Thursday, June 16, 2016

Modern Puerto Rico is a CIA creation by Wayne Madsen Report

 Modern Puerto Rico is a CIA creation by Wayne Madsen Report

Last week, in a decision that received very little attention, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-2 decision that Puerto Rico, which enjoys a wide degree of autonomy as a "commonwealth" of the United States, nevertheless falls under the dictates of the U.S. federal government. Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Elena Kagan wrote, 

"Because the ultimate source of Puerto Rico's prosecutorial power is the federal government ... the Commonwealth and the United States are not separate sovereigns." Although the case heard was that dealing with the sale of firearms in Puerto Rico, the Supreme Court's decision. Kagan opined that the 1952 Commonwealth status bestowed on Puerto Rico does not "break the chain" between Puerto Rico and the U.S. federal government. Ultimately, Kagan wrote, Puerto Rico answers to the U.S. Congress. Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, the latter of Puerto Rican descent, dissented from the majority opinion.

Although the decision by the Supreme Court was met with disappointment among the supporters of Puerto Rican commonwealth status, for those who have championed independence for the island, the decision reinforced their belief that Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States in all but name. Recently-disclosed formerly classified Central Intelligence Agency documents provide strong evidence that Puerto Rico's commonwealth status was a contrivance conjured up by the CIA to ensure continued U.S. control of the territory.

National Security Council documents from 1970, classified CONFIDENTIAL-EYES ONLY, describe how two attorneys from the influential Washington law firm of Covington and Burling met with NSC official Viron Vaky on July 10, 1970, to discuss the issue of the island of Culebra, an island 17 miles east of Puerto Rico that was used by the U.S. Navy as a weapons testing range. The Covington and Burling lawyers -- Richard Copaken and Tom Jones -- were representing the residents of Culebra who wanted the Navy to cease using their island for target practice. The attorneys believed that National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon's counselor, Bryce Harlow, has hidden agendas for upholding the Navy's right to continue using Culebra as a weapons range. What the attorneys told Vaky reached right into the heart of Puerto Rico's quasi-colonialist regime, the same regime that Kagan and her five judicial colleagues legally upheld in their decision on June 9.

Copaken told Vaky that the situation in Puerto Rico had to be viewed in a historical context. He said that Puerto Rico's first Commonwealth Governor, Luis Munoz Marin, who helped destroy the Puerto Rican pro-independence Nationalist Party, developed the "commonwealth" contrivance so that Puerto Rico would serve the long-term interests of the United States.

The classified memorandum of Copaken's comments state that Munoz Marin's "principal lieutenants during his 15 odd years as governor were Roberto Sanchez and (fnu) [first name unknown] Negron [Senator Luis Negron Lopez of Munoz Marin's Popular Democratic Party]. Sanchez [who succeeded Munzoz Marin in 1965 as the second Commonwealth governor] spent most of his time in Washington in liaison with the USG [U.S. government]. Over time Sanchez became a close friend of Abe Fortas, who was the Commonwealth's attorney here." Fortas was a long-time political crony of Lyndon Johnson. Fortas was nominated by Johnson to the U.S. Supreme Court where he served from 1965 to 1969. Fortas resigned in disgrace amid an ethics investigation.

Copaken described Sanchez and Fortas as CIA operatives committed to keep Puerto Rico as a stable U.S. military and intelligence base. Copaken's revelations continued: "During the Dominican crisis [of 1965] CIA operated out of Puerto Rico and used Fortas' link with Sanchez to get Munoz Marin's acquiescence. The CIA agent in Puerto Rico was a Sacha Boldman or Goldman. This was the same agent who had channeled CIA assistance to a school in Costa Rica for Latin American political leaders."

The Covington and Burling attorney continued in his expose of Puerto Rican-CIA links: "Sanchez became governor in 1964. Personal scandal -- divorce and re-marriage to his secretary with whom he had been having an open affair -- affected his candidacy for reelection. Negron became a rival candidate and Munoz Marin advocated unity of the party behind Negron. However, Sanchez insisted on being a candidate, and both he and Negron became candidates for the 1968 election, thus splitting their party.

At this point, Sanchez obtained USG support through Fortas, CIA/AID/Navy aid was given to his campaign. There were disruptive actions directed against Negron. According to the theory, Negron's essential conservatism would have wrecked the Commonwealth and created severe problems; hence USG support for Sanchez.

When, however, it became evident that Sanchez could not defeat Negron, support was switched to Ferre [Luis Ferre of the New Progressive Party -- affiliate of the U.S. Republican Party] as the lesser of two evils. CIA/FBI and particularly US Navy support was given to Ferre, and he won. This gave the Navy a hold over Ferre."

Commonwealth status for Puerto Rico was crafted so the CIA could have an operational base in the Caribbean."Sacha Boldman or Goldman was actually Sacha Volman, who established the Institute of Political Education (IPE) in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1959. It was a collaborative effort between the CIA and social democratic political parties in Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. CIA funds were laundered through the Kaplan Fund in New York and then the Institute for International Labor Research, a New York operation headed by perennial Socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas.

It has been the Commonwealth status that has led Puerto Rico into bankruptcy and made it vulnerable to the Wall Street vulture funds that prey on financially distressed countries, particularly those in Latin America like Argentina, Brazil, and Puerto Rico. The U.S. Congress is in the process of passing a bill that will address Puerto Rico's current $70 billion debt crisis. A federal government-appointed financial control board will likely enact socially-crippling austerity measures for the island. Following the Supreme Court's ruling limiting Puerto Rico's autonomy, the island will have little room to avoid severe budget cuts and "fire sale" disposal of commonwealth assets.

The appeals of the people of Culebra against the Navy's bombing of their island fell on deaf ears in San Juan and Washington as the NSC memo further details:

"Ferre, according to Copaken, contributed heavily to President Nixon's campaign and is on close personal terms with him. Given this fact, plus the Navy's hold, the Navy believes it will have its way on Culebra. The result is a surface duplicity, while they work out a deal underneath.

Ferre's family leases the only drydock facilities in San Juan from the US Navy; he has copper interests on the island. By cooperating with the US Navy he obtained USG support in a host of similar matters, or vice versa; his cooperation with the US Navy may have been secured by trading for things he wanted from the USG in other things.

Copagen [sic] alleged that there is close cooperation with the 'White House' certainly at the political level. Bryce Harlow went to Puerto Rico for July 4th celebrations, but one of the things he went down for was Culebra (precisely what Harlow was to do about Culebra, Copaken refused to say."

In the memo, Vaky says he told the attorneys he never heard about "the sinister picture they were painting" about Puerto Rico. Vaky also stated the National Security Council "had no operational responsibility in the matter."

Vaky passed the Culebra memo to Kissinger in a July 13, 1970, cover memo classified CONFIDENTIAL-EYES ONLY. Kissinger scribbled a note on the cover memo, which stated that the Covington and Burling lawyers believed that Harlow was "involved" in the Culebra matter.

Ironically, Kissinger was ensconced last week at the secretive Bilderberg conference in Dresden, Germany while the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a body blow to Puerto Rican sovereignty and the Congress hammered away at a plan that would bail out Puerto Rico in return for draconian financial measures. It is very likely that Puerto Rico's fate was on the table at Bilderberg and that Kissinger waxed on about how he once controlled the fate of Puerto Rico through the CIA, FBI, Navy, and Agency for International Development (AID).

Copaken later wrote a book about the Culebra incident, titled: "
Target Culebra: How 743 Islanders Took on the Entire U.S. Navy and Won: An Insider's Account." The book was published in January 2009. Unfortunately, Copaken was never able to conduct a book tour to describe for audiences the U.S. government's control over Puerto Rico; he died from pancreatic cancer on December 8, 2008, a few weeks before the book was published.