Thursday, October 07, 2010

Obama's next coup target: Suriname, in replay of Reagan Latin American policies

Judging by the CIA- and Pentagon-supported coup d'etat against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the attempted coup against Ecuadorian President Rafel Correa, the Obama administration's Latin American foreign policy bears a strong resemblance to the policies of the Reagan administration.

In fact, the latest reports from Ecuador that rebellious Ecuadorian police discussed killing Correa during their siege of the president at the Police Hospital in Quito bears an eerie resemblance to the U.S.-inspired attack on and assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende during the military coup of September 11, 1973.

Recorded police transmissions during the coup attempt provide evidence that some of the rebel police officers who besieged Correa at the hospital discussed killing him. Video recordings also show retired Army Major Fidel Araujo, a supporter of Correa's pro-U.S. predecessor, Lucio Gutierrez, stirring up anti-Correa protesters.

Most of Latin America's leaders have called the rebellion against Correa an attempted coup. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen to call the coup a police protest. The Obama administration, which was unsuccessful in ousting Correa as it did Zelaya in Hionduras last year, has clearly suffered a major defeat in Ecuador.

Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza has called the rebellion an attempted coup and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has charged the CIA and the Obama administration with being behind the coup attempt. Chavez's charge has been supported by the revelation that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who was to travel to Quito from the UN General Assembly summit in New York, was warned not to go by the CIA, which had advance knowledge of the rebellion against Correa.

The CIA reprtedly knew in advance that the coup against Correa would turn violent since Langley told Mugabe that his own safety would be in peril if he went ahead with his visit to Quito. The CIA warning to Mugabe was conveyed through Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). Mugabe quickly flew from New York to Harare, leaving members of his own delegation in the dark, according to the Zim Daily.

The CIA is known to have, along with Israel's Mossad, penetrated the Ecuadorian National Police, and CIA and Mossad fingerprints on the coup attempt are becoming clearer by the day. The CIA and Mossad also conspired in the coup against Zelaya in Honduras.

Stung by the failure of the coup against Correa, Obama was forced to call the Ecuadorian leader and offer his support for Ecuador's "democratic institutions." Obama's hypocrisy in expressing support for Ecuador's president while not referring to the rebellion as a coup attempt is obvious. In the case of Honduras, Obama never expressed support for Zelaya or the country's democratic institutions because the U.S.-backed coup was successful. For Ecuador, Obama had to change his tune and offer Correa tepid support a week after the coup attempt.

Considering Obama's snub of Suriname's President Desi Bouterse at a White House reception for world leaders in New York for the UN General Assembly summit, the Suriname leader could find himself the next target of an Obama-sanctioned coup in Latin America. Bouterse's lack of an invitation to the White house reception at New York's Museum of natural History came as a surprise to Bouterse's fellow Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) leaders. Bouterse is the former military ruler of Suriname whose Mega Alliance party won last May's general election and he was inaugurated on August 12. A little over a decade ago, Bouterse was sentenced to prison in absentia by a Dutch court ion charges of cocaine trafficking. Suriname law prohibits its citizens from being extradited to foreign countries.

However, it may not be the criminal charges that have been levelled agianst Bouterse in the Netherlands and in Suriname that has the Obama administration anxious to depose him. Bouterse was a primary target of the CIA during the Reagan administration because of his close ties to Fidel Castro's Cuba, the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, and the Marxist government of Grenada.

Bouterse originally took power in Suriname following a military coup in February 1980. Bouterse's government declared Suriname a socialist republic. CIA director William Casey and his deputy, Robert Gates, who now serves as Obama's Defense Secretary, planned a coup to oust Bouterse from power. Casey and Gates cited Bouterse's close ties with Latin America's leftist governments, a program that bears a stark resemblance to the present Obama and Hillary Clinton program to oust the leftist government of Honduras, followed by destabilization efforts in Ecuador, Bolivia, and other nations, including, once again, Suriname.

In December 1982, the CIA went ahead with plans to toppled Bouterse. The CIA worked closely with Dutch intelligence to establish contacts with Bouterse's opposition in Suriname, including politicians, businessmen, and journalists. The Dutch provided asistance to former President Henck Chin a Sen and his Amsterdam-based opposition forces. The CIA plan included landing Surinamese rebels in Paramaribo, the Suriname capital, and seize power. There were also reports that the CIA planned to assassinate Bouterse durin the coup, a direct violation of a White House executive order banning assassinations of foreign leaders. The CIA's chief in-country liaison for the coup was U.S. ambassador to Suriname Robert Duemling.

WMR has obtained a formerly Top Secret CIA National Intelligence Daily, dated March 12, 1982,in which it is disclosed the CIA was closely following an attempted coup against Bouterse by conservative military officers on March 11, 1982. The CIA report states: "Dissident military officers opposing the leftist trend of the military leadership launched a coup yesterday, but forces loyal to the government are still resisting. The group, calling itself the Army of National Liberation, is led by two officers who have been associated with conservative elements of the Surinamese society . . . Although the rebels have control of the Army's main barracks and ammunition depot in Paramaribo, government strongman Army Commander Bouterse and troops loyal to him apparently have taken up a defensive position in the capital's police camp some 6 kilometers away. Fighting subsided somewhat last night, with both sides claiming to be in control and appealing for support from military troops and citizenry. A large number of rank-and-file military, who had objected to Bouterse's leftist policies several months ago, probably will join the dissidents if Bouterse's position weakens further."

The failed coup attempt against Bouterse in March resulted in a CIA warning, contained in a CIA "Monthly Warning Assessment for Latin America" sent by the National Intelligence Officer for Latin America on July 29, 1982.The formerly Secret report states, "State/INR summarized the growing danger that Castro will have a second Grenada-type success. Suriname's leader, Bouterse, visited Grenada for two weeks in May, met with Cubans there, met with Castro, is sending military and security personnel for Cuban training, has a very far left foreign minister, will receive Cuban assistance in foreign affairs, and will receive some Cuban weapons. There was no dissent that the situation is very bad. NIO/LA repeats a warning he has made for six months, that Suriname is on the way into the Cuban orbit through a Grenada-like subversive operation." The warning was signed by Constantine Menges who was born in Ankara, Turkey after his family fled from Nazi Germany, Menges was Casey's National Intelligence Officer for Latin America who would later join the Reagan National Security Council and, after his retirement join the neoconservative Hudson Institute and rail against the leftist government of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the threat from Iran. Menges died in 2004 and his career was praised by the neoconservative echo chamber in Washington. Even after the fall of the Communist bloc, Menges continued to warn of a "communist" threat to the United States from Russia and China.

The March coup failed but the opposition would try again in December, only to be defeated a second time. The CIA's reference to "conservative elements of Surinamese society" is noteworthy. The Javanese community, with its strong presence in business, were opposed to Bouterse, who was from the more numerous and more leftist Creole African sector.

The CIA-Dutch plan was tipped off to Bouterse, possibly by the Brazilians who were opposed to a coup. Boutesre took swift retaliatory action. Although Bouterse was blamed for firebombing radio stations and a newspaper and union office in Paramaribo on December 8, 1982, there are suspicions that these may have been false flag operations carried out by the CIA to destabilize Bouterse. Key opposition figures, including two leaders of the Communist Party, arrested and they were executed on the evening of December 8 at Fort Zeelandia. Bouterse has denied ordering the executions. However, Bouterse still faces a criminal investigation for the executions but as President he now enjoys immunity from prosecution.

After the debacle in Paramaribo, the Senate and House Intelligence Committees blocked any further CIA actions to overthrow Bouterse and the CIA's plans for a Suriname coup were leaked to the media, including ABC News.

After the coup attempt against Bouterse, Cuba increased its aid to Suriname and helped to train Bouterse's personal security force. Bouterse veered further to the left and attended the non-aligned summit in New Delhi, flying first to Havana with Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, then to Moscow, and on to New Delhi. However, on October 23, 1983, after U.S. military forces invaded Grenada after the bloody coup against and execution of Bishop, Bouterse became alarmed at the Reagan administration's military aggressiveness. Bouterse expelled the Cuban ambassador, fired several pro-Cuban Suriname government officials, and terminated Cuba's assistance program, all with the approval of Duemling.

Suriname's third largest ethnic group is Javanese from Indonesia. In 1982, Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who spoke Javanese, was well-entrenched with CIA programs in Java through her employment with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ford Foundation, and who used her Indonesian last name, re-spelled Sutoro from Soetpro, would have been a valuable asset for the CIA's program to destabilize Suriname through its large Javanese minority. Curiously, Ann Sutoro's employment contract with the Ford Foundation ended in December 1982, the same month that the CIA attempted to oust Bouterse. During her 1981-1982 contract with the Ford Foundation, Dunham Sutoro spent a lot of time liaising with the Ford Foundation's headquarters in New York, a city that was also a base for the Surinamese opposition.

In 1982, Barack Obama, Jr. was in his last year at Columbia University in New York and in 1982 he went to work for the CIA front company, Business International Corporation, which conducted outreach for the CIA to various leftist governments around the world, seeking to expand its intelligence contacts in otherwise hostile environments.

Although CARICOM leaders expressed shock that Obama would fail to invite Bouterse to the White House reception last month in New York, the nexus of Obama's work in 1983 for the CIA and his mother's possible ties to Surinam's Javanese community to assist in the coup against Bouterse may lie at the heart of Obama's disdain for the Suriname President. Considering Obama's adoption of Nixon- and Reagan-era coup policies in Latin America, Bouterse should consider himself the next target for an Obama-authorized coup in Latin America. Unlike the coup against Zelaya and the attempt against Correa, a coup attempt against Bouterse could carry with it a family vendetta from President Obama, himself.