in Crisis: Castro's Power Grows
Dr. Constantine C. Menges.
March 16, 2004.
Part one of NewsMax's special series
on Latin America is written by Dr. Constantine
C. Menges, an acclaimed expert on Latin
America at the Hudson Institute in Washington.
Dr. Menges served as as Special Assistant
to the President for National Security Affairs
and at the CIA as a National Intelligence
Officer. He is a scholar, author, and for
years has been a university professor. His
responsibilities in the government included
the design of several major successful foreign
policy strategies. For example, he devised
strategies to counter Soviet political warfare
and indirect aggression and to encourage
transitions to democracy abroad.
His warning about the growing threat
of a new pro-Castro axis through the region
There is growing but unnoticed threat to
U.S. national security. A new terrorist,
nuclear/bioweapons and geopolitical threat
may well come from an axis including the
regimes of Castro in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela
and the pro-Castro presidents of Brazil
Together, these four countries have a population
of 223 million.
Castro, Chavez, and Brazil's President
Lula da Silva all have years of links with
Iran and China. Visiting Iran in May 2001,
Castro said, "The peoples and governments
of Cuba and Iran can bring America to its
Chavez also visited Iran in 2001 where
he declared a "strategic alliance"
with that sponsor of terrorism.
Since 1990, Lula da Silva has chaired the
Forum of Sao Paulo, a Castro-initiated international
group that has convened all the communist
and terrorist organizations of Latin America,
many terrorists from the Middle East and
Europe, as well as representatives of Iraq,
Iran, Libya, North Korea, Vietnam and China.
The new pro-Castro axis could expand to
include more than nine countries with 340
million people. There is also the possibility
that thousands of Islamic and newly indoctrinated
regional terrorists could try to attack
the United States from Latin America.
Combining the strategic experience of communist
Cuba, its Soviet-provided bioweapons technology
with the oil derived financial resources
of Venezuela and the long-established nuclear
weapons and ballistic missile programs of
Brazil could mean that the pro-Castro axis
might be able to threaten its neighbors
and the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction
and ballistic missiles.
Also, communist China has established close
political and military relations with Cuba
(1999) and Venezuela (2000). It is flying
two reconnaissance satellites with Brazil,
and President Lula da Silva has announced
his plans to greatly expand Brazil's relations
with China. Therefore, it is likely that
the pro-Castro axis could soon be geopolitically
aligned with and militarily helped by communist
The Castro regime in Cuba has been using
political means as well as covert action,
terrorism and insurgency to bring anti-U.S.,
radical regimes to power in the Western
Hemisphere and other regions since 1959.
In 2002, a high-level defector from Cuban
intelligence wrote that "Cuba's espionage
apparatus (the DGI), one of the largest
and most efficient on the planet, with more
than 10,000 spies, has been active on a
global scale. The DGI rapidly [learned]
falsification of documents, training of
operatives, theft of secret information,
[establishing] illegal centers, the penetration
of governments and armed forces, disinformation,
assassination of political figures
Cuba's Ties to Middle East
Furthermore, Cuba trained more than 30,000
terrorists from various continents of which
10,000 were from Latin America, with the
rest being operatives from the Middle East
and Europe. Castro's terrorist/insurgent
methods mostly failed in Latin America,
except in Colombia, where the threat from
the communist insurgency continues and has
increased. However, the 10,000 DGI personnel
and many of the 30,000 Cuban-trained terrorists
provide the cadre for Castro's new strategy.
Castro's intentions have not changed since
1959, nor since the end of the Cold War.
In 1990, Castro initiated the Forum of Sao
Paulo with Lula da Silva as its chairman.
This organization is a successor to Castro's
Tricontinental Congress which, beginning
in 1966, increased collusion among terrorist
organizations from Latin America, the Middle
East and Europe. The Forum of Sao Paulo
also convenes all the communist parties
and terrorist organizations of Latin America,
along with terrorist organizations from
the Middle East and Europe, as well as representatives
from Iraq, Libya, North Korea, China, Laos
During the 1990s, Castro decided on a new
strategy: helping radical political leaders
friendly to him take control of their countries
by winning national elections in which they
present themselves as "populists,"
opposed to corruption, while concealing
their ultimate purposes. This new Castro
method has four components:
'Neoliberalism' - That Has a Familiar Ring
Providing propaganda and political support
openly and covertly to radical, pro-Castro
leaders, not officially members of any communist
party, who would run for the presidency
of their countries. They would avoid Marxist-Leninist
rhetoric and instead favor "populism"
and oppose "neoliberalism," expressing
Castro's ideological agenda in more neutral
These pro-Castro democratically elected
presidents would then use the Chinese communist
approach of pursuing a two-level international
One level would be to permit foreign and
especially U.S. corporations to continue
functioning and to earn profits. They would
continue international trade relations and
encourage foreign investment, all of which
would both provide useful income for the
regime and assure a friendly voice about
it from the foreign business and international
At the second level, while professing
to seek "good relations with all countries,"
these radical pro-Castro presidents would
selectively work with radical or communist
political and armed groups in Latin America
such as FARC, ELN and others in the Forum
of Sao Paolo, with state sponsors of terror
such as Cuba and Iran, as well as with communist
regimes such as China and North Korea.
Step by step, these "populist"
pro-Castro presidents would use electoral
and pseudo-constitutional means to consolidate
their rule and make it irreversible.
The New Pro-Castro International Network
A key nexus in the new Castro strategy
is the Forum of Sao Paulo. At Castro's suggestion,
this group was founded in 1990 with Brazil's
Lula da Silva as its public leader. Since
then, it has brought together virtually
all the communist, radical and terrorist
organizations of Latin America, the majority
of which were allies of Castro since the
The main theme of the first (1990) and
fourth (1993) annual meetings of the Forum
of Sao Paulo was that "our losses in
Eastern Europe will be offset by our victories
in Latin America." This was an explicit
indication of its solidarity with communist
regimes and of Castro's future intentions,
which in fact are being realized.
Participants at the 2001 Forum meeting
in Cuba and the December 2002 meeting in
Guatemala included communist and radical
parties from nearly every state in Latin
America - including the Worker's Party of
Brazil and Chavez's MVR of Venezuela; Latin
American terrorist groups such as FARC,
ELN, MIR, M19 and Tupac Amaru, and global
terrorist groups such as IRA, ETA, and Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In December 2002, as in most past years,
there were representatives from supportive
regimes such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Libya
(both of which have had connections to Cuba
and its allies during and after the Cold
War) and the communist regimes of North
Korea, Laos, Vietnam and China.
The December 2002 meeting of the Forum,
as usual, issued a number of statements
hostile to the United States, examples of
"NATO troops perpetrated genocide
in Kosovo, U.S. and British forces massacred
the population of Afghanistan
held by the U.S. in Guantanamo, Cuba] are
submitted to punishment and tortures
with full U.S. support, the government of
Israel continues to carry out a systematic
policy of murdering Palestinians."
The recent Forum meeting declared further
that the Bush administration's military
actions abroad were an attempt to "apply
a strategy of unilateral political domination
that unfolds in worldwide warmongering"
in order to avert the public attention away
from the domestic and societal contradictions
"neoliberalism" creates in the
Tomorrow in part two of NewsMax's special
series "Latin America in Crisis"
we will examine Brazil's leftward shift.
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