Posts Tagged ‘coup d’etat’


Published time: January 06, 2013 15:31 

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said the CIA may try to kill him prior to upcoming elections. Citing reports of a plot to “destabilize the region,” Correa said the threats were “credible,” given the history of US involvement in Latin America.

Correa alluded to reports by Chilean journalist Patricio Mery Bell, who allegedly passed on information to the Ecuadorian government that President Correa’s life was “under threat” by a CIA plot.

“There are many cases of [the CIA] interfering” in Latin American affairs, Correa said during a campaign tour in the coastal province of Guayas. “These are credible [reports] because this has happened before in Latin America.”

The head of the US diplomatic mission in Quito, Adam Nann, responded to Bell’s claims by saying that Washington “would never get involved” in Ecuador’s electoral process.

Although Correa conceded that he believed the statements of the US ambassador, he warned that agencies such as the CIA often follow their own agenda and maintain links with organizations representing the extreme right in the countries in which they operate.

Bell first voiced his concerns for the safety of President Correa three months ago when he released a report claiming the CIA sought to “destabilize” Ecuador. He said that the threat to Correa’s life would be at its height from January 15 and onwards, as Correa applies to run for another presidential term.

“We will have to be three times more vigilant with President Correa,” Bell said in an interview with publication El Ciudadano. Bell maintained that although he was not a staunch supporter of Correa, it was his duty as a Latin American citizen to warn of the alleged $88-million CIA plot to destabilize the Ecuadorian government.

The journalist believes that this money will be divided amongst extremist anarchist, leftist and hardline conservative groups, in the hopes of discrediting Correas.

Bell claimed in his report that the main motives behind the CIA plot were the closing of the US Manta military base, hailed as a victory for Ecuadorian national sovereignty, and the granting of asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

President Correa is often described as echoing the policies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, especially in anti-US rhetoric. The 49-year-old economist has reduced poverty and increased stability and the overall standard of living in Ecuador during his presidency, winning popularity amongst the country’s poorest as well as the educated middle class.

Correa will run for reelection against six other candidates when campaigning begins on January 15. Ecuadorians will vote for the next president and vice president on Sunday, February 17.

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This film presents an account of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities that had previously been covert, including actions in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala. The film includes interviews with CIA director Allen Dulles and Dick Bissel.

About the CIA:
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an independent civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, with responsibility for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers. Intelligence-gathering is performed by non-military commissioned civilian intelligence agents, many of whom are trained to avoid tactical situations. The CIA also oversees and sometimes engages in tactical and covert activities at the request of the President of the United States. Often, when such field operations are organized, the U.S. military or other warfare tacticians carry these tactical operations out on behalf of the agency while the CIA oversees them. Although intelligence-gathering is the agency’s main agenda, tactical divisions were established in the agency to carry out emergency field operations that require immediate suppression or dismantling of a threat or weapon.

The CIA succeeded the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), formed during World War II to coordinate espionage activities against the Axis Powers for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. The National Security Act of 1947 established the CIA, affording it “no police or law enforcement functions, either at home or abroad”. Through interagency cooperation, the CIA has Cooperative Security Locations at its disposal. These locations are called “lily pads” by the Air Force. The primary function of the CIA is to collect information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and to advise public policymakers, but it does conduct emergency tactical operations and carries out covert operations, and exerts foreign political influence through its tactical divisions, such as the Special Activities Division. The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the U.S. government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.

Sometimes, the CIA is referred to euphemistically in government and military parlance as Other Government Agency (OGA), particularly when its operations in a particular area are an open secret. Other terms include The Company, Langley, and The Agency.

CIA in the early Cold War-era (1953–1966):

Allen Dulles, who had been a key OSS operations officer in Switzerland during World War II, took over from Smith, at a time where U.S. policy was dominated by intense anticommunism. Various sources existed, the most visible being the investigations and abuses of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the more quiet but systematic containment doctrine developed by George Kennan, the Berlin Blockade and the Korean War. Dulles enjoyed a high degree of flexibility, as his brother, John Foster Dulles, was simultaneously Secretary of State.

During this period, there were numerous covert actions against left-wing movements perceived as communist. The CIA overthrew a foreign government for the first time during the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, at the request of Winston Churchill. Some of the largest operations were aimed at Cuba after the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship, including assassination attempts against Fidel Castro and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. There have been suggestions that the Soviet attempt to put missiles into Cuba came, indirectly, when they realized how badly they had been compromised by a U.S.-UK defector in place, Oleg Penkovsky. One of the biggest operations ever undertaken by the CIA was directed at Zaire in support of Mobutu Sese Seko. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency

July 16th, 2012

Whether Paraguay’s infamously right-wing local oligarchy and its parties that seized an opportunity to bring left-leaning President Fernando Lugo down by itself, or whether the push came from the United States government, is yet to be confirmed.

The US was involved in the overthrow of many governments in Latin America in 20th century in a bid to sure up its domination of the region.

See also
Paraguay: Coup at heart of struggle over Latin America

The US also supported a 2009 coup that overthrew elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who had raised the minimum wage paid by US corporations in the textile industry and blocked privatisations. In the past decade, it has also been implicated in failed coup attempts against elected governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

However, whether the key movers were the Paraguayan oligarchs or US forces is a secondary consideration. The US state and US corporations operate through local intermediaries — the Paraguayan oligarchy — and have made no effort to conceal their intentions to use the recent coup to advance their agenda.

The coup has provided the US with a golden opportunity to work to reverse its declining influence in the region — and send a clear message to those willing to challenge its interests.

Paraguay is nestled between South America’s two largest economies — Argentina and Brazil — and its membership of regional integration bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) gives it strategic importance for US interests.

By removing Lugo via an illegitimate coup only nine months out from elections, the US and its allies sent a message that, having lost the ability to keep control through formal democratic means, they are willing to use others.

The coup also gave the US an opportunity to escalate its military presence in the region.

The same day Lugo was impeached by Congress, a delegation of Paraguayan politicians, led by the head of the parliamentary defence committee and opposition member Jose Lopez Chavez, met with US military chiefs to negotiate the establishment of a US military base in the Chaco region.

Lopez Chavez said another topic of discussions was restarting US military “humanitarian assistance” programs in Paraguay, which had been halted by Lugo in 2009.

The Paraguayan oligarchy has made clear its intentions of allowing the US to turn the country into a base for military operations, with its sights set on Latin America’s radical governments.

As Lopez Chavez explained after a meeting in August last year with 21 US generals, the hope was that a US base would help Paraguay “liberate itself from the pressures, the threats from Bolivia, and even more so the threats that are constantly emerging from the Bolivarianism of Hugo Chavez.”

In June, US General Douglas M Fraser, head of the US Southern Command, also singled out Venezuela and Bolivia as potential hotspots for “geopolitical turbulence” that could affect US interests in the region.

Those that have been campaigning in support of Latin America’s turbulent process of transition face the urgent task of exposing the role of US imperialism, its corporations and its allies in Paraguay’s, and their bid to stop the process of regional integration across Latin America.

There is also a need to support the Paraguayan resistance to the coup and redoubling our solidarity with the anti-imperialist Bolivarian Alliance of the People’s of Our America (ALBA) led by Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

 

November 6, 2012

After 20 months from the outset of the Syrian crisis, the US eventually decided to dismiss the main opposition leader and replace him with its own selected council.

The reactions by some of the leaders of the so-called Syrian National Council (SNC) indicate that they have not been aware of the decision before the news was announced.

Syria

Syria

For the past few months, there have been reports of US efforts to unite the opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and holding a broad meeting for them in the Qatari capital, Doha. But no one expected the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suddenly announce just a few days ahead of the meeting that the SNC does not represent the Syrian nation and to sarcastically say that many of them have “not been in Syria for 20, 30, or 40 years.”

Has Clinton just noticed that former Chairman of the SNC Burhan Ghalioun and the faction’s incumbent leader, Abdulbaset Sieda, have been teaching at French and Swedish universities for decades? Or has something new come up to prompt the US secretary of state to evict the SNC?

The killing of the US ambassador to Libya has probably had a major impact on the change in Washington’s view. The North African country has not formed a comprehensive ruling system yet and Tripoli has become the scene of confrontations among rival militant groups on a daily basis. Moreover, the fall of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has prepared the ground for the rise of al-Qaeda and Wahhabis in Libya, Morocco and their southern neighbors. The chaos in Mali and the seizure of its northern regions by pro-al-Qaeda groups is a clear instance of that trend. Meanwhile, Algeria and Morocco feel a greater danger in this regard.

The so-called Free Syrian Army does not exist in Syria and the name is an umbrella for all the disparate groups conducting operations in the country. The US is concerned that if the Syrian ruling system collapses, and those separate groups become rival factions, a Libya-like situation will be created in Syria. Moreover, Washington has overtly expressed concern over the growth of extremist Salafis in Syria’s armed conflicts.

Former US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, and prominent Syrian dissident Riad Seif have devised the plan for the new formation of the opposition groups and their unity. A 50-member council is also scheduled to form another committee to serve as an interim government or a transitional council for Syria. Riad Seif expects the new so-called government to be recognized by more than 100 countries.

The formation of the new opposition council is scheduled to be announced after the US presidential election. In other words, any US administration will continue Washington’s policy of interference in Syria, and will recognize the new opposition council.

The SNC has had such a disappointing performance for the US and West that Washington itself was compelled to take the initiative directly and, as Clinton said, it has selected the members of the new council beforehand. Such an authoritarian and coup like attitude from the US was Washington’s last resort to unite the Syrian opposition. The EU has no independent initiative either, and — like the Palestine crisis — it is waiting for the US scenarios to follow suit. Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are in a far worse predicament, compared with Europe. Ankara has realized that all its efforts to bring the SNC to power have been in vain.

The reason behind the confusion is that neither the US nor its allies in the so-called Friends of Syria group had a clear understanding of the Syrian crisis at the outset and thought that, like the former Tunisian and Egyptian regimes, the Syrian government will be toppled within a few weeks or, like the former Libyan government, it will collapse with foreign military intervention. The resistance of Assad and the Syrian army, continuation of the crisis, weakness of the opposition, emergence of allegedly unwanted elements (al-Qaeda) and likelihood of the spillover of the crisis into the neighboring countries were the realities that Washington gradually accepted.

While, a quick scan of the Middle Eastern newspapers unmasked the wrong policy of the US and the West, it’s not clear what the West’s colossal research centers, CIA, the US Department of State, and US National Security Council had been busy doing.

Despite the fact that Washington dismissed the SNC with such a disrespectful manner, the opposition group has no option but to participate at the Doha meeting, hoping to gain control over at least one-third of the new council. The new council will be very docile as it will vanish overnight in the absence of the US and its allies. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood will hold control over the next council, as it was the case in the previous one. The movement does not scruple to forge ties with anyone in an attempt to come to power.

The major characteristic of this new phase in Syria will consist a more serious and blatant interference in the country. Military, financial, and political assistance will rise. Efforts will be made to stop Qatar and Saudi Arabia to strengthen Wahhabis, and to make sure that the sent weapons do not reach al-Qaeda.

Another characteristic of the US’s plan will be focusing on the two main sustaining pillars of the Syria’s administration, the Syrian army and the General Security Directorate, in order for the challenges of the post-Saddam Iraq not to recur. France has also reacted to this and agreed to upholding the Syrian Army.

After all, some of the opposition wings inside Syria are not ready to attend the Doha meeting. Abdulbaset Sieda says the SNC has been pressured to negotiate with the Syrian government. Objecting to US’s disrespectful manner, some of the members of the council also say that the Doha meeting aims to pave the way for negotiations with Assad.

During the next days, more news will be published about the insurgents’ military attacks, their seizure of an oilfield, or crash of a fighter aircraft belonging to the Syrian army. However, the idea that Syrian army retreats from some regions to create the space for rival groups to clash, emerges gradually.