Havana and the world: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (II)

20 Mar 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President talks about Cuba’s stance on the war in Ukraine, and his country’s relationship with Russia, China, and other countries.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

During the second part of Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou’s interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the president discusses Cuba’s assessment of current alliances, in addition to its position on the war in Ukraine.

The Cuban president discussed the solid relationship that consolidates his country with Russia, China, and Iran, as well as his country’s relationship with Latin American leaders, and what he aspires for in the Arab region. He also expressed his admiration for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and his desire to visit Damascus this year.

The world that Cuba aspires to

During his interview with Al Mayadeen, Diaz-Canel said that “the assessment of alliances in today’s world must be on the current context, and on an analysis of the current situation,” noting that this is related to what happened in the world, as the world is going through a multidimensional crisis.

He stresses that the situation has also been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has plunged the world into a state of uncertainty.

Diaz-Canel added, “Instead of enforcing the language of cooperation and respect for one another, the world has resorted to imposing new sanctions and resolving conflicts using the language of war.” “This is not the world we want and I think it is not the world that the majority of people on Earth want.”

“Today,” the Cuban president said, “we need a world capable of globalizing solidarity, peace, and friendship, a world that has a system of relations that defends pluralism,” noting that “this world is being built in accordance with common values ​​based on peace, solidarity, friendship, and pluralism, which are capable of preserving, first and foremost, the human race.”

He added that this issue was former Cuban President Fidel Castro’s concern from an early age, and it was mentioned in many of his messages to the world on various international occasions, and that Cuba aims to resolve conflicts through dialogue, and for the world to become more democratic.

The Cuban president asserted to Al Mayadeen the need to change the “current global economic system, because it is based on exploitation and inequality, serves the rich at the expense of the majority of the world’s poor, and does not offer developing countries any alternatives, as it is subject to the interests of military-industrial complexes and great Western powers.”

If “we are able to achieve alliances that contribute to achieving pluralism, understanding, respect for others, and the struggle for peace… these alliances will then be valid and supportive.”

In the same context, he refers to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America (ALBA), the alternative adopted by Latin America to confront the ALCA Free Trade Agreement, which represents an imperialist project.

One of the most important reasons for the success of these alliances is, according to Diaz-Canel, that they are based on cooperation, solidarity, and sincere stances, and not on concepts that prioritize money and the economy.

The president stressed that the Cuban revolution is based on sharing what it has with others, and that this is what the future of the world should be like.

Blame for Russia-Ukraine war lies with Washington

Regarding Cuba’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war, Diaz-Canel stressed that this conflict has serious consequences for the world, not just the parties involved. 

The president accused Washington of using its power of influence through the media to spread Russophobia and disinformation on the origin of the conflict, labeling Russia as a culprit while concealing the real reasons behind the war. 

He stressed that “the culprit in this conflict is the United States itself, which resorts to wars to solve its problems and overcome its crises,” adding that “Washington puts the interests of the military-industrial complex at the forefront, as it needs the war to sell weapons and to solve the internal problems it suffers from.”

The Cuban president indicated that the US has always sought to encircle Russia by promoting NATO expansionism on its borders, which he says Russia is aware of. The countries that are accomplices in the war will lose the most, he added, as they began to suffer from food shortages and an energy crisis, while those directly involved in the conflict are losing human lives.

The biggest beneficiary of the war, he said, is the US administration, and there need to be initiatives at the international level that facilitate the process of dialogue between the concerned parties to put an end to the war.

Diaz-Canel reiterated his country’s disapproval of the continued use of the language of war and the imposition of sanctions against Russia instead of dialogue, as these measures do not solve crises, but rather exacerbate the state of war. He added that the way Western nations are dealing with the crisis may drag the world into a possible world war.

He further wondered how Europe, which was the theater of two previous world wars, and the theater for Fascism and Nazism, is incapable of extracting the necessary lessons from history to play an effective role in avoiding a third world war.

Read next: Al Mayadeen CEO decorated with Cuba medal of friendship

Cuba’s relationship with China 

Speaking about Cuban-Chinese relations, the president stressed that his country and China enjoy historical and friendly relations, based on common principles that bring the two countries together.

He added that his country shares convictions with China regarding a structured socialist path in both countries that takes into account the specificities of each; both countries also share strong relations at the levels of their governments, peoples, and parties (the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of Cuba).

Diaz-Canel praised the Chinese model of socialism and reform, and its establishment of a firm economic base, which transformed it into one of the world’s great powers. He added that China adopted a distinguished position in terms of cooperation and solidarity, as is the case in Cuba, referring in this context to the initiatives and proposals presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping to achieve more harmony on the global level.

The Cuban president said that during his visit to China at the end of last year, he felt assured by the clear Chinese desire to support Cuba out of its crisis. He pointed out that during the visit, decisions were taken regarding the development of bilateral relations.

He said that China is one of Cuba’s main economic partners and that it is directly involved with Cuban energy, transportation, and telecommunication projects, referring also to the wide exchange between the two countries in terms of education, culture, science, technologies, and innovation, calling China “a friend of Cuba.”

Cuba’s relationship with Russia

Regarding Cuban-Russian relations, Diaz-Canel affirmed the high level of political, economic, and commercial relations between Moscow and Havana.

He added that Russia is present in the most strategic sectors that were developed within the national plan for economic and social development in Cuba until 2030: the energy sector, transportation and communications, cybersecurity, the mineral sector, the industrial sector, and in food production.

“There is a whole range of projects under development jointly with Russia.”

Diaz-Canel discussed how Russia sent a plane to assist his country during the Covid-19 pandemic and placed it at the disposal of Havana to transport oxygen cylinders imported from various places in Latin America and the Caribbean. He added that while Cuba was in a crisis, Russia donated factories to help it produce oxygen, and many concentrators, as did China.

The Cuban president touched on his recent visit to Russia, pointing out that he saw that Russian President Vladimir Putin understood Cuba’s problems, and Moscow’s political and governmental will to help alleviate the problems his country suffers from. He added that since that visit, Cuba has constantly been updated with regard to the agreements with Moscow, especially concerning energy and food.

He stressed that China and Russia are friendly states, and that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have demonstrated the will to embody a true friendship with Cuba.

During the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban president did not hide his admiration for his Russian counterpart, pointing out that Putin’s speeches are rich in historical references. He added that Putin is constantly referring to lessons from history in order to reaffirm what is happening today, and what needs to be done in the future.

He added that “I don’t think it was Putin who caused the conflict with Ukraine, they were about to impose a siege on the Russian Federation,” pointing out that the Russian president is defending Russia’s interests and security.

“Dialogue with the Russian president is not impossible, but rather possible, provided that it is linked to a sincere will and without the imposition of preconditions.”

Cuba’s relationship with Iran

Speaking about Cuban-Iranian relations, the Cuban president described Iran as Cuba’s sister nation. He said that the foundations of the relationship between the two countries are based on history and mutual respect, as well as the great resistance that the two people waged in the face of imperial blockades and sanctions.

According to the Cuban president, “the Cuban and Iranian people share an understanding of resistance, courage, heroism, dignity, and defiance to the plans of imperialist power.” 

He also expressed his appreciation for the Iranian leader, Sayyed Ali Khamenei, as a politician and as the leader of the Iranian Revolution, admiring his “tremendous capability for logical thinking and analysis,” also describing him as a wise leader.

The Cuban president indicated that the two countries are working on joint projects that serve the economic development of both, especially in the fields of energy and food. He pointed out that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi might visit his country, while also expressing his desire to visit Tehran this year.

Diaz-Canel stressed to Al Mayadeen that this year will witness a deepening of relations between the two countries, and the adoption of projects that are of mutual benefit. He specified both nations share mutual projects that include scientific research, technology, and energy.

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Iran’s culture, civilization, and resistance against aggression, and said that the technological development that Iran has achieved despite the embargo and sanctions is very important, and multifaceted, pointing out that being familiar with Iran’s development can benefit Havana.

Read next: Al Mayadeen, Cuban TV discuss cooperation, exchange of expertise

Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders

Regarding Cuba’s relationship with Latin American leaders, the Cuban president said that his country has deep ties with four Latin American leaders.

Cuba and Venezuela 

Diaz-Canel pointed out that the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sowed hope in Venezuela, shining throughout Latin America, and that Venezuela has always been an important country and played a key role in Latin America, especially during Chavez’s leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution.

He added that many values ​​have come together in Chavez, as he was Bolivarian in thought par excellence, was well versed in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, and was an exceptional defender of Simon Bolivar’s thought and of the pioneers of liberation in Latin America.

The Cuban president noted that “Chavez was able, as an exemplary leader, to understand the concerns and aspirations of the Venezuelan people,” adding that the friendship between former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Chavez, “was like a father-son relationship.”

In this context, he referred to the achievements made by the two countries during the Chavez and Fidel eras, especially with regard to the ALBA. 

He added that when Chavez was head of the Bolivarian Revolution, he was preparing cadres who were distinguished by their true commitment to the revolution’s path, to the Venezuelan people, and their loyalty to the revolution, referring in this context to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The Cuban president described Maduro as a brother to Cuba, and admired how he defended the Bolivarian Revolution against all destabilization attempts planned by the US government. He pointed out that “Maduro, with his efforts and persistence, was able to achieve civil-military unity, preserve the Bolivarian Revolution, and move it forward on the path of victory.”

Cuba and Colombia

Speaking about Colombia, the Cuban president said that there is now a government in Colombia that prioritizes dialogue with Venezuela, adding that Nicolas Maduro and Gustavo Petro have agreed on a whole set of measures that also aim to ensure peace in one of Latin America’s most important regions. 

Cuba and Brazil 

The Cuban president also described his Brazilian counterpart, Lula da Silva, as an exceptional leader, pointing to his prominent role in extracting Brazil from its economic crisis, which turned it into a reference for what can be achieved in the policy of social justice, adding that “Lula doesn’t suit US interests, so the administration worked to discredit him by fabricating legal cases against him.”

He added that Lula did not surrender and did not accept any conditions to be imposed on him, despite his imprisonment and the pressure exerted on him to subdue him. He complimented the Brazilian president, stressing that his new projects help develop programs and investments in the country.

Cuba and Nicaragua

The Cuban president also expressed his admiration for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, noting that it was a success the United States could not bear, and against which it launched a fierce campaign of destabilization, backed by a fierce media campaign to discredit Nicaragua.

“Therefore, I believe that whenever we want to assess the situation in Nicaragua, we must start from where we proceed in our analysis of what the Sandinista revolution contributed to in the areas of economic and social development for the Nicaraguan people, and what the Sandinista revolution means in terms of building a state with national security, and remove everything related to imperialist distortion and tampering.”     

Cuba’s relationship with the Arab world

Regarding the island’s relationship with the Arab world, Diaz-Canel affirmed that Havana has good relations with Arab countries based on respect and mutual understanding of the historical and cultural specifics of each country.

He pointed out that there was space for cooperation, for the defense of common struggles, and coordination of efforts in international forums, adding that Cuba has always felt the solidarity and support of the Arab communities.

Diaz-Canel stressed that there is room to deepen the already strong ties on the economic and commercial level, as the historical foundations laid out for these relations are strong and Cuba looks to strengthen this relationship with the Arab world. 

The Cuban president expressed his admiration for Syria’s courage, steadfastness, and self-confidence in the face of an aggressive campaign aimed at destroying it, noting that Syria, after many years of the unjust war against it, remained a strong and united nation. 

In this context, he praised the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “The Syrian president has shown sincerity to his people and has remained at the forefront without giving up… I have always seen a great deal of steadfastness and composure in him.”

Before concluding the interview with Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President renewed his support for Syria, saying that Havana will remain with the Syrian people, and condemned the ongoing Israeli aggression against it, as well as the sanctions imposed on the Syrian people.

The Cuban president expressed his desire to visit Damascus this year and admired the nation’s steadfastness and the solidity and dignity of the Syrian people.

Read next: Cuba Revolution, US embargo: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (I)

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Cuba Revolution, US embargo: Al Mayadeen interviews Cuba President (I)

19 Mar, 2023 

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

In an exclusive interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President touches on the Cuban Revolution, its challenges, and achievements, as well as US manipulations.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel

Al Mayadeen Media Network Chairman Ghassan Ben Jeddou conducted an exclusive interview with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, during which the latter discussed the Cuban Revolution and its challenges, international relations, the situation in Latin America, and the blockade imposed on Cuba.

In the first part of the interview, the Cuban President touched on the concepts on which the Cuban Revolution was based and Cuba’s position on the progressive, revolutionary, and resistance currents in the world, as well as the protests that the country witnessed in 2021 and Cuba’s policies toward the new generations.

The Moncada and the Revolution

Speaking about the pre-revolutionary period in the country, Diaz-Canel told Al Mayadeen that the 50s was a terrible decade for Cuba and the Cuban people, as it came after years of imperial domination of Cuba where the country had turned into an American colony.

He pointed out that whatever strategies were put in to camouflage this situation and its essence, the situation stemmed from the frustration of the struggle for Cuban independence in 1895.

He specified that at the last moment of the war for independence when Cuba had practically defeated Spain, the first imperialist war occurred, referring to the US interference in the Spanish-Cuban War, which was later called the Spanish-Cuban-American war.

Diaz-Canel continued that “far from achieving its real independence, Cuba became a colony of the United States government,” and since then, the country has been ruled by a number of submissive governments and agents of the empire, administrative corruption prevailed, and an oligarchy — that did not defend the interests of the country or the Cuban people, but rather was defending the interests of the United States — became more enrooted.

Back then, according to the Cuban President, the United States seized practically all of the country’s natural resources and started investing in Cuba. Thus, the Cuban people reached a very complicated situation where illiteracy increased and no one practically owned a home.

The situation back then was described by Fidel Castro in his self-defense document titled “History Will Absolve Me,” thus, the Moncada was the program that Castro developed for launching the Revolution, Diaz-Canel said.

Revolution achievements

The Cuban leader considered that in the case of Cuba in particular and the complex situation that it was living in, the Revolution was necessary with no other solution available, and therefore, it was very acceptable — a revolution that completes the true independence of Cuba.

Diaz-Canel explained that for this reason, the Revolution, which meant primarily making profound changes in Cuban society, was accepted by the majority of the Cuban people and was a completely dynamic and liberating process that gave Cuba true independence, sovereignty, and self-determination.

Thus, the revolutionary process began to advance along a set of social achievements, which gave the right to free education, free health, and sports for everyone, as well as the spread of world and Cuban culture, he indicated.

“It was a process of reaffirming the cultural values ​​on which the Cuban nation was built, throughout its years, basing all its actions on the law, that is, always defending what is just,” he added.

He pointed out that one of the basic concepts of the Revolution has always been achieving the greatest possible amount of social justice, taking into account culture in its broadest sense, and not referring only to artistic and literary creativity, but rather taking into account the values ​​that have formed in the Cuban nation over many years, and highlighting the best of those values ​​enjoyed by its people in the revolutionary process.

Likewise, Diaz-Canel asserted that the Revolution never deceived the people. In fact, the Revolution asked the people to read in order to believe and granted them the right to learn, he said.

All of this was linked to the thought of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro and his legacy and the continuity that General Raul Castro later attributed to the revolutionary process, Diaz-Canel added.

The Revolution renewing itself

The Cuban President said the Revolution was in a state of continuous boiling and was constantly transforming and changing, adapting to all the complex historical moments that it had to pass through.

According to Diaz-Canel, one must ask how this Revolution, which was born besieged and encircled since its inception, by the main imperialist power and the most powerful superpower in the world, could resist all the sieges, sanctions, aggressions, and currently the tightened siege and widespread media attacks that seek to discredit the Revolution and undermine its authority and model.

He said that when one thinks about the attitude the US adopted in its dealing with the Revolution that only wants the well-being of the Cuban people, there is only one answer for that: It did so out of hatred and malice because it was disturbed by the model of this Revolution.

The Cuban President stressed: “I believe that we are continuing the Revolution, and the Revolution will continue to advance despite the difficulties,” highlighting that “the majority of the Cuban people will continue to support this Revolution, and for that, we must continue in a state of revolution within the Revolution.”

On the other hand, the Cuban President explained that the world is witnessing a very difficult situation and is full of uncertainty. “We have just suffered from an epidemic that destroyed the models of neoliberalism,” he considered.

He said that despite the many years of neoliberalism and the promotion of a lot of propaganda that supports it – when a complex moment has come – the world found that neoliberalism is unable to solve all the problems of the epidemic with equality and inclusion of all people.

Diaz-Canel pointed out that health systems in the most advanced capitalist countries had collapsed, and a question was raised about how to explain the neoliberal world’s failure to provide alternatives to the majority.

“Since the world has just gone through a pandemic, I think we still cannot talk about the post-pandemic stage, as there are still more than 20 countries in the world that have not even been able to vaccinate 10% of their population, and we see that there is a lot of inequality,” the Cuban leader explained.

He noted that amid the pandemic, there was a very selfish attitude on the part of the oligarchy, and the rich became richer while the poor became poorer.

“This is why we see this inequality that arises in the capitalist societies themselves, and then this inequality leads to rebellion and leads above all to the rebellion of the youths, and the new generations as well,” he added.

Diaz-Canel stressed that regardless of the way it is implemented, the Revolution will continue to be an alternative and will remain an aspiration for the youth.

However, he underlined that it will inevitably be necessary to take into account the historical stages and to conduct a critical analysis of revolutionary experiences, not to see revolutions from an idealistic point of view, but from all their contradictions and the situations they overcame.

The Cuban President highlighted that in today’s world, there is a deep revolutionary feeling and an embrace of Marxist ideas, and one sees that there is much hope for these generations to build a better world.

He noted that he felt that because he had the opportunity to talk to many young people who visit Cuba from different parts of the world.

Diaz-Canel pointed out the need to preserve the environment as an indispensable condition for preserving the human race, pointing out that all these trials and deep reflections on the multidimensional crisis that the world is going through today give an answer that revolution is still an alternative.

Cuba and the revolutionary progressive currents

When asked about the new progressive left in Latin America and the world, the Cuban President said that in the region, there is a historical reference that indicates the need to delve deeper into these ideas and provides the basis for the continuity of these progressive leftist ideas.

Diaz-Canel believes that a huge part of the people of Latin America has embraced these ideas, noting that in recent years “we have witnessed stages that express this historical continuity in the independence experiences of Latin America and the Caribbean.”

He explained that the situation that the US, with its neoliberal practices, led the region to saw an increase in inequality in Latin America and subjected the population of most Latin American countries to a very complicated situation.

The Cuban President considered that it has become necessary for revolutionary experiences to take place, just as a decade passed in which a whole group of revolutionary experiences arose in response and as an alternative to this situation.

According to Diaz-Canel, the exemplary experience in this sense was the Venezuelan experience, where Hugo Chavez, who was a well-established Bolivarian and well-versed in Latin American history, carried out a Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

He continued that, at that time, the experience of the Bolivarian Revolution coincided with the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Cuban Revolution, the Cultural Revolution in Bolivia, and the Citizenship Revolution in Ecuador, as well as the experience of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil and that of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, among others.

Diaz-Canel noted that there was also a progressive president in Paraguay and Uruguay, which allowed the consolidation of a whole set of integration measures in Latin America and the Caribbean where millions of Latin Americans no longer suffered from hunger and were able to change their social status after all these progressive governments initiated measures of a social and economic nature in the interest of the majority.

However, the Cuban President pointed out that imperialism did not stand idly by and tried to undermine those movements that were an expression of those progressive and leftist ideas, pointing to the countless vicious, divisive acts that the US government, with the support of its huge media, applied to bury these experiences.

“We all know how they carried out a parliamentary coup in Paraguay, how they caused the impeachment of the President of Brazil, Dilma [Rousseff], and how they also prosecuted a group of Latin American leaders politically,” Diaz-Canel said.

“We are still witnessing judicial persecution against [former Argentine Vice President] Cristina Kirchner, and how they tried to carry out a coup under the auspices of the Organization of American States against the Bolivian experiment led by Evo Morales,” he noted.

But the Cuban leader indicated that Latin America is witnessing a cycle in which the defense of those leftist ideas and work to strengthen them began again.

He said that in the decade in which all the aforementioned experiences converged, an integration mechanism for Latin America was achieved, highlighting that through this mechanism of integration in less than ten years, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador were able to win the battle of eradicating illiteracy.

First illiteracy-free region in Latin America and the Caribbean

According to the Cuban President, this achievement holds much significance for Cuba, which declared itself the first illiteracy-free region in Latin America and the Caribbean, pointing out that it took more than 50 years with authentic and real complementary experiences in Latin America and with human, revolutionary, and progressive ideas, for other countries to realize what previously seemed like a figment of the imagination.

Diaz-Canel said that for many people in other parts of the world, this is still a dream and an out-of-the-reach matter.

He recalled that with this process of integration between Latin American countries, what was known as Operation Miracle was achieved, restoring sight to millions in Latin America who would not have had it in the circumstances that they were living in countries implementing neoliberal projects and programs.

The Cuban leader explained that Petro-Caribbean projects became consolidated on the basis of sharing energy resources in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Diaz-Canel also highlighted that other consultation mechanisms were established, such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), where for the first time, 33 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean sat down to discuss their problems together without the US presence or participation.

He also pointed out that Latin America and the Caribbean have now decided for themselves freely, on the basis of the concept of unity within diversity, to announce the document declaring Latin America and the Caribbean a region of peace.

This was specifically approved during the summit held by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, which also guarantees or proposes the full political will of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, according to Diaz-Canel.

He underlined that Cuba supports and respects these experiences, stressing that his country will continue to defend, understand, and respect everything that can be done in order to achieve a better world based on the most humane, revolutionary, liberating, and comprehensive stances.

The new generations

In the same context, the Cuban President pointed out that the new generations today that lead leftist courses have learned lessons from history, having analyzed the historical watersheds of the left in the world, thus understanding the need to unite while accounting for diversity, in order to establish a robust framework for the revolutionary struggle.

According to the Cuban President, valuable lessons have been drawn on why socialism has failed in Eastern Europe, and lessons have been drawn from revolutionary endeavors in the world.

He added that the claims and intentions of imperialism at this time have also been analyzed, confirming that it is not possible to talk about a new left or a renewed left or a left that gives continuity to historical milestones if this left is uncertain of its course, what it seeks, or its origin.

“We must bear in mind that imperialism today is developing a whole concept of world domination, and therefore it is ideologically based on an integrated program to restore the momentum of capitalism, neoliberalism, and cultural colonialism,” he said.

“The only means that imperialism employs to abolish identity and destroy nations, culture, and the roots and essence of our peoples is precisely through cultural penetration [ideological subversion] that lures people into skepticism and dismisses all their ideas as obsolete,” Diaz-Canel said.

“Understanding these attitudes is what unites us all to defend our essence, in a common defense of culture and identity, to avoid cultural colonialism and the domination of only one thought that prevails in the world, which is why it is also important to analyze the problems of the left, which, in itself, is lost in problems of neoliberal globalization,” he added.

The Cuban President added, “If we ask what has been globalized? Selfishness has been globalized; it is the language of war. Aggression has also been globalized, leaving social inequality in its wake. It is the imperialist logic, and in the face of this imperialist logic, the logic of the left, or progressive logic, must prevail.”

“In our case, we have a socialist logic, however, we never turn down criticism of our ideology, but I believe it is fundamental to eliminate human exploitation of man to have equality among all the inhabitants of the planet and to distribute wealth in a better manner,” Diaz-Canel said.

“It is very difficult to understand today that in this world of inequality, where so many are impoverished, millions and millions of dollars are being employed in war budgets or spent on armaments,” he said.

“How much more can the world do for the benefit of all its people if these funds are used for other purposes? How much more can be accomplished if there is more integration, if there is mutual respect, and if there are genuine decolonization programs and programs that actually create opportunities for all,” he wondered.

Challenges the Revolution faced

The Cuban President said, “When I was elected President of the Republic, I said that before anything else, we stand as the generation of continuity; [historical] continuity in the dialectical sense of the word, the kind that stands up for the essence of the Revolution that shall lead the Revolution to perfection as well.”

He further explained, “In other words, it was not a generation that wanted to maintain a rigid pace in the development of the Revolution, so in this concept of continuity, a set of values from the historical legacy of the Revolution is also adopted.”

Diaz-Canel believed that “among those values stands out the courage that Fidel and Raul engraved in us; courage that extends throughout our wars for independence and our decision to firmly defend sovereignty and independence and defend the right to self-determination of the Cuban people. In the same sense, the concept of broader communication with the people stands out.” According to Cuba’s leader, the aforementioned constitute elements that shall always distinguish the stance that “we, the revolutionary cadres and fighters, will take in our lives, especially in the most difficult moments.”

“We will always stand up against adversity, we will always stand up against the most difficult, most complex moments, with courage yet calmly because they are moments that we should consider deeply and analyze thoroughly. Such moments cannot be handled in an indecisive spontaneous, disorderly, or arrogant manner,” the Cuban President stressed. 

He went on to say that “such are moments in which you must study the reasons and contradictions that are inflicted on the facts, before anything else, followed by looking for the best solutions with the participation of everyone.”

He added, “I always say that none of us can know more than what we all, combined, know, and I believe that the Cuban people have proven throughout their history that they enjoy the talent, strong will, and valor…  that they are heroes who regard their dignity highly.”

Diaz-Canel pointed out that the Cuban people have been under siege for more than sixty years, and continued that his generation, which was born after the Revolution, is “a besieged generation since then. We have lived under siege, but this is something that we shared with our children and grandchildren.”

Furthermore, the Cuban President indicated that “the generations that were born after the Revolution are generations that lived their entire lives under the pressure of the blockade, under the aggression of the blockade, under the repercussions of the blockade, but still, the Revolution did not stop, and it stood in the face of the blockade and was able to develop its programs and projects, although the blockade stood out as the main obstacle in the face of achieving all the aforementioned.”

It goes without saying that “the blockade is a fait accompli that slows down our aspirations and the realization of our projects and dreams,” he tersely stated.

Diaz-Canel added that, starting from the second half of 2019, a very delicate situation prevails, whereby the Trump administration announces more than 243 measures against the Cuban Revolution, which intensified the blockade.

He continued, “Therefore, we are not talking here about the blockade imposed in the sixties or the seventies, nor about the blockade in the ‘delicate period (the nineties).’” 

“We are talking about a very intense siege that the world is still experiencing, and based on scrutiny and analysis that we conducted within the leadership of the Revolution at the time, we explained to the people, within a long notice, the problems that we will face,” he added.

The Cuban President stressed that “we have prepared our people in a way that makes it clear to them that we are stepping into a stage full of complications, in which we will face a shortage of food, medical supplies, fuel, spare parts, and foreign currency that enables us to obtain the necessary supplies for our basic productions, as well as providing food and solving the people’s basic problems.”

With Trump’s 243 measures, all sources of the country’s foreign financing were suddenly cut off, and at the same time, the United States initiated up-close monitoring at the level of finances and energy resources against the country with the US government making every effort to prevent, by all means, the entry of fuel into Cuba or that Cuba obtain credit or any sort of financing regardless of how scarce it may be, according to the Cuban President.

Diaz-Canel recalled how, in January 2020, Trump placed Cuba, just a few days before the end of his term as President, on the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” which is a made-up, fake list. The reason is that, according to the Cuban President, when a country is arbitrarily included in that list, all banks and financial institutions agencies start to sever ties with the relevant country, thus weakening most of the sources of foreign financing, which are already affected by Trump’s other measures. 

He explained how up to this very day, a lot of effort is required if any Cuban tries to conduct business dealings or settle certain payments, “because almost no bank wants to be involved in that ever since the sanctions were imposed.”

According to the Cuban President, Trump’s sanctions included activating  Chapter Three of the Helms-Burton Act, which imposes the internationalization of the blockade and punishing countries across the world, meaning that the “Great Empire” even imposes restrictions on the rest of the world [in their dealing with Cuba].

He further explained how the insistence on applying these sanctions over time, as pursued by Biden’s administration, without any change is causing a more severe shortage in supplies of medicines, fuel, and raw materials necessary for Cuba’s main production operations and electricity generation, not to mention hindering the rest of the production and service processes in the country.

Attempts to fail the Revolution

The Cuban President pointed out that alongside these intense problems, which have social repercussions, leading people to develop a sense of resentment and misunderstanding of the situation that started to occupy their lives, the Corona pandemic hit in March 2020.

Therefore, almost all the conditions for a perfect storm were in place, paving the way for a social explosion that the US government longed for in order to fail and put an end to the Cuban Revolution, he further explained, revealing that all this was accompanied by a large-scale US intel operation. 

Diaz-Canel stressed that Cuba has evidence and information which clearly show how they led an intense campaign aimed at discrediting the Cuban Revolution on social networks seeking to spread frustration and create estrangement and misunderstanding, knowing that the campaign was directed particularly at the youth category. 

“It must be noted that at the beginning of the pandemic which was indeed exacerbating in light of this whole situation, we still dispatched medical teams to countries with pandemic hotspots, as we learned a lot about the disease and were immediately able to develop a plan to combat it, which allowed us primarily by the end of 2020 to reduce the number of infected cases so as to curb a major outbreak,” he further detailed.

The Cuban leader pointed out that they decided to open the borders in 2020, and when they actually did, the Delta strain took over, and since they had not obtained their vaccines at the time, the result was a Delta-instigated pandemic that lasted for about a year. 

“All this happened amid the [dire] situation we were in,” he said.

Shedding light on the effect of US sanctions, Diaz-Canel went on to say, “We pursued our program to confront the pandemic, and when we decided to open new intensive care units that we were in dire need of, the United States government prevented companies that manufacture ventilators which are extremely necessary in intensive care rooms or units from selling them to Cuba. Thus, we came across an oxygen-supply crisis, because consumption was higher due to the high number of patients and because our factories faced major setbacks.”

During his interview for Al Mayadeen, the Cuban President stressed that the United States government pressured companies in Latin America not to sell us the medical oxygen that Cuba desperately needed and prevented the arrival of medications and vaccines as well.

He went on to say that amid this entire dire situation, they launched a hypocrisy, disinformation, and slander campaign under the title of “SOSCUBA” at the level of international networks.

US manipulation in the Cuban scene

The Cuban President assessed that all the aforementioned factors, coupled with the dire situation of the Cuban population, have conditioned the Cuban scene for cooptation. 

According to Diaz-Canel, Cuba tolerates criticism of the government and provides citizens with suitable mechanisms and platforms for doing so, but what happened in 2021 was something else. 

The protests were far from peaceful, and this became clear very soon. After the authorities began their investigations, they uncovered the underpinnings of these protests, revealing the monetary incentives for rioting and vandalizing. 

This was what happened on July 11, 2021, the Cuban President said, adding that some had gone out to protest oblivious of the underpinnings, while others were paid to riot and vandalize. “These were not peaceful protesters; they attacked shops and public security forces, trying to disrupt social stability. They were trying to destroy the most significant element of Cuban society that the Cuban citizens are largely fond of: tranquility and reassurance,” he added.

He pointed out that “these were unpleasant times, but lessons were learned, because here, unlike other places in the world, the security forces or the armed forces did not go down to the streets to crack down on the rioters. Instead, they were the revolutionary Cuban people who came out to defend the Revolution.”

“We were the first to arrive at one of the outposts from where the protests broke out, and we explained to the people the situation we were living in,” he said, stressing that “in one day, practically all the nodes of subversive protests were contained and eventually dissipated.”

He added that on the second day, in a neighborhood in Havana, another subversive stunt was pulled but it was short-lived.

“There was a whole scenario prepared by the ’empire’, which was to manufacture an inflated scene of social unrest that would serve as the necessary pretext for the United States to intervene by ‘providing humanitarian assistance’. And we have already seen how the United States ‘provided humanitarian assistance’ for other countries of the world,” the Cuban leader highlighted. 

“There are many examples in the Arab world and in Africa, when the United States came with its humanitarian aid in brackets, the conditions of the recipient people and governments deteriorated if anything. It was not humanitarian aid; it was effectively invasions, aggressions, and military interventions – that was the case in Libya and Iraq and other places, and we also have the dirty war that they waged against the Syrian people and nation,” he said.

“These events unfolded like a scenario whereby if Cuba calls on the population to defend the Revolution, then they would have called for a civil war,” Diaz-Canel said, explaining, “Never ever has anyone come out here with weapons to suppress anyone. Had the armed institutions intervened, it would have been possible to say that there was police and armed repression.”

“The second part of the scenario was that when people were to be tried before the law as any country in the world would do in cases of rioting, they would be advertised as political prisoners of the ‘regime’ as they like to portray us. No one has been arrested here, and no one has been subjected to judicial proceedings for simply protesting the situation in Cuba,” he said.

Diaz-Canel stressed that in Cuba, there has never been police repression, unlike the situation in the United States, adding that “they also tried to manipulate the situation, claiming that we were harsher with Blacks than with whites, when, in Cuba, we have programs contending all form of discrimination, especially racial discrimination.”

“It was all just manipulation and fake news; they broadcast these lies to discredit our achievements that are not subject to their purposes and objectives, he said, explaining that had there been supposedly a case of large-scale social unrest in Cuba, the United States would have capitalized on any chance to prove the failure of the Revolution.”

“Despite this, what did they do on social media? They posted pictures of a supposed demonstration that was actually a football festivity in Argentina, and they took pictures of the people demonstrating in support of the Revolution, claiming that they were against it. It was unbelievable: Gerardo Hernández, one of our iconic five heroes, was at a pro-Revolution demonstration, and they still presented it as anti-revolutionary,” he added.

“Does the truthful use such cheap tools to discredit an enemy? Only the US government does it, and it does it out of hatred and insolence,” Diaz-Canel said, stressing that this is the reality of the manipulated events. 

Evaluation and social transformation

“What happened next? We learned a lot, made our assessments, went to a debate, and the same palace halls we visited today were spaces for exchanging ideas with representatives of various sectors of Cuban society, including young people,’ the Cuban President highlighted.

“We have also gone on a process of social transformation in Cuban neighborhoods where inequalities have accumulated. We also have people and families in vulnerable situations, regardless of all the social actions of the Revolution, but this is the case because we have lived for years with many needs, even with a lot of deprivation as a result of the tightening of the blockade.”

According to Díaz-Canel, “All the proposals of the population are transmitted to their municipal councils, where citizens are represented on the grass-root level. Then the things that have been approved go back to those neighborhoods, and the residents of the neighborhoods participate in the transformation that they have themselves proposed, and they also exercise popular control we increasingly seek to improve our democracy, and here we have provided essential participation to our youth.”

“How does the story continue? I had to ask our scientists if the production of a Cuban vaccine would be sufficient to be sovereign in the fight against Covid, which was one of the catalysts for this whole situation. I did it in March 2021, and also in July, just three months later,” he said.

The Cuban President added, “A few weeks later, Cuban scientists had already obtained the first vaccine bulb, and then we had five vaccine candidates, today there are three vaccines with tremendous efficacy, so we started a huge vaccination campaign, after conducting clinical trials, emergency studies on vulnerable groups.”

He went on to say, “When we got the vaccines, we had achieved this amid all this crisis. Despite the pressure and the tight blockade, we achieved the highest vaccination rates in the world, and today, we rank second among countries that have provided the largest number of vaccine doses per patient, we are among twenty countries with more than 90% of the population fully vaccinated, and with the reinforcement, we were the first in the world to vaccinate children over the age of two.”

“What are the results? Today we have 0.67% deaths, knowing that the mortality ratio is the ratio of deaths to the number of COVID cases. The average mortality ratio in the world is 1.05%; in Latin America and the Caribbean, it is 1.45%.”

He stressed that Cuba had more competently handled the pandemic and had a more successful strategy in the face of the pandemic than the government of the United States and many developed countries in the world that adopted a neoliberal line. Cuba outperformed all these developed countries in a difficult position and under a tight blockade.

The Cuban president added, “Who was caring for the most vulnerable people in neighborhoods during the pandemic? They’re the young Cubans, no one else.”

Development of public policies

“We have never stopped [engaging in] dialogue with the Cuban youth, as we constantly engage with them and visit universities, and they participate in the basic tasks of the Revolution. We take part in discussions and conferences held by the youth and youth organizations, and the Cuban youth groups are represented in parliament by their peers,” Cuba’s President said in his interview for Al Mayadeen.

He further explained that young Cubans participate in temporary action groups that work on developing public policies, which later lead to the emergence of laws approved by the National Assembly.

“We are currently in an endeavor with the participation of young people, as we set a general policy for youth and childhood, which allows us to reach a law in which we provide more guarantees for the youth and children,” Diaz-Canel added.

He also pointed out that “the main issue is how to continue to work with our youth on the basis of the Revolution-founded values so that the generational difference between those who launched the Revolution and those who defend it today and the new generations does not turn into an ideological difference and a rift.”

The Cuban leader stressed that this matter is “a challenge ahead of us and herein lies its beauty, but I believe that we will achieve it because we are already doing it today and the majority of our youth are with the Revolution, regardless of whether they live today in a society whose capabilities are limited in a way that does not allow the full realization of the aspirations of their projects in life.”

He further told Al Mayadeen, “All of this has led me to wonder: How can a country living under such dire circumstances, in which chaos would have prevailed had the schemes plotted against it succeeded, defeat Covid? The country has now reached a post-pandemic stage, and we started to revitalize our economic and social life, and still, the measures meant to tighten the blockade are still in place.

According to the Cuban President, the Cuban people have developed the capacity for resistance, which is not only to resist and endure the blockade; rather, it is the resistance that prevailed in the past year and shall move forward, overcoming the current adversities by relying on the talent and efforts of the Cubans.

“This is how Covid was defeated. Armed with the notion of everyone works for everyone, we focused on saving the lives of Cuban men and women, and we achieved that,” Diaz-Canel emphasized.

He went on to say, “And just as we succeeded in the case of Covid, we will continue to succeed, and we will continue to make achievements with the participation of our youth.”

Private Dialogue | Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudas – President of the Republic of Cuba – Part One

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Ten years onto his death, revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez lives on

Source: Agencies

March 6, 2023

By Al Mayadeen English 

Millions across the world are paying tribute to the late Venezuelan leader and expressing their pride in carrying on his legacy of resisting hegemony and powers of oppression.

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (Reuters)

    Supporters of former President Hugo Chavez headed on Sunday to the “Mountain Barracks 4F,” a converted shrine-like place that served as Chavez’s base during the 1992 coup.

    “He was the best, a commander, a chief, a wonderful leader with his people. He taught us a lot. He left us so many things that 10, 20 years can go by and you still feel it,” Luisa Adrian, 56, said to AFP, as she stood in line in Caracas to enter the barracks where former President Chavez’s remains are located.

    “You have to transmit the legacy to the new generations. That’s why I’m here with my two-and-a-half-year-old grandson,” she added.

    Rosaris Izturiz, a 43-year-old worker at state-owned water management institution Hidrocapital, said the late Venezuelan leader “continued there at the forefront despite all the adversities.” 

    Since Friday, Caracas has been organizing events honoring President Hugo Chavez on the tenth anniversary of his passing, while millions across the world have been paying tribute and expressing their pride in carrying on his legacy of resisting the powers of oppression.

    Read more: Liberation movements in a historical echo: Latin America to West Asia

    Chavez was the 61st president of Venezuela, and he became president of the country on February 2, 1999. He was known for his socialist democratic government and his calls for Latin America’s political and economic integration in the fight against imperialism, in addition to his sharp criticism and opposition of neoliberal globalists and the US foreign policy.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro considered that Chavez represented love, loyalty, and victory.

    “To say Chávez, is to say love, loyalty and victory,” said Maduro on his Twitter account.

    “10 years after his sowing, the People transformed pain into strength to continue mobilizing in the streets, fighting daily for the defense of the Homeland and to consolidate the Bolivarian project that they dreamed of,” he added.

    Read more: Venezuela voices support for regional currency initiative

    Maduro also shared a video on his Twitter account in honor of the late leader, which included pictures of Chavez’s revolution.

    “Eternal is the one who lives in the heart and soul of the People,” the Latin American President said in the tweet.

    Among the attendees of the national event held at the Teresa Carreno Theater in the country’s capital were Bolivian President Luis Arce, Cuba’s former President Raul Castro, Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa, and Honduras’ former President Manuel Zelaya.

    On his Twitter account, the Bolivian President shared pictures of the commemoration, remembering Chavez’s love for Bolivia and his lessons that contributed to building its society.

    Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales shared on his Twitter account pictures of him paying respect to the late Chavez by laying flowers at his final resting place.

    “In addition to recovering the oil looted by the US for the Venezuelan people, he refounded Venezuela and strengthened the integration of Latin America,” Morales said, adding that his solid and unwavering belief “is the strength of the revolution.”

    Chavez’s steadfast support for Palestine and its Resistance in the face of the Israeli occupation and their American sponsors did not leave the minds of his supporters.

    On their Twitter account, user “Tibou” posted a picture of former President Hugo Chavez, reminding people of his stance on Palestine and the occupation.

    “A friend of Palestine & its resistance,” who “rightly called a terrorist & genocidal state that served as the “killer weapon of the United States.”

    Remembering the later leader and his legacy in the Global South in its fight against imperialism and neoliberal powers was not limited to Latin America.

    Vijar Parshad, Director of Tricontinental Social Research Institution, chief correspondent of and senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of China’s Renmin University, remembered on his Twitter account the moment the news came out about Chavez passed away. 

    “It was a very sad day for all of us globally, as a reference for our movement left us.”

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      By Jessica Buxbaum

      In January, Salvadoran newspaper El Faro revealed that the country’s police have purchased three Israeli surveillance tools. Through the approximately $2.2 million contract, El Salavador’s police acquired the Wave Guard Tracer, from Wave Guard Technologies, designed to trace calls, text, and data, the GEOLOC system sold by an unknown Israeli firm, which intercepts signals between SIM cards and cellular towers in order to do physical surveillance, and Web Tangles, made by Cobwebs Technologies, which uses a person’s social media account to create an identity report.

      Israel is notorious for selling arms and cyber surveillance technologies to governments around the world, and Latin America is no exception. But in countries like Mexico, where government corruption is rampant, these Israeli exports become even more insidious.


      Salvadoran police bought the cyber surveillance technology through EyeTech Solutions, one of the main Israeli intermediaries selling spyware across Latin America. The majority of the offensive cyber market’s transactions are executed through intermediaries, who often receive a 12-15 percent commission. The Mexico-based Israeli firm is run by Yaniv Zangilevitch, a former spy official in the Israeli army and personal friend of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.

      Often intermediaries establish contracts due to their connections with government officials, as is the case of Samuel Weinberg. Weinberg’s relationship with former Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna helped him secure several business agreements. García Luna was found guilty in the United States last week for drug trafficking and organized crime. Now, the Mexican Financial Intelligence Unit is investigating the Weinberg family for their relationship with García Luna, as well as their involvement with companies selling products involved in political espionage scandals.The Weinbergs could not be reached for comment.

      Former Mexican public security official, Tomás Zerón de Lucio, also holds relationships with Israeli cyber tech middlemen like Avishay Samuel Neriya. Neriya is partners with another Israeli businessman, Uri Emmanuel Ansbacher, at BSD Security Systems, which sold espionage systems to Mexican security agencies. According to Mexican magazine, Proceso, Ansbacher was the main intermediary for Israeli companies selling cyber surveillance technology to Mexican security agencies like the Attorney General’s Office, the National Defense Secretariat, and the National Intelligence and Security Center.

      Zerón’s connections to Israel allowed him to travel there in order to escape authorities looking for him for in connection to charges of torture, forced disappearance, and embezzlement.

      Mexican security analyst Paloma Mendoza-Cortés explained that offensive cyber technology is being used by the Mexican government in several illegal ways, including to track journalists, human rights defenders, academic critics, and other opponents and by political opposition groups to spy on the government or other parties.

      “These practices are widespread precisely because of the legal vacuum,” Mendoza-Cortés told MintPress News, “Consequently, there have been cases of security officials who work simultaneously as consultants, a situation that in other countries would be illegal.”

      Another intermediary, Balam Security, headed by Asaf Zanzuri, has sold numerous espionage systems to the Mexican government. These include a tactical unmanned aerial system and an intelligence-gathering drone made by Israeli arms manufacturer Aeronautics. Balam Security has boasted their clients include Mexico’s Secretariat of the Navy, Secretariat of National Defense, federal and state Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection, and the Federal Police.


      According to the Mexican embassy in Israel, 30 cybersecurity companies operate in Mexico, with some providing services to the government such as Toka Cyber, InElint, and Centraleyes (formerly Cygov).

      In 2020, Toka was selected by Chile and the Inter-American Development Bank to advise Chile on its national cybersecurity readiness. In response to queries from MintPress News regarding its operations in Central and South America, Toka said in a statement:

      The Inter-American Development Bank contracted with Toka for a short consulting project in Chile three years ago. Toka no longer provides consulting services and does not have, nor is seeking, any business in Central or South America.

      InElint didn’t have contact information or an available website to verify its work in Mexico. Centraleyes did not respond to MintPress News’ queries.

      Additionally, the aforementioned intermediaries and other firms orchestrate sales from Israeli cyber companies like Cognyte, Circles, and Cellebrite Solutions, which operate in Mexico and in other Latin American countries.

      “State governments acquiring technologies that could be used for unlawful purposes is a permanent risk in Latin America,” Mendoza-Cortés said, explaining the largest markets for offensive cyber weapons are in Colombia, Mexico, and throughout Central America. “[This is] thanks to significant security budgets—bolstered by U.S. security assistance funds, which increases the market’s attractiveness.”

      Cellebrite’s customers include law enforcement agencies in Colombia, including the national police, law enforcement in Mexico, and Argentina’s border patrol. Law enforcement often relies on Cellebrite to extract mobile data and use it for evidence, raising legal and security concerns. Moxie Marlinspike, founder of encrypted messaging app, Signal, claimed Cellebrite’s software is unreliable and the data can be corrupted — potentially putting innocent people behind bars.

      Concerns have also grown that this technology could be used to prosecute journalists, with police forces around the world using it when arresting reporters. In 2019, the government of Nicolás Maduro purchased over $54,300 in Cellebrite tools for Venezuela’s police. According to trade database ImportGenius, Cellebrite’s technology has also been imported into EcuadorPeruParaguay, and by the British Embassy in Panama in 2018. The British Embassy did not respond to requests for comment on why and how it’s using Cellebrite. Cellebrite also did not respond to MintPress News’ inquiries on its operations in the above countries.

      Through a U.S. State Department contract, Cognyte, once part of Verint Systems, wiretapped Mexican telecommunications and provided the country’s government access to that information. In 2021, social media giant, Meta, said it removed around 100 accounts linked to Cognyte for targeting journalists and politicians around the world. Meta said Cognyte’s software is designed to exploit human error in order to collect a person’s data. Its investigation identified Cognyte customers in Colombia and Mexico.

      A recent Haaretz investigation found the company pitched its Open Source Intelligence system to the Chilean army, but leaked documents did not confirm if these pitches materialized into sales. According to ImportGenius, Cognyte has also been sold in Ecuador and Panama.  The company did not respond to MintPress News’ requests for comment.

      Mendoza-Cortés explained Israeli cyber weapons have become immensely popular in Latin America due to corruption. “It is incredible that Israel, one of the countries with the best intelligence services, is unaware of the level and depth of corruption in Latin America,” she said.

      And in that regard, she explained, “technology is susceptible to falling into the wrong hands, increasing violence, violation of human rights, and insecurity in the region.”

      In Munich: West sounds alarm over Global South stances

      The recent conference on international security policy focused extensively on the significance of the Global South to the west’s security. As power competition with China and Russia intensifies, the west is compelled to reassess its approach to relations with these countries.

      February 23 2023

      Photo Credit: The Cradle
      Mohamed Sweidan is a strategic studies researcher, a writer for different media platforms, and the author of several studies in the field of international relations. Mohamed’s main focus is on Russian affairs, Turkish politics, and the relationship between energy security and geopolitics.

      By Mohamad Hasan Sweidan

      “I am struck by how much we are losing the trust of the Global South.”

      French President Emmanuel Macron during the Munich Security Conference 2023

      The 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held from 17 to 19 February, was attended by over 150 senior officials, including more than 40 heads of state and international organizations. The conference focused on three main topics: the war in Ukraine, the need to confront China and Russia, and the importance of the Global South in the struggle between the great powers.

      As in the previous year, Russia was not present at the Munich conference. However, this year marked the first time in twenty years that Moscow was not even invited to participate. With both Russia and Iran absent, the conference became a platform for attacking opponents of western policies.

      The Great Game for the Global South

      The conference took place against a backdrop of international turmoil and competition among great powers for influence in the emerging multipolar order. Several western countries expressed their dissatisfaction with the positions of Global South countries in relation to the conflicts involving China and Russia.

      During her speech, US Vice President Kamala Harris stated that:

      “We have invited a record number of representatives from the so-called “Global South,” because while we have this unity between us, when you talk to representatives of the Global South – and we had them on the podium this morning – you see that many countries sit on the fence.”

      Accordingly, Christoph Heusgen, chairman of the MSC, announced at the opening ceremony that this year’s conference would “put a spotlight on the Global South” and “listen to their concerns.”

      France’s Macron pointed out that efforts in reshaping the global order should be more inclusive: “The west has been losing the Global South and hasn’t done enough to respond to the charge of double standards, including by not helping poor countries fast enough with Covid vaccines,” he said. “One way to address the concerns of the Global South is to bring about reforms in the United Nations.”

      A wake-up call for the west

      While the discussions and outcomes of the conference suggest that western powers have come to recognize the significance of nations in the Global South, this appears to be mainly because of the necessity in rallying their support in major conflicts against Russia and China.

      The conflict in Ukraine fully demonstrated that the refusal of many Latin American, African, and Asian countries to support western sanctions was a significant factor in the failure of the west’s attempts to isolate Russia.

      The MSC’s final report states: “The wake-up call provided by Russia’s war and the diffidence of many countries in the ‘Global South’ has roused liberal democracies from their complacency, reminding them that the international order, just like democracy itself, is in constant need of renewal.”

      The report added that “countries in the Global South can become crucial ‘swing states.’ They can tip the balance between systemic competitors and therefore determine the fate of the international rules-based order.” It also recognized that:

      “Influential states such as India, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia are quite actively hedging their bets in the current geopolitical standoff – both when it comes to Ukraine but also on many other policy issues. Rather than being guided by deep feelings about the international order, their responses to the war in Ukraine and their stances in the broader international contest over the international order seem to be guided by much more pragmatic reasoning.”

      The report also found that:

      “Many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have steadily lost faith in the legitimacy and fairness of an international system which has neither granted them an appropriate voice in global affairs, nor sufficiently addressed their core concerns. To many states, these failures are deeply tied to the west. They find that the western-led order has been characterized by post-colonial domination, double standards, and neglect for developing countries’ concerns.”

      Legacy of colonialism

      It is clear from the statements made at the Munich Security Conference that the west recognizes the need to change its approach to development cooperation with the countries of the Global South, in order to counter the increasing influence of Beijing and Moscow.

      However, this will require a fundamental shift in attitudes and policies towards these countries, which have historically been viewed as objects of aid and development rather than equal partners in a mutually beneficial relationship. This too is pointed out in the MSC report:

      “The United States and Europe will have to rethink their approaches to development cooperation with countries in the Global South. They need to make their development models more attractive, as China offers an alternative model based on a narrative of solidarity and mutual benefits. To compete with China, the approach must focus on the novelty on short-term emergency relief as well as long-term financing enables sustainable and resilient systems in partner countries.”

      The colonialist legacy of the west continues to cast a long shadow over its relations with the Global South, and it will take sustained effort and genuine commitment to overcome this legacy and build a more equitable and productive relationship.

      This will require a shift away from the donor-recipient model towards one based on partnership and mutual benefit, and a recognition that the interests and aspirations of the countries of the Global South must be taken seriously and respected.

      Looting wealth, interfering in the policies of states, and waging wars are hallmarks of western policies in the developing world. Those states who do not adhere to western diktats are regularly subjected to ominous sanctions or extreme economic pressures.

      The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the support for authoritarian regimes and coups, the economic vise on countries like Lebanon and Venezuela, and the unequal distribution of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic are just a few examples of the ways in which western powers have acted against the interests and well-being of Global South countries.

      In 2019, when former US President Donald Trump triumphantly claimed ownership of Syrian oil, it marked a clear example of the problematic and exploitative attitudes that continue to plague western policies toward the Global South. The fact that western leaders did not anticipate the rise of the developing countries to become decisive “swing states” – as noted in the final report of the Munich conference – is a reflection of the west’s ongoing ignorance and neglect of the interests and aspirations of these vital states.

      West Asia at the MSC

      The MSC also highlighted the increasing importance of West Asia in global energy politics and the west’s alarm about China’s growing influence in this region. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) projection that West Asian countries will meet a large share of China and India’s growing oil needs has raised the region’s strategic value for these influential emerging powers.

      Washington’s frustration with Saudi Arabia’s standing in the Ukrainian conflict was also evident at the conference, as the west seeks to prevent a repeat of such behavior in the more important conflict with China. Per the conference report:

      “Amid the decline of the American presence in the Middle East [West Asia], liberal democracies are increasingly concerned about China’s growing influence. Deeper relations between China and the Middle East [West Asia] may evolve to include a stronger Chinese military and security footprint, which could undermine the west’s security partnerships with countries in the region.”

      In essence, the Munich meeting provided a platform for declining western powers to express their concerns about the growing influence of China in West Asia, as well as their frustration with Saudi Arabia’s perceived lack of loyalty. It highlighted the need for the west to adapt its strategies in dealing with the developing world and to foster new forms of international solidarity and cooperation.

      However, it is important to acknowledge that the term “Global South” itself reflects a colonial mindset that continues to shape the west’s perception of developing nations, and that such imperial policies will continue as long as such attitudes persist.

      The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

      The Core Issue


      Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

      Bouthaina Shaaban

      The wars we are witnessing, whether the military war in Ukraine, or soft wars in the China Sea, or cultural wars in what Neo-Liberalism is distorting and charting for humanity, are all manifestations of a strong opposition by the West to the establishment of this multipolar world.

      The core problem humanity is facing nowadays can be summed up as follows:

      There is no political or moral leader to this world, as the strongest militarily and financially are pursuing additional military and financial powers, and the system that was produced by the Second World War and established by the agreement of so many countries, is truly collapsing, with no alternative yet in place. The BRICS countries, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and many Asian countries are trying to establish a multipolar system in the world, where no opinion can have an absolute veto over the will of so many countries.

      The wars we are witnessing, whether the military war in Ukraine, or soft wars in the China Sea, or cultural wars in what Neo-Liberalism is distorting and charting for humanity, are all manifestations of a strong opposition by the West to the establishment of this multipolar world. While Russia, Iran, India, Latin America, and Africa are trying their best to get rid of the hegemony of the Dollar, the hegemony of NATO’s will, the hegemony of the West that had been looting resources from all over the world over decades, the West is absolutely desperate to establish new alliances through which it may prevent the birth of this multipolar system.

      From this very perspective, we can understand the persistent efforts the US is exerting with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan to establish an alliance in the China Sea to threaten China and prevent whatever steps China wants to make in order to ensure the dawn of a multipolar system. The efforts of the US, and what they called an “echo alliance” with Australia and Canada can also be understood in the same context, in order to frighten China from any serious effort in aligning with other countries who might subvert the hegemony of the West in the world.

      From the same perspective, we can understand the current competition in Africa between China, Russia, and the old colonialists: France and the United States, and of course the West is not interested in the rise or equality or prosperity of the Africans. All the West is interested in is what these countries have, how they can loot gold and other precious minerals, and how they can loot this wealth without paying anything in return in order to support their economies and build their countries at the expense of the lives and prosperity of Africans.

      Latin America is no exception as well. While Chávez, Lula da Silva and other nationalist leaders tried and succeeded in shaking the fetters of the US off their countries, the United States is intensifying its efforts in Latin America to prevent the liberation of the will of all Latin American countries that had been considered for decades as the backyard of the United States.

      As for our region, the Middle East, the United States has lately, or last year, added “Israel”, the Zionist entity, as a member of CENTCOM for the first time in history, which means that the US has appointed “Israel” as its military representative in the region in order to do what it sees fit so as to preserve the hegemony of the US, and extend Zionist hegemony over the will of the Arab and Iranian people in the Arab World and Iran. The issue here is not traditional: the Zionist entity is not launching wars on the border with its army and its tanks and airplanes; it is launching intelligence wars inside countries in an attempt to change the political systems in these countries, and turn them into satellite states that echo the will of the Israelis, and by default the will of the Americans and the West.

      This, in essence, was the reason for the terrorist war that has been launched against the Syrian people for the last 12 years. This in essence is the reason why NATO countries destroyed Libya and betrayed Russia (and, in fact, did not fulfill their promise to Russia that it was going to be part of their alliance). The result is that Libyan oil is being divided between Italy, France, and the United States; it has been looted by these countries, while the Libyan people remain impoverished, scattered, and unable to secure their subsistence.

      This, again, is what has been happening in Iran since last year. “Israel”, the Zionist entity, is using its intelligence to recruit Iranians and others probably, who will be its agents to fulfill its agenda in Iran, without launching a traditional war, and it is within this context that we can observe what is happening in Iran of claims about women’s freedom or other democratic appeals or whatever. If the Israelis and the Americans believe in freedom for women and women’s rights, then tell me what is happening to the 29 Palestinian women prisoners who are being harassed and subjugated in Israeli jails, in an unprecedented way crackdown on women.

      The Israeli entity is the most racist occupation in history after South Africa. It is killing Palestinians Point Blank, it is destroying their houses, robbing their property, looting their lands, and perpetrating the worst crimes humanity is witnessing nowadays. Yet “Israel” is the partner of the West in trying to subjugate other countries and undermine the free will of any government and any person that refuses to be an agent of this power that is only interested in military industry, and accumulating more wealth, and bringing more money to the wealthiest in the world who made their wealth by looting other people and other countries.

      Hence it is the duty of every truly free person to stand fast and firm against this horrifying process of the West to try and control the will of other countries. And from this perspective, I can certainly say that the war Russia is fighting in Ukraine against NATO is not only a Russian war; it is a world war, and it is not fair to let Russian soldiers and Russian people fight on their own in a war that the entire humanity needs to fight.

      NATO has imposed this war on Russia, and it is desperate to defeat Russia in order to terrify any country that may think of standing up against Western hegemony. Russia is leading the way for a different world, and many Western leaders have announced that they are sending trillions of dollars and armaments in order to prevent Russian victory. Russian victory would mean Western defeat, and Western defeat would mean the end of Western hegemony over the world.  This is what the West cannot afford, and this is why the West considers this war an existential war. In fact, it is a war for everyone in the world but for reasons different from those of the West.


      Enigma – Episode 4: When everyone thought the Cuban Revolution ended

      5 Feb 2023

      Source: Al Mayadeen Net

      By Al Mayadeen English 

      Episode four of Al Mayadeen’s Enigma documentary series recounts an important period in the history of Cuba, starting with the dissolution of the USSR, up to the arrival of the remains of Che and his companions in Cuba.

      Al Mayadeen broadcasted the fourth episode of its Enigma documentary series on Sunday, aimed at introducing the Arab and Islamic world to the Cuban Revolution, its origins and role, and the most important figures that were at its vanguard.

      The new episode shed light on the post-Soviet period, the economic crisis that afflicted Cuba, and the boat crisis, which is one of the many immigration crises between Cuba and the United States that forced the US government to sit at the negotiating table with Cuba. The episode also mentioned Ernesto Che Guevara’s role and martyrdom.

      The dissolution of the Soviet Union

      On December 25, 1991, the hammer and sickle flag was lowered from the Kremlin building, and the old flag of the Tsars was raised. The Soviet Union ended, and the world in the form known until then turned into something completely different. The 90s were a very difficult period for Cuba.

      Facing the hostile policy of the US since the victory of the Revolution, Cuba had to rely heavily on the contributions of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries in order to pursue development and be able to carry out the necessary transformations in each of the economic, financial, scientific, and technological fields. Cuba’s trade exchange with the Soviet Union reached 63% in the first 30 years of the Revolution up until 1989. However, things were about to change.

      The critical period in Cuba began a year and five months before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The barter dealing agreement was abolished, and the preferential agreements under which Cuba used to participate in the CAME Council were terminated.

      Cuba considered that the crisis had begun, and between 1990 and 1991, trade between the Island and the Soviet Union declined by 48%, as Russia plunged into the transition to capitalism, where the method of shock treatment was applied by the most strict neoliberal court.

      Economic crisis in Cuba

      The economic crisis in Cuba was so drastic, and its repercussions were evident in the overall economic status, as well as in the income of families. Accordingly, families had to invent the most bizarre ways to survive. The strategy used in this special phase was based on resistance. In the 1990s, for the first time in its history, at least since 1510, Cuba had to be completely self-reliant.

      Fidel Castro had always been at the center of the economic policies that were implemented without neglecting other tasks that he held as Head of State and Government. Castro was always very clear, saying that certain concessions must be made for the country’s economy to survive. He also said that these concessions can never affect the basic principles of the Revolution and stressed that national sovereignty is never subject to negotiation.

      Although the whole world changed, the US policy toward Cuba did not. In fact, it became more hostile against the Caribbean nation. The Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which was passed under the administration of William Clinton, tightened the blockade against Cuba and approved seizing assets of any company or individual, even from a third country that establishes any commercial relationship with a Cuban company built on US property previously nationalized in Cuba in the 60s.

      Migration crises between Havana and Washington

      Following the acute economic crisis that battered Cuba in the 1990s, the boat crisis of 1994 came as the tipping point. It was one of the many immigration crises between Cuba and the United States, which forced the US government to sit down at the negotiating table with Cuba. The crisis was another episode in a long battle in which Cuba sought to regulate immigration, while the United States sought to use it as leverage over the island.

      One case that made the headlines in the late 1990s was that of Elian Gonzalez; a child whose mother illegally smuggled him from Cuba on a dinghy that saw all its passengers perish at sea, except for him.

      Encouraged by the Cuban-American mafia in Florida, Gonzalez’s relatives in Miami refused to return the little boy to his father in Cuba, who was not aware that his mother was leaving with his son. The father demanded his son’s return and was supported by millions of Cubans who eventually succeeded in returning Elian Gonzalez home to his father.

      The first semester of the 1990s was marked by a severe economic crisis and the deterioration of the Cuban standards of living after the collapse of the socialist states in Eastern Europe. In 1997, Ernesto Che Guevara’s remains returned to Cuba and were a turning point in consolidating the steadfastness and resilience of those who remained on the island to preserve the Revolution against all odds.

      Guevara’s martyrdom

      Che’s remains returned to Cuba, along with those of six of his comrades in Bolivia, nearly 30 years after his martyrdom on the night of July 12, 1997.

      On July 17, a colossal memorial was erected in Santa Clara, where Che’s remains rested definitively.

      With the advent of the new millennium, the liberating spirit of Che swept powerfully across the continent, leading Latin America, which once turned its back on Cuba when it decided to build a socialist system in the western hemisphere, with the exception of Mexico, to experience years of flourished progressive ideas in the world led by men and women who draw inspiration from the heroes of independence in the American continent.

      Read more: Enigma: Al Mayadeen’s documentary on Cuba’s history, revolution

      Pentagon suspects second Chinese ‘spy balloon’ over Latin America

      Today Feb. 4, 2023

      Source: Agencies

      By Al Mayadeen English 

        Beijing says US media and politicians used the balloon incident “as a pretext to smear China.”

        A balloon in the sky over Billings, Montana, in images taken February 1 (AFP)

        Pentagon confirmed, on Saturday, that a Chinese “spy balloon” has been tracked over Latin America, one day after a similar aircraft was seen in US skies.

        At the time, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said the Chinese research balloon that accidentally breached US airspace on Thursday poses no threat to people on the ground.

        A senior defense official told reporters that at US President Joe Biden’s request, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and top military officials considered shooting the balloon down but decided that doing so would endanger too many people on the ground.

        “Clearly, the intent of this balloon is for surveillance,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, considered.

        The Pentagon added that the first balloon was now heading eastward over the central United States.

        Later Friday, Ryder said, “We are seeing reports of a balloon transiting Latin America.”

        “We now assess it is another Chinese surveillance balloon,” he stressed, without specifying its exact location. 

        Meanwhile, Beijing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, via a spokesperson, that China regretted the unintended breach of US airspace in reference to the accidental entry of a Chinese unmanned airship into US airspace on Friday.

        “The airship is from China,” the statement read. “It is a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological, purposes.”

        The big picture

        The discovery of the aircraft comes just days before an expected visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, following a meeting last November between Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit. The visit was supposed to be Blinken’s first trip to an Asian country since 2018.

        Blinken postponed his trip to Beijing over the incident, hours before he was supposed to depart for China.

        Simultaneously, China’s Foreign Ministry released another statement addressing Blinken’s announcement.

        “China… never violated the territory and airspace of any sovereign country,” it said.

        “Some politicians and media in the United States used the (balloon) incident as a pretext to attack and smear China,” it tersely stated.

        Furthermore, the Ministry affirmed that maintaining communication channels at all levels was important, “especially in dealing with some unexpected situations in a calm and reliable manner.”

        The statement further said in reference to Blinken’s trip, which was to have begun Sunday and had been widely publicized in the United States, “As a matter of fact, neither China nor the United States has announced any visit.”

        “It is the United States’ own decision to release the relevant information and we respect that,” the statement concluded by saying.

        Relations between the US and China have deteriorated particularly over Taiwan, with Washington selling arms to Taipei, as Biden has said he would help protect the island in case of an alleged Chinese attack.

        Tensions over Taiwan reached a peak last year when Nancy Pelosi, then-speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited the island in a provocative move. After Republicans gained control of the chamber in January, questions have been raised over whether her successor will make a similar trip.

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        Enigma’s third episode: Socialism in Cuba and Washington’s schemes

        January 30, 2023

        Source: Al Mayadeen

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        The third episode of Enigma talks about post-revolution Cuba and highlights the measures taken by Havana in Cuba and the US role in inciting against the revolutionary government.


        The third episode of Al Mayadeen‘s Enigma documentary series, aimed at shedding the light on the Cuban revolution and the impact it had on the world, highlighted the most prominent figures in the Cuban revolution and the circumstances that led to it altogether.

        The third episode touched on what it was like in post-revolutionary Cuba and the measures taken by the revolutionary government in light of incitement by the United States against the government in Havana.

        On January 8, 1959, through the road known as Malecón, Havana, officially the Avenida de Maceo, the freedom convoy led by leader Fidel Castro marched onto Havana. They had thwarted Fulgencio Batista’s US-backed dictatorship and came from the east, from the mountains of Sierra Maestra, from where they had begun 25 months prior to their final battle for victory and national integrity.

        They were accompanied by popular support from the people of Cuba, and at the capital, the support of the Cuban people and their eagerness for change climaxed: they now had a new leader.

        By that time, all main government strongholds that used to be controlled by the Batista regime had been under the control of the revolutionary authorities. Commander Ernesto “Che ” Guevara had taken over the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña, or the Fort of Saint Charles, and his comrade Camilo Cienfuegos over Camp Columbia, the stronghold of dictatorship in Havana. That is where Castro went that night, and he was surrounded by a sea of people chanting in support of him and celebrating the ousting of the US-backed dictator whose reign caused nothing but misery. Castro called for the unity of the Cuban people, unity for victory, and he also warned that as of that moment, everything could either be smooth sailing or be extremely difficult.

        Since the beginning, the revolutionary government took impactful measures, with the people being thought of first when it came to policy-making. The economic, political, and social changes were implemented swiftly, with rents and electricity prices getting halved, medicine prices getting decreased, and civilians being allowed to go on the beach after they were denied such privileges by the dictator.

        Despite the various policies taken by Castro’s government, the measure that had the most repercussions at the time was the first agrarian law passed in May 1959, which granted the right of ownership of land to those who cultivate it and worked on it. Cuba started changing course and began reimbursing the people for their work after they had been exploited at the hands of the US-backed regime. And with that, the United States began weaving its first plots against the revolutionary government.

        US anti-revolutionary schemes

        With the onset of the revolution, the United States signed a decree imposing the first ban on trade with Cuba. The decision was made to stop all exports to the island, except for food and medicine. A few months later, on January 3, 1961, diplomatic relations were severed, and a few days later, the decision was made to restrict the travel of American citizens to the island. The Eisenhower administration ushered in a new era and drew up the basics of Washington’s policy toward Cuba, which would go on to shape US-Cuban relations to this very day.

        Many of the destabilizing elements between Cuba and the United States were policies taken during the 60s and are still in force to this day, and the Cuban people are bearing the brunt of the US anti-revolutionary rhetoric.

        Another aspect that shaped Cuban-US relations was the countless operations carried out by the CIA to try and destabilize Cuba, such as Operation Peter Pan, which was orchestrated by the CIA, the US State Department, and the leadership of the Catholic Church in Miami.

        All measures of change in the country were taking place in the face of violent confrontations, and in fact, the country was subject to a permanent terrorist threat, as sabotage, threats of invasion, and hijacking of planes and fishermen’s boats were commonplace. 

        Not far from the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba, in the ancient province of Las Villas is the city of Trinidad, a World Heritage Site. Right in the heart of that region, some of the fiercest counter-revolutionary gangs operated between 1959 and 1965. It was a counter-revolutionary movement funded, armed, and run by the CIA.

        The CIA wanted to take advantage of this situation in the Escambray region to carry out a sea and land landing of a military brigade and take control of a coastal outpost in Trinidad. US plans revealed that Washington would form a provisional government there and demand international recognition and military support to overthrow the revolutionary government.

        In March 1961, Havana carried out Operation Cage, an operation aimed at counter-revolutionaries, trapping them before conducting an offensive against them. The offensive was called Operation Escambray Purge, and it saw more than 70,000 fighters from all over Cuba taking up arms in the face of the anti-revolutionaries.

        On the dawn of April 15, 1961, eight American B-26 bombers carried out attacks against three Cuban airports; Santiago de Cuba, San Antonio de los Baños, and Ciudad Libertad. The bombing was an attempted false flag operation. The bombers flew in disguised with the emblem of the Cuban Air Force in order to make it look like an internal mutiny from the air force. However, the other goal behind the operation was destroying the humble revolutionary air force on the ground so that it would not possess the capacity for a confrontation during an invasion.

        On that day, seven Cubans were killed and 50 others were wounded. One of those murdered by the United States wrote the name of Fidel Castro on the wall in his own blood before succumbing to his wound, embodying the decision to resist.

        Cuba adopts socialism

        From the heart of the Cuban capital of Havana and as a funeral was underway for those martyred during the bombing, commander Fidel Castro declared a general state of alert to face the imminent invasion. He also declared the socialist aspect of the Cuban revolution, turning Cuba into the first country to adopt socialism as a social and economic system in the Western Hemisphere.

        A military campaign was orchestrated by the United States to topple the island nation’s socialist government, with Washington allocating some $13 million to form a brigade of 600 mercenaries who, according to the US dream that would stand the test of time as a dream, were supposed to completely eradicate the revolution within two days. Some of the mercenaries were sent to train in training camps set up in Guatemala and Panama.

        The e 2506th Mercenary Brigade, financed by the Kennedy administration, landed at the Bay of Pigs on April 17, 1961. However, the fierce and brilliant resistance of the Cuban Revolutionary Militia, personally led by Fidel Castro, thwarted this aggression in less than 72 hours. The time factor was important because the goal of the invaders was to control a coastal outpost, form a government, and seek recognition from the puppet governments of the corrupt OAS.

        The mercenaries were only able to make it a couple of kilometers into Cuba from the shore before they were completely crushed by a resilient Cuba. 

        The most dangerous event that both countries and indeed the entire world faced during the Cold War period was in October 1962. Humanity was on the brink of nuclear fallout. USSR intelligence confirmed what Cuba already knew: the American invasion of the island is imminent. The Soviet Union then suggested to the government and the leadership of the revolution that Moscow deploys defensive nuclear missiles on Cuban soil.

        President Kennedy demanded that the Soviet nuclear missiles stationed in Cuba be handed back. To realize his goal, he imposed a naval blockade on the island. This prompted the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces to respond by putting all its units on combat alert, as a direct attack on Cuba seemed imminent.

        Despite the unwavering position of the people of Cuba and its armed forces, who were all mobilized and prepared in the face of this threat, the Soviets decided unilaterally to take the missiles back from Cuba during negotiations that took place between Nikita Khrushchev and Kennedy without the involvement of the Cuban leadership.

        Socialism unites

        The proclamation of the socialist nature of the Cuban Revolution was a decisive step towards uniting all the revolutionary political forces: the 26th of July Movement, the Popular Socialist Party, and the Revolutionary Directorate of the 13 March Movement agreed to dissolve themselves independently and individually in order to later unite into a single party: the Communist Party of Cuba.

        It was a Monday not like any other, as the streets of Cuba were unusually silent. The news of Che’s martyrdom has made it into every street, house, and heart of Cuban citizens. Children went to school, but they were silent. That is what a local newspaper said in Che Guevara’s obituary.

        About half a million Cubans participated in the anti-colonial wars in Africa. Men and women from the Caribbean island supported Algeria, Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde Island, and Ethiopia, in their wars to defend their sovereignty. The Cuban forces supported Angola in its struggle against the system of discrimination and apartheid as well.

        In the long list of attacks against the Cuban people, 1976 stands out as one of the most blood-stained years since the revolution. Another terrorist act was organized by members of the Cuban-American mafia in Miami, and the CIA had a hand. The terrorists bombed a Cubana de Aviacion airliner while in the air, killing 73 people. Those who masterminded this terrorist attack were the Cuban terrorists Orlando Bosh and Luis Posada Carriles. They were later protected by the US government after the victims’ families demanded that they be prosecuted.

        On September 18, 1980, the first Latin American man to make it to space, Cuban astronaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. This event was the fruit of space cooperation between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

        Ties between the USSR and Cuba were very warm despite being almost non-exist pre-revolution. They began to develop due to transformations undertaken by the country. From the start, these ties helped resist the US blockade imposed on the Caribbean island.

        By 1974, Cuba had joined the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) on preferential terms. In practice, this meant that Cuba would be granted loans on soft terms and had incentive prices set for its products, as well as partaking in joint construction of industrial facilities while receiving effective assistance in the scientific sector.

        The 90s brought upon the world an array of changes; the Berlin wall fell, Soviet republics were no more, the USSR collapsed, and with that CMEA was no more either. It was believed at the time that Cuba was isolated from its “eco-system”, from the system that allowed it to maintain its economic equilibrium. This political and economic isolation would have isolated or re-isolated Cuba at a time when the United States was escalating its hostilities against the island nation. However, Cuba was not to be isolated just yet due to the creative resistance of the Cuban people.

        The people and their revolution were unwavering in the face of the challenges and hardship thrown in their direction. None of the public services that the revolution implemented for its people were abolished. None of them were privatized. Schools remained open and Cuba remained safe from the neoliberal policies that had taken the entire Latin American region by storm at the time. Those who were hoping that the Cuban revolution would falter and that its end was near were greatly disappointed. The Cuban Revolution survived, and it continues to live even after the death of most of its leaders.

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        Exclusive: Resistance culture undergoing war – Jamileh Alamolhoda

        23 Jan 22:03

        Source: Al Mayadeen

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife, Jamileh Alamolhoda, tells Al Mayadeen that Iran is standing in the face of western patriarchal hegemony through cultural resistance.

        Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife, Jamileh Alamolhoda

        Iran is one of the few countries that want to stand in the face of the West’s patriarchal standards, and this is why the West is suppressing Iran, Dr. Jamileh Alamolhoda, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife, told Al Mayadeen during an interview that aired Monday.

        Alamolhoda explained to Al Mayadeen that there was a widespread media campaign aimed at undermining the culture of Iranian resistance, especially resistance stemming from Iranian women.

        She went on to explain that media patriarchy was “taking over the world, and truth be told, they founded a new definition of the woman and introduced a new feminist culture based on their own standards, demanding that all other cultures yield. In the event that someone stands up to them, they suppress them.”

        Alamolhoda underlined that if Iranian, Arab, Chinese, or Japanese women reject the Western standards regarding media patriarchy, they would be condemned because of the prevalent form of media repression, which props up only two options: fall in line or perish.

        “This attack on women targets all cultures, but the culture of resistance against the culture of hegemony, or in better words, the cultural hegemony that America wants to impose on other cultures is manifested today in the countries of the axis of resistance and is engaging in cultural resistance,” she said.

        “They usually look at the issue of resistance from the military aspect only, but the basis of that military resistance is cultural resistance acquired from women within the family and in their upbringing methods,” she stressed.

        Furthermore, according to Alamolhoda, the culture of resistance may be acquired from schools and universities, allowing the main supporters of cultural resistance to be the mothers or wives of those martyred in occupied Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq, among other countries.

        She also explained that both cultures were prevalent in Iran, “and the question remains, what is the woman’s true choice? But when some resort to riots and violence with the aim of destabilizing security and order, the government cannot but intervene.”

        The doctor touched on the rallying of the media against Iran, saying there were around two hundred TV channels that were inciting the masses against the culture of Iranian resistance, especially when it comes to Iranian women. “We have a few friends in the world who share the same thinking, such as Al Mayadeen and Al Manar channels.”

        Finally, she directed a message to the women of Iran, the Arab world, and the resistance, which she said also included the women of Africa and Latin America – “everyone seeking salvation from the hegemony of American culture.” She said: “we advise them to review the principles set by Imam Khomeini and those of the leader of the Revolution, reciting the Quran again, and going through the Hadiths to remind themselves of the views and opinions of the Noble Prophet (PBUH).”

        This comes against the backdrops of the riots that took place in Iran over alleged violations of human rights and amid accusations of misogyny directed at Iran. 

        Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC issued a statement in late October taking a jab at the role of foreign spy agencies, especially the CIA, in puppeteering the riots in Iran that took place in September.

        “Numerous examples and undeniable references of the all-out role of the American terrorist regime in designing, implementing, and maintaining” the riots were exposed as part of “continuous and precise” intelligence monitoring in the past year, supported by documents, the statement read.

        The statement pointed fingers at the CIA as it “played the main role” while being buddy-buddy with the espionage services of the UK, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia.

        “The main perpetrators were the CIA, the British and Saudi intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad, and the intelligence services of other countries,” it read. “the planning and the execution of the majority of the riots were carried out by the Mossad in collaboration with terrorist organizations.”

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        Exclusive: Resistance culture undergoing war – Jamileh Alamolhoda

        January 23, 2023

        Source: Al Mayadeen

        Private Dialogue | Dr. Jamila Alamolhoda – Wife of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife, Jamileh Alamolhoda, tells Al Mayadeen that Iran is standing in the face of western patriarchal hegemony through cultural resistance.

        Iran is one of the few countries that want to stand in the face of the West’s patriarchal standards, and this is why the West is suppressing Iran, Dr. Jamileh Alamolhoda, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s wife, told Al Mayadeen during an interview that aired Monday.

        Alamolhoda explained to Al Mayadeen that there was a widespread media campaign aimed at undermining the culture of Iranian resistance, especially resistance stemming from Iranian women.

        She went on to explain that media patriarchy was “taking over the world, and truth be told, they founded a new definition of the woman and introduced a new feminist culture based on their own standards, demanding that all other cultures yield. In the event that someone stands up to them, they suppress them.”

        Alamolhoda underlined that if Iranian, Arab, Chinese, or Japanese women reject the Western standards regarding media patriarchy, they would be condemned because of the prevalent form of media repression, which props up only two options: fall in line or perish.

        “This attack on women targets all cultures, but the culture of resistance against the culture of hegemony, or in better words, the cultural hegemony that America wants to impose on other cultures is manifested today in the countries of the axis of resistance and is engaging in cultural resistance,” she said.

        “They usually look at the issue of resistance from the military aspect only, but the basis of that military resistance is cultural resistance acquired from women within the family and in their upbringing methods,” she stressed.

        Furthermore, according to Alamolhoda, the culture of resistance may be acquired from schools and universities, allowing the main supporters of cultural resistance to be the mothers or wives of those martyred in occupied Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq, among other countries.

        She also explained that both cultures were prevalent in Iran, “and the question remains, what is the woman’s true choice? But when some resort to riots and violence with the aim of destabilizing security and order, the government cannot but intervene.”

        The doctor touched on the rallying of the media against Iran, saying there were around two hundred TV channels that were inciting the masses against the culture of Iranian resistance, especially when it comes to Iranian women. “We have a few friends in the world who share the same thinking, such as Al Mayadeen and Al Manar channels.”

        Finally, she directed a message to the women of Iran, the Arab world, and the resistance, which she said also included the women of Africa and Latin America – “everyone seeking salvation from the hegemony of American culture.” She said: “we advise them to review the principles set by Imam Khomeini and those of the leader of the Revolution, reciting the Quran again, and going through the Hadiths to remind themselves of the views and opinions of the Noble Prophet (PBUH).”

        This comes against the backdrops of the riots that took place in Iran over alleged violations of human rights and amid accusations of misogyny directed at Iran. 

        Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC issued a statement in late October taking a jab at the role of foreign spy agencies, especially the CIA, in puppeteering the riots in Iran that took place in September.

        “Numerous examples and undeniable references of the all-out role of the American terrorist regime in designing, implementing, and maintaining” the riots were exposed as part of “continuous and precise” intelligence monitoring in the past year, supported by documents, the statement read.

        The statement pointed fingers at the CIA as it “played the main role” while being buddy-buddy with the espionage services of the UK, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia.

        “The main perpetrators were the CIA, the British and Saudi intelligence services, the Israeli Mossad, and the intelligence services of other countries,” it read. “the planning and the execution of the majority of the riots were carried out by the Mossad in collaboration with terrorist organizations.”

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        Brazil Supreme Court Jan. 8 riots investigations to include Bolsonaro

        14 Jan 2023

        Source: Agencies

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        Brazil’s Supreme Court approved a request from the Attorney General’s office to investigate the role of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in inciting the January 8 riots that vandalized government institutions.

        Brazilian Security forces arrest supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro after retaking control of Planalto Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, on January 8, 2023 (AFP).

        The Supreme Court in Brazil, in its investigation into the incitement of the January 8 Brazil riots, agreed to include former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

        The request to investigate Bolsonaro came from the Attorney General’s office to the Supreme Court in a statement, on Friday, that specified that the investigation looked at the “instigation and intellectual authorship of anti-democratic acts that resulted in episodes of vandalism and violence in Brasilia last Sunday.” 

        According to the court, there are seven different probes pertaining to the January 8 riots in Brasilia, among which there is one that investigated Bolosonaro’s ties.

        A video that questioned the electoral process

        The evidence cited by the AG’s office which compelled Justice Alexandre de Moraes to grant the request was a video that Bolsonaro had posted to Facebook two days after the Brasilia riots, in which an attorney in Mato Grosso allegedly questioned the legitimacy of Brazil’s presidential election that brought President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to office once again.

        More specifically, the video argued that Lula da Silva’s election was brought on by a decision from the Supreme Court and Brazil’s electoral offices rather than through a democratic election, thus questioning the legitimacy of the entire electoral process.

        The video, however, was deleted from Facebook the morning after it was posted.

        Prosecutors have maintained that, despite the fact that the video was posted after the riots took place, it remained plausible evidence to probe into Bolsonaro’s role in the incitement of the riots. The prosecutors further noted that the video had “the power to incite new acts of civil insurgency.”

        Moreover, it was stated that the video might lead to Bolsonaro being charged with a “crime of incitement,” which is punishable by three to six months in prison or a fine.

        De Moraes’ decision also included a request for a hearing to look into political communication on platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.

        Bolosonaro was not alone

        In addition to Bolsonaro, his former Justice Minister Anderson Torres, has also been included in the investigation following an arrest order by de Moraes for his “neglect and collusion.”

        According to de Moraes, Torres fired subordinates and fleed to the US prior to the riots, which opened the door for the riots to take place.

        Despite de Moraes’s allegations, Torres denied any wrongdoing. Notwithstanding Torres’ denial, the investigation has discovered a draft decree in his home that outlined seizing control of Brazil’s electoral authority and possibly overturning the election.

        Read more: Washington orchestrating coups in Latin America: Evo Morales

        The defense rebuts

        Bolsonaro has “never had any relation or participation” in the January 8 riots in Brasilia, said Frederick Wassef, a lawyer representing the former President.
        “President Jair Bolsonaro always repudiated all the illegal and criminal acts, and always spoke publicly against illicit conducts, just as he was always a defender of the Constitution and democracy,” Wassef said in a statement.

        Furthermore, Wassef also noted that “Throughout his government, he always acted according to the four lines of the Constitution,” adding that “President Jair Bolsonaro fiercely repudiates the vandalism and depredation acts against public patrimony committed by infiltrators in the manifestations.”

        Brasilia rioters likely had inside help: Lula

        Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, on Thursday, that the rioters likely had inside help.

        Lula told journalists he had ordered a “thorough review” of presidential palace staff after Sunday’s violent riots, which saw supporters of his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro storm the presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court and cause widespread damage.

        “I am convinced that the door of the Planalto (presidential) palace was opened for people to enter because there are no broken doors,” the President said in Brasilia.

        “This means that someone facilitated their entry,” he added.

        Elsewhere in his remarks, he affirmed that “we will investigate calmly to see what really happened.” 

        Read more: Brazil rioters dubbed ‘neo-fascists’ dispersed, intl. leaders condemn

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        Brazil’s Lula: ‘Fascists’ will be punished with ‘full force of law’

        January 9, 2023 

        Source: Agencies

        Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leads his first ministerial meeting since his inauguration at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

        By Al Mayadeen English 

        The Brazilian president orders the federal security to deploy in Brasilia and stop the rioters as he accuses his far-right predecessor Bolsonaro of encouraging his supporter’s riots.

        Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ordered on Sunday federal security to intervene in Brasilia and restore calm after Bolsonaro supporters raided the National Congress building, the Supreme court and the presidential palace.

        Lula said that the “fascists, fanatics” rioters will be punished “with the full force of law.”

        The federal intervention in the district will remain until January 31, according to the decree.

        According to Brazilian broadcaster GloboNews, Brazil’s congress, Supreme Court and Presidential Palace have all been retaken by security forces.

        Read more: Latin America leaders voice support to Brazil’s Lula amid riots

        On his Twitter account, the president accused former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro of encouraging his supporter’s acts and held him responsible.

        Lula added that the rioters “took advantage” as he is still “setting up the government” to carry out their actions. 

        Read more: Lula takes office, cancels privatization of 8 state-owned companies

        “They took advantage of the silence on Sunday, when we are still setting up the government, to do what they did. And you know that there are several speeches by the former president encouraging this. And this is also his responsibility and the parties that supported him.”

        Supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro broke into the country’s National Congress building and Planalto presidential palace on Sunday, in protest against leftist President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva who defeated far-right Bolsonaro in the presidential elections held on October 30.

        Hundreds of protesters holding the Brazilian flag stormed the national congress and took the roofs waving the country’s flags despite attempts by security officers to contain the unrest, an AFP photographer said.

        Some protesters were holding signs calling on the country’s military to “intervene militarily” against democratically elected Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

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        Qassem Soleimani in Venezuela: The lesser known motive behind his assassination

        January 03 2023

        Why was Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani assassinated by the US? His visit to Venezuela in 2019 may provide some answers.

        Photo Credit: The Cradle

        By Hasan Illaik

        On 3 January 2020, the US military assassinated Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the elite Quds Force in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), along with his companion, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

        Three years later, the motives for this decision – and its timing – are still being debated. The reasons for the US’s shock killing, however, may not be solely related to Soleimani’s role in regional conflicts, but could also arguably stem from his growing international clout.

        Why was Soleimani assassinated?

        Soleimani was reportedly responsible for leading Iran’s plan to surround Israel with an arc of missiles and precision drones in the West Asian region – from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq and Gaza, all the way to Yemen – which was viewed by Israeli officials as an existential threat to the Jewish state.

        The US has long accused Soleimani of being behind much of the resistance it faced after invading Iraq in 2003, as well as allegedly ordering operations against US forces in the period leading up to his assassination.

        The Quds Force commander – along with Muhandis – were critical in the Iraqi effort to defeat ISIS, outside of the control and agenda of the US and its regional allies, who often used the terrorist group to secure political and geographic gains.

        Furthermore, the US held Iran, and by extension Soleimani, responsible for the Yemeni attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil facilities on 14 September, 2019. The Aramco attack was so massive that it disrupted half of Saudi oil production, and was the largest of its kind since former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

        A leader in the Resistance Axis

        Soleimani was the “keyholder” in the Axis of Resistance, according to an Arab politician with strong ties to decision-making circles in both Washington and Riyadh.

        “Hajj Qassem,” says the politician, was uniquely capable of making decisions and then implementing them, which is considered a “rare advantage” among leaders. He was able to achieve significant strategic results – rapidly – by moving freely and negotiating directly with various statesmen, militias, and political movements.

        Examples of this are rife: The Quds Force commander persuaded Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 to intervene militarily in Syria, and organized the complex ‘frenemy’ relationship between Turkiye and Tehran through Turkish intelligence director Hakan Fidan.

        Soleimani played a pivotal role in preventing the fall of Damascus, maintained and developed important links with Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in Beirut, led a region wide campaign to defeat ISIS, and successfully managed the delicate balances between various political components in Iraq. In Yemen, he was able to supply the Ansarallah movement with training and arms that arguably changed the course of the Saudi-led aggression.

        Together or separately, the aforementioned points made him a desired target of assassination for both the US government and the security establishment in Israel.

        A visit to Venezuela

        There may, however, be additional factors that contributed to the US decision to assassinate Soleimani on 3 January, 2022. While some analysts cite, for instance, the storming of the 2019 US embassy in Baghdad by demonstrators three days before the extrajudicial killing, US decision makers were unlikely to have mobilized its assassins in reaction to this relatively benign incident.

        More significant for them would have been Soleimani’s unannounced trip to Venezuela in 2019, which crossed Washington’s red lines within its own geographic sphere of influence.

        His visit to the South American country was publicly revealed more than two years later by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, during an interview with Al-Mayadeen in December 2021.

        Maduro stated that Soleimani visited Caracas between March and April 2019, during which time the US launched a cyber and sabotage attack on Venezuela, resulting in widespread power outages. He glorified the Iranian general as a military hero who “combated terrorism and the brutal terrorist criminals who attacked the peoples of the Axis of resistance. He was a brave man.”

        Although Maduro did not reveal the exact date of the visit, it can be assumed that it took place on 8 April, 2019, and that Soleimani came on board the first direct flight of the Iranian airline Mahan Air between Tehran and Caracas.

        At that time, the US attack on Caracas was at its peak: Washington’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela, comprehensive economic sanctions, and then, at the end of April, the organization of a coup attempt that succeeded only in securing the escape of US-backed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to the Spanish embassy.

        Expanding military ties with Caracas

        During Soleimani’s Caracas visit, military cooperation between Iran and Venezuela was likely a key topic of discussion. Prior to his visit, Maduro had announced the establishment of “Popular Defense Units,” or revolutionary militias, to maintain order in the face of US-backed coup attempts.

        Both Iranian and Latin American sources confirm that Tehran had a role in organizing these militias. However, the most significant military cooperation between the two countries has been in the field of military industrialization.

        Since the tenure of late, former President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has been working on a project to manufacture drones. This was announced by Chavez on 13 June, 2012, noting that “We are doing this with the help of different countries including China, Russia, Iran, and other allied countries.”

        A few months earlier, the commander of the US Army’s Southern Command SOUTHCOM (its assigned area of responsibility includes Central and South America), General Douglas Fries, spoke about the same project, downplaying its importance by claiming that Iran was building drones with “limited capabilities” in Venezuela for internal security purposes.

        Developing drones

        In fact, Iran, represented by Soleimani’s Quds Force, was busy increasing military cooperation with Venezuela by developing new generations of drones and providing Caracas with spare parts for its existing American-made aircrafts. Interestingly, the raising of the Iranian flag has become routine in the Venezuelan Air Force’s military ceremonies.

        On 20 November, 2020, President Maduro delivered a speech announcing plans to produce different types of drones. Near him, on display, was a miniature model of a drone which appeared to be that of the Iranian “Muhajer 6” aircraft that entered service in Iran in 2018.

        This issue was raised by then-Israeli Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, while receiving the heads of American Jewish organizations in February 2022.

        Soleimani’s legacy in Latin America

        These developments were the direct result of Qassem Soleimani’s efforts. A Venezuelan official has confirmed to The Cradle that the country’s drone project was built with full Iranian support: from training engineers to setting up research and manufacturing centers, all the way to production.

        In October 2019, the commander of US Southern Command, Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, warned that Russia, China, Iran and Cuba were operating in varying capacities in SOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility. He noted, specifically, that Iran’s influence and presence is being felt in South America.

        In March 2020, the US SOUTHCOM commander repeated the same warning, placing Iran at the “top of the list of countries” that have assisted Venezuela in skirting US sanctions.

        The US has long viewed Latin America as its “backyard” and has sought to prevent the influence of rival or hostile powers in the region through its adherence to the Monroe Doctrine. The influence of Soleimani in the western hemisphere may have been viewed as a threat to US interests and a crossing of this “red line.”

        His role in assisting Venezuela in developing military capabilities, including the production of drones, was seen in Washington as a qualitative leap in Iran’s foreign relations and was likely a factor in the decision to assassinate Soleimani.

        The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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        Venezuela Opp. Officially Removes US-backed Guaido, Dissolves “Interim” Gov’t

        Dec 31, 2023 

        Source: Agencies

        By Janna Al-Kadri 

        By Staff, Agencies

        Venezuela’s opposition lawmakers have officially removed US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido and dissolved his so-called “interim government” amid reconciliation efforts with the democratically-elected government of Nicolas Maduro prior to the 2024 elections.

        The now-defunct opposition-controlled National Assembly agreed on Friday to eliminate the “interim government” of Guaido with 72 votes in favor, 29 against, and eight abstentions.

        Three of the four major Venezuelan opposition groups – Justice First, Democratic Action and A New Era – backed the ouster of Guaido as well as the creation of a five-member commission to manage the country’s foreign assets, especially US-based refiner Citgo, a subsidiary of state-owned oil company PDVSA.

        Guaido, whose Voluntad Popular party rejected the effort, had urged the lawmakers at the National Assembly to replace him instead of dissolving the “interim government.”

        The decision was made within the framework of peace talks between the Maduro administration and the country’s opposition groups to promote national unity and advance the recovery of the Latin American state from years-long US-imposed bans.

        Back in November, Maduro’s administration and the country’s opposition reached a long-delayed “social protection agreement” aimed at easing the drawn-out political and humanitarian situation in the country, with the deal focusing on education, health, food security, flood response, and electricity programs.

        Last year, the two sides held several rounds of negotiations with the mediation of Norway in Mexico, but practically it did not bring any favorable results.

        After the agreement, the two sides asked the United Nations to manage a fund, worth billions of dollars seized in foreign banks over US sanctions, in an effort to ease the country’s protracted political and humanitarian situation.

        Responding to the move, the US Treasury Department issued a license for Chevron, the second largest US oil company, to expand operations in Venezuela, allowing it to import Venezuelan crude into the United States.

        The oil-rich Latin American country began going through a downward spiral of poverty as well as social and developmental stagnation in 2018, when the West, led by the US, and its favored Venezuelan opposition contested Maduro’s victory in the presidential election.

        Following the election, Western countries began slapping Caracas with a slew of backbreaking sanctions, which have been responsible for spawning the dire economic situation in the country, with millions having fled Venezuela since the onset of the crisis.

        More than 7.1 million Venezuelans, as UN estimates show, have left their country and migrated to other Latin American countries or the US amid Venezuela’s high inflation as well as food and medicine shortages following Washington’s crippling sanctions.

        Can China help Brazil restart its global soft power?

        December 23, 2022

        by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

        Bolsonaro reduced Brazil to resources-exporter status; now Lula should follow Argentina’s lead into Belt and Road

        Ten days of full immersion in Brazil are not for the faint-hearted. Even restricted to the top two megalopolises, Sao Paulo and Rio, watching live the impact of interlocking economic, political, social and environmental crises exacerbated by the Jair Bolsonaro project leaves one stunned.

        The return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for what will be his third presidential term, starting January 1, 2023, is an extraordinary story trespassed by Sisyphean tasks. All at the same time he will have to

        • fight poverty;
        • reconnect with economic development while redistributing wealth;
        • re-industrialize the nation; and
        • tame environmental pillage.

        That will force his new government to summon unforeseen creative powers of political and financial persuasion.

        Even a mediocre, conservative politician such as Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of the wealthiest state of the union, Sao Paulo, and coordinator of the presidential transition, was simply astonished at how four years of the Bolsonaro project let loose a cornucopia of vanished documents, a black hole concerning all sorts of data and inexplicable financial losses.

        It’s impossible to ascertain the extent of corruption across the spectrum because simply nothing is in the books: Governmental systems have not been fed since 2020.

        Alckmin summed it all up: “The Bolsonaro government happened in the Stone Age, where there were no words and numbers.”

        Now every single public policy will have to be created, or re-created from scratch, and serious mistakes will be inevitable because of lack of data.

        And we’re not talking about a banana republic – even though the country concerned features plenty of (delicious) bananas.

        By purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brazil remains the eighth-ranked economic power in the world even after the Bolsonaro devastation years – behind China, the US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia and Indonesia, and ahead of the UK and France.

        A concerted imperial campaign since 2010, duly denounced by WikiLeaks, and implemented by local comprador elites, targeted the Dilma Rousseff presidency – the Brazilian national entrepreneurial champions – and led to Rousseff’s (illegal) impeachment and the jailing of Lula for 580 days on spurious charges (all subsequently dropped), paved the way for Bolsonaro to win the presidency in 2018.

        Were it not for this accumulation of disasters, Brazil – a natural leader of the Global South – by now might possibly be placed as the fifth-largest geo-economic power in the world.

        What the investment gang wants

        Paulo Nogueira Batista Jr, a former vice-president of the New Development Bank (NDB), or BRICS bank, goes straight to the point: Brazil’s dependence on Lula is immensely problematic.

        Batista sees Lula facing at least three hostile blocs.

        • The extreme right supported by a significant, powerful faction of the armed forces – and this includes not only Bolsonarists, who are still in front of a few army barracks contesting the presidential election result;
        • The physiological right that dominates Congress – known in Brazil as “The Big Center”;
        • International financial capital – which, predictably, controls the bulk of mainstream media.

        The third bloc, to a great extent, gleefully embraced Lula’s notion of a United Front capable of defeating the Bolsonaro project (which project, by the way, never ceased to be immensely profitable for the third bloc).

        Now they want their cut. Mainstream media instantly turned to corralling Lula, operating a sort of “financial inquisition,” as described by crack economist Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo.

        By appointing longtime Workers’ Party loyalist Fernando Haddad as finance minister, Lula signaled that he, in fact, will be in charge of the economy. Haddad is a political-science professor and was a decent minister of education, but he’s no sharp economic guru. Acolytes of the Goddess of the Market, of course, dismiss him.

        Once again, this is the trademark Lula swing in action: He chose to place more importance on what will be complex, protracted negotiations with a hostile Congress to advance his social agenda, confident that all the lineaments of economic policy are in his head.

        A lunch party with some members of Sao Paulo’s financial elite, even before Haddad’s name was announced, offered a few fascinating clues. These people are known as the “Faria Limers” – after the high-toned Faria Lima Avenue, which houses quite a few post-mod investment banks’ offices as well as Google and Facebook HQs.

        Faria Lima Avenue in San Paulo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

        Lunch attendees included a smattering of rabid anti-Workers’ Party investors, the proverbial unreconstructed neoliberals, yet most were enthusiastic about opportunities ahead to make a killing, including an investor looking for deals involving Chinese companies.

        The neoliberal mantra of those willing – perhaps – to place their bets on Lula (for a price) is “fiscal responsibility.” That frontally clashes with Lula’s focus on social justice.

        That’s where Haddad comes up as a helpful, polite interlocutor because he does privilege nuance, pointing out that only looking at market indicators and forgetting about the 38% of Brazilians who only earn the minimum wage (1,212 Brazilian real or US$233 per month) is not exactly good for business.

        The dark arts of non-government

        Lula is already winning his first battle: approving a constitutional amendment that allows financing of more social spending.

        That allows the government to keep the flagship Bolsa Família welfare program – of roughly $13 a month per poverty-level family – at least for the next two years.

        A stroll across downtown Sao Paulo – which in the 1960s was as chic as mid-Manhattan – offers a sorrowful crash course on impoverishment, shut-down businesses, homelessness and raging unemployment. The notorious “Crack Land” – once limited to a street – now encompasses a whole neighborhood, much like junkie, post-pandemic Los Angeles.

        Rio offers a completely different vibe if one goes for a walk in Ipanema on a sunny day, always a smashing experience. But Ipanema lives in a bubble. The real Rio of the Bolsonaro years – economically massacred, de-industrialized, occupied by militias – came up in a roundtable downtown where I interacted with, among others, a former energy minister and the man who discovered the immensely valuable pre-salt oil reserves.

        In the Q&A, a black man from a very poor community advanced the key challenge for Lula’s third term: To be stable, and able to govern, he has to have the vast poorest sectors of the population backing him up.

        This man voiced what seems not to be debated in Brazil at all: How did there come to be millions of poor Bolsonarists – street cleaners, delivery guys, the unemployed? Right-wing populism seduced them – and the established wings of the woke left had, and still have, nothing to offer them.

        Addressing this problem is as serious as the destruction of Brazilian  engineering giants by the Car Wash “corruption” racket. Brazil now has a huge number of well-qualified unemployed engineers. How come they have not amassed enough political organization to reclaim their jobs? Why should they resign themselves to becoming Uber drivers?

        José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, the new head of the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), may carp about the region’s economic failure as even worse now than in the “lost decade” of the 1980s: Average annual economic growth in Latin America in the decade up to 2023 is set to be just 0.8%.

        Yet what the UN is incapable of analyzing is how a plundering neoliberal regime such as Bolsonaro’s managed to “elevate” to unforeseen toxic levels the dark arts of little or no investment, low productivity and less than zero emphasis on education.

        President Dilma in da house

        Lula was quick to summarize Brazil’s new foreign policy – which will go totally multipolar, with emphasis on increasing Latin American integration, stronger ties across the Global South and a push to reform the UN Security Council (in sync with BRICS members Russia, China and India).

        Mauro Vieira, an able diplomat, will be the new foreign minister. But the man fine-tuning Brazil on the world stage will be Celso Amorim, Lula’s former foreign minister from 2003 to 2010.

        In a conference that reunited us in Sao Paulo, Amorim elaborated on the complexity of the world Lula is now inheriting, compared with 2003. Yet along with climate change the main priorities – achieving closer integration with South America, reviving Unasur (the Union of South American Nations) and re-approaching Africa – remain the same.

        And then there’s the Holy Grail: “good relations with both the US and China.”

        The Empire, predictably, will be on extreme close watch. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan dropped in to Brasilia, during the fist days of the World Cup soccer tournament, and was absolutely charmed by Lula, who’s a master of charisma. Yet the Monroe Doctrine always prevails. Lula getting closer and closer to BRICS – and the expanded BRICS+ – is considered virtual anathema in Washington.

        Jake Sullivan and Lula in Brasilia on November 28. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert

        So Lula will play most overtly in the environment arena. Covertly, it will be a sophisticated balancing act.

        The combo behind US President Joe Biden called Lula to congratulate him soon after the election results. Sullivan was in Brasilia setting the stage for a Lula visit to Washington. Chinese President Xi Jinping for his part sent him an affectionate letter, emphasizing the “global strategic partnership” between Brazil and China. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Lula earlier this week – and emphasized their common strategic approach to BRICS.

        China has been Brazil’s top trade partner since 2009, ahead of the US. Bilateral trade in 2021 hit $135 billion. The problem is lack of diversification and focus on low added value: iron ore, soybeans, raw crude and animal protein accounted for 87.4% of exports in 2021. China exports, on the other hand, are mostly high-tech manufactured products.

        Brazil’s dependence on commodity exports has indeed contributed for years to its rising foreign reserves. But that implies high concentration of wealth, low taxes, low job creation and dependence on cyclical price oscillations.

        There’s no question China is focused on Brazilian natural resources to fuel its new development push – or “peaceful modernization,” as established by the latest Party Congress.

        But Lula will have to strive for a more equal trade balance in case he manages to restart the nation as a solid economy. In 2000, for instance, Brazil’s top export item was Embraer jets. Now, it’s iron ore and soybeans; yet another dire indicator of the ferocious de-industrialization operated by the Bolsonaro project.

        China is already investing substantially in the Brazilian electric sector – mostly due to state companies being bought by Chinese companies. That was the case in 2017 of State Grid buying CPFL in Sao Paulo, for instance, which in turn bought a state company from southern Brazil in 2021.

        From Lula’s point of view, that’s inadmissible: a classic case of privatization of strategic public assets.

        A different scenario plays in neighboring Argentina. Buenos Aires in February became an official partner of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, with at least $23 billion in new projects on the pipeline. The Argentine railway system will be upgraded by – who else? – Chinese companies, to the tune of $4.6 billion.

        The Chinese will also be investing in the largest solar energy plant in Latin America, a hydroelectric plant in Patagonia, and a nuclear energy plant – complete with transfer of Chinese technology to the Argentine state.

        Lula, beaming with invaluable soft power not only personally when it comes to Xi but also appealing to Chinese public opinion, can get similar strategic partnership deals, with even more amplitude. Brasilia may follow the Iranian partnership model – offering oil and gas in exchange for building critical infrastructure.

        Inevitably, the golden path ahead will be via joint ventures, not mergers and acquisitions. No wonder many in Rio are already dreaming of high-speed rail linking it to Sao Paulo in just over an hour, instead of the current, congested highway journey of six hours (if you’re lucky).

        A key role will be played by former president Dilma Rousseff, who had a long, leisurely lunch with a few of us in Sao Paulo, taking her time to recount, in minutiae, everything from the day she was officially arrested by the military dictatorship (January 16, 1970) to her off-the-record conversations with then-German chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin, and Xi.

        President Dilma Rousseff during a bilateral meeting with the president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, at the G20 Saint Petersburg summit in 2013. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

        It goes without saying that her political – and personal – capital with both Xi and Putin is stellar. Lula offered her any post she wanted in the new government. Although still a state secret, this will be part of a serious drive to polish Brazil’s global profile, especially across the Global South.

        To recover from the previous, disastrous six years – which included a two-year no man’s land (2016-2018) after the impeachment of president Dilma – Brazil will need an unparalleled national drive of re-industrialization at virtually every level, complete with serious investment in research and development, training of specialized work forces and technology transfer.

        There is a superpower that can play a crucial role in this process: China, Brazil’s close partner in the expanding BRICS+. Brazil is one of the natural leaders of the Global South, a role much prized by the Chinese leadership.

        The key now is for both partners to establish a high-level strategic dialogue – all over again. Lula’s first high-profile foreign visit may be to Washington. But the destination that really matters, as we watch the river of history flow, will be Beijing.

        Pepe Escobar is a Brazilian journalist who has written for Asia Times for many years, covering events throughout Asia and the Middle East. He has also been an analyst for RT and Sputnik News, and previously worked for Al Jazeera.

        Fascism in the EU

        December 10, 2022


        by Hans Vogel

        “Wij zijn de zwarte soldaten, want wij strijden voor vrijheid en voor recht!”

        (We are the black soldiers, ‘cause we fight for freedom and for justice)

        Thus went a marching song of the NSB, the Dutch National Socialist party (1932-1945). Of course, black referred to the color of their uniforms, not the color of their skins.

        In some weird way this old song, like the men who were singing it and the ideas behind it, shunned by decent society, has regained significance in Europe. Taking a closer look at the EU, it is striking that police uniforms generally are also black, perhaps not always those worn by officers on regular duty, but certainly those of the riot police. Riot police in full gear are literally black soldiers. As such, they have been brutally suppressing peaceful demonstrations for over a decade now. For instance, police brutality—worthy of any “Third World” Rogue State—against the Yellow Vest movement in France has been particularly shocking.

        At the same time, another kind of black soldiers has also been taking over the streets of old Europe. Not dressed in black uniforms, but black of skin, less tightly organized and commanded, these black soldiers are also waging a war against the peaceful citizens of EU nations. They are targeting women especially, molesting them, raping them, killing them and intimidating their men and families. These latter black soldiers are sort of operating behind the lines, behind the riot police. In short, there is actually a real war going on against the EU population.

        Supreme command is in the hands of EU governments. Even though in most EU nations, the separation of powers is enshrined in the constitution, in practice that separation is not evident. Thus, EU governments are able to use a combination of often overtly abusive police action and the judicial system (judges also being dressed in black!) to subdue the citizenry and to control public opinion and public debate. The media, or the so-called free press, both private and public (with the alleged guarantees to ensure its impartiality, like in Germany), also plays a key role in controlling public opinion. Expressed in military terms, EU governments enjoy “full-spectrum dominance” in the entire public domain.

        Under these conditions, it was not difficult to ban Russian media from the EU a few days after the beginning of the Russian Special Military Operation in the Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The few voices raised in protest against this massive and unprecedented censorship were easily silenced and suppressed. It is perhaps no coincidence that EU censorship was decreed by a German, namely the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Germany is the European nation that has enjoyed the longest continuous censorship and strict media control anywhere: ever since Hitler ended press freedom in 1933, the Germans have been living with controlled media and the curtailment of speech. Free speech has now been banned in Germany for almost a century! Today, the very policies first applied by the nazis have become the norm and standard all over the EU.

        An essential tool for managing and controlling public debate is to ridicule and frame the opposition. Thus anybody who does not buy into the official narrative is branded a “hater,” “denier” or “conspiracy theorist.” On that account alone, it is suggested such people are unfit to participate in the public debate. If they do so nonetheless, sharper weapons are produced. In that case, it is stated the culprit has “dangerous ideas” or that he is a “potential terrorist.” As such he needs to be taken care of, for instance thrown in jail or subjected to psychiatric treatment. Numerous EU journalists and others saying unwelcome truths have been indicted, thrown in jail or interned in a psychiatric ward. In case someone proves particularly difficult to deal with, he is eliminated by way of a car accident, a “lone wolf” or a suicide.

        Fortunately, those violent methods rather rarely need to be applied. State censorship with the help of the police and kangaroo courts takes care of most cases. And even before that, the maintaining of “community standards” on social media such as Facebook, Apple (I-phone), Google, Youtube, Instagram, Amazon (until recently, Twitter as well) and other platforms filters out the vast majority of “crimethink.”

        However, for the powers that be in the EU, it would be a bad thing if all citizens would join in the goose stepping march towards fascist heaven. Without a moderate, but controlled and directed level of crimethink, there would be little use for all those black soldiers, whose ranks are swelling daily by entire boatloads of “asylum seekers” brought in upon covert EU orders. The venerable adage of divide and rule has been dusted off and guides the policies of most EU governments and the European Commission.

        Actually, the EU governments use shrewd tactics to increase social unrest and anxiety, thus furthering their agenda for total control of the population. This method is based on the criminalization of “hate speech” and the covert facilitation of all kinds of crime by the “black” soldiers from overseas. In Amsterdam, 80% of crime is committed by young Moroccans. Whenever the perpetrators are arrested, they are usually quickly released without charges. If charges are pressed and convictions ensue, these tend to be ridiculously light in comparison with the offense committed. All the while the media dutifully observe instructions never to mention the origin or nationality of perpetrators in their reports. These are therefore described as “youngsters” instead of “young Moroccans.” As a result, whenever the media refer to “youngsters” the public knows these are actually Moroccans. Nevertheless, whoever publicly dares to call a spade a spade, is immediately charged with “hate crime.” Surely, there is no better way to foment social division.

        Native Europeans feel betrayed, insecure and angry but are forbidden to vent their feelings. A controllable level of tension can thus be maintained indefinitely, because at the same time the public is being cowed into submission by way of daily doses of fear porn: about nuclear war, holes in the ozone layer, acid rain, climate change, the rising level of the oceans, melting ice caps, carbon and nitrogen emissions and deadly pandemics. The media parade endless rows of “experts” to explain and illustrate the horrifying details of each threat, as they make an appeal to “follow the science.” Experts with conflicting views are never invited to reflect upon the lurking dangers. These latter experts are routinely branded as “deniers.” In the process, the governments and media are actually helping to destroy the last vestiges of academic integrity.

        There is always only one way out, one solution to the problem at hand. That is to obey the government and to do precisely as you’re told. Thus, almost a year after the beginning of the Russian SMO in the Ukraine, now that the EU has been engaged in cutting off Europe’s energy supplies and destroying Europe’s industrial base, the citizens are told to limit their use of water and energy. Turn down the heater, they are instructed, drive less, shower less, wear an extra sweater, buy less, eat less meat and switch to insects!

        In the meantime, the truly looming danger of a financial collapse is hardly being reported on in the media that uphold the system.

        With EU governments exerting rigid full-scale censorship, terrorizing their citizens with SS-like squads of riot police and overseas immigrants (often illegal aliens) with criminal inclinations, throwing dissidents in jail, liquidating them when necessary, while at the same time supporting a regime in the Ukraine that openly glorifies nazi ideology, one is made to wonder about the never-ending and ubiquitous lamenting about how bad those nazis really were. Part and parcel with horror stories about the Second World War, Latin American military dictators, the horrors of communist regimes and any other enemies far away and long ago, these whinings are a cornerstone of PC ideology.

        Another epithet the EU governments and their most fanatical supporters such as Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats, like to throw at anybody who disagrees with them is “fascist.” This may actually be a bit like a fossil, an old leftover from a century ago when the left used to be attacked by uniformed street gangs, such as the SA in Germany and the Fasci di combattimento in Italy. Indeed, one may call such people nazis or fascists, if only because that is what they called themselves. But in a more objective sense, what are the distinguishing features of fascism as a political system? These include ruthless oppression of the opposition, censorship and control of every aspect of the lives of the citizens. The EU nicely fits that description. But the most important characteristic is that under fascism, both state and society are subject to the dictates of monopoly capitalism, in other words, of big corporations, including banks. This also happens to be the case in the EU. Whereas in nazi Germany and fascist Italy these corporations were called Krupp, IG Farben, FIAT, Ansaldo and so on, today they are called Blackrock, Vanguard, Amazon and Microsoft.

        For many years now, EU legislation, taking precedence over laws enacted by national parliaments, is being written and prepared for passing by a veritable army of lobbyists paid by the monopoly capitalists. These hired hands outnumber the civil servants in the EU capital of Brussels. Instead of resisting, the eurocrats and the Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission concentrate on giving themselves pay hike after pay hike, setting an example for their colleagues in EU member states. Thus one might conclude that not only are the EU and its member states ruled by fascists, but by corrupt fascists. At least, for all their evils and shortcomings, nazi Germany and fascist Italy had significantly lower levels of corruption.

        The Russian SMO in the Ukraine has helped to make matters very clear. The truly fascist character of the EU and the “West” in general (basically the US empire), is becoming ever more apparent. That is because underlying truths usually emerge out in the open during crises and wars.

        One of these truths is that the EU is fascist to the core.

        Vladimir Putin Address to SCO and CIS Defense Ministers Dec 9, 2022 – English Subtitles

        December 09, 2022

        Operation Gladio: NATO’s Secret War for International Fascism

        December 01, 2022


        By Cynthia Chung

        You may be asking the question what on earth is “international fascism” and how could NATO be in support of such a thing?! Well, the ugly truth is that what took over world policy in our post-WWII era was in fact a continuation of a fascist outlook for a new world order. Fascism, contrary to what we were told, had not in fact been defeated but was given a brand new face for its public endeavours and went underground for some of its more unsavoury methods. The now official recognition of NATO’s Gladio networks, effectively made up of secret armies in service to NATO including a prominent membership of Nazis, trained to commit acts of terrorism and assassinations against Western citizens and their democratic governments is now acknowledged by historians, yet much of the Western populace remain uninformed about this decades long horrifying abuse of power which was used to support a transition towards far right-wing governments.

        The thought behind International Fascism in a post-WWII world, was that it would be an alliance that would allow a superior form of organisation that would build up a new European world entity which would function as a model for what would in turn be used on the world stage under a League of Nations mandate.

        It is for this reason why so many fascists who had dishonestly referred to themselves as “national socialists” happened to also be promoters of pan-Europeanism and pan-Americanism, and supported the continuation of the British Empire, for these three spheres would function as the three leading regionalisations under a new system of empire under the League of Nations construct. Africa was openly discussed amongst these imperialists and fascists as the necessary slave labour camp to support Europe’s needs.

        It is for this reason that individuals such as Oswald Mosley, a leading British fascist who supported both Mussolini’s and Hitler’s reign, began advocating for a “united Europe” as a defense against the supposed communist threat immediately after the Second World War. A “united Europe” reunited with “former” fascists who had now become supposed “defenders of freedom” against the evil totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. Mosley complained in his Europe: Faith and Plan (published in 1958) that this resistance from some European quarters to ally themselves with the fascists against this communist threat was putting the free world in danger. He encouraged Europeans to forget the past abuses that were committed by the fascists, since they were ultimately doing what they thought best for Europe, and that they were not wrong in their outlook but perhaps too hasty and impatient in their execution of such a vision.

        With the end of the Second World War, there appeared an almost instantaneous agreement among the Western European nations the need to defend their sovereignty against the rise of Soviet communism. Ironically the solution to this was the idea of a ‘New World Order’[1] for Europe. The Fifth Column was sold as a communist one, and thus the need to work with ‘former’ Nazis and fascists was justified to secure the European civilization from the threatened invasion by the ‘Asiatic hordes.’ Of course, the common people were not notified of this decision to reunite with the fascists; that not even before the end of the Second World War, there were discussions of aligning with the fascists to secure what was to be the ‘New World Order’.

        To ensure that Europe would stand strong, it seemed only logical that it should form a European unity, able to collectively use their resources and military in a coordinated defense against this looming “Asian threat”. It would be interesting, that many nations who treated the army of Hitler with seeming indifference up to the very moment of invasion, would now trumpet loudly the need to prepare for war on all fronts (economically, culturally, politically, militarily including paramilitary) against the Eastern barbarians, and Mosley had positioned himself at the forefront of this clarion call.

        In his The World Alternative (1936) Mosley wrote: “We must return to the fundamental concept of a European Nation which animated the war generation of 1918.” In reference to the openly pro-fascist former British Prime Minister Lloyd George’s (1916-1922) War Cabinet. When the Axis began losing crucial battles in 1943, this only intensified Europeanism as the new order’s last line of defense that would be entrusted to the younger generation. On November 14th, 1944 Mussolini proposed in the Verona programme “a European Community, with a federation of all nations and the development of Africa’s natural resources.”[2]

        Stephen Dorril writes in his book Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism:[3]

        The Eastern Front was transformed into the ‘European Front’ as Europe’s defence became a supra-national moral obligation. The Waffen SS assumed the role of Europe’s army and its struggle to hold back the Bolsheviks from overrunning the West invoked an embryonic Europeanism, which became a central myth of post-war Fascism. Neo-Fascist thinker Maurice Bardeche wrote that ‘the Defense of the West has remained in the memory, and this is still the chief meaning of fascist ideas’.”

        Churchill would also support such a direction with the United Europe Movement.[4]

        On October 1st, 1947 Mosley published The Alternative, where he writes “Chaos looms and the people of Europe seek the alternative…Our creed was brought to dust because the Fascist outlook in each land was too national, we had no sense of European union.” A year later he wrote in The European Situation: The Third Force, that a united Europe will “insure that Europeans shall never be slaves either of West or East; either of finance or of bolshevism. We shall neither be bought by Wall Street nor conquered by the Kremlin.” However, the road to Europe’s salvation would not end there, according to Mosley, there would also be the need to secure labour from Africa to serve the needs of Europeans.

        In 1948, the FBI, who were oddly stationed in London, had forwarded to J. Edgar Hoover’s intelligence headquarters that Mosley was planning a Fascist International.[5] The U.S. counterintelligence corps (CIC) also wrote a report noting that Mosley viewed “the national socialist elements in West Germany as the most suitable partners at the organising of a fascist concentration movement in Europe…[Mosley] was continuing the tradition of a Fascist International which Hitler was forced to abandon. He has hit on a stratagem which gives him the air of a progressive spirit.” The Austrian neo-Nazi paper Alpenruf wrote Dec 31st, 1949 “the spiritual centre of a cleansed Fascism is today neither in Germany nor in Austria, but – strange though it may seem – in England.” In the Swedish Fascist paper Vaegen Framat, they “claimed the European underground movements were growing but needed to be brought together to preserve everything that had been valuable in the past. The war had weakened their position and co-operation was essential, even for racial policies. Nations were not strong enough to enforce the unity of Europe.” [6]

        This was the new chosen direction towards a Fascist International and none of it would have been possible without Churchill’s announcement of the Iron Curtain, for it pushed the European countries into this very configuration and justified the need to partner with ‘former’ fascists. The fascists did not need to militarily win the war, for the Europeans had walked into the Fascist International out of their own accord.

        From this standpoint, WWII was in fact never won, rather it has been continued in the form of a Cold War to this very day. During this over 76 year long Cold War, fascist cells grew and were dispersed globally, and have come only relatively recently to be acknowledged under the umbrella term Gladio due to newly declassified intelligence dossiers. Mosley would also be at the forefront of these post-WWII paramilitary fascist cells, along with Karl-Heinz Priester and the legendary Nazi Otto Skorzeny who was one of the primary masterminds behind the entire Gladio network.[7]

        The Gladio network was beholden to NATO, and thus it should not be surprising that the position of NATO Commander and Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe was a position that was filled SOLELY by ‘former’ Nazis for 16 YEARS STRAIGHT, from 1967-1983.

        Mosley had concluded in his eerie introduction to his book Europe: Faith and Plan in support of a Pan-Europe:[8]

        In the light of all Europe’s recent history it is disingenuous nonsense to pretend that Germany is the only guilty party. It is more, it is a deliberate lie circulated for the vile purpose of perpetuating the division of Europe and for promoting the ultimate victory of communism. In the meantime it serves also the squalid purpose of those who snatch financial gain from the decay and collapse of a dying system, rather than make the effort to benefit both themselves and all Europe by honestly carrying the far greater rewards of constructive tasks in building the new system.

        … In all nature the pangs of birth are severe, particularly in political nature. No fully grown man should be blamed for the pain or even the blood that accompanied his birthFor the long memory to linger on these things is to create a complex which can be disastrous to the whole psyche of Europe. That is precisely why we are continually invited to think about them.

        Things were done in haste and passion which should now be forgotten. All who were drawn to the new movement of European dynamism and renaissance were people in too much of a hurry. It was a fault on the right side, for the results of the succeeding inertia are now plain to see. We felt that something must be done, and done quickly, to release the new and beneficent forces of science[9] and to wipe away unnecessary suffering from the face of humanity. We were impatient with the forces of inertia, reaction and anarchy which opposed the new European order of mind and will that we believed alone could do these things with the speed that was necessary.

        …The catastrophe of this generation has destroyed the old landmarks of politics, and the modern mind should equally eliminate their memory. We have passed beyond Fascism and beyond many tenets of the old Democracy, because science has rendered them irrelevant in a world which confronts us with new facts. Not only are the facts of the post-war period new, but science is continually adding still newer facts.[10] Old policies have no relevance to the present, and old memories of bitterness should have no place in it either.

        One great lesson alone we can all derive from the past. We owe to Europe self-restraint in moments of passion, and kindness at all times to our kindred. These evil things which have occurred are not only wrong, they do not pay. In the end they destroy those who commit them. The time-honoured standards of the European alone can endure. In the events of a great age, honour, truth and manly restraint are not only as necessary as in the past but more than ever essential. The great qualities in man should grow in proportion to the age, not diminish. Let us remember the past only long enough to learn this. Then let us forget [the past].

        Europe needs a great act of oblivion, before a new birth.”

        Operation Gladio: NATO’s Dagger

        With the Second World War ‘won’, the world was very much under the impression that we were to take the phrase ‘Never Again’ to heart. Unfortunately, those in charge of forming Western policy and geopolitical strategy post-WWII could not have disagreed more.

        Operation Unthinkable is a prime example of the sort of thinking that was ruminating within Britain and the United States post-Roosevelt. Operation Unthinkable was the name given to two related possible future war plans by the British Chiefs of Staff against the Soviet Union in 1945. The creation of the plans was ordered by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in May 1945 and developed by the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff (Roosevelt passed away on April 12th, 1945). One plan assumed a surprise attack on the Soviet forces stationed in Germany to “impose the will of the Western Allies” on the Soviets. The second plan was a defensive scenario in which the British were to defend against a Soviet drive towards the North Sea and the Atlantic following the withdrawal of the American forces from the Continent.

        Though the first plan of the operation would be shelved with the new government under Clement Attlee, this remained a predominantly governing mindset for British and American intelligence. However, contrary to what we are told today, the second plan of Operation Unthinkable was not shelved. It was in fact fully implemented under the initiation of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. This plan would continue through every other British Prime Minister’s term that followed afterward, without the knowledge of most members of the British government.

        During the Second World War, preparations were made in the case of a possible German victory and ‘stay-behind’ guerilla warfare units were stationed throughout Europe. The model was the British Special Operations Executive, or SOE, a top-secret guerilla-commando force established in 1940. It was the brainchild of Winston Churchill and was called ‘Churchill’s secret army.’ This program would eventually be adopted into NATO. After the Allied victory, these ‘stay-behind’ units were not disbanded but rather were strengthened and expanded in almost every European country, with direct aid and encouragement from the United States.

        Daniele Ganser, a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland published NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe in 2005, which is regarded as an authoritative overview of NATO’s Operation Gladio networks and functions. This chapter will reference extensively Ganser’s pioneering work on this crucial history of Western clandestine warfare that was waged on Western civilians and their democratically elected governments for several decades under the guise of Soviet terrorism.

        Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[11]

        The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister [Andreotti] was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named ‘Gladio’ (the sword) in Italy., while in other countries the network operated under different names including ‘Absalon’ in Denmark, ‘ROC’ in Norway, ‘SDRA8’ in Belgium. In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers, Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defense Ministers, were involved in the conspiracy, while the ‘Allied Clandestine Committee’ (ACC), sometimes also euphemistically called the ‘Allied Co-ordination Committee’ and ‘Clandestine Planning Committee’ (CPC), less conspicuously at times also called ‘Coordination and Planning Committee’ of NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), coordinated the networks on the international level. The last confirmed secret meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.

        …Leading officers of the secret network trained together with the U.S. Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England…In case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe the secret Gladio soldiers under NATO command… [formed a] stay-behind network operating behind enemy lines.”

        However, the expected Soviet invasion never occurred. And thus, these secret armies found another purpose. They were to be used against the people. The desire was that by staging false-flag operations that were blamed on communists, panic and revulsion would be invoked sending voters flocking to the welcoming arms to so-called ‘secure’ right-wing governments. Italy, which had the largest and most powerful communist party in Europe, would be first on the hit-list. The Communist Party of Italy, admired for leading the fight against Mussolini, was expected to win in Italy’s first post-war election in June 1946. This, of course, was considered intolerable under the Iron Curtain diktat.

        Investigative journalist Christopher Simpson writes in his book Blowback, how a substantial part of the funding for the opposition to the Communist Party of Italy, which was the Christian Democratic Party, came from captured Nazi assets, largely held by the Americans. This intervention tipped the balance in favour of Italy’s Christian Democratic Party, which hid thousands of fascists in its ranks. The Christian Democratic Party would be the dominating party in Italy for five decades until it was dissolved in 1994.

        In March 2001, General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, suggested that next to the Gladio secret army, the Italian secret service and a group of Italian right-wing terrorists, the massacres which had discredited the Italian communists had also been supported by the White House in Washington and the CIA. At a trial of right-wing extremists accused of having been involved in the Piazza Fontana massacre, General Maletti testified:

        The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left, and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism…The impression was that the Americans would do anything to stop Italy from sliding to the left… Italy has been dealt with as a sort of protectorate [of the United States]…[12]

        In order to ensure that no further communist support were to arise in Italy, Operation Gladio, with direction and support from the CIA and MI6, led a campaign of brutal violence against Italians that stretched into the better part of two decades known as the ‘years of lead,’ the anni di piombo.

        Daniele Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[13]

        According to the findings of the Belgian parliamentary investigation into Gladio, a secret non-orthodox warfare even preceded the foundation of the alliance [NATO]. As of 1948, non-orthodox warfare was coordinated by the so-called ‘Clandestine Committee of the Western Union’ (CCWU).

        …When in 1949 the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, CCWU [Clandestine Committee of the Western Union] was secretly integrated into the new international military apparatus and as of 1951 operated under the new label CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee]. At the time European NATO headquarters were in France and also the CPC was located in Paris. Like the CCWU before it the CPC was concerned with the planning, preparation and direction of non-orthodox warfare carried out by the stay-behind armies and Special Forces. Only officers with the highest NATO security clearance were allowed to enter CPC headquarters…under the guidance of CIA and MI6 experts the chiefs of the Western European Secret Services met at regular intervals during the year in order to coordinate measures of non-orthodox warfare in Western Europe.”

        In 1959, an internal NATO briefing minute, dated June 1st, 1959, slipped into the hands of a British newspaper, which revealed that the task of the stay-behind units had been switched from confronting a Soviet invasion to confronting an “internal subversion”. The secret armies were henceforth to play a “determining role…not only on the general policy level of [domestic] warfare, but also on the politics of [domestic] emergency.”[14] What this meant was that a secret army of stay-behind units, under the direction of NATO, in absence of a Soviet threat, were to direct their actions to internal matters which would include espionage and acts of terrorism on the citizens of Europe with the support and cover of those nations’ police units. This would be used to further centralise control within right-wing governments who supported the NATO apparatus.

        Operation Gladio, which used the tactic Strategy of Tension, functioned on three basic levels. The first was a guerilla war to be fought primarily on the streets, in order to draw loyalties away from the Soviet Union. The second level was the political front and would involve NATO-inspired conspiracies, which typically accused certain governments of being in secret partnership with the USSR, in order to evict democratically elected governments unfriendly to the NATO state apparatus and replace them with puppet regimes. The third level was the assassination (hard and soft) of figures who were deemed obstructive to NATO’s aims. Examples of Gladio assassinations include Italy’s former Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, Sweden’s Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 (known as Sweden’s JFK), Turkey’s Prime Minister Adnan Menderes in 1961 along with two cabinet colleagues, and U.S. President Kennedy in 1963. As well as the soft assassination (character assassination) of UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. These assassinations would typically be followed by a NATO/U.S. supported putsch. Attempted assassinations from Operation Gladio included President de Gaulle (more on this shortly) and Pope John Paul II.[15]

        Yves Guerin-Serac: the Black Ops Grandmaster behind Operation Gladio

        “He [Yves Guerin-Serac] was in thrall to his personal vision of a Christian-Fascist New World Order. He was also the intellectual mentor of Gladio terrorism. He wrote the basic training and propaganda manuals which can be fairly described as the Gladio order of battle.”

        – Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart to Europe

        Guerin-Serac was a war hero, agent provocateur, assassin, bomber, intelligence agent, Messianic Catholic, and the intellectual grandmaster behind the ‘Strategy of Tension’ essential to the success of Operation Gladio. Guerin-Serac published via Aginter Press the Gladio manual, including Our Political Activity in what can aptly be described as Gladio’s First Commandment:[16]

        Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime’s structuresIn our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state under the cover of Communist and pro-Soviet activities…Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups.

        Guerin-Serac continues:[17]

        Two forms of terrorism can provoke such a situation [breakdown of the state]: blind terrorism (committing massacres indiscriminately which cause a large number of victims), and selective terrorism (eliminate chosen persons)…

        This destruction of the state must be carried out under the cover of ‘communist activities.’ After that, we must intervene at the heart of the military, the juridical power and the church, in order to influence popular opinion, suggest a solution, and clearly demonstrate the weakness of the present legal apparatus. Popular opinion must be polarized in such a way, that we are being presented as the only instrument capable of saving the nation.

        Anarchic random violence was to be the solution to bring about such a state of instability thus allowing for a completely new system, a global authoritarian order. Yves Guerin-Serac, who was an open fascist, would not be the first to use false-flag tactics that were blamed on communists and used to justify more stringent police and military control from the state.

        On the 27th of February 1933, Hermann Göring, Hitler’s second-in-command, shouted outside the burning of the Reichstag:

        This is the beginning of the Communist revolution! We must not wait a minute. We will show no mercy. Every Communist official must be shot, where he is found. Every Communist deputy must this very day be strung up![18]

        It is quite incredible that people never seem to grow tired of these sort of theatrics as part of the popular narrative of what we are told shapes our history, no matter how many times we have heard it played before. The line of obvious patsies is also something that seems to never grow tiring. In the case of the Reichstag fire, now widely acknowledged as a false-flag, it was some befuddled Dutch Jew that was instantly accused.

        The day after the fire, six days before the scheduled general election, Hitler persuaded the elderly and confused President von Hindenburg (the icon of the First World War) that the crisis was of such profound gravity it could only be met by complete abolition of all personal liberties. The Reichstag Fire Law conferred by Hindenburg gave Hitler many of the instruments that he required for a total seizure of power. Within two weeks, parliamentary democracy was also reduced to the smoking embers of history. It would not be the only false-flag to be orchestrated by Hitler.

        Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe :[19]

        SS units forced a small group of concentration camp victims ‘released’ from Buchenwald and disguised in Polish uniforms, to stage a false flag mock attack on the main radio tower in the Nazi controlled free state of Danzig. Citing provocation by the Poles, the German invasion of Poland followed.”

        Guerin-Serac spent his life dedicated to a new Black Empire[20] which he dreamed would combine the universal divinity of the Roman church with the United States and Europe as successor to the Holy Roman Empire. This was Christian Fascism and Yves Guerin-Serac was its Crusader.[21] He belonged to several old gangs, including the first generation of ‘former’ Nazis and fascists. He also belonged to a veteran clan of French officers blooded in the Indochinese and Korean struggles and was a member of the elite troop of the 11ème Demi-Brigade Parachutiste du Choc, which worked with the SDECE (French intelligence agency). His connection to French Intelligence would be key in his becoming a founding member of the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS), a French terrorist group, made up of disaffected French officers, based in Spain which fought against Algerian independence. Guerin-Serac would form an intricate paramilitary and terrorist network throughout Europe, as well as training facilities to service Operation Gladio, via the cover of Aginter Press.

        Cottrell writes:[22]

        Guerin-Serac arrived in Lisbon in 1966 with an inspirational blueprint for the next stage of the struggle against godless liberalism. He proposed…an organization that would act as nothing less than an international travel agency for terrorists. The principal funding was supplied by the CIA, according to the Pellegrino Commission established in 1995 by the Italian Senate to investigate the anni di piombo [years of lead]. Guido Salvini was the magistrate appointed to examine the 1969 bombing of the agricultural bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana. He pinned the blame firmly on Guerin-Serac’s Aginter Press. Salvini told the senators that Aginter operatives were active in Italy from 1967 onwards, instructing local militant neo-fascist organisations in the use of explosives. From this nugget, the CIA is positively connected to the Gladio wave of terrorism sweeping Europe.”

        Behind the plain business shopfront of Aginter Press lay an invisible network designed to shuttle terrorists around Europe, Latin America, and Africa providing false documents and passports for killers posing as reporters and photographers including Guerin-Serac.[23]

        Cottrell continues:[24]

        Aginter… was a Gladio finishing school, where recruits to the secret armies from all over Europe were trained in the arts of bomb making, assassination, psychological operations, destabilisation and counter-insurgency. Much of this was borrowed from the textbooks of the U.S. Army’s centre for covert warfare at Fort Bragg. Guest instructors from time to time included members of Britain’s SAS, the Green Berets …Guerin-Serac was blithely summoned to next door Spain to organise the death squads crushing resistance to the Franco regime. Aginter activities have been traced to all those countries where the Strategy of Tension operated at peak volume: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Germany and Belgium.”

        Britain’s Betrayal of its Greek Brothers-in-Arms in Support of Fascism

        Britain did not wait for the end of WWII before cooperating with Nazis. Under Mussolini’s direction, Italian troops attacked Greece during the Second World War in 1940 but were defeated by the massive resistance of the Greek population. Hitler, in turn, sent his German troops which conquered the country and placed it under the control of the Axis Powers in 1941. The Greeks once again organised a massive resistance operation and throughout the war the German army faced great difficulties keeping the country under control. As in Italy and France, Greece’s strongest resistance organisation to the fascist occupation was dominated by the communists. ELAS, the People’s Liberation Army, had been founded on the initiative of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) some months after the German invasion. EAM, the political wing of the People’s Liberation Army was also dominated by the Greek communists. Out of a population of seven million up to two million Greeks were members of the EAM party, while 50,000 were actively fighting in the ranks of the ELAS army.[25]

        ELAS’s operations were supported by the British secret army SOE.[26] Many personal friendships developed between the Greek ELAS resistance fighters and the British SOE liaison officers. However, this was abruptly severed in March 1943 when Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to halt all British support for ELAS, as he feared that Greece after the defeat of the Axis Powers could come under communist control. At that time, Greece was at the peak of fighting a war with the German Nazis.

        In order to minimise the power of the Greek communists and socialists, London planned to reinstall the Greek conservative King George II, who had cooperated with the fascist dictator Ioannis Metaxas (Prime Minister of Greece from April 1936 – January 1941), to form a pro-fascist government. Metaxas had called for a fascist “new order” in Greece, argu1943,that the Great Depression proved the failure of democracy and that fascism was the solution.[27] This fascist solution occurred in alignment with the restoring of the Greek monarchy.[28] The crucial British Foreign Office directive of March 20th, 1943 stated “SOE should always veer in the direction of groups willing to support the King and Government, and furthermore impress on such groups as may be anti-monarchical the fact that the King and Government enjoy the fullest support of His Majesty’s Government [of Britain].”[29] King George II was less than popular among many Greeks after having cooperated with the fascist dictator Metaxas. Yet London pursued the conservative policy and in October 1943, the British Foreign Office even contemplated “a downright policy of attacking and weakening EAM by every means in our power.[30]

        ‘Former’ Nazi collaborators and right-wing special units such as the fascist X Bands, with British support started to hunt and kill ELAS fighters. However, these groups did not enjoy popular support and recruitment levels were only at around 600 men. Thus, Churchill decided to up the ante, and in late 1944 gave the order for a new Greek army unit, which came to be known variously as the Greek mountain Brigade, the Hellenic Raiding Force, or LOK, its Greek acronym Lochos Oreinon Katadromon.[31] As it was aimed against the communists and the socialists, the unit excluded “almost all men with views ranging from moderate conservative to left wing. Under British military supervision and at Churchill’s express order, the unit was filled with royalists and anti-republicans.”[32]

        Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[33]

        As ELAS fought against both the German Nazi occupiers and the British-sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force, Churchill feared a public relations disaster should it be revealed to the British public that London was secretly supporting the fascists against the Communists in Greece. In August 1944 he therefore instructed the BBC to eliminate ‘any credit of any kind’ to ELAS when reporting on the liberation of Greece. But only weeks later ELAS secured victory over the German occupiers and Hitler was forced to withdraw his soldiers also from Greece. Churchill immediately demanded that the resistance should disarm, an order which ELAS was willing to obey if it was equally applied to their only remaining enemy on the field, the British sponsored Hellenic Raiding Force.”

        Britain refused to disband the secret right-wing army and thus large Greek demonstrations against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy took place on December 3rd, 1944, a mere six weeks after Hitler’s forces had been defeated and pushed out of the country. A small group of 200-600 peaceful protestors, men, women and children, gathered at the Syntagma Square in Athens, the main square in front of the Greek parliament. A much larger group of 60,000 protestors were delayed by police blockades. British troops and police with machine guns were positioned on the rooftops.[34] Suddenly, and without warning, the peaceful demonstration was turned into a massacre as the command was given: “Shoot the bastards.” Shortly after the bloodbath, the main group of protestors arrived in the square. In a display of remarkable restraint, these 60,000 protestors held a peaceful demonstration against Britain’s support for the fascist monarchy, while among the dead bodies of their recently slain comrades.

        In London, Churchill faced an angry House of Commons which demanded an explanation for the barbarity. While admitting that it had been a “shocking thing,” Churchill stressed that it was equally stupid to bring large numbers of unarmed children to a demonstration, while the city was full of armed men. The role of the secret right-wing army in the Syntagma massacre was never investigated.[35]

        After the demonstration of force, the British reinstalled King George II and a succession of weak British puppet governments with right-wing leanings followed. A Greek resistance faction rearmed and took to the hills and in the fall of 1946 started a civil war against the British and the local right. An exhausted Britain asked in early 1947 for the United States’ support. Truman with his famous ‘Truman Doctrine’ in March 1947 was able to convince Congress to openly intervene in Greece. Greece was the first country to be invaded by the United States during the Cold War.[36] In the following decades, Washington put forward the argument used in Greece to justify its open or covert invasions of Korea, Guatemala, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Panama and several other countries.[37]

        The United States secretly started Operation Torch and used chemical warfare to defeat the Greek resistance by dropping thousands of gallons of Napalm on Greece.[38] By late 1948, the Greek resistance which had defeated the Italian fascists, the German Nazis and the British troops, finally collapsed after years of heroic fighting. A hollowed out Greece joined NATO in 1952 and by that time “had been moulded into a supremely reliable ally-client of the United States. It was staunchly anti-Communist and well integrated into the NATO system.”[39]

        Peter Murtagh writes in The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance:[40]

        The [Hellenic] Raiding Force doubled as the Greek arm of the clandestine pan-European guerilla network set up in the 1950s by NATO and the CIA which was controlled from NATO headquarters in Brussels by the Allied Coordination Committee…The Greek branch of the network was…known as Operation Sheepskin.”

        Is this what Kalergi was referring to as his “Crusade for Pan-Europe”; a “clandestine pan-European guerilla network” to ‘defend’ Europe?

        Ganser writes:[41]

        The Greek junta consolidated its power through a regime of imprisonment and torture…Communists, Socialists, artists, academics, journalists, students, politically active women, priests, including their friends and families were [horrifically] tortured…’We are all democrats here’ Inspector Basil Lambro, the chief of the secret police of Athens, was fond of stressing. ‘Everybody who comes here talks. You’re not spoiling our record.’ The sadist torturer made it clear to his victims: ‘We are the government, you are nothing. The government isn’t alone. Behind the government are the Americans.’ If in the mood Basil also offered his analysis of world politics: ‘The whole world is in two parts, the Russians and the Americans. We are the Americans. Be grateful we’ve only tortured you a little. In Russia, they’d kill you’.”

        [For more on the British Gladio see Chapters 1, 2, 10 & 11 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set’.]

        The American Gladio Arm

        The National Security Act of 1947, a Trojan horse, was a part of the new breed of legislation post-Roosevelt and led to the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), placing it under the direction of the National Security Council (NSC). Although it did not explicitly authorize the CIA to conduct covert operations, Section 102 was sufficiently vague to permit abuse. By December 1947, less than four months after the creation of the CIA, the perceived necessity to “stem the flow of communism” in Western Europe—particularly Italy—by overt and covert “psychological warfare” forced the issue and NSC 4-A[42] was born. NSC 4-A would be replaced by NSC 10/2[43] less than one year later, approved by President Truman on June 18th, 1948, creating the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). NSC 10/2 was the first presidential document which specified a mechanism to approve and manage covert operations, and also the first in which the term “covert operations” was defined.

        In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, the U.S. parliament investigated the CIA and the NSC via the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings[44] and found that:

        The national elections in Europe in 1948 had been a primary motivation in the establishment of the OPC…By channeling funds to centre parties and developing media assets, OPC attempted to influence the election results – with considerable success…These activities formed the basis for covert political action for the next twenty years. By 1952 approximately forty different covert action projects were under way in one central European country alone…Until 1950 OPC’s paramilitary activities (also referred to as preventive action) were limited to plans and preparations for stay-behind nets in the event of future war. Requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, these projected OPC operations focused, once again, on Western Europe and were designed to support NATO forces against Soviet attack.”[45]

        George F. Kennan selected Frank Wisner as the first commander of the CIA covert action unit OPC. Wisner and other U.S. OPC officers “tended to be white Anglo-Saxon patricians from old families with old money…and they somewhat inherited traditional British attitudes toward the coloured races of the world.”[46] Wisner became the chief architect of the network of secret armies in Western Europe. From 1948-1950 the OPC was a renegade operation run by Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In 1950 the OPC was renamed the Directorate of Plans and continued under the direct commandership of Frank Wisner. George F. Kennan, OPC overseer at the time, would strongly support the passing of NSC 10/2 and CIA covert actions in Italy and beyond.

        Ganser writes:[47]

        “…next to the Pentagon the U.S. Special Forces were also directly involved in the secret war against the Communists in Western Europe, as together with the SAS they trained the members of the stay-behind network. After the U.S. wartime secret service OSS had been disbanded after the end of the war the U.S. Special Forces were reborn with headquarters at Fort Bragg, Virginia, in 1952. General McClure established a Psychological Warfare Centre in Fort Bragg and in the summer of 1952 the first Special Forces unit, somewhat misleadingly called the 10th Special Forces Group was organised according to the OSS experience during the Second World War, and directly inherited the latter’s mission to carry out, like the British SAS, sabotage missions and to recruit, equip and train guerillas in order to exploit the resistance potential in both Eastern and Western Europe.

        …At all times the U.S. Special Forces were set up in Fort Bragg in 1952 the name of the CIA covert action branch changed from ‘OPC’ to ‘Directorate of Plans’ (DP), and Wisner was promoted Deputy Director of Plans. Together with CIA Director Allen Dulles he intensified U.S. covert action operations on a global scale. Dulles authorised CIA assassination attempts on Castro and Lumumba as well as the CIA’s LSD experiments with unwitting subjects…”

        Edward Lansdale who was chief of the Saigon Military Mission and a protégé of General Lemnitzer; who wanted to send a submarine to the shore outside Havana where it would create an “inferno of light.” At the same time, according to Lansdale’s plan, Cuba-based agents would warn the religious natives of the second coming of Christ and the Savior’s distaste for Fidel Castro. The plan was called ‘Elimination by Illumination,’ but was ultimately shelved.[48] It would be funny if such plans stayed on paper, but these men were responsible for the torture and deaths of countless individuals for the plans that made it into reality.

        As soon as General Lemnitzer became Army Chief of Staff in 1959, he installed Lansdale at a desk in Deputy Defense Secretary Gilpatric’s office in the Pentagon. Lansdale was put in charge of Operation Mongoose under direct patronage of Lemnitzer with the main object to eliminate Castro in direct defiance of federal law prohibiting political assassinations. Operation Mongoose was an extensive campaign of terrorist attacks against civilians and covert operations carried out by the CIA and was run out of JM/Wave in Miami. Lansdale would participate in many covert operations including raids and bombings in Cuba and other targets all over Latin America.

        In March 1962, General Lemnitzer, not taking a hint as to what happened to Dulles, Bissell and Cabell, decided it would be a good idea to propose Operation Northwoods to President Kennedy for approval. Operation Northwoods was a proposed false-flag operation against American citizens, which called for CIA operatives to both stage and actually commit acts of terrorism against American military and civilian targets and subsequently blame the Cuban government in order to justify a war against Cuba. The plan was drafted by General Lemnitzer specifically and had a striking similarity with NATO’s Operation Gladio. The logic of Northwoods was the stripe of Gladio. The general staff inclined towards prefabricated violence because they believed benefits gained by the state count more than injustice against individuals. The only important criterion was reaching the objective and the objective was ultra right-wing government.

        There was not a single item in the Northwoods manual that did not amount to a blatant act of treason, yet the U.S. military establishment dispatched Top Secret – Justification for U.S. military Intervention in Cuba straight to the desk of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, for onward transmission to President Kennedy. Needless to say, President Kennedy rejected the proposal and a few months later General Lemnitzer’s term was not renewed as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, having served from October 1st 1960 to September 30th 1962.

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        Operation Northwoods memorandum March 13, 1962. Source: https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/news/20010430/doc1.pdf.

        However, NATO lost no time, and in November 1962 Lemnitzer was appointed commander of U.S. European Command and as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) of NATO, the latter to which he served from January 1st, 1963 to July 1st, 1969.

        Lemnitzer was a perfect fit to oversee the cross-continental Gladio operations in Europe. He had been a prime motivating force in setting up the Special Forces Group in 1952 at Fort Bragg, where commandos were trained in the arts of guerilla insurgency in the events of a Soviet invasion of Europe. Before long the men who proudly wore distinctive green berets were cooperating discreetly with the armed forces of a string of European countries and participating in direct military operations some of them extremely sensitive and highly illegal if not downright treasonous.

        One of these operations was the NATO/CIA coalition which had sponsored at least two attempts to assassinate President de Gaulle.[49] In response to this, de Gaulle had kicked NATO’s headquarters out of France, removed France from NATO and had given Lemnitzer a summary order to quit NATO. If President de Gaulle’s orders had been denied, he would have been prepared to go to war, and thus there was a bit of reshuffling, but essentially the game continued intact.

        [For more on the American Gladio Arm see Chapters 4, 7, 8, 9 & 13 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set’.]

        De Gaulle vs. NATO

        France is determined to regain on her whole territory the full exercise of her sovereignty.

        – President of France Charles de Gaulle

        It was thought by many of the pro-fascist imperialist persuasion that de Gaulle was ultimately going to play ball. That though he may have had his criticisms of fascism, he was at the end of the day an anti-communist and an imperialist and thus, it was inevitable that he would eventually ‘see the light’. This was something that the pro-fascists thought they could work with in the ‘restructuring’ of Europe amidst a Cold War.

        Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies[50]:

        On the initiative of the U.S. and the British Special Forces SAS, a secret army was set up in France under the cover name ‘Plan Bleu’ (Blue Plan) whose task was to secretly prevent the powerful PCF [Communist Party of France] from coming to power. The Blue Plan, in other words, aimed to prevent France from turning red…The SAS, specialised in secret warfare, contacted the newly created French secret service Direction Generale des Etudes et Recherche (DGER) and agreed with them to set up a secret army in northern France across the Channel in the Bretagne.”

        One month after having ousted the communists from the government, the French socialists attacked the military right and the CIA and exposed the Plan Bleu secret army. On June 30th, 1947, French socialist Minister of the Interior Edouard Depreux exposed that a secret right-wing army had been erected in France behind the back of politicians with the task to destabilize the French government. “Towards the end of 1946 we got to know of the existence of a black resistance network, made up of resistance fighters of the extreme-right, Vichy collaborators and [pro] monarchists…They had a secret attack plan called ‘Plan Bleu’, which should have come into action towards the end of July, or on August 6 [1947].”[51]

        Ganser continues[52]:

        The secret war against the Communists did not end when Plan Bleu was exposed and closed down in 1947. Much to the contrary, French Socialist Prime Minister Paul Ramadier saw to it that his trusted chiefs within the military secret service were not removed by the scandal. When the storm had passed he ordered Henri Ribiere, Chief of SDECE, and Pierre Fourcand, deputy Director of the SDECE, in late 1947 to erect a new anti-Communist secret army under the code name ‘Rose des Vents’ (Rose of the Winds, i.e. Compass Rose), the star-shaped official symbol of the NATO. The code name was well chosen, for when NATO was created in 1949 with headquarters in Paris, the SDECE coordinated its anti-Communist secret war closely with the miliary alliance. The secret soldiers understood that within its maritime original context the compass rose is the card pattern below the compass needle according to which the course is set, and according to which corrections are undertaken if the ship is in danger of steering off course.”

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        (left) NATO’s symbol, (right) ‘Rose des Vents (Rose of the Winds i.e. Compass Rose) name of a French anti-communist secret army established in 1947. NATO’s first headquarters was established in France in 1949.

        However, there was one very large mistake that was made in establishing NATO’s base in France. De Gaulle was not going to play ball after all…

        After the Second World War there was increasing pressure for European nations to commit to the NATO diktat. President of France Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969) disagreed with this orientation. One of the major points of this disagreement was over the force de frappe (nuclear striking force), which de Gaulle believed should be kept firmly outside of NATO’s control. He refused the prospect of France getting automatically dragged into a shooting war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. De Gaulle’s relentless pursuit of French nationalism and independence in foreign and military policies was clearly incompatible with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s charter. When de Gaulle began talk of delivering Algeria her independence, it was decided by former allies, and members of his own military and police that de Gaulle had to go.

        On April 21st, 1961, a plot to overthrow President de Gaulle, organised by the OAS (Organisation Armée Secrète, the French terrorist group run by Yves Guerin-Serac) swung into action. On that day, four disaffected generals known as the ‘ultra group’ staged a coup in Algiers. The civil caucus in Washington, Pentagon and NATO headquarters in France were all implicated in the plot to eliminate the French president and secure Algeria for the West. The coup leader, air force general Maurice Challe, was formerly commander of NATO’s forces in Central Europe.

        The first outlines of the coup were agreed in the summer of 1960, when the former governor of Algeria, Jacques Soustelle, had a secret tête-à-tête with Richard M. Bissell. Bissell, the CIA Deputy Director of Plans (formerly called the OPC), the covert operations wing of the CIA, and close associate of Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner. In the same year, Challe stage-managed his resignation from NATO. In January 1961 the main plotters assembled, the chief item on the agenda was to form the OAS as an alternative government that would replace de Gaulle’s government once he had been toppled. Key figures in Plan Bleu were all present.[53] Challe’s forces in Algeria were secretly funded using channels closely connected to the French Gladio.[54] On the eve of the coup, Bissell, had an undisclosed meeting with Challe in Algiers. Challe was told that if he could get the country under control inside 48 hours, then the U.S. government would formally recognise his regime.[55] The putsch ultimately failed.

        Ganser writes:[56]

        When NATO was founded in 1949, its headquarters, including the SHAPE [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe], were built in France. France was thereafter particularly vulnerable to NATO and CIA secret warfare as de Gaulle lamented – for together with NATO also the secret Gladio command centre CPC [Clandestine Planning Committee] was located in Paris as the Italian document ‘The special forces of SIFAR [Italian intelligence] and Operation Gladio’ of June 1959 revealed. ‘On the level of NATO the following activities must be mentioned: 1. The activity of the CPC of Paris…attached to SHAPE.’”

        What this meant was that the Gladio command centre, the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) was located in Paris to directly coordinate with NATO’s headquarters. In other words, Gladio was working directly for the NATO command centre.

        Ganser continues:

        “Furthermore also the secret Gladio command centre ACC [ Allied Clandestine Committee] repeatedly met in Paris. It came as a massive shock to the White House in Washington when de Gaulle in February 1966 – due to a number of strategic and personnel motives that historians still struggle to explain – decided to challenge the United States head-on, and ordered NATO and the United States either to place their military bases in France under French control, or to dismantle them. The United States and NATO did not react to the ultimatum whereupon in a spectacular decision de Gaulle took France out of NATO’s military command on March 7, 1966 and expelled the entire NATO organisation together with its covert action agents from French territory. To the anger of Washington and the Pentagon the European headquarters of NATO had to move to Belgium. In Brussels, Mons and Casteau, new European NATO headquarters were being erected where they have remained until today. The Belgium parliamentary investigation into Gladio and secret warfare later confirmed that ‘in 1968 the Chair of CPC moved to Brussels.’ [in order to be with NATO] Research in Belgium furthermore revealed that the ACC secret warfare centre held a meeting with international participation in Brussels as late as October 23 and 24, 1990.

        Belgium Gladio author Jan Willems drew attention to the sensitive fact that when de Gaulle withdrew the French army from the military-integrated command of NATO, some of the secret agreements between France and the United States were cancelled. ‘On this occasion it was revealed that secret protocols existed concerning the fight against Communist subversion, signed bilaterally by the United States and its NATO allies. De Gaulle denounced the protocols as an infringement of national sovereignty. Similar secret clauses were also revealed in other NATO states. In Italy Giuseppe de Lutiis revealed that when becoming a NATO member Italy in 1949 had signed not only the Atlantic Pact, but also secret protocols that provided for the creation of an unofficial organisation ‘charged with guaranteeing Italy’s internal alignment with the Western Block by any means, even if the electorate were to show a different inclination.’ And also in the initial NATO agreement in 1949 required that before a nation could join, it must have already established a national security authority to fight Communism through clandestine citizen cadres’.”

        Not only was de Gaulle not going to go along with the secret armies of NATO, but he was going to actively intervene to ensure the sovereignty of Europe’s nations against the fascist imperialist end-goal of NATO and its secret Gladio arms. It was a full all-out-war in the underground world of intelligence and clandestine warfare, and de Gaulle was one of the very few that was fully equipped to play the game.

        There would subsequently be over 30 assassination attempts on de Gaulle’s life during his presidency. After 43 years, in 2009, France would finally rejoin NATO, a decision made by President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has had “an interesting record of winning elections with dramatic perfectly timed post-terror interventions…”[57] It should be noted that there has been a great deal of effort to either flatly deny or downplay France’s role in Gladio, and the involvement of NATO, however, these are demonstrably false. When Italy’s Operation Gladio was finally revealed to the world in the early 1990s (more on this shortly), there was a media frenzy inquiring into whether other governments within Europe were also implicated.

        The French along with the British denied that their governments had any involvement in the Gladio networks. Italian Prime Minister Andreotti, not wanting to be the only boat sunk, mercilessly shattered the French cover-up when on November 10th, 1990 he declared that France also had taken part in the very recent meeting of the Gladio directing body ACC (Allied Clandestine Committee) in Belgium on October 23rd, 1990. It was only with Andreotti’s accusation that France changed its tune and acknowledged its role in Gladio, with French Defence Minister Jean Pierre Chevènement claiming that the French secret army was “completely passive…”[58]

        In the Quiet of a Small Town

        “Sex trafficking, industrial paedophilia, the reports of snuff movies made for political and financial blackmail, or just for profit, were all entangled in a black cobweb of spies, officially connived drug running, the secret paramilitary network, and the constant meddling of NATO’s high command in the internal affairs of the country.”

        – Richard Cottrell, Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe

        Belgium is made up of a Flemish and French ethnic population. During WWII, many Flemings either openly or symbolically sided with the Germans, in hopes of Flemish nationhood – even within a Nazi commonwealth – doing away with Belgium altogether.

        Richard Cottrell writes in Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe:[59]

        A residue from wartime fraternisation with the Germans led to Nazi-style paganistic symbolism and mystical blood bonding ceremonies within the Belgian stay-behind network and elements of the national armed forces, which in any event inclined to the Right. This mystical streak was set for a chilling significance in shaping many of the perversion yet to be wrought on Belgium.”

        Ganser writes in NATO’s Secret Armies:[60]

        According to Belgian Gladio author Jan Willems, the creation of WUCC [Western Union Clandestine Committee] in spring 1948 had been a direct consequence of a public speech by British Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin held in London on January 22, 1948. In front of the British parliament Bevin had elaborated on his plan for a ‘Union Occidental’, an international organisation designed to counter what he perceived to be the Soviet threat in Europe…”

        Ernest Bevin (Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs July 1945-March 1951) aided in the creation of NATO and was instrumental in the founding of the Information Research Department (IRD), a secret Cold War propaganda department of the British Foreign Office, specialised in pro-colonial, anti-communist, disinformation propaganda, including black propaganda.[61] His commitment to the West European security system, made him eager to sign the Treaty of Brussels in 1948. It drew Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg into an arrangement for collective security, opening the way for the formation of NATO in 1949.[62] Bevin also played a role in Parliament misinforming MPs and failing to extradite the Mufti of Jerusalem, while in French custody, who had been installed and funded by the British government in Palestine and had worked closely with the Nazis during the Second World War.[63]

        Little Belgium soon after NATO’s move to Brussels, had the second most powerful and intrusive crime cartels in Western Europe. In a very short time, Europe’s cockpit was also its chief narcotics and illegal arms hub, with a sideline of sex trafficking. According to investigative journalist Richard Cottrell,[64] the CIA had recruited Belgian Nazis – mostly, but not exclusively, Flemish – as soon as the war ended, and selected them for high offices at state and provincial levels. Such ‘former’ Belgian Nazi figures were protected from justice and released from prison under the protection of the CIA. NATO’s machinations along with General Lemnitzer’s imported experts in counterinsurgency[65] were responsible for the formation of the Belgian Gladio operations; divided into SDRA-8 (French) and STC/Mob (Flemish) divisions.[66]

        Cottrell writes:[67]

        According to journalist Manuel Abramowitz – a leading investigator of the far Right in Belgium – neo-Nazis were egged on to infiltrate all the mechanisms of the state, with special attention reserved for the police and the army. By the 1980s, this level of penetration had become so deep – thanks to fascist fronts such as the neo-Nazi militia Westland New Post and its French speaking counterpart, Front de la Jeunesse – that Belgium’s military forces could be said to have fallen almost entirely under extremist control. Not once in the wake of the many false-flag operations over the coming decades, did convincing proof ever appear of a credible coordinated Left-wing subversive force operating on Belgian soil, while seditious organisations of the Far Right flourished openly.

        Senator Hugo Coveliers chairman of the special investigating committee probing gangsterism and terrorism in Belgium (1988-1990) tracked the presence of incriminating materials to a special unit called the ‘judicial police’. Here is what Coveliers said on what became known as the ‘scandal of the X-Dossiers’:

        Imagine, everywhere you hear that story about a blackmail dossier in which organisations of the extreme right are in the possession of pictures and videos on which a number of prominent people in and around Brussels have sex with young girls; minors it is said. The existence of this dossier has always been vehemently denied. Until it was proven that testimonies and videos of this affair indeed were in the possession of the police services.

        The at first non-existing dossier turns out to exist. The videos without substance then turn out to be interesting enough after all to be handed over to the examining magistrate tasked with the investigation into the Gang of Nivelles [held responsible for some of the shop massacres]. But this person is subsequently afraid to testify about that! What do you think is going on here![68]

        Cottrell, who is a former European Parliament MP and has conducted formal investigations ordered by the European Parliament, explores these avenues in greater detail in his book. He concludes that these sex-trafficking rings within Belgium, involving the abuse and murder of children, are encouraged among public officials for two reasons. The first is to produce incriminating blackmail making political retreat impossible. The second reason is that some of these activities that were recorded and retained in top secret files, were part of cultist initiation ceremonies.

        Cottrell writes:[69]

        It was alleged these involved paganistic neo-Nazi traits such as blood rituals, practised by elements within the state’s secret forces, as well as the orthodox military structure.”

        In the context of this, NATO’s twitter scandal posting the Black Sun Nazi occult symbol[70] for international women’s day in 2022, might not have been a slip-up after all…

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        The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/.

        1. Among the plethora of books H.G. Wells wrote, was “The New World Order,” (1940). It appears that Wells was among the very first to pioneer the now infamous term. 
        2. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 560-561. 
        3. Ibid, pg. 561. 
        4. Chung, Cynthia. (2022) The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set: The Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy. See Chapter 2. 
        5. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 577. 
        6. Ibid, pg. 585. 
        7. For more on Otto Skorzeny see Chapters 6, 8 & 11 of my book “The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.” 
        8. Dorril, Stephen. (2006) Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British fascism. Viking, London, New York, pg. 15-16 
        9. Mosley wrote to Wells to congratulate him on a speech supporting ‘Liberal Fascism’. Mosley included a copy of his book The Greater Britain, and wrote “I am afraid the word ‘Liberal’ has not much relation in my book, but it certainly is an attempt to create a scientific Fascism which is free from the excess and repressions of the Continent…like most prophets, you will probably have the unpleasant experience of recognising many of your own teachings of the past reproduced and reshaped by less capable hands.” From Stephen Dorril’s book ‘Blackshirt.’ 
        10. Refer to Chapter 1 of my book “The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set” for Mosley’s concept of a “scientific dictatorship” which was almost entirely influenced by H.G. Wells. 
        11. Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 1. 
        12. Willan, Philip. (March 26, 2001) Terrorists ‘helped by CIA’ to stop rise of left in Italy. The Guardian. https://web.archive.org/web/20220721212738/https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/mar/26/terrorism
        13. Ganser, Daniele. (2005) NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, London, New York, pg. 28 
        14. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament. 
        15. For more details around the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II see Richard Cottrell’s book Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe
        16. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 115-121. 
        17. Ibid 
        18. William L. Shirer. (1959) The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, pg. 192. 
        19. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, Nato’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        20. Black Empire is in reference to a Fascist Empire. 
        21. Recall from Chapter 2 Kalergi’s Catholic Crusade for a Pan-Europe. 
        22. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        23. Recall in Chapter 1, that Mosley and his son were working for a Spanish travel agency that was organising Otto Skorzeny’s travel itinerary, which was likely connected to Aginter Press. 
        24. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        25. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 212. 
        26. Ibid, pg. 212. 
        27. Cliadakis, Harry. (January 1979). The Political and Diplomatic Background to the Metaxas Dictatorship, 1935-36. Journal of Contemporary History. 14 (1): pg. 117–138. 
        28. Ibid 
        29. Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 703. 
        30. Mackenzie, W.J.M. (May 2002) The Secret History of SOE Special Operations Executive 1940-1945. Little, Brown Group Limited, pg. 722-723. 
        31. Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 29. 
        32. Ibid 
        33. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 213. 
        34. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
        35. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
        36. Ibid, pg. 213-215. 
        37. Ibid, pg. 215. 
        38. Ibid, pg. 215. 
        39. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 36. 
        40. Murtagh, Peter. (January 1994) The Rape of Greece: The King, the Colonels and the Resistance. Simon & Schuster Canada, pg. 41. 
        41. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 219. 
        42. National Security Council. (Dec. 9, 1947) Memorandum from the Executive Secretary NSC 4https://web.archive.org/web/20220816000135/https://irp.fas.org/offdocs/nsc-hst/nsc-4.htm
        43. National Security Council. (June 18, 1948) Directive on Office of Special Projects NSC 10/2https://web.archive.org/web/20220815203120/https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1945-50Intel/d292
        44. For more on the Frank Church Senate Committee Hearings see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee. Retrieved October, 2022. 
        45. The United States Senate. Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence activities. Book IV: Supplementary detailed staff reports on foreign and military intelligence, pg. 36. 
        46. Powers, Thomas. (January 1979) The man who kept the secrets: Richard helms and the CIA. Alfred A. Knopf, pg. 37. 
        47. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 57. 
        48. Kruger, Henrik. (1980) The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence & International Fascism. South End Press, pg. 143. 
        49. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        50. Ibid, pg. 87. 
        51. Faligot, Roger; Pascal, Krop. (May 1985) La piscine: Les services secrets francais 1944-1984. Seuil, pg. 85. 
        52. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 90. 
        53. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149. 
        54. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        55. Blum, William. (October 2008) Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II. Common Courage Press, Maine, pg. 149. 
        56. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 98-99. 
        57. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        58. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 17. 
        59. Cottrell, Richard. (2015) Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis. Progressive Press. 
        60. Ganser, Daniele. (2005). NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe. Frank Cass, pg. 128. 
        61. Burke, Jason (14 May 2022). Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/14/secret-british-black-propaganda-campaign-targeted-cold-war-enemies-information-research-department. Retrieved October 14, 2022. 
        62. Baylis, John (1982). Britain and the Dunkirk Treaty: The Origins of NATO. Journal of Strategic Studies. 5 (2): pg. 236–47. 
        63. See Chapter 11 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.’ 
        64. Richard Cottrell is a former European Parliament MP and investigative journalist. Cottrell has also conducted formal investigations commissioned by the European Parliament. 
        65. See Chapter 8 of my book ‘The Empire on which the Black Sun Never Set.’ 
        66. Richard Cottrell. (2015) Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe. Progressive Press. 
        67. Ibid. 
        68. Ibid. 
        69. Ibid. 
        70. https://mobile.twitter.com/RT_com/status/1501611271631695873. Retrieved September 12, 2022. 

        لولا دا سيلفا.. رئيس البرازيل من طبقة الكادحين

        الثلاثاء 29 تشرين اول  2022

        إعداد: شروق محيدله

        سياسي برازيلي بدأ من عالم الفقر والنضال النقابي وحوّل بلاده إلى قوة عالمية.. من هو لولا دا سيلفا؟

        فيديوهات متعلقة

        طفولة صعبة ومراهقة شاقة.. كيف عاش لولا دا سيلفا حياته؟

        رماح اسماعيل 

        المصدر: الميادين نت

        31 تشرين اول 

        عاش لولا دا سيلفا حياة قاسية، بين النشأة والطفولة والمراهقة، وصولاً إلى الرئاسة، ولأن تكوينه الأول كان في وسط فقير، كبر لولا وأخذ على عاتقه راية الفقراء، وتخليصهم من الظلم.

        لولا دا سيلفا في مرحلة الشباب (أرشيفية)

        قبل أن يكون رئيساً للبرازيل، إحدى الدول البارزة في أميركا اللاتينية، كان الرئيس المنتخب أمس لولا دا سيلفا طفلاً عاش في ظروف صعبة للغاية، تسبب بها الفقر المدقع الذي عانت منه أسرته. 

        ثم انتقل دا سيلفا إلى مرحلة المراهقة التي لم تكن أفضل من مرحلة الطفولة، حيث كان معيلاً لعائلته، مما اضطره إلى العمل في أكثر المهن صعوبة، واحدة منها أفقدته أصبعاً في يده.

        نشأت شخصية دا سيلفا في بيئة قاسية، فأثّرت بشكل مباشر في تكوين شخصيته، لكنها لم تخلق منه شخصاً فظاً، بل جعلته رحيماً بمن حوله، ذاق الفقر ومرارته فأراد أن يكون جسراً ليعبر فوقه فقراء البرازيل نحو حياة أفضل.

        نشأته وطفولته

        “لقد علمتني أمي كيف أمشي مرفوع الرأس وكيف أحترم نفسي حتى يحترمني الآخرون”.

        نشأ دا سيلفا الذي ولد في 27 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 1945، في أسرة فقيرة، أصلها من الشمال الشرقي للبرازيل، وكانت طفولته قاسية، حيث تعلم من والدته الكثير حول الحياة ومواجهة صعوباتها.

        وكتب ريتشارد بورن في الجزء الأول من كتابه “لولا البرازيل” عن طفولة دا سلفيا، وجاء عنوان هذا الجزء بعنوان “قاسية وصعبة”، قائلاً إن لولا انتمى لأسرة مكونة من 7 أولاد وبنات، سافر والده مع ابنة عمه بعد أسبوعين فقط من مولد دا سيلفا إلى ساو باولو، للبحث عن عمل ثم انقطعت أخباره بعد فترة قصيرة، فظنت والدته أنه وجد وظيفة وبالتالي سافرت هي الأخرى إلى ساو باولو ومعها أطفالها.

        ولكن سرعان ما اكتشفت أن زوجها تزوج من ابنة عمه بعد أن عاشوا قصة حب سرية، ولذلك اضطرت أن تسكن في غرفة واحدة في منطقة فقيرة في هذه المدينة، ولقد لعبت “أريستيدس” والدة دا سيلفا دوراً كبيراً في حياته وتكوين شخصيته، واعترف دا سيلفا بذلك.

        بدأ لولا دا سيلفا مشواره التعليمي في سن مبكر، ولكنه توقف عن التحصيل الدراسي في سن العاشرة من عمره، عندما كان في السنة الخامسة من التعليم الأساسي بسبب الفقر الشديد والظروف الصعبة التي كانت تمر بها العائلة.

        ولكن تلك الظروف الصعبة ساهمت في بناء شخصيته، وظهر هذا عندما تولى حكم البرازيل حيث وجه اهتماماً كبيراً للفقراء.

        مراهقة ترافقت مع أعمال شاقة

        لا بد أن شخصية دا سيلفا المناضلة تعود إلى خلفية عاشها في فترة شبابه، قاسى فيها ظروفاً صعبة للغاية، حيث عمل هذا الفتى في سن مبكرة من عمره كماسح للأحذية لفترة طويلة في شوارع ساو باولو، وكصبي في محطة وقود، ثم حرفي في ورشة.

        ليعمل بعد ذلك ميكانيكياً لإصلاح السيارات، وبائع خضروات لكن كل هذه الظروف جعلت منه رجلاً قوياً، وانتهى به الحال كمتخصص في التعدين بعد التحاقه بمعمل “فيس ماترا” حيث نجح في الحصول على دورة تدريبية لمدة 3 سنوات من هناك.

        وتعرض لولا لحادثة في سن الـ19 من عمره، أثناء عمله في إحدى مصانع قطع الغيار للسيارات، أدت إلى فقدانه أصبعه خنصر في يده اليسرى، وكان السبب في هذا هو إهمال صاحب المصنع الذي كان يعمل به.

        وبعد هذا الحادث انضم دا سيلفا إلى نقابة عمالية بهدف تحسين أوضاع العمال، لأنه عانى الكثير ليحصل على علاج آنذاك.

        وأثرت تلك الحادثة في نفسية لولا، مما دفعه للمشاركة في اتحاد نقابة العمال، بهدف الدفاع عن حقوق العمال وتحسين مستواهم وتحريرهم من قسوة أصحاب الأموال وظلمهم.

        دا سيلفا خلال مشاركته في حركات العمال (أرشيفية)

        حياته الأسرية

        لم يكتب لزواج دا سيلفا الأول الاستمرارية، حيث توفيت زوجته الأولى “ماريا دى” عام 1970،  بسبب مرض التهاب الكبد الوبائي، أي بعد سنة واحدة فقط على زواجهما في عام 1969 لتنتهي بذلك حكايتهما معاً من دون إنجاب أطفال.

        وفي عام 1974 تزوج من “ماريزا ليتسيا لولا دا سيلفا” والتي أصبحت السيدة الأولى في البرازيل وأنجب منها 5 أبناء.

        محطات في حياته السياسية

        صبغت ظروف دا سيلفا الصعبة حياته ومعتقداته، حتى جعلته صوتاً للمستضعفين ليس فقط في البرازيل بل حول العالم، وشكلت له قاعدة جماهيرية جلها من الفقراء والعمال وكل من يرزح تحت مظلة الظلم والاستغلال.

        شارك لولا في شباط/فبراير من العام 1980، في تأسيس حزب العمال، ذو الأفكار التقدمية. وفي العام 1983، ساعد في تأسيس اتحاد نقابات (CUT). وفي العام 1984، انضم لحملات المطالبة بتصويت شعبي مباشر في الانتخابات الرئاسية البرازيلية، وهذا ما نجحوا في تحقيقه عام 1989.

        وخاض دا سيلفا الانتخابات الرئاسية 3 مرات دون جدوى، قبل أن يستطيع تحقيق النصر في انتخابات العام 2002، وقد أُعيد انتخابه عام 2006.

        وفي تموز/يوليو 2017، أدين بتهمة غسل الأموال والفساد في محاكمة مثيرة للجدل، وحُكم عليه بالسجن 9 سنوات ونصف. وبعد فشله في قضية استئناف الحكم، تم سجنه في نيسان/أبريل 2018 وقضى 580 يوماً في السجن.

        أما في نيسان/أبريل 2021 أيّدت المحكمة العليا البرازيلية إلغاء إدانات بالفساد صادرة بحق الرئيس السابق لولا دا سيلفا ما جعله مؤهلاً للترشح للانتخابات الرئاسيّة عام 2020.

        وفي أيار/مايو 2021، صرّح لولا أنه سيرشح نفسه لولاية ثالثة في انتخابات العام 2022، ضد الرئيس الحالي جايير بولسونارو، وتمكن من الفوز بولاية ثالثة في 30 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر.

        اقرأ أيضاً: لولا دا سيلفا رئيساً للبرازيل بعد فوزه على بولسونارو في الجولة الثانية

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