Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Broomstick by Boeing — she’s baaaaack!

Broomstick by Boeing—she’s baaaaack!

by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

“A little poison,” in her depleted uranium
The Iron Lady’s baaaack—in titanium!
Some vile, nightmarish, dream-like crack
But, it’s no dream—she’s baaaaaaaaaack!

Broomstick by Boeing — she’s baaaaack!

by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

Fracking fluid bubbling and aglow
Cauldron supplied by Monsanto
Election monkeys flying at her side
Cackle, “We came, we saw, he died!”
“Poppies” from fields of Afghanistan
For ‘white’ women’s, “Yes, we can!”
Unsavory symbols of German Police—
Though we prayed she’d Rust In Peace
“A little poison,” in her depleted uranium
The Iron Lady’s baaaack—in titanium!
Some vile, nightmarish, dream-like crack
But, it’s no dream—she’s baaaaaaaaaack!
F-16 broomstick circling the world’s skies
Emitting shrill supersonic war cries—
Popping polygraphs with populist lies,
Dumping Roundup in women’s eyes
Flaunting false, fractured, feminist pride
Like Drone Man did on the ‘Black’ side
Contributions to her war chest—matched
Broomstick by Boeing, Hellfires attached
Willy Warlock, Nuland-Powers coven in tow
The Wicked Witch of The West is all GMO!
Radar confirming the FOX route she flew
Destination: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Raymond Nat Turner can be contacted at Raymond (at) upsurgejazz.com

Monday, May 04, 2015

Jeb Bush's CIA activities in Caracas under closer scrutiny by Wayne Madsen

 Jeb Bush's CIA activities in Caracas under closer scrutiny
by Wayne Madsen
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the third member of the Bush family to aspire to the presidency, is under closer scrutiny for his "bank" work in Caracas, Venezuela, less than a year after his father departed Langley, Virginia as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Bush started working as a branch manager and vice president of the Houston-based Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas as President Jimmy Carter's CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner, began cleaning hose of many of the cohorts of Bush within the agency's clandestine service. These included a number of Cuban expatriates who carried on their anti-Castro activities as part of a virtual "shadow CIA" established to stymie Turner's reforms.

The shadow CIA included a number of private sector operations, including banking, which financed shadow CIA operations in Latin America by laundering money for the Colombian drug cartels. While he worked for Texas Commerce Bank, Jeb Bush maintained close contacts with the anti-Castro Cuban community in Venezuela, as well as with the right-wing Colombian drug lords who supported their activities with cash and weapons. Jeb Bush's work in Caracas made him steadfast friends in the Miami-based Cuban exile community, including real estate mogul Armando Codina, who Bush would partner with in a number of dubious real estate ventures after leaving Caracas and setting up residence in Miami.

One of the CIA operations Jeb Bush may have played a significant role in was the Latin American support network of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet for right-wing opponents of Castro. These operations were primarily based in Caracas and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In return for Chilean help, the Cuban exiles provided Chile's intelligence service, DINA, with CIA-trained assassins. This operation of weapons-for-assassins involved CIA/DINA professional assassin Michael Townley, who served a 62-month sentence for the 1976 car bombing assassination of former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier, a bombing that also killed Letelier's American assistant, Roni Moffitt, on Sheridan Circle in downtown Washington, DC. The man believed responsible for authorizing the "hit" on Letelier was the then-head of the CIA, George H. W. Bush, Jeb's father. Townley, who excelled in car bombings, was also charged with the car bombing assassination in 1974 of exiled Chilean General Carlos Prats and his wife in Buenos Aires. Townley's father, John V. Townley, was a CIA veteran who served in Venezuela and Chile. Today, Michael Townley, after providing narrow evidence on DINA's role in Letelier's assassination but not the CIA's involvement, is protected as part of the Federal Witness Program. Townley testified that he hired five anti-Castro Cubans to place a bomb in Letelier's vehicle. Interestingly, Townley was also in Stockholm a week before the 1985 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

The Chilean- and CIA-backed anti-Castro operations in Caracas enjoyed the protection of the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP. One of the chief Chilean DINA agents involved with the CIA and anti-Castro Cubans in Caracas was Enrique Arancibia, who, like Jeb Bush, provided "banking services" for the Cubans. In 1977, Arancibia, who was involved in the assassinations of Letelier, Prats, and the 1970 murder in Santiago of Prats's predecessor as Chilean Army chief of staff, General Rene Schneider, traveled to California on "banking business" for DINA and the CIA.

Arancibia answered to Italian fascist and P-2 Masonic lodge operative 
Stefano Delle Chiaie. The P-2 lodge was a partner for a number of CIA "false flag" terrorist attacks in Italy. Delle Chiaie was arrested in Caracas in 1989 and extradited to Italy for the 1969 false flag terrorist bombing of the Piazza Fontana in Milan, as well as the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station. Chiaie, an operative of the CIA's Gladio operations in Italy, was acquitted by Italian courts on all the charges. Delle Chiaie also worked closely with Townley on the botched 1975 attempt to assassinate Chilean Christian Democratic leader Bernardo Leighton and his wife in Rome in 1975. The P-2 lodge was closely linked to the activities of the fascist Opus Dei, a radical right wing order within the Roman Catholic Church, which supported Pinochet's and the CIA's Operation Condor assassination operations in Latin America and elsewhere.

Townley also worked closely in Miami and Caracas with 
Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, two of the primary Cuban culprits behind the terrorist bombing of Cubana Airlines 455 after it took off from Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados in October 1976. George H. W. Bush was CIA director during the Cubana bombing and the Letelier/Moffitt assassinations, both of which involved CIA assets based in Caracas. Just a year later, Jeb Bush was dispatched to Caracas, under obvious CIA non-official cover (NOC), to potentially clean up for his father and help erase the CIA's fingerprints on all Condor, Gladio, DINA/DISIP, and Opus Dei operations in the Venezuelan capital.

Jeb Bush's conversion to Catholicism from Episcopalianism in 1995 after a legacy of supporting Cuban, Chilean, Venezuelan, and Italian figures identified as members of Opus Dei and the P-2 lodge deserves much more scrutiny than it is receiving from the corporate media.

Just after Jeb Bush's November 5, 1977 marriage to Columba Bush, the young couple moved to Caracas at a time when the Venezuelan capital was a hot bed of anti-Castro CIA activity.

While he was Vice President, George H. W. Bush championed the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada in order to eliminate the Cuban and Soviet "threat" to the island. The invasion came after the overthrow and execution by "extreme Marxists" of the popular prime minister, Maurice Bishop. However, Grenada was once an outpost for Pinochet's anti-Castro activities. While Jeb Bush was in Caracas, Chilean Navy ships began transporting weapons for anti-Castro Cubans to the port of St. George's in Grenada. Grenada's prime minister Eric Gairy, who was eventually ousted by Bishop, was one of Pinochet's closest allies in the Western Hemisphere. Gairy championed Pinochet at the United Nations while also calling for the world body to recognize the threat posed by unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

The Chilean weapons shipped to Grenada were marked as "medical supplies," which is noteworthy since the Reagan-Bush administration used the "danger" posed to American medical students on Grenada to justify the 1983 invasion. The Grenada medical school was also linked to CIA activities in Jonestown, Guyana. In 1978, one-time CIA asset Jim Jones presided over a mass suicide at the Jonestown religious commune after his followers assassinated California Democratic Representative Leo Ryan and members of his investigative team. Jones waited to take any hostile action against Ryan or his flock until he was notified that Richard Dwyer, the CIA station chief at the U.S. embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, was safely exfiltrated from Jonestown.

Dwyer, a veteran CIA officer from the time that George H. W. Bush was a low-level operative in Houston involved in the Bay of Pigs affair, had been stationed as a CIA official cover officer in Cairo and Damascus. Dwyer's first stop after departing Jonestown was Grenada. There were credible reports at the time, including intelligence collected by Bishop, that the St. George's University Medical School provided cover for CIA mind control experiments after Dr. Sidney Gottlieb was ordered to shut down Operations MK-ULTRA and MK-DELTA.

Ironically, the experiments at the medical school were overseen by the school's chancellor, Sir Geoffrey H. Bourne, whose son, Peter Bourne, received a doctorate in medicine in 1962 and a master's degree in anthropology in 1969 and served as President Jimmy Carter's drug czar. Peter Bourne was also a U.S. Army Special Forces psychiatric research doctor in Vietnam and at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. Peter Bourne later became a vice chancellor at St. George's University Medical School, where his father also worked.
 Peter Bourne was married to Mary King, the Deputy Director of Action programs for the Peace Corps in the Carter administration. It was King who helped Jim Jones acquire the land in Guyana that became Jonestown. It is also very evident that author Robert Ludlum did not develop his Jason Bourne mind-controlled assassin character out of thin air.

The Chilean medical supplies from the Pinochet regime were off-loaded from Chilean Navy ships docked in St. George's  during the night and no trucks were ever seen transporting the supplies to any Grenadian medical centers. In fact, the crates contained weapons, which were then re-transported to Cuban exiles in Caracas and Santo Domingo. These operations took place beginning in November 1977, the same month Jeb Bush took up residence in Caracas and married his Spanish-speaking Mexican wife Columba, while ostensibly working for a Houston-based bank owned by the family of close Bush friend James Baker. Jeb remained in Caracas during 1978 and 1979, during the time frame that Caracas served as a major CIA station responsible for smaller stations in Georgetown, St. George's, Bridgetown, Kingston, Paramaribo, Cayenne, and Willemstad. It is time for Jeb Bush to come clean about his obscure activities in Caracas during some of the CIA's most egregious activities in the Caribbean region.

The architect behind the secret U.S.-Saudi-Israeli relationship by Wayne Madsen

The architect behind the secret U.S.-Saudi-Israeli relationship

The recent internal Saudi palace "coup" that saw King Salman replace his brother Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz as Crown Prince with Salman's nephew, Prince Mohammed bin Nayaf, is an indication that the decades-long but highly secret U.S.-Israeli-Saudi special alliance is undergoing a dramatic transformation.

Since the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1979, U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia's defense needs has had the quiet support of successive Israeli governments that saw the Saudis as a critical bulwark against Iran and any Shi'a-led revolutions in the Persian Gulf and on the Arabian peninsula. The effective Zaidi Houthi takeover of Yemen has resulted in even closer relations between Riyadh and Jerusalem. The Zaidis, a sect close to the Shi'as, are pro-Iranian. However, the American component of the tripartite alliance is no longer guaranteed as Washington seeks a nuclear deal with Iran and closer relations with Tehran  in other arenas.

Salman also replaced other Cabinet ministers, including the long-serving foreign minister Saud al-Faisal. Saud has been replaced by the long-serving Saudi ambassador to the United States, the non-royal Adel al-Jubeir, a favorite of the Israelis and Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, the former CIA station chief in Riyadh and a known Saudophile.

Salman's ambitious son, Mohammed Bin Salman, was named the new deputy Crown Prince. Salman's changes were seen by observers as bolstering the most anti-Iranian members of the Saudi regime, which, of course, is very welcomed by the Israeli government, which, under Binyamin Netanyahu's fourth term as prime minister, is the most right-wing and internationally aggressive in Israel's history.

The intellectual architect of the Riyadh-Jerusalem-Washington alliance was an Egyptian-Jewish Zionist and paid CIA consultant at Harvard University named Nadav Safran. In 1946, Safran, born Nadav Za’farani, moved from Cairo to a kibbutz in Palestine and fought as a commando against the British and Arabs in Israel's independence war, served as the director of Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Although Safran died in 2003, his work on U.S.-Saudi relations, which on its face seems odd for an Israeli-American, laid the basis for the secret cooperation between the three countries, particularly with regard to Iran. In 1985, Safran published a book, Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security, which closely examined Saudi security concerns and served as a virtual blueprint for future U.S. military aid to Saudi Arabia. The book was written pursuant to a secret CIA grant to Safran for $107,430. The Boston Globe published a copy of Safran's contract, dated April 13, 1982, with the CIA. Although Harvard University Press published the book, the university claimed it was unaware of the CIA contract with Safran.

In 1986, Safran resigned from the Center for Middle East Studies over his connections with the CIA. Safran's other books that significantly influenced U.S. Middle Eastern policy included, Israel: The Embattled Ally, published in 1978 during the Camp David negotiations, and Egypt in Search of Political Community, published the same year that President Anwar Sadat was assassinated.

380 - NS
The brains behind the not-so-secret U.S.-Saudi-Israeli alliance was Israeli-American Nadav Safran, a CIA-paid academic who likely influenced the thinking of current CIA director John O. Brennan.

Harvard's Center for International Studies had a long association with the CIA. Furthermore, Harvard was well aware that in 1985, Safran received an additional $50,000 from the CIA to organize two seminars, one on Islamic fundamentalism and the other on the Persian Gulf. The CIA laundered much of the money through the RAND Corporation. Safran was a close colleague of another pro-Israeli ex-Harvard academic on the U.S. government's payroll, Richard Pipes, who, in the 1980s, taught at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Safran remained with Harvard's Department of Government until 1990 where he continued to maintain a relationship with the U.S. government in the months prior to the start of Operation Desert Storm against Iraq.

U.S. policymakers in the Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama administrations would use Safran's book to shape their own attitudes toward the Saudi regime. However, as the Obama administration seeks a breakthrough on U.S.-Iranian relations, the Safran book has lost much of its importance in the current environment.

Safran also served as a CIA conduit to the press and his conflict-of-interest would serve as a template for future academics and journalists who claimed independence while accepting covert payments from the U.S. intelligence and defense communities. In 1990, Safran penned an op-ed for The New York Times that called on the Bush 41 administration to reject any peace feelers from Saddam Hussein. Safran was pushing the Israeli and Saudi line that Saddam should be dealt with harshly after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

One of Safran's colleagues at Harvard, Laurie Mylroie, became one of the chief purveyors of the bogus meme that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Mylroie's 2000 book, Study of Revenge; Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America, was cited by former CIA director James Woolsey as "brilliant and brave." The book would later be cited as one of the reasons why the U.S. had to invade and occupy Iraq after 9/11.

Friday, May 01, 2015

The Day After Damascus Falls: the Beginning of the End for the American Republic By Robert Parry

The Day After Damascus Falls: the Beginning of the End for the American Republic

If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad meets the same fate as Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, much of Official Washington would rush out to some chic watering hole to celebrate – one more “bad guy” down, one more “regime change” notch on the belt. But the day after Damascus falls could mark the beginning of the end for the American Republic.
As Syria would descend into even bloodier chaos – with an Al-Qaeda affiliate or its more violent spin-off, the Islamic State, the only real powers left – the first instinct of American politicians and pundits would be to cast blame, most likely at President Barack Obama for not having intervened more aggressively earlier.
A favorite myth of Official Washington is that Syrian “moderates” would have prevailed if only Obama had bombed the Syrian military and provided sophisticated weapons to the rebels.
Though no such “moderate” rebel movement ever existed – at least not in any significant numbers – that reality is ignored by all the “smart people” of Washington. It is simply too good a talking point to surrender. The truth is that Obama was right when he told  New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in August 2014 that the notion of a “moderate” rebel force that could achieve much was “always … a fantasy.”
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.
As much fun as the “who lost Syria” finger-pointing would be, it would soon give way to the horror of what would likely unfold in Syria with either Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front or the spin-off Islamic State in charge – or possibly a coalition of the two with Al-Qaeda using its new base to plot terror attacks on the West while the Islamic State engaged in its favorite pastime, those YouTube decapitations of infidels – Alawites, Shiites, Christians, even some descendants of the survivors from Turkey’s Armenian genocide a century ago who fled to Syria for safety.
Such a spectacle would be hard for the world to watch and there would be demands on President Obama or his successor to “do something.” But realistic options would be few, with a shattered and scattered Syrian army no longer a viable force capable of driving the terrorists from power.
The remaining option would be to send in the American military, perhaps with some European allies, to try to dislodge Al-Qaeda and/or the Islamic State. But the prospects for success would be slim. The goal of conquering Syria – and possibly re-conquering much of Iraq as well – would be costly, bloody and almost certainly futile.
The further diversion of resources and manpower from America’s domestic needs also would fuel the growing social discontent in major U.S. cities, like what is now playing out in Baltimore where disaffected African-American communities are rising up in anger against poverty and the police brutality that goes with it. A new war in the Middle East would accelerate America’s descent into bankruptcy and a dystopian police state.
The last embers of the American Republic would fade. In its place would be endless war and a single-minded devotion to security. The National Security Agency already has in place the surveillance capabilities to ensure that any civil resistance could be thwarted.
Can This Fate Be Avoided?
But is there a way to avoid this grim fate? Is there a way to wind this scenario back to some point before this outcome becomes inevitable? Can the U.S. political/media system – as corrupt and cavalier as it is – find a way to avert such a devastating foreign policy disaster?
To do so would require Official Washington to throw off old dependencies, such as its obeisance to the Israel Lobby, and old habits, such as its reliance on manipulative PR to control the American people, patterns deeply engrained in the political process.
At least since the Reagan administration – with its “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” fascination via “public diplomacy” and “perception management” – the tendency has been to designate some foreign leader as the latest new villain and then whip up public hysteria in support of a “regime change.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Victory of Perception Management.”]
In the 1980s, we saw the use of these “black hat/white hat” exaggerations in Nicaragua, where  President Ronald Reagan deemed President Daniel Ortega “the dictator in designer glasses” as Reagan’s propagandists depicted Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua as a “totalitarian dungeon” and the CIA-trained Contra “freedom fighters” the “moral equal of the Founding Fathers.”
And, since Ortega and the Sandinistas were surely not the embodiment of all virtue, it was hard to put Reagan’s black-and-white depiction into the proper shades of gray. To make the effort opened you to charges of being a “Sandinista apologist.” Similarly, any negative news about the Contras – such as their tendencies to rape, murder, torture and smuggle drugs – was sternly suppressed with offending U.S. journalists targeted for career retaliation.
The pattern set by Reagan around Nicaragua and other Central American conflicts became the blueprint for how to carry out these post-Vietnam War propaganda operations. Afterwards came Panama’s “madman” Manuel Noriega in 1989 and Iraq’s “worse than Hitler” Saddam Hussein in 1990-91. Each American war was given its own villainous lead actor.
In 2002-03, Hussein was brought back to reprise his “worse-than-Hitler” role in a post-9/11 sequel. His new evil-doing involved sharing nuclear weapons and other WMD with Al-Qaeda so the terror group could inflict even worse havoc on the innocent United States. Anyone who questioned Official Washington’s WMD “group think” was dismissed as a “Saddam apologist.”
Amid this enforced consensus, there was great joy when the U.S.-led invasion overthrew Hussein’s government and captured him. “We got him,” U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer exulted when Hussein was pulled from a “spider hole” and was soon heading to the gallows.
However, some of the triumphal excitement wore off when the U.S. occupation forces failed to discover the promised caches of WMD. Hussein’s ouster also didn’t produce the sunny new day that America’s neocons had promised for Iraq and the Middle East. Instead, Al-Qaeda, which had not existed under Hussein’s secular regime, found fertile soil to plant its “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” a radical Sunni movement which pioneered a particularly graphic form of terrorist violence.
That brutality, often directed at Shiites, was met with brutality in kind from Iraq’s new Shiite leadership, touching off a sectarian civil war. Meanwhile, the war against the U.S. occupation turned into a messy struggle between America’s high-tech military and Iraq’s low-tech resistance.
Lessons Unlearned
What Americans should have learned from Iraq was that just because the neocons and their liberal-interventionist friends identify a foreign “bad guy” – and then exaggerate his faults – doesn’t mean that his violent removal is the best idea. It might actually lead to something worse. There is wisdom in the doctor’s oath, “first, do no harm,” and there’s truth in the old warning that before you tear down a wall, you should ask why someone built it in the first place.
However, in the propaganda world of Official Washington, a different lesson was learned: that it is easy to create designated villains and no one of importance will dare challenge the wisdom of removing that villain through another “regime change.”
Instead of the neocons and their liberal helpers being held accountable and removed from the corridors of power, they entrenched themselves more deeply inside the U.S. government, mainstream media and big-name think tanks. They also found new allies among the self-righteous “human rights” community espousing the theory of “responsibility to protect” or “R2P.”
Despite President Obama’s election – partly driven by the American people’s revulsion over the neocon excesses during President George W. Bush’s administration – there was no real purge of the neocons and their accomplices. Indeed, Obama kept in place Bush’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the neocons’ beloved Gen. David Petraeus while installing neocon-lite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Around Obama at the White House were prominent R2Pers such as Samantha Power.
So, although Obama may have personally favored a more realist-driven foreign policy that would deal with the world as it is, not as one might dream it to be, he never took control of his own administration, passively accepting the rise of a new generation of interventionists who continued depicting designated foreign villains as evil and rejecting any discouraging word that “regime change” might actually unleash even worse evil.
In 2011, the R2Pers, as the neocons’ junior partners, largely initiated the U.S.-orchestrated “regime change” in Libya, which starred Muammar Gaddafi in a returning role as “the world’s most dangerous man.” All the old terror charges against him were resurrected, including some like the Pam Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 that he very likely didn’t do. But, again, no one wanted to quibble because that would make you a “Gaddafi apologist.”
So, to the gleeful delight of Secretary of State Clinton, Gaddafi was overthrown, captured, beaten, sodomized with a knife, and then murdered. Clinton made no effort to conceal her glee. “We came, we saw, he died,” she joked at the news of his murder (although it was not clear that she knew all the grisly details at the time).
But Gaddafi’s demise did not bring Nirvana to Libya. Indeed, Gaddafi’s warning about the need to attack Islamic terrorists operating in eastern Libya – his military offensive that led to the R2P demand that Obama intervene militarily to stop Gaddafi – proved to be prophetic.
Extremists grabbed control of much of Libya. They overran the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, killing the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. diplomatic personnel. A civil war has now spread anarchy and mayhem across Libya and nearby countries.
Libya also now has its own branch of the Islamic State, which videotaped its beheadings of Coptic Christians along a beach on the Mediterranean Sea, a sickening sign of what could be expected after a possible Syrian “regime change” next. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The US Hand in Libya’s Tragedy.”]
On to Ukraine
While U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and other R2Pers took the lead in provoking the Libyan fiasco, neocon holdovers demonstrated their own “regime change” skills by turning a pedestrian political dispute in Ukraine – about how fast to build new economic ties to Europe while maintaining old ones with Russia – into not only a civil war in Ukraine but a revival of the Cold War between the United States and Russia.
In the Ukraine case, the neocons made elected President Viktor Yanukovych wear the black hat with Russian President Vladimir Putin fitted for even a bigger black hat. So, as Yanukovych and Putin were scripted as the new “bad guys,” the anti-Yanukovych protesters and rioters at the Maidan square were made into the white-hatted “good guys.”
Much as with the Sandinistas and the Contras in the 1980s, this dichotomy required assigning all evil to Yanukovych and Putin while absolving the Maidan crowd of all sins, including the key role played by neo-Nazi militias in both the Feb. 22, 2014 coup and the subsequent civil war. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Seeing No Neo-Nazi Militias in Ukraine.”]
As the Ukraine crisis has played out, Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. news media have consistently placed all blame for the violence on Yanukovych – lodging the dubious charge that he had snipers kill both police and protesters on Feb. 20, 2014 – or on Putin – fingering him for the still-unsolved case of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down on July 17, 2014.
Evidence that suggests that right-wing Ukrainian elements were responsible for those pivotal events is sloughed off with anyone daring to dispute the conventional wisdom deemed a “Putin apologist.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “How Ukraine Commemorates the Holocaust.”]
Meanwhile, starting in 2011, the neocons and the R2Pers were both active in pushing for the overthrow of Syria’s President Assad, who – like all the other “bad guys” – has been made into a one-dimensional villain brutalizing innocent “moderates” who stand for all that is good and right in the world.
The fact that the anti-Assad opposition has always included Sunni extremists and terrorists drawing support from Saudi Arabia and other authoritarian Sunni Persian Gulf states is another inconvenient truth that usually gets kept out of the mainstream narrative.
Though it’s surely true that both sides in the Syrian civil war have engaged in atrocities, the neocon-R2P storyline – for much of the civil war – was to consistently blame Assad and to conveniently absolve the rebels. Thus, on Aug. 21, 2013, when a mysterious sarin gas attack killed several hundred people in a Damascus suburb, the rush to judgment blamed Assad’s forces, despite logic and evidence that it was more likely a provocation by rebel extremists. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Fact-Resistant ‘Group Think’ on Syria.”]
Though it was less clear in August 2013, it soon became obvious that the most effective rebel fighters were Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State, which had evolved from the hyper-violent “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” into the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” before adopting the name, “Islamic State.” By September 2013, many of the U.S.-armed and CIA-trained fighters of the Free Syrian Army had thrown in their lot with either Nusra Front or Islamic State. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace Al-Qaeda.”]
No Self-Criticism
But the opinion leaders of Official Washington are not exactly self-critical when they misread a foreign crisis. To explain why the beloved Syrian “moderates” joined forces with Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State, the neocons and the R2Pers blamed Obama for not intervening militarily earlier to achieve “regime change” against Assad.
In other words, no lessons were learned from the experiences in Iraq and Libya – that “regime change” is a dangerous strategy that fails to take into account the complexities of the countries where the United States decides to overthrow governments.
The same unlearned lesson should have applied to Ukraine, a strategically important nation to Russia and one in which much of the population is ethnic Russian. But there neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland brushed aside the possibility of a costly showdown with Russia – a conflict that could potentially evolve into a nuclear conflagration – in order to pursue the “regime change” model.
While Ukraine today remains engulfed in chaos – the same as “regime change” experiments Iraq and Libya – the most potentially catastrophic “regime change” could come in Syria. The neocons and the R2Pers – as well as the mainstream U.S. media – remain set on ousting Assad, a goal also shared by Israel, Saudi Arabia and other hard-line Sunni states.
For his part, President Obama seems incapable of making the tough decisions that would avert a Syrian victory by Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. That’s because to help salvage the Assad regime – as the preferable alternative to transforming Syria into the bedlam of “terror central” – would require cooperating with Iran and Russia, Assad’s two most important backers.
That, in turn, would infuriate the neocons, the R2Pers and the mainstream media. Obama would face a rebellion across Official Washington, where the debating points regarding “who lost Syria” are more valuable than taking realistic actions to protect vital American interests.
Obama would also have to face down both Saudi Arabia and Israel, something he does not seem capable of doing, especially as he tries to salvage an international agreement to restrict Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes only – when Saudi Arabia and Israel want to enlist the U.S. military in another “regime change” war in Iran.
Indeed, the recent decision by the Saudi-Israeli alliance to go on the offensive against what it deems Iranian “proxies” is possibly the major reason why the United States is incapable of taking action to avert what may be an impending Al-Qaeda/Islamic State victory in Syria. Between Saudi Arabia’s power over finance and energy and Israel’s political and media clout, these “strange-bedfellow” allies wield enormous influence over Official Washington. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Did Money Seal Israeli-Saudi Alliance?”]
This alliance is now entangling the United States in ancient Sunni-Shiite rivalries dating back to the Seventh Century. Saudi Arabia, Israel and their many U.S. backers are gluing black hats on Shiite-ruled Iran and its allies while adjusting white hats on the Saudi royals and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has unleashed the potent Israel Lobby to get Official Washington in line.
Israel also has intensified its airstrikes inside Syria, bombing targets associated with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia which is supporting the Assad regime. Israel rationalizes these attacks as designed to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining sophisticated weaponry but the practical effect is to weaken the forces battling Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, along with Turkey and some Persian Gulf states, has stepped up support for the Sunni Islamists battling Assad’s army, thus explaining the recent surge of new recruits and improved fighting capabilities of the rebels.
Yemen’s Suffering
In another front in this Sunni-Shiite regional war, Saudi Arabia – deploying sophisticated American warplanes – continues to pummel neighboring Yemen where Houthi rebels, belonging to a Shiite offshoot, have gained control of the capital Sanaa and other major cities.
On Tuesday, Saudi jets bombed Sanaa’s airport to prevent an Iranian humanitarian aid flight from landing, but the destruction also made the runway unusable for other supplies desperately needed by the Yemeni people. While the Saudis prevented this aid from the air, the U.S. Navy has mounted what amounts to a blockade at sea, turning back nine Iranian ships last weekend because of unconfirmed suspicions that weapons might be hidden in the food and medicine.
The combination of these interdictions is creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East. The U.S. Navy, which likes to call itself “a global force for good,” has, in effect, been drawn into a strategy of starving the Yemeni people into submission as just more collateral damage in the Saudi war against Iranian influence.
Another consequence of the Saudi air campaign has been to boost “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” which has exploited the Saudi targeting of Houthi forces to seize more territory in Yemen’s east.
Yet, as tragic as the Yemeni situation is becoming, the more consequential crisis is emerging in Syria, where some analysts are seeing signs of a possible collapse of the Assad regime, a chief goal of the Saudi-Israeli alliance. Senior Israelis have been saying since 2013 that they would prefer a victory by Al-Qaeda over a victory by Assad.
For instance, in September 2013, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, told the Jerusalem Post in an interview:
“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. … We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”
He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
In June 2014, Oren expanded on this thinking at an Aspen Institute conference, extending Israel’s preference to include even the hyper-brutal Islamic State. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.
During Netanyahu’s March 3, 2015 speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, he also downplayed the danger from the Islamic State – with its “butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube” – compared to Iran, which he accused of “gobbling up the nations” of the Middle East. However, Iran has not gobbled up any nations in the Middle East. It has not invaded any country for centuries. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Inventing a Record of Iranian Aggression.”]
Yet, while the Saudi-Israeli alarums about Iran may border on the hysterical, the alliance’s combined influence over Official Washington cannot be overstated. Thus, as absurd and outrageous as many of the claims are, they are not only taken seriously, they are treated as gospel. Anyone who points to the reality immediately becomes an “Iranian apologist.”
But the power of the Saudi-Israeli alliance is not simply a political curiosity or an obstacle to sensible policies. As it creates the conditions for an Al-Qaeda/Islamic State victory in Syria – and the possible reintroduction of the U.S. military into the middle of the Middle East – the Saudi-Israeli alliance has become an existential threat to the survival of the American Republic.
As the nation’s first presidents wisely recognized, there are grave dangers to a republic when it entangles itself in foreign conflicts. It’s almost always wiser to seek out realistic albeit imperfect political solutions or at least to evaluate what the negative ramifications of the military option might be before undertaking it. Otherwise, as the early presidents realized, if the country plunges into one costly conflict after another, it becomes a martial state, not a democratic republic.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includesAmerica’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A tale of two Jewish-Americans killed in a U.S. drone strike by Wayne Madsen

A tale of two Jewish-Americans killed in a U.S. drone strike

On April 23, President Obama made the startling announcement that three U.S. citizens, Warren Weinstein, a Jewish-American contractor for the ever-suspicious U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); frequent Al Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn (Pearlman), a Jewish convert to Christianity and then to Islam; along with a Muslim-American Al Qaeda leader named Ahmed Farouq, were killed in a January 2015 U.S. drone strike launched against an Al Qaeda compound on the Afghan-Pakistani border in North Waziristan. Obama did not say whether the deaths resulted from one or more operations, although it was revealed that two drone strikes were launched against suspected Al Qaeda targets in January. The White House issued a statement saying, "neither [Gadahn/Pearlman and Farouq] was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations." Obama admitted that the information on the January deaths of the three Americans was classified until he decided to release the news of the operation or operations that killed them.

USAID contractor Warren Weinstein, a fluent Urdu speaker from Rockville, Maryland, worked for J. E. Austin Associates, Inc. of Arlington, Virginia. Little is known about the firm, which chose not to make any public statement upon Obama informing the nation that Weinstein, along with Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, were accidentally killed in the U.S. strike. Weinstein was taken captive from his Lahore compound on August 13, 2011, four days prior to his return to the United States. Weinstein's capture came two years after Alan Gross, a fellow Maryland Jewish contractor for USAID, Alan Gross, was arrested and imprisoned in Cuba for carrying out espionage associate with installing an Internet system for Cuba's Jewish community. Gross, who lived in Potomac, Maryland, worked for Development Alternatives, Inc. of Bethesda, a USAID contractor, about which, as is the case with J. E. Austin Associates, relatively little is known. Both firms are believed to have connections to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Weinstein's widow criticized the U.S. government for failing to keep hostages' families informed about the status of kidnapped Americans. In a Christmas 2013 video, Weinstein made a direct appeal to Obama for his release: "Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here. And now, when I need my government, it seems that I have been totally abandoned . . ."

For Weinstein to have ended up in captivity with Gadahn/Pearlman must have seemed surreal. Weinstein, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo and Ivory Coast may have had contact with Gadahn, who was termed the chief propagandist for Al Qaeda. As reported by WMR on September 9, 2007, many of the videotaped speeches of Osama Bin Laden were written by Gadahn. Los Angeles native Gadahn was born Adam Pearlman, (aka Azzam the American), and ultimately became the number three man in charge of Al Qaeda. Gadahn/Pearlman's grandfather, Carl K. Pearlman, was a member of the board of the Anti Defamation League (ADL), an important component of the Israeli Lobby in the United States.
 FILE - This image made from video released anonymously to reporters in Pakistan on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida in 2011. The White House says Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian held by the terror organization since 2012, were inadvertently killed during U.S. counterterrorism operations in a border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan in January 2015. In addition, the U.S. believes that two Americans who were working with al-Qaida were also killed. (AP Photo via AP video, File)
The man purported to be Osama Bin Laden [left] with his cable TV remote shortly before U.S. forces shot him to death in a raid in Pakistan. Weinstein [right] in December 2013 videotape appeal to Obama for his release. "Bin Laden" and Weinstein apparently had the same taste in hats.
Carl Pearlman, a prominent California urologist, was also the chairman of the Orange County, California "Bonds for Israel" campaign and the United Jewish Welfare Fund.

Curiously, a list of Al Qaeda officials published by the United Nations in 2007, omitted Gadahn/Pearlman from the roster even though he was then considered the number three man in charge of the terrorist group.

A number of purported Bin Laden video and audio tapes, with some of the videotapes showing an almost motionless Bin Laden, were, according to U.S. intelligence sources written entirely by Gadahn/Pearlman. The tapes were exclusively provided to the corporate media by the Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Institute, a Washington, DC-based research institute with links to Israeli intelligence.

The classic "fly on the wall" may have heard some interesting conversations between Weinstein, the Urdu-speaking aid worker who dressed in Pakistani garb, and Gadahn/Pearlman, the Jewish convert to Wahhabist Islam who served as Bin Laden's main speechwriter. Although the White House is indicating Gadahn/Pearlman was killed in a drone attack, there have been reports in the past about his death following U.S. attacks. Nevertheless, what Gadahn/Pearlman may have told Weinstein about 9/11, the alleged Bin Laden "death" in Abbottabad, and Gadahn/Pearlman's connections with SITE may have resulted in a decision by America's chief drone attack official, the CIA's John Brennan, to eliminate all three Americans lest some unsavory information end up in the public domain.

Color revolution being re-primed in Macedonia by Wayne Madsen

 Color revolution being re-primed in Macedonia

In an effort to throw up a road block to the Russian "Turkish Stream" pipeline that is to bring natural gas from Russia through Turkey and into Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary, the Obama administration has set about to foment another "color revolution," this time in Macedonia.

The strategy of the Obama/George Soros interventionists is to bury the Macedonian government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski with unfounded charges that it engaged in massive wiretapping of some 20,000 Macedonians, including leaders of the opposition. The source of the transcripts of intercepted communications of Macedonian citizens allegedly came from the former chief of the Macedonian intelligence service,  Zoran Verushevsky, who may have had assistance in collecting the wiretaps from his friends in British and U.S. intelligence. The intercepts have been used by Social Democratic opposition leader Zoran Zaev, a favorite of the Soros network and the U.S., to hammer Gruevski for allegedly eavesdropping on the opposition. Somehow, Zaev gained possession of copies of the intercepts, which he then used to attack the government.

The Balkans destabilization strategy has also seen the rise of Albanian nationalist irredentism along the fragile Kosovo-Albanian border with a recent attack on a Macedonian police border post at Gošince by 40 armed men wearing the insignia of the outlawed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). That action came at the same time that Kosovo's Foreign Minister, Hashim Thaci, the former leader of the KLA, defied threats by Serbian authorities to arrest him for terrorist charges brought in 2007 and visit Belgrade to attend a conference. The arrest of the Kosovo foreign minister would set the stage for a NATO/EU confrontation with Serbia, another critical partner in not only the Turkish Stream pipeline but the Chinese-funded Balkan railway part of the Silk Road project that will link the Greek port of Piraeus to Budapest through Macedonia and Serbia.
Reappearing on the Macedonian side of the Kosovo border: the patches of the outlawed Kosovo Liberation Army, once led by Kosovo foreign minister Hashim Thaci who once "sexually serviced" U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in return for U.S. recognition of Kosovo independence. Perhaps the leaders of Kurdistan, Somaliland, Baluchistan, and other aspirant states should all line up to provide Albright with "drilling services" in exchange for independence. After all, it worked for South Sudan with Albright's god-daughter Susan Rice.

The attack by the restored KLA on the Macedonian border post, where Macedonian police officers were held hostage before the Albanian raiders returned to Kosovo, could not have been possible without the knowledge of Kosovo's military protector, NATO, which operates its largest military base in Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. In 2001, when KLA forces, allied with Macedonian Albanian nationalists, fought Macedonian forces in the town of
Aračinovo, Macedonia, forces of the U.S. private military firm, Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) were involved with both sides. The Ochrid Agreements saw Macedonia grant generous autonomy rights to its Albanian population in an effort to keep the violence that wracked Kosovo and Bosnia from spilling over into generally peaceful Macedonia. The attempt by the Soros network to foment violence within the Albanian community is a clear attempt to pry away the Albanian party, theDemocratic Union (DUI) led by Ali Ahmeti, from the six year-old VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition government led by Gruevski.

The U.S. ambassador to Macedonia, Jess Baily, has made waves in Skopje by publicly supporting the putsch being called for by former Social Democratic prime minister and president Branko Crvenkovski, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia who has been at the forefront of calling on Macedonian youth and college students to hit the streets of Skopje to stage a color revolution against the democratically-elected government of Gruevski. If all this sounds familiar, it should. It was U.S. ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt who, working with his boss, State Department European Affairs Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, who conspired with Ukrainian opposition leaders in late 2013 and early 2014 to organize the Euromaidan protest that eventually saw the democratically-elected Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, toppled from power and the subsequent outbreak of the Ukrainian civil war.

By stoking opposition desires for a similar color revolution in Macedonia, Baily is playing with fire by also fomenting problems by using Albanian nationalists. Such a combination would start a violent civil war that would rival that between Kiev and the Russian population of eastern Ukraine. Macedonian and Serbian Slavs pitted against Albanians in Macedonia, Kosovo, and Serbia's Sanjak region would not only bring another violent war to the Balkan peninsula but would also spell the end of the Turkish Stream pipeline through the Balkans and the Chinese-financed rail link from Greece to Budapest. The Balkans would remain a NATO frontline war zone under the total domination of the United States and European Union. Two Albanian political leaders, Prime Minister Edi Rama and former prime minister Prime Minister Sali Berisha have spoken out in favor of a "Greater Albania," consisting of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and parts of Greece. The message for the Balkans is clear: if it continues to entertain the Turkish Stream pipeline plans and the Chinese rail project, the Albanians will rise up and resort to civil war to protect NATO's and the EU's domination over the peninsula. The Albanians, it should be noted, were the most loyal people of the Balkans in providing support for Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

After Verushevksy was arrested for being the source of the communications intercepts and Zaev was caught with his passport while attempting to flee Macedonia, the Soros-financed color revolution teams switched strategies to foment problems with the country's large Albanian minority, representing a third of the population. Today, Macedonia teeters on the brink of renewed ethic violence, with Nuland and her gang of neo-conservative Zionists waiting anxiously for the beginning of a new Balkans body count.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Speech at Summit of the Americas By Raul Castro Ruz

Speech at Summit of the Americas
By Raul Castro Ruz

April 13, 2015 "ICH" -

His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela, President of the Republic of Panama;

Presidents and Prime Ministers;

Distinguished guests; 

I appreciate the solidarity of all Latin American and Caribbean countries that made possible Cuba’s participation in this hemispheric forum on equal footing, andI thank the President of the Republic of Panama for the kind invitation extended to us. I bring a fraternal embrace to the Panamanian people and to the peoples of all nations represented here.

The establishment of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on December 2-3, 2011, in Caracas, opened the way to a new era in the history of Our America, which made clear its well-earned right to live in peace and develop as their peoples freely decide, and chart the course to a future of peace, development and integration based on cooperation, solidarity and the common will to preserve their independence, sovereignty and identity.

The ideals of Simón Bolívar on the creation of a “Grand American Homeland” were a source of inspiration to epic campaigns for independence.

In 1800, there was the idea of adding Cuba to the North American Union to mark the southern boundary of the extensive empire. The 19thcentury witnessed the emergence of such doctrines as the Manifest Destiny, with the purpose of dominating the Americas and the world, and the notion of the ‘ripe fruit’, meaning Cuba’s inevitable gravitation to the American Union, which looked down on the rise and evolution of a genuine rationale conducive to emancipation.

Later on, through wars, conquests and interventions that expansionist and dominating force stripped Our America of part of its territory and expanded as far as the Rio Grande.
After long and failing struggles, José Martí organized the “necessary war”, and created the Cuban Revolutionary Party to lead that war and to eventually found a Republic “with all and for the good of all” with the purpose of achieving “the full dignity of man.”

With an accurate and early definition of the features of his times, Martí committed to the duty “of timely preventing the United States from spreading through the Antilles as Cuba gains its independence, and from overpowering with that additional strength our lands of America.”

To him, Our America was that of the Creole and the original peoples, the black and the mulatto, the mixed-race and working America that must join the cause of the oppressed and the destitute. Presently, beyond geography, this ideal is coming to fruition.
One hundred and seventeen years ago, on April 11, 1898, the President of the United States of America requested Congressional consent for military intervention in the independence war already won with rivers of Cuban blood, and that legislative body issued a deceitful Joint Resolution recognizing the independence of the Island “de facto and de jure”. Thus, they entered as allies and seized the country as an occupying force.

Subsequently, an appendix was forcibly added to Cuba’s Constitution, the Platt Amendment that deprived it of sovereignty, authorized the powerful neighbor to interfere in the internal affairs, and gave rise to Guantánamo Naval Base, which still holds part of our territory without legal right. It was in that period that the Northern capital invaded the country, and there were two military interventions and support for cruel dictatorships.

At the time, the prevailing approach to Latin America was the “gunboat policy” followed by the “Good Neighbor” policy. Successive interventions ousted democratic governments and in twenty countries installed terrible dictatorships, twelve of these simultaneously and mostly in South America, where hundreds of thousands were killed. President Salvador Allende left us the legacy of his undying example.

It was precisely 13 years ago that a coup d’état staged against beloved President Hugo Chavez Frías was defeated by his people. Later on, an oil coup would follow.

On January 1st, 1959, sixty years after the U.S. troops entered Havana, the Cuban Revolution triumphed and the Rebel Army commanded by Fidel Castro Ruz arrived in the capital.

On April 6, 1960, barely one year after victory, Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory drafted a wicked memorandum, declassified tens of years later, indicating that “The majority of Cubans support Castro […] An effective political opposition does not exist […]; the only foreseeable means of alienating internal support [to the government] is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship […] to weaken the economic life of Cuba […] denying it money and supplies to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

We have endured severe hardships. Actually, 77% of the Cuban people was born under the harshness of the blockade, but our patriotic convictions prevailed. Aggression increased resistance and accelerated the revolutionary process. Now, here we are with our heads up high and our dignity unblemished.

When we had already proclaimed socialism and the people had fought in the Bay of Pigs to defend it, President Kennedy was murdered, at the exact time when Fidel Castro, leader of the Cuban Revolution, was receiving his message seeking to engage Cuba in a dialogue.

After the Alliance for Progress, and having paid our external debt several times over while unable to prevent its constant growth, our countries were subjected to a wild and globalizing neoliberalism, an expression of imperialism at the time that left the region dealing with a lost decade.

Then, the proposal of a “mature hemispheric partnership” resulted in the imposition of the Free Trade Association of the Americas (FTAA), –linked to the emergence of these Summits– that would have brought about the destruction of the economy, sovereignty and common destiny of our nations, if it had not been derailed at Mar del Plata in 2005 under the leadership of Presidents Kirchner, Chavez and Lula. The previous year, Chavez and Fidel had brought to life the Bolivarian Alternative known today as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America.

We have expressed to President Barack Obama our disposition to engage in a respectful dialogue and work for a civilized coexistence between our states while respecting our profound differences.
I welcome as a positive step his recent announcement that he will soon decide on Cuba’s designation in a list of countries sponsor of terrorism, a list in which it should have never been included.
Up to this day, the economic, commercial and financial blockade is implemented against the Island with full intensity causing damages and scarcities that affect our people and becoming the main obstacle to the development of our economy. The fact is that it stands in violation of International Law, and its extraterritorial scope disrupts the interests of every State.

We have publicly expressed to President Obama, who was also born under the blockade policy and inherited it from 10 former Presidents when he took office, our appreciation for his brave decision to engage the U.S. Congress in a debate to put an end to such policy.

This and other issues should be resolved in the process toward the future normalization of bilateral relations.
As to us, we shall continue working to update the Cuban economic model with the purpose of improving our socialism and moving ahead toward development and the consolidation of the achievements of a Revolution that has set to itself the goal of “conquering all justice.”

Esteemed colleagues;
Venezuela is not, and it cannot be, a threat to the national security of a superpower like the United States. We consider it a positive development that the U.S. President has admitted it.
I should reaffirm our full, determined and loyal support to the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, to the legitimate government and civilian-military alliance headed by President Nicolas Maduro, and to the Bolivarian and chavista people of that country struggling to pursue their own path while confronting destabilizing attempts and unilateral sanctions that should be lifted; we demand the repeal of the Executive Order, an action that our Community would welcome as a contribution to dialogue and understanding in the hemisphere.

We shall continue encouraging the efforts of the Republic of Argentina to recover the Falklands, the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and supporting its legitimate struggle in defense of financial sovereignty.

We shall maintain our support for the actions of the Republic of Ecuador against the transnational companies causing ecological damages to its territory and trying to impose blatantly unfair conditions.

I wish to acknowledge the contribution of Brazil, and of President Dilma Rouseff, to the strengthening of regional integration and the development of social policies that have brought progress and benefits to extensive popular sectors, the same that the thrust against various leftist governments of the region is trying to reverse.

We shall maintain our unwavering support for the Latin American and Caribbean people of Puerto Rico in its determination to achieve self-determination and independence, as the United Nations Decolonization Committee has ruled tens of times.

We shall also keep making our contribution to the peace process in Colombia.

We should all multiply our assistance to Haiti, not only through humanitarian aid but also with resources that help in its development, and, in the same token, support a fair and deferential treatment of the Caribbean countries in their economic relations as well as reparations for damages brought on them by slavery and colonialism.

We are living under threat of huge nuclear arsenals that should be removed, and are running out of time to counteract climate change. Threats to peace keep growing and conflicts spreading out.
As President Fidel Castro has said “[…] the main causes rest with poverty and underdevelopment, and with the unequal distribution of wealth and knowledge prevailing in the world. It cannot be forgotten that current poverty and underdevelopment are the result of conquest, colonization, slavery and plundering by colonial powers in most of the planet, the emergence of imperialism and the bloody wars for a new division of the world. Humanity should be aware of what they have been and should be no more. Today, our species has accumulated sufficient knowledge, ethical values and scientific resources to move forward to a historical era of true justice and humanism. Nothing of what exists today in economic and political terms serves the interests of Humanity. It cannot be sustained. It must be changed,” he concluded.

Cuba shall continue advocating the ideas for which our people have taken on enormous sacrifices and risks, fighting alongside the poor, the unemployed and the sick without healthcare; the children forced to live on their own, to work or be submitted to prostitution; those going hungry or discriminated; the oppressed and the exploited who make up the overwhelming majority of the world population.
Financial speculation, the privileges of Bretton Wood, and the unilateral removal of the gold standard have grown increasingly suffocating. We need a transparent and equitable financial system.
It is unacceptable that less than ten big corporations, mostly American, determine what is read, watched or listened to worldwide. The Internet should be ruled by an international, democratic and participatory governance, particularly concerning its content. The militarization of cyberspace, and the secret and illegal useof computer systems to attack other States are equally unacceptable. We shall not be dazzled or colonized again.

Mister President;
It is my opinion that hemispheric relations need to undergo deep changes, particularly in the areas of politics, economics and culture, so that, on the basis of International Law and the exercise of self-determination and sovereign equality, they can focus on the development of mutually beneficial partnerships and cooperation in the interest of all our nations and the objectives proclaimed.
The adoption in January 2014, during the Second Summit of CELAC in Havana, of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Peace Zone made a transcendental contribution to that end, marked by Latin American and Caribbean unity in diversity.

This is evident in the progress we are making toward genuinely Latin American and Caribbean integration processes through CELAC, UNASUR, CARICOM, MERCOSUR, ALBA-TCP, SICA and the ACS, which underline our growing awareness of the necessity to work in unison in order to ensure our development.
Through that Proclamation we have committed ourselves “to have differences between nations resolved peacefully, through dialogue and negotiation, and other ways consistent with International Law.”
Living in peace, and engaging in mutual cooperation to tackle challenges and resolve problems that, after all, are affecting and will affect us all, is today a pressing need.

As the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Peace Zone sets forth, “the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system, as an essential condition to secure peaceful coexistence between nations” should be respected.

Under that Proclamation we committed to observe our “obligation to not interfere, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State, and to observe the principles of national sovereignty, equality of rights and free determination of the peoples,” and to respect “the principles and standards of International Law […] and the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.”
That historical document urges “all member states of the International Community to fully respect this Declaration in its relations with the CELAC member States.”

We now have the opportunity, all of us here, as the Proclamation also states, of learning “to exercise tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbors.”

There are substantial differences, yes, but also commonalities which enable us to cooperate making it possible to live in this world fraught with threats to peace and to the survival of the human species.

What is it that prevents cooperation at a hemispheric scale in facing climate change?

Why is it that the countries of the two Americas cannot fight together against terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime without politically biased positions?

Why can we not seek together the necessary resources to provide the hemisphere with schools, hospitals, employment, and to advance in the eradication of poverty?

Would it not be possible to reduce inequity in the distribution of wealth and infant mortality rates, to eliminate hunger and preventable diseases, and to eradicate illiteracy?

Last year, we established hemispheric cooperation to confront and prevent Ebola, and the countries of the two Americas made a concerted effort. This should stimulate our efforts toward greater achievements.

Cuba, a small country deprived of natural resources, that has performed in an extremely hostile atmosphere, has managed to attain the full participation of its citizens in the nation’s political and social life; with universal and free healthcare and education services; a social security system ensuring that no one is left helpless; significant progress in the creation of equal opportunities and in the struggle against all sorts of discrimination; the full exercise of the rights of children and women; access to sports and culture; and, the right to life and to public safety.

Despite scarcities and challenges, we abide by the principle of sharing what we have. Currently, 65 thousand Cuban collaborators are working in 89 countries, basically in the areas of healthcare and education, while 68 thousand professionals and technicians from 157 countries have graduated in our Island, 30 thousand of them in the area of healthcare.

If Cuba has managed to do this with very little resources, think of how much more the hemisphere could do with the political will to pool its efforts to help the neediest countries.

Thanks to Fidel and the heroic Cuban people, we have come to this Summit to honor Martí’s commitment, after conquering freedom with our own hands “proud of Our America, to serve it and to honor it […] with the determination and the capacity to contribute to see it loved for its merits and respected for its sacrifices.”
Thank you.