helped to fund, equip, and lobby for Haiti’s two heavily conservative and White House-backed opposition parties, the Democratic Convergence and Group 184.  The latter group, comprised of many of the island’s major business, church and professional figures, was at the vanguard of opposition to Jean Bertrand Aristide prior to the Haitian President’s forced ouster in 2004.  At the same time, IRI funneled taxpayer money to hard-line anti-Castro forces allied to the Republican Party.

 

In Venezuela, IRI generously funded anti-Chávez civil society groups that were militantly opposed to the regime.  Starting in 1998, the year Chávez was elected, IRI worked with Venezuelan organizations to produce anti-Chávez media campaigns, including newspaper, television and radio ads.  Additionally, when politicians, union and civil society leaders went to Washington to meet with U.S. officials just one month before the April 2002 coup, IRI picked up the bill.  The IRI also helped to fund the corrupt Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (which played a major role in the anti-Chávez destabilization campaign leading up to the coup) and Súmate, an organization involved in a signature-gathering campaign to present a petition calling for Chávez’s recall.

 

 

McCain and Cuba

 

McCain has taken a personal interest in IRI’s Cuba work and praises the anti-Castro opposition.  The Arizona Senator has called Cuba “a national security threat,” adding that “as president, I will not passively await the long overdue demise of the Castro dictatorship … The Cuban people have waited long enough.”  McCain wants to increase funding for the U.S. government’s anti-Castro radio and TV stations, seeks the release of all Cuban political prisoners, supports internationally monitored elections on the island, and wants to keep the U.S. trade embargo in place.  What kind of future does McCain envision for Cuba?  No doubt, one in which the Miami anti-Castro exiles rule the island.  McCain’s most influential advisers on Latin American affairs are Cuban Americans from Florida, including Senator Mel Martínez and far right Congress members Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros Lehtinen. 

 

 

For McCain, It’s Never Ending Free Trade and Militarization

 

On Capitol Hill, McCain has championed pro-U.S. Latin American regimes while working to isolate those governments which are rising up to challenge American hegemony.  On Colombia, for example, McCain has been a big booster of official U.S. policy.  Despite Colombia’s status as a human rights nightmare, the Senator supports ongoing funding to the government of Álvaro Uribe so as to combat the “narco-trafficking and terrorist threat.” 

 

McCain has taken a personal interest in the Andean region.  He has traveled to Ecuador and Colombia so as to drum up more support for the counter insurgency and drug war, now amounting to billions of dollars a year.  McCain’s foremost fear is that the Democrats may turn off the money flow to Uribe.  “You don’t build strong alliances by turning your back on friends,” he has said. 

 

McCain seeks to confront countries such as Venezuela and Cuba by encouraging U.S. partnership with sympathetic regimes that support American style free trade.  “We need to build on the passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement by expanding U.S. trade with the region,’’ he has said. “Let’s start by ratifying the trade agreements with Panama, Peru, and Colombia that are already completed, and pushing forward the Free Trade Area of the Americas.”

 

Chávez has been one of the greatest obstacles to the fulfillment of McCain’s free trade agenda, however.  In recent years, the Venezuelan has pushed his own barter trade scheme, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, which promotes economic solidarity and reciprocity between Latin American nations.  Concerned about growing ties between Cuba and Venezuela, McCain said “He [Chávez] aspires to be this generation’s [Fidel] Castro. I think the people of Venezuela ought to look at the standard of living in Cuba before they would embrace such a thing.” 

 

 

Fighting the Information War in Latin America

 

Speaking in Miami’s Little Havana, McCain said that “everyone should understand the connections” between Evo Morales, Castro, and Chávez. “They inspire each other. They assist each other. They get ideas from each other.  It’s very disturbing.” McCain said Chávez breathed “new oxygen” into Castro’s regime, and that the U.S. government should do more to quell dictatorships throughout Latin America.  Perhaps not surprisingly given his historic involvement in IRI, McCain’s campaign Web site even featured an online petition calling for support in his quest to “stop the dictators of Latin America.”  The petition called for the ouster of Chávez “in the name of democracy and freedom throughout our hemisphere.”

 

Though the petition was later taken down, McCain has staked out hawkish territory on Venezuela and would surely escalate tensions with the South American nation.  Most troubling is the Senator’s strong push for renewed U.S. propaganda in the region. McCain has criticized the Venezuelan government’s decision to not renew Radio Caracas Television’s license, and has called for reestablishing an agency like the United States Information Agency (the USIA oversaw a variety of agencies including the Voice of America radio network before it was merged into the State Department in 1998).

 

“Dismantling an agency dedicated to promoting America and the American message amounted to unilateral disarmament in the struggle of ideas,’’ McCain has said. “We need to re-create an independent agency with the sole purpose of getting America’s message to the world. This…would aid our efforts to communicate accurately with the people of Latin America.” 

 

If McCain was ever able to push through his aggressive media initiatives, he would antagonize many nations in the region which resent the pervasiveness of U.S. dominated media.  Already, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, and Uruguay have formed a joint satellite news station called Telesur (in my upcoming book scheduled for release in six weeks, I devote an entire chapter to the issue of media politics in South America).

 

From Bolton to Big Stick

 

To make matters worse, the Chair of IRI has sought to promote neo-conservative figures from the Bush regime such as John Bolton.  During the latter’s confirmation hearings in the Senate, McCain urged his Democratic colleagues to approve the diplomat’s nomination quickly.  Bolton has been a hawk not only on Iran but also Venezuela.  McCain, who refers to Chávez as a “wacko,” said it was important to confirm Bolton.  With Bolton at the United Nations, the U.S. would be able to talk back to “two-bit dictators” like the Venezuelan leader.   

 

Like Bolton, McCain apparently shares his colleague’s disdain for the United Nations and wants to create a so-called League of Democracies.  As envisioned by the Arizona legislator, the new body would take the place of the United Nations on such issues as conflict resolution, disease treatment and prevention, environmental crises, and access to free markets.  Interestingly, McCain’s inspiration for the League is Teddy Roosevelt, who had a vision of “like-minded nations working together for peace and liberty.”

 

Roosevelt, however, was no dove: he wielded a Big Stick and practiced gunboat diplomacy in Latin America.  It’s a policy which John McCain would probably like to revive if he is elected President in November.

 

 

Nikolas Kozloff is the author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan, April 2008), and Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the U.S. (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2006)

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Deliberate Lies, Strange Deaths and Aggression to the World Economy by Fidel Castro Ruz

September 24, 2007

Deliberate Lies, Strange Deaths and Aggression to the World Economy by Fidel Castro Ruz

by Fidel Castro Ruz
Global Research, September 23, 2007
Prensa Latina – 2007-02-19

Havana, Sep 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Fidel Castro denounced Wednesday that the United States government is using unimaginable economic means to defend a right that violates the sovereignty of all the other countries.

In his Wednesday’s article entitled “Deliberate Lies, Strange Deaths and Aggression to the World Economy,” the leader of the Cuban Revolution states that it keeps on buying raw materials, energy, advanced technology industries, the most productive lands and the most modern buildings on the face of our planet with paper money.

Prensa Latina issues below reflections by the Cuban president:


REFLECTIONS BY THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF

DELIBERATE LIES, STRANGE DEATHS AND AGRESSION TO THE WORLD ECONOMY

In one of my reflections I made reference to gold bars deposited in the basements of the Twin Towers. This time the subject is quite a bit more complicated and hard to believe. Almost four decades ago, scientists living in the United States discovered the Internet, the same way that Albert Einstein, born in Germany, discovered in his own time the formula to measure atomic energy.

Einstein was a great scientist and humanist. He contradicted Newton’s laws of physics, held sacred until then. However, apples continued to fall due to the laws of gravity that had been defined by Newton. These were two different ways of observing and interpreting nature, with very little information on this in Newton’s day. I remember what I read more than 50 years ago about the famous theory of relativity elaborated by Einstein: energy is equal to mass times the speed of light, called C, squared: E MC2. The United States money existed and the resources necessary for such expensive research. The political climate resulting from the generalized hatred against the brutalities of Nazism in the richest and most productive nation in the world destroyed by the war, transformed that fabulous energy into bombs that were dropped over the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and a similar number of people who were exposed to radiation and subsequently died in the following years.

A clear example of the use of science and technology with the same hegemonic goals is described in an article written by the former official of United States National Security, Gus W. Weiss; it originally appeared in the magazine Studies in Intelligence, in 1996, even though it was more widely distributed in 2002 under the title of Deceiving the Soviets. There, Weiss claims the idea of sending the USSR software that they needed for their industries, but already contaminated, with the aim of making that country’s economy collapse.

According to notes taken from Chapter 17 of the book At the Abyss: An Insider’s History of the Cold War, by Thomas C. Reed, former Secretary of the United States Air Force, Leonid Brezhnev told a group of senior Party officials in 1972: “We Communists have to string along with the capitalists for a while. We need their credits, their agriculture and their technology. But we are going to continue massive military programs, and by the mid-1980s we will be in a position to return to an aggressive foreign policy designed to gain the upper hand with the West.” This information was confirmed by the Defense Department in hearings before the House Committee on Banking and Currency in 1974.

In the early ’70s, the Nixon’s government advanced the idea of détente. Henry Kissinger hoped that “over time, trade and investment may leaven the autarkic tendencies of the Soviet system”, he considered that détente might “invite gradual association of the Soviet economy with the world economy, and foster a degree of interdependence that adds an element of stability to the political relations”.

Reagan tended to ignore Kissinger’s theories about détente and to take President Brezhnev’s word, but all doubts were removed on July 19, 1981 when the new U.S. President met with President Francois Mitterand, of France, at the economic G-7 summit in Ottawa. In a conversation off to the side, Mitterand informed Reagan about the success his intelligence services had in recruiting a KGB agent. The man belonged to a section that was evaluating the achievements of Soviet efforts to acquire western technology. Reagan expressed great interest in Mitterand’s delicate revelations and also thanked him for his offer to have the material sent to the United States government.

The dossier, under the name of Farewell, reached the CIA in August 1981. It made it quite clear that the Soviets had been spending years carrying out their research and development activities. Given the enormous transfer of technology by radar, computers, machine-tools and semi-conductors from the United States to the Soviet Union, one could say that the Pentagon was in an arms race with itself.

The Farewell Dossier also identified hundreds of case officials, agents at their posts and other suppliers of information through the West and Japan. During the first years of détente, the United States and the Soviet Union had established working groups in agriculture, civil aviation, nuclear energy, oceanography, computers and the environment. The aim was to begin to construct “bridges of peace” between the superpowers. The members of the working groups had to exchange visits to their centers.

Besides identifying agents, the most useful information brought by the Dossier consisted of the “shopping list” and its aims in terms of acquisition of technology in the coming years. When the Farewell Dossier reached Washington, Reagan asked Bill Casey, the CIA Director, to come up with a secret operative use for the material.

The production and transportation of oil and gas was one of the Soviet priorities. A new trans-Siberian gas pipeline was to carry natural gas from the gas fields of Urengoi in Siberia, through Kazakhstan, Russia and Eastern Europe towards the western dollar markets. In order to automate the operation of valves, compressors and storage installations of such an immense enterprise, the Soviets needed sophisticated control systems. They bought some of the first computers on the open market, but when the authorities of the gas pipeline took off for the United States to buy the necessary software, they were turned down. Undaunted, the Soviets searched elsewhere; a KGB operative was sent to penetrate a Canadian software supplier in an attempt to acquire the necessary codes. The United States intelligence, warned by the agent in the Farewell Dossier, answered and manipulated the software before sending it.

Once, in the Soviet Union, computers and software worked in unison and they made the gas pipeline work splendidly. But this tranquility was misleading. Inside the software that was operating the gas pipeline, there was a Trojan horse, a term used to describe software lines hidden in the normal operative system which make that system lose control in the future, or whenever it would receive an order from abroad.

In order to affect the dollar profits coming in from the West and the domestic Russian economy, the software for the gas pipeline which was to operate the pumps, turbines and valves had been programmed to breakdown after a prudent interval and reset -that’s how it was described- the speeds of the pumps and the valve adjustments so that they would work at pressures much higher than those that were suitable for the pipeline’s gaskets and welding seams.

“The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space. At the White House, we received warning from our infrared satellites of some bizarre event out in the middle of Soviet nowhere. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) feared a missile liftoff from a place where no rockets were known to be based. Or perhaps it was the detonation of a small nuclear device…They (the satellites) had detected no electromagnetic pulse, characteristic of nuclear detonations. Before these conflicting indicators could turn into an international crisis, Gus Weiss came down the hall to tell his fellow NSC staffers not to worry”, affirmed Thomas C. Reed in his book.

The campaign of countermeasures based on Farewell Dossier was an economic war. Even though there were no casualties in terms of lives lost because of the gas pipeline explosion, significant damage was made to the Soviet economy.

As a grand finale, between 1984 and 1985, the United States and its NATO allies put an end to this operation which ended with efficacy the capacity of the USSR to capture technology at a time when Moscow was caught between a defective economy, on one side, and a US President determined to prevail and end the cold war on the other.

In the above cited article by Weiss, it is stated that:

“In 1985, the case took a bizarre turn when information on the Farewell Dossier surfaced in France. Mitterand came to suspect that Vetrov had all along been a CIA plant set up to test him to see if the material would be handed over to the Americans or kept by the French. Acting on this mistaken belief, Mitterand fired the chief of the French service, Yves Bonnet.”

Gus W. Weiss is the one who claimed, as already said, the evil plan to have the defective software taken to the USSR, when the United States had the Farewell Dossier in its possession. He died on November 25, 2003 at the age of 72. The Washington Post did not report his death until December 7, that is, 12 days later. They said that Weiss “had fallen” from his apartment building, the Watergate, in Washington, and that a forensic doctor from the US capital had declared his death a “suicide”. His hometown newspaper, the Nashville Tennessean, published the death notice a week after the Washington Post and advised that at that time all they were able to say was that “the circumstances surrounding his death have not yet been confirmed.”

Before dying, he left some unpublished notes titled “The Farewell Dossier”: the strategic deception and the economic war in the Cold War.

Weiss had graduated from Vanderbilt University. He had postgraduate degrees from Harvard and New York University.

His work for the government concentrated on matters of National Security, intelligence organizations and concerns dealing with the transfer of technology to Communist countries. He worked with the CIA, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board and with the Signals Intelligence Committee of the Intelligence Board of the United States.

He was decorated with the CIA Medal of Merit and the “Cipher” Medal from the National Security Council. The French gave him the “Légion d’Honneur” in 1975.

He had no surviving relatives.

Weiss had declared himself to be against the war in Iraq a short while before his “suicide”. It is interesting to note that 18 days before Weiss’ death, another Bush government analyst also committed suicide -John J. Kokal (58 years old) on November 7, 2003. This man leapt to his death from an office in the State Department where he worked. Kokal was an intelligence analyst for the Department of State in matters dealing with Iraq.

It is recorded in already published documents that Mikhail Gorbachev became furious when arrests and deportations of Soviet agents began in various countries, since he was unaware that the contents of the Farewell Dossier were in the hands of the main heads of NATO governments. In a meeting of the Politburo on October 22, 1986, called to inform colleagues about the Reykjavik Summit, he alleged that the Americans were “acting very discourteously and behaving like bandits”. Even though he showed a complacent face to the public, privately Gorbachev would refer to Reagan as “a liar”.

During the final days of the Soviet Union, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR had to work blind. Gorbachev had no idea about what was happening in the laboratories and high technology industries in the United States; he was totally unaware that Soviet laboratories and industries had been compromised and to what point.

The White House pragmatists were also blind about these occurrences.

President Ronald Reagan played his trump card: Star Wars The Strategic Defense Initiative. He knew that the Soviets could not compete in that league, because they couldn’t suspect that their electronics industry was infected with virus and Trojan horses placed there by the United States intelligence community.

The former British Prime Minister, in her memoirs, published by an important English publisher in 1993 under the title of Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years, states that the whole Reagan plan related to Star Wars and the intent to make the Soviet Union collapse economically was the most brilliant plan of that administration, and it lead definitively to the collapse of socialism in Europe.

In Chapter XVI of her book, she explains the participation of her government in the Strategic Defense Initiative.

To carry that out, in Thatcher’s opinion, was Reagan’s “most important decision”, and it “was to prove central to the West’s victory in the Cold War”. It “imposed more economic tension and greater austerity” on Soviet society, and finally, its “technological and financial implications for the USSR were devastating”.

Under the subtitle of “Reassessing the Soviet Union”, she describes a series of concepts whose essence is contained in the paragraphs taken literally from that long passage, where she records the brutal plot.

“As 1983 drew on, the Soviets must have begun to realize that their game of manipulation and intimidation would soon be up. European governments were not prepared to fall into the trap opened by the Soviet proposal of a ‘nuclear-free zone’ for Europe. Preparations for the development of Cruise and Pershing missiles went ahead. In March President Reagan announced American plans for a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) whose technological and financial implications for the USSR were devastating.”

“…I had no doubt about the rightness of his commitment to press ahead with the program. Looking back, it is now clear to me that Ronald Reagan’s original decision on SDI was the single most important of his presidency”.

“In formulating our approach to SDI, there were four distinct elements which I bore in mind. The first was the science itself. The American aim in SDI was to develop a new and much more effective defense against ballistic missiles.”

“This concept of defense rested on the ability to attack incoming ballistic missiles at all stages of their flight, from the boost phase when the missile and all its warheads and decoys were together -the best moment- right up to the point of re-entry of the earth’s atmosphere on its way to the target.”

“The second element to be considered was the existing international agreements limiting the deployment of weapons in space and ABM systems. The 1972 ABM Treaty, as amended by a 1974 Protocol, allowed the United States and the Soviet Union to deploy one static ABM system with up to one hundred launchers in defense either of either an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silo field or the national capital.”

“The Foreign Office of the Ministry of Defense always sought to urge the narrowest possible interpretation, which the Americans –rightly in my view– believed would have meant that SDI was stillborn. I always tried to steer away from this phraseology and made it clear in private and public that research on whether a system was viable could not be said to have been completed until it had been successfully tested. Underneath the jargon, this apparently technical point was really a matter of straight common sense. But it was to become the issue dividing the United States and the USSR at the Reykjavik summit and so assumed great importance.

“The third element in the calculation was the relative strength of the two sides in Ballistic Missile Defense. Only the Soviet Union possessed a working ABM system (known as GALOSH) around Moscow, which they were currently up-grading. The Americans had never had an equivalent system”.

“Also the Soviets were further advanced in anti-satellite weapons. There was, therefore, a strong argument that the Soviets had already acquired an unacceptable advantage in this whole area.

“The fourth element was the implications of SDI for deterrence. I started off with a good deal of sympathy for the thinking behind the ABM Treaty. This was the most sophisticated and effective the defense against nuclear missiles, the greater the pressure to seek hugely expensive advances in nuclear weapons technology. I was always a believer in a slightly qualified version of the doctrine known as MAD- ‘mutually assured destruction’. The threat of (what I preferred to call) ‘unacceptable destruction’ which would follow from a nuclear exchange was such that nuclear weapons were an effective deterrent against not just nuclear but also conventional war.”

“But I soon began to see that SDI would strengthen not weaken the nuclear deterrent. Unlike President Reagan and some other members of his Administration I never believed that SDI could offer one hundred percent protection, but it would allow sufficient United States missiles to survive a first strike by the Soviets.”

“It was the subject of SDI which dominated my talks with President Reagan and members of his Administration when I went to Camp David on Saturday 22 December 1984 to brief the Americans on my earlier talks with Mr. Gorbachev. This was the first occasion on which I had heard President Reagan speaking about SDI. He did so with passion. He was at his most idealistic. He stressed that SDI would be a defensive system and that it was not his intention to obtain for the United States a unilateral advantage. Indeed, he said that if SDI succeeded he would be ready to internationalize it so that it was at the service of all countries, and that he told Mr. Gromyko as much. He reaffirmed his long-term goal of getting rid of nuclear weapons entirely.

“These remarks made me nervous. I was horrified to think that the United States would be prepared to throw away a hard-won lead in technology by making it internationally available.”

“What I heard, now that we got down to discussion of the likely reality rather than the grand vision, was reassuring. President Reagan did not pretend that they yet knew where the research could finally lead. But he emphasized that –in addition to his earlier arguments in favor of SDI– keeping up with the United States would impose an economic strain on the Soviet Union. He argued that there had to be a practical limit as to how far the Soviet Union could push their people down the road of austerity.”

“I now jotted down, while talking to National Security Adviser Bud McFarlane, the four points which seemed to me to be crucial.

“My officials then filled in the details. The President and I agreed a text which set out the policy.

“The main section of my statement reads:

“I told the President of my firm conviction that the SDI research programme should go ahead. Research is, of course, permitted under existing US Soviet treaties; and we, of course, know that the Russians already have their research programme and, in the US view, have already gone beyond research. We agreed on four points: (1) the US, and western, aim was not to achieve superiority, but to maintain balance, taking account of Soviet developments; (2) SDI-related deployment would, in view of treaty obligations, have to be a matter for negotiation; (3) the overall aim is to enhance, not undercut, deterrence; (4) East-West negotiation should aim to achieve security with reduced levels of offensive systems on both sides. This will be the purpose of the resumed US-Soviet negotiations on arms control, which warmly welcome.

“I subsequently learnt that George Schultz thought that I had secured too great a concession on the American’s part in the wording; but in fact it gave them and us a clear and defensible line and helped reassure the European members of NATO. A good day’s work.”

Later on, under the subtitle of “Visit to Washington: February 1985″, Margaret Thatcher states:

“I again visited Washington in February 1985. Arms talks between the Americans and the Soviet Union had now resumed, but SDI remained a source of contention. I was to address a joint meeting of Congress on the morning of Wednesday 20 February and I brought with me from London as a gift a bronze statue of Winston Churchill, who had also many years before been honoured with such an invitation. I worked especially hard on this speech. I would use the Autocue for its delivery. I knew that Congress would have seen the ‘Great Communicator’ himself delivering faultless speeches and I would have a discriminating audience. So I resolved to practise speaking the text until I had got every intonation and emphasis right. (Speaking to Autocue, I should add, is a totally different technique to speaking from notes.) In fact, I borrowed President Reagan’s own Autocue and had it brought back to the British Embassy where I was staying. Harvey Thomas, who accompanied me, fixed it up and, ignoring any jetlag, I practised until 4 a.m. I did not go to bed, beginning the new working day with my usual black coffee and vitamin pills, then gave television interviews from 6:45 a.m., had my hair done and was ready at 10:30 to leave from the Capitol. I used my speech, which ranged widely over international issues, to give strong support for SDI. I had a terrific reception.”

“The following month (March 1985) saw the death of Mr. Chernenko and, with remarkably little delay, the succession of Mr. Gorbachev to the Soviet leadership. Once again I attended a Moscow funeral: the weather was, if anything, even colder than at Yuri Andropov’s. Mr. Gorbachev had a large number of foreign dignitaries to see. But I had almost an hour’s talk with him that evening in St. Katherine’s Hall in the Kremlin. The atmosphere was more formal than at Chequers (the official country residence of British prime ministers since 1921) and the silent, sardonic presence of Mr. Gromyko did not help. But I was able to explain them the implications of the policy I had agreed with President Reagan the previously December at Camp David. It was clear that SDI was now the main preoccupation of the Soviets in arms control.”

“Mr. Gorbachev brought, as we had expected, a new style to the Soviet Government. He spoke openly of the terrible state of the Soviet economy, though at this stage he was still relying on the methods associated with Mr. Andropov’s drive for greater efficiency rather than radical reform. An example of this was the draconian measures he took against alcoholism. As the year wore on, however, there was no evidence of improvement in conditions in the Soviet Union. Indeed, as our new -and first class- ambassador to Moscow, Brian Cartledge, who had been my foreign affairs private secretary when I first became Prime Minister, pointed out in one of his first dispatches, it was a matter of, ‘jam tomorrow and, meanwhile, no vodka today’.”

“A distinct chill entered into Britain’s relations with the Soviet Union as a result of expulsions authorized of Soviet officials who had been spying.”

“In November President Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev had their first meeting in Geneva. Not much of substance came out of it –the Soviets insisted on linking cuts in strategic nuclear weapons to an end to SDI research– but a good personal rapport quickly developed between the two leaders. But he was not, which I found not at all surprising. For Ronald Reagan had had plenty of practice in his early years as President of the Screen Actors Guild in dealing with hard-headed trade union negotiation, and no one was more hard-headed than Mr. Gorbachev.”

“During 1986 Mr. Gorbachev showed great subtlety in playing on western public opinion by bringing forward tempting, but unacceptable, proposals on arms control. Relatively little was said by the Soviets on the link between SDI and cuts in nuclear weapons. But they were given no reasons to believe that the Americans were prepared to suspend or stop SDI research. Late in the year it was agreed that President Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev- with their Foreign Ministers- should meet in Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss substantive proposals.”

“It was that you could not ultimately hold back research on SDI any more than you could prevent research into new kinds of offensive weapons. We had to be the first to get it. Science is unstoppable; it will not be stopped for being ignored. ”

“In retrospect, the Reykjavik summit on that weekend of 11 and 12 October (1986) can be seen to have a quite different significance than most of the commentators at the time realized. A trap had been prepared for the Americans. Ever greater Soviet concessions were made during the summit: they agreed for the first time that the British and French deterrents should be excluded from the INF negotiations; an that cuts in strategic nuclear weapons should leave each side with equal numbers- rather than a straight percentage cut, which would have led the Soviets well ahead. They also made significant concessions on INF numbers. As the summit drew to an end President Reagan was proposing an agreement by which the whole arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons- bombers, long-range Cruise and ballistic missiles- would be halved within five years and the most powerful of these weapons, strategic ballistic missiles, eliminated altogether within ten. Mr. Gorbachev was even more ambitious: he wanted the elimination of all strategic nuclear weapons by the end of the ten-year period.”

“But then suddenly, at the very end, the trap was sprung. President Reagan had conceded that during the ten-year period both sides would agree not to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, though development and testing compatible with the Treaty would be allowed.”

But Reagan suffered a strange amnesia about the triggering of the brutal military competition that had been forced on the USSR, with its extraordinary economic cost. His famous diary doesn’t say one word about the Farewell Dossier. In his daily notes which were published this year, Ronald Reagan speaks of his sojourn in Montebello, Canada:

“Sunday, July 19 (1981)

“The hotel is a marvelous piece of engineering, totally made up of logs.

“Had a one on one with Chancellor Schmidt. He was really down and in a pessimistic mood about the world.

“Following –met with Pres. Miterrand– explained our ec. program and that high interest rates were not of our doing.

“Dinner that night was just the 8 of us. The 7 heads of State and the Pres. (Thorn) of the European Community. It became a really free wheeling discussion of ec. issues, trade etc. due to a suggestion by P.M. Thatcher.”

The final result of the great conspiracy against the Soviet Union and the crazy expensive arms race that was imposed, when it was mortally wounded in an economic sense is described in the introduction of the book by Thomas C. Reed, written by George H. W. Bush, the first President in the Bush Dynasty, who participated in a very real way in World War II. Literally, he writes:

“The Cold War was a struggle for the very soul of the mankind. It was a struggle for a way of life defined by freedom on one side and repression on the other. Already I think we have forgotten what a long and arduous struggle it was, and how close to nuclear disaster we came a number of times. The fact that it did not happen is a testimony to the honorable men and women, both sides who kept their cool and did what was right-as they saw it-in times of crisis.”

“This conflict between the surviving superpowers of World War II began as I came home from that war. In 1948, the year of my graduation from Yale, the Soviets tried to cut off Western access to Berlin. That blockade led to the formation of NATO, was followed by the first Soviet A-bomb test, and turned bloody with the invasion of South Korea. Four decades of nuclear confrontation, proxy wars, and economic privation followed.”

“I was privileged to be President of the United States when it all came to an end. In fall of 1989 the satellite states of Eastern Europe began to break free, and mostly peaceful revolution swept through Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. When the Berlin Wall fell, we knew the end was near.”

“It took another two years to close down the empire of Lenin and Stalin. I received that good news in two telephone calls. The first came on December 8, 1991, when Boris Yeltsin called me from a hunting lodge near Brest, in Belarus. Only recently elected President of the Russian Republic, Yeltsin had been meeting with Leonid Kravchuk, President of Ukraine, and Stanislav Shushchevik, President of Belarus. “Today a very important event took place in our country,” Yeltsin said. “I wanted to inform you myself before you learned about it from the press” Then he told me the news: The President of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine has decided to dissolve the Soviet Union.

“Two weeks later a second call confirmed that the former Soviet Union would disappear. Mikhail Gorbachev contacted me at Camp David on Christmas Morning of 1991. He wished Barbara and me a Merry Christmas, and then he went on to sum up what had happened in his country: the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. He had just been on national TV to confirm the fact, and he had transferred control of Soviet nuclear weapons to the President of Russia. ‘You can have a very quiet Christmas evening,’ he said. And so it was over.”

It is recorded in an article published in The New York Times that the operation used almost all of the weapons within the CIA’s reach –psychological warfare, sabotage, economic warfare, strategic deception, counterintelligence, cybernetic warfare– all collaborating with the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the FBI. It destroyed the burgeoning Soviet espionage machinery, it damaged the economy and destabilized the State in that country. It was a complete success. If the opposite had happened (the Soviets doing it to the Americans), it would have been viewed as an act of terrorism.

There is another book which deals with this topic; it is called Legacy of Ashes and it has just been published. On the book’s dust cover we can read that: Tim Weiner is a reporter for The New York Times. He has written on American intelligence for twenty years, and won the Pulitzer Prize for his work on the secret national security programs. He has traveled to Afghanistan and other nations to investigate CIA covert operations firsthand. This is his third book.

Legacy of Ashes is based on more than 50 thousand documents basically coming from the very archives of the CIA, and hundreds of interviews with veterans of that agency, including ten directors. He reveals to us a panorama of the CIA from the days of its creation after World War II, going through its battles during the Cold War and the war against terrorism begun on September 11, 2001.

The article by Jeremy Allison, published in Rebelión in June 2006, and the articles by Rosa Miriam Elizalde which were published this year on the September 3 and 10, denounce these events emphasizing the idea of one of the founders of free software who pointed out that: “as technologies grow more complex, it will be more difficult to detect actions of this kind”.

Rosa Miriam published two straightforward opinion articles, each one only 5 pages in length. If she wants to, she could write a book with many pages. I remember her well from that day when, a young journalist, she nervously asked me, in the middle of a press conference 15 years ago no less, whether I thought we could survive the Special Period that had befallen us with the demise of the Socialist bloc.

The USSR collapsed with a crash. Since then we have graduated hundreds of thousands of young people from the higher levels of education. What better ideological weapon do we have than the higher level of conscience! We had it when we were a largely illiterate and semi-illiterate people. If you really want to see wild animals, then let instincts prevail in the human being. We could say a lot on this subject.

In the present day, the world is threatened by a devastating economic crisis. The United States government is using unimaginable economic means to defend a right that violates the sovereignty of all the other countries: to keep on buying raw materials, energy, advanced technology industries, the most productive lands and the most modern buildings on the face of our planet with paper money.

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 18, 2007.

Global Research Articles by Fidel Castro Ruz

 

see:

The Crash of the Millennium – An Interview with Dr. Ravi Batra by J. Taylor (1999)

The Big One Just Hit h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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© Copyright Fidel Castro Ruz, Prensa Latina, 2007

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6861

The Killing Machine by Fidel Castro

July 11, 2007
The Killing Machine
by Fidel Castro; July 03, 2007

Sunday is a good day to read something that would appear to be science fiction.

 

 It was announced that the CIA would be declassifying hundreds of pages on illegal actions that included plans to eliminate the leaders of foreign governments. Suddenly the publication is halted and it is delayed one day. No coherent explanation was given. Perhaps someone in the White House looked over the material.

 

The first package of declassified documents goes by the name of “The Family Jewels”; it consists of 702 pages on illegal CIA actions between 1959 and 1973. About 100 pages of this part have been deleted.  It deals with actions that were not authorized by any law, plots to assassinate other leaders, experiments with drugs on human beings to control their minds, spying on civil activists and journalists, among other similar activities that were expressly prohibited.

 

The documents began to be gathered together 14 years after the first of the events took place, when then CIA director, James Schlessinger became alarmed about what the press was writing, especially all the articles by Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein published in The Washington Post, already mentioned in the “Manifesto to the People of Cuba”.  The agency was being accused of promoting spying in the Watergate Hotel with the participation of its former agents Howard Hunt and James McCord.

 

In May 1973, the Director of the CIA was demanding that “all the main operative officials of this agency must immediately inform me on any ongoing or past activity that might be outside of the constituting charter of this agency”.  Schlessinger, later appointed Head of the Pentagon, had been replaced by William Colby. Colby was referring to the documents as “skeletons hiding in a closet”. New press revelations forced Colby to admit the existence of the reports to interim President Gerald Ford in 1975. The New York Times was denouncing agency penetration of antiwar groups. The law that created the CIA prevented it from spying inside the United States. 

 

That “was just the tip of the iceberg”, said then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. 

 

Kissinger himself warned that “blood would flow” if other actions were known, and he immediately added: “For example, that Robert Kennedy personally controlled the operation for the assassination of Fidel Castro”. The President’s brother was then Attorney General of the United States. He was later murdered as he was running for President in the 1968 elections, which facilitated Nixon’s election for lack of a strong candidate. The most dramatic thing about the case is that apparently he had reached the conviction that Jack Kennedy had been victim of a conspiracy. Thorough investigators, after analyzing the wounds, the caliber of the shots and other circumstances surrounding the death of the President, reached the conclusion that there had been at least three shooters.  Solitary Oswald, used as an instrument, could not have been the only shooter. I found that rather striking. Excuse me for saying this but fate turned me into a shooting instructor with a telescopic sight for all the Granma expeditionaries. I spent months practicing and teaching, every day; even though the target is a stationary one it disappears from view with each shot and so you need to look for it all over again in fractions of a second.

 

Oswald wanted to come through Cuba on his trip to the USSR. He had already been there before. Someone sent him to ask for a visa in our country’s embassy in Mexico but nobody knew him there so he wasn’t authorized. They wanted to get us implicated in the conspiracy. Later, Jack Ruby, –a man openly linked to the Mafia– unable to deal with so much pain and sadness, as he said, assassinated him, of all places, in a precinct full police agents.

 

Subsequently, in international functions or on visits to Cuba, on more than one occasion I met with the aggrieved Kennedy relatives, who would greet me respectfully. The former president’s son, who was a very small child when his father was killed, visited Cuba 34 years later. We met and I invited him to dinner.

 

The young man, in the prime of his life, and well brought up, tragically died in an airplane accident on a stormy night as he was flying to Martha’s Vineyard with his wife. I never touched on the thorny issue with any of those relatives. In contrast, I pointed out that if the president-elect had then been Nixon instead of Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs disaster we would have been attacked by the land and sea forces escorting the mercenary expedition, and both countries would have paid a high toll in human lives. Nixon would not have limited himself to saying that victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan.  For the record, Kennedy was never too enthusiastic about the Bay of Pigs adventure; he was led there by Eisenhower’s military reputation and the recklessness of his ambitious vice-president. 

 

I remember that, exactly on the day and minute he was assassinated, I was speaking in a peaceful spot outside of the capital with French journalist Jean Daniel. He told me that he was bringing a message from President Kennedy. He said to me that in essence he had told him: “You are going to see Castro. I would like to know what he thinks about the terrible danger we just experienced of a thermonuclear war. I want to see you again as soon as you get back.”  “Kennedy was very active; he seemed to be a political machine”, he added, and we were not able to continue talking as someone rushed in with the news of what had just happened. We turned on the radio. What Kennedy thought was now pointless.

 

Certainly I lived with that danger. Cuba was both the weakest part and the one that would take the first strike, but we did not agree with the concessions that were made to the United States. I have already spoken of this before.

 

Kennedy had emerged from the crisis with greater authority. He came to recognize the enormous sacrifices of human lives and material wealth made by the Soviet people in the struggle against fascism. The worst of the relations between the United States and Cuba had not yet occurred by April 1961. When he hadn’t resigned himself to the outcome of the Bay of Pigs, along came the Missile Crisis. The blockade, economic asphyxiation, pirate attacks and assassination plots multiplied. But the assassination plots and other bloody occurrences began under the administration of Eisenhower and Nixon.

 

After the Missile Crisis we would have not refused to talk with Kennedy, nor would we have ceased being revolutionaries and radical in our struggle for socialism. Cuba would have never severed relations with the USSR as it had been asked to do. Perhaps if the American leaders had been aware of what a war could be using weapons of mass destruction they would have ended the Cold War earlier and differently. At least that’s how we felt then, when there was still no talk of global warming, broken imbalances, the enormous consumption of hydrocarbons and the sophisticated weaponry created by technology, as I have already said to the youth of Cuba.  We would have had much more time to reach, through science and conscience, what we are today forced to realize in haste.

 

President Ford decided to appoint a Commission to investigate the Central Intelligence Agency. “We do not want to destroy the CIA but to preserve it”, he said.

 

As a result of the Commission’s investigations that were led by Senator Frank Church, President Ford signed an executive order which expressly prohibited the participation of American officials in the assassinations of foreign leaders. 

 

The documents published now disclose information about the CIA-Mafia links for my assassination.

 

Details are also revealed about Operation Chaos, carrying on from 1969 for at least seven years, for which the CIA created a special squadron with the mission to infiltrate pacifist groups and to investigate “the international activities of radicals and black militants”.  The Agency compiled more than 300,000 names of American citizens and organizations and extensive files on 7,200 persons.

 

According to The New York Times, President Johnson was convinced that the American anti-War movement was controlled and funded by Communist governments and he ordered the CIA to produce evidence.

 

The documents recognize, furthermore, that the CIA spied on various journalists like Jack Anderson, performers such as Jane Fonda and John Lennon, and the student movements at Columbia University.  It also searched homes and carried out tests on American citizens to determine the reactions of human beings to certain drugs. 

 

In a memorandum sent to Colby in 1973, Walter Elder who had been executive assistant to John McCone, CIA Director in the early 1970s, gives information about discussions in the CIA headquarters that were taped and transcribed: “I know that whoever worked in the offices of the director were worried about the fact that these conversations in the office and on the phone were transcribed. During the McCone years there were microphones in his regular offices, the inner office, the dining room, the office in the East building, and in the study of his home on White Haven Street. I don’t know if anyone is ready to talk about this, but the information tends to be leaked, and certainly the Agency is vulnerable in this case”.

 

The secret transcripts of the CIA directors could contain a great number of “jewels”. The National Security Archive is already requesting these transcripts.

 

A memo clarifies that the CIA had a project called OFTEN which would collect “information about dangerous drugs in American companies”, until the program was terminated in the fall of 1972.  In another memo there are reports that manufacturers of commercial drugs “had passed” drugs to the CIA which had been “refused due to adverse secondary effects”.

 

As part of the MKULTRA program, the CIA had given LSD and other psycho-active drugs to people without their knowledge.  According to another document in the archive, Sydney Gottlieb, a psychiatrist and head of chemistry of the Agency Mind Control Program, is supposedly the person responsible for having made available the poison that was going to be used in the assassination attempt on Patrice Lumumba.

 

CIA employees assigned to MHCHAOS –the operation that carried out surveillance on American opposition to the war in Vietnam and other political dissidents –expressed “a high level of resentment” for having been ordered to carry out such missions.

 

Nonetheless, there is a series of interesting matters revealed in these documents, such as the high level at which the decisions for actions against our country were taken.

 

The technique used today by the CIA to avoid giving any details is not the unpleasant crossed out bits but the blank spaces, coming from the use of computers.

 

For The New York Times, large censored sections reveal that the CIA still cannot expose all the skeletons in its closets, and many activities developed in operations abroad, checked over years ago by journalists, congressional investigators and a presidential commission, are not in the documents.

 

Howard Osborn, then CIA Director of Security, makes a summary of the “jewels” compiled by his office. He lists eight cases –including the recruiting of the gangster Johnny Roselli for the coup against Fidel Castro –but they crossed out the document that is in the number 1 place on Osborn’s initial list: two and a half pages.

 

“The No. 1 Jewel of the CIA Security Offices must be very good, especially since the second one is the list for the program concerning the assassination of Castro by Roselli,” said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive who requested the declassification of “The Family Jewels” 15 years ago under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

It is notable that the administration which has declassified the least information in the history of the United States, and which has even started a process of reclassifying information that was previously declassified, now makes the decision to make these revelations.

 

I believe that such an action could be an attempt to present an image of transparency when the government is at an all time low rate of acceptance and popularity, and to show that those methods belong to another era and are no longer in use. When he announced the decision, General Hayden, current CIA Director, said: “The documents offer a look at very different times and at a very different Agency.”

 

Needless to say that everything described here is still being done, only in a more brutal manner and all around the planet, including a growing number of illegal actions within the very United States. 

 

The New York Times wrote that intelligence experts consulted expressed that the revelation of the documents is an attempt to distract attention from recent controversies and scandals plaguing the CIA and an Administration that is living through some of its worst moments of unpopularity.

 

The declassification could also be an attempt at showing, in the early stages of the electoral process that the Democratic administrations were as bad, or worse, than Mr. Bush’s.

 

In pages 11 to 15 of the Memo for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, we can read:

 

“In August 1960, Mr. Richard M. Bissell approached Colonel Sheffield Edwards with the objective of determining whether the Security Office had agents who could help in a confidential mission that required gangster-style action. The target of the mission was Fidel Castro.

 

“Given the extreme confidentiality of the mission, the project was known only to a small group of people. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was informed and he gave it his approval.  Colonel J. C. King, Head of the Western Hemisphere Division, was also informed, but all the details were deliberately concealed from officials of Operation JMWAVE. Even though some officials of Communications (Commo) and the Technical Services Division (TSD) took part in initial planning phases, they were not aware of the mission’s purpose.

 

 “Robert A. Maheu was contacted, he was informed in general terms about the project, and he was asked to evaluate whether he could get access to gangster-type elements as a first step for achieving the desired goal.

 

“Mr. Maheu informed that he had met with a certain Johnny Roselli on several occasions while he was visiting Las Vegas. He had only met him informally through clients, but he had been told that he was a member of the upper echelons of the ‘syndicate’ and that he was controlling all the ice machines on the Strip. In Maheu’s opinion, if Roselli was in effect a member of the Clan, he undoubtedly had connections that would lead to the gambling racket in Cuba.

 

“Maheu was asked to get close to Roselli, who knew that Maheu was a public relations executive looking after national and foreign accounts, and tell him that recently he had been contracted by a client who represented several international business companies, which were suffering enormous financial losses in Cuba due to Castro. They were convinced that the elimination of Castro would be a solution to their problem and they were ready to pay $ 150,000 for a successful outcome. Roselli had to be made perfectly aware of the fact that the U.S. government knew nothing, nor could it know anything, about this operation.

 

“This was presented to Roselli on September 14, 1960 in the Hilton Plaza Hotel of New York City.  His initial reaction was to avoid getting involved but after Maheu’s persuasive efforts he agreed to present the idea to a friend, Sam Gold, who knew “some Cubans”. Roselli made it clear that he didn’t want any money for his part in all this, and he believed that Sam would do likewise. Neither of these people was ever paid with Agency money.

 

“During the week of September 25, Maheu was introduced to Sam who was living at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. It was not until several weeks after meeting Sam and Joe –who was introduced as courier operating between Havana and Miami –that he saw photos of these two individuals in the Sunday section of Parade. They were identified as Momo Salvatore Giancana and Santos Trafficante, respectively. Both were on the Attorney General’s list of the ten most wanted. The former was described as the boss of the Cosa Nostra in Chicago and Al Capone’s heir, and the latter was the boss of Cuban operations of the Cosa Nostra. Maheu immediately called this office upon learning this information.  

 

“After analyzing the possible methods to carry out this mission, Sam suggested that they not resort to firearms but that, if they could get hold of some kind of deadly pill, something to be put into Castro’s food or drink, this would be a much more effective operation. Sam indicated that he had a possible candidate in the person of Juan Orta, a Cuban official who had been receiving bribery payments in the gambling racket, and who still had access to Castro and was in a financial bind.

 

“The TSD (Technical Services Division) was requested to produce 6 highly lethal pills.

 

“Joe delivered the pills to Orta. After several weeks of attempts, Orta appears to have chickened out and he asked to be taken off the mission. He suggested another candidate who made several unsuccessful.”

 

Everything that was said in the numerous paragraphs above is in quotes. Observe well, dear readers, the methods that were already being used by the United States to rule the world.

 

I remember that during the early years of the Revolution, in the offices of the National Institute for Agrarian Reform, there was a man working there with me whose name was Orta, who had been linked to the anti-Batista political forces. He was a respectful and serious man. But, it could only be him. The decades have gone by and I see his name once more in the CIA report. I can’t lay my hands on information to immediately prove what happened to him. Accept my apologies if I involuntarily have offended a relative or a descendent, whether the person I have mentioned is guilty or not.

 

The empire has created a veritable killing machine that is made up not only of the CIA and its methods. Bush has established powerful and expensive intelligence and security super-structures, and he has transformed all the air, sea and land forces into instruments of world power that take war, injustice, hunger and death to any part of the globe, in order to educate its inhabitants in the exercise of democracy and freedom. The American people are gradually waking up to this reality.

 

“You cannot fool all of the people all of the time”, said Lincoln.

 

Fidel Castro Ruz

 

June 30, 2007

 

6:45 p.m.