Venezuelan navy intercepts three ships suspected of illegal fuel trafficking


“Everything this government does is bad, that’s why now I love the crooks, killers, bachaqueros, and all those who are destroying this country.” Thanks for that, Señora Disociada.

Me oh my, what a bad week it’s been for the disociad@s. And especially their pets, the bachaqueros, those illegal traffickers and speculators in basic necessities from Venezuela, who do such lucrative trade with corruptos across the border in Colombia. Since their preferred overland routes to Narcolandia have been sealed off by the Bolivarian National Guard, they’ve been resorting to corrupting the captains who ferry petroleum products for the state oil company PDVSA. Or rather, trying to…that is, until other state officials stepped in and put the kibosh on that:

Last week, the Venezuelan navy detained three boats suspected of trafficking in contraband subsidized fuel from Paraguaná Peninsula, where the principal refinery of the land is located, a Venezuelan commander said on Saturday.

Sources told Reuters on Monday that seven persons had been arrested for attempting to traffick diesel illicitly in a ship belonging to the state oil company, PDVSA.

Admiral Andrés Gómez, commander of the local navy unit, confirmed that on the ship “Negra Hipólita”, they had found a cargo exceeding 50,000 barrels of diesel from the Cardón refinery, when the ship only had authorization to carry 10,000 barrels.

The situation worsened over the weekend, as it became known that two other vessels, both coming from Panama, had been detained by the Venezuelan navy, also under suspicion of illegal fuel trafficking, Gómez added. It was not immediately clear where they were detained. PDVSA did not respond to requests for comment.

The ship “Mario G”, rented by PDVSA, was detained at the Amuay refinery with more than 1,108 barrels of gasoline, worth some $186,000 US, said Gómez. “Paola Valentina”, likewise, was intercepted for carrying some 4,000 litres of gas oil without the correct invoices, among other anomalies. Nine persons were detained, seven of them in the case of the “Negra Hipólita”.

The arrests come at a time when president Nicolás Maduro is seeking to end contraband-trafficking in Venezuela, and has also closed several border crossings to Colombia in recent weeks.

On Friday, Maduro “ordered that corrupt state officials be prosecuted for collaborating in the illegal trade in gasoline”. He confirmed that “a ship which was transporting 50,000 barrels of fuel was detained, which had only stated it was carrying 10,000; it was the oil ship Negra Hipólita, whose captain and first officer and five other PDVSA workers were detained”.

“They were taking it by way of the Caribbean; we handcuffed them, and they’re in jail.”

Translation mine.

Illegal fuel trafficking isn’t just highway robbery for honest Venezuelans. It’s also dangerous; a ship carrying more flammable material than is allowed is a fire and explosion hazard, a floating bomb waiting to go off. Not to mention that rough seas can sink an overloaded freighter in almost no time. (Remember the Edmund Fitzgerald?) And since fuel traffickers don’t care who they’re ripping off in the name of a couple hundred thousand extra gringo dollars, it stands to reason that they would not hesitate to risk unsuspecting people’s lives, as well. And let’s not even get started on the potential for environmental damage…

What’s really striking in the case of the Negra Hipólita is that they corrupted the captain and first officer of a flagship of the PDVSA fleet. Of all the people who should know better! That’s pretty damn scary. Good luck finding any more oil-tanker jobs in the future, fellas. Which is to say, ROT IN JAIL, CORRUPTOS.

Posted in Barreling Right Along, El NarcoPresidente, Environmentally Ill, Fascism Without Swastikas, Filthy Stinking Rich, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't That Illegal?. Comments Off on Venezuelan navy intercepts three ships suspected of illegal fuel trafficking »

Bill C-51: Are you on Harpo’s enemies list yet?

If not, shame on you. Watch this and learn why it behooves you to become an enemy of PetroState Canada and Fortress North America:

Democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and political association, the indigenous peoples, the right to a clean and healthy environment…all these and more are now under fire. And if you believe in them, and take your belief in them to the streets, congratulations: You are An Enemy of the State. USA PATRIOT Act North, otherwise known as Bill C-51, is aiming to make YOU illegal.

And if you couldn’t make it to the streets, don’t worry. You can still put a fire under your Member of Parliament. Use this letter-writing tool and in a few minutes’ time, you too can be a proud member of the Enemies list.

Now go, and be the best fuckin’ subversive you can.


The Spy Cables: How South African intelligence was diverted — and PERverted

By now, this should be a familiar story to anyone who’s been following the War on Terra even casually: A country’s intelligence resources get shamelessly gobbled up by the CIA and Mossad in an effort to blame any domestic terrorism on whatever country the US and Israel currently have in their sights. It’s happened a handful of times in Argentina, where Iranians have been taking the blame for what are in fact false flags staged by none other than Israel. The bombings of the AMIA centre and the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires were not the work of Iranian car-bombers, as was widely reported, but inside jobs, with Mossad agents and Shin Bet behind it all. The objective: To sabotage the then-ongoing Israeli peace talks with the Palestinian authorities, by claiming that the Iranians were their puppet masters, and also by making the Iranian government out to be a state sponsor of terror. Never mind that Iran is guiltless in all this. The smearing of the country’s name was enough.

And it’s not just happening in Argentina. As this Al-Jazeera investigative report indicates, it’s been happening in South Africa as well. State security agents, offices and funding have been diverted from what they should be doing — tracking domestic neo-Nazi terror cells, South Africa’s biggest real menace to society — and turning them against Iran, in order to make that country out, again, to be a state sponsor of terror.

Among the revelations, the Spy Cables disclose how:

*Israel’s Mossad told its allies that Iran was not working to produce nuclear weapons just a month after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned it was barely a year from being able to do so;
*The CIA made attempts to contact Hamas directly despite the US government listing the Palestinian group as a “terrorist organisation”;
*Britain’s MI6 sought South African help in an operation to recruit a North Korean official who had previously refused their cash; and
*South African and Ethiopian spies struggled to “neutralise” an assassination plot targeting a leading African diplomat.

The files unveil details of how, as the post-apartheid South African state grappled with the challenges of forging new security services, the country became vulnerable to foreign espionage and inundated with warnings related to the US “War on Terror”.

The report goes on to note some of the absurd lengths the South Africans had to go to in order to spy on Iran. My personal favorite was the use of Persian rug shops as supposed Iranian spy fronts. Maybe the CIA and Mossad had better learn how to decode secret messages woven into those fancy floor coverings, eh?

Notice the ludicrous mention of North Korea in there, too? Presumably the country poses a nuclear threat. What do you bet the real reason isn’t Kim Jong Un’s alleged nukes, but a whole lotta potential oil and gas reserves, sitting right near the North Korean shore? It’s not unreasonable to speculate that the eternally oil-hungry US, with the help of its Israeli buddies, would want to get at it before the Chinese, the Mongolians, and heaven knows who all else. So of course they’re going to keep polishing that ol’ turd about how dangerous and crazy Kim Jong Un is. Never mind that if he were really all that, he’d have given a lot more concrete proof than we’ve seen to date…which, by the way, is bupkus. He didn’t kill his alleged mistress (she’s still alive and performing on state TV, a position she surely wouldn’t still hold if she were out of favor, much less dead); the Sony hack was an inside job, probably done by a disgruntled former employee; and the scary, scary missiles that we’ve heard so much about have been rather modest, and seem to have been aimed at warning the South Koreans away — hardly a global menace. Meanwhile, the US and South Korea are about to stage military exercises close to the DPRK border, very soon. Keep your eyes on that oil, people, because that’s the real reason Kim is in the kimchi.

What ought to be abundantly clear from all this is that Iran is the US’s main target (and North Korea, a secondary target) in the War on Terra. And that oil is behind it all, same as it ever was.

And for Israel? Well, access to nearby oil is a definite plus because Israel doesn’t have a whole lot of its own, but the more immediate goal is a tightening of the Likud grasp on power. It’s kind of hard for Bibi Netanyahu to maintain it without a shitload of bogus “existential threats” for Israel. Which could, inconveniently, turn real if Israel keeps up at the rate it’s currently going, and alienating all its neighbors any further. They have more than enough cause to mistrust Israel as it is.


Leamsy Salazar: The DEA’s useful spy


Leamsy Salazar, at right, back when Chavecito (on the left) trusted him.

Hey! Remember the spook I blogged about the other day? Leamsy Salazar, the presidential security officer who “defected” from the Venezuelan armed forces and is now a star witness for the DEA? Well, it looks like that won’t be the last we hear about him. Far from it. It looks like he’s turned into a very useful stool pigeon, at least as far as fascist media are concerned. And that’s not all there is to side-eye about him. So let’s scratch a bit and see what flakes off him, shall we?

There are two ways of looking at the press operation of the Spanish Franco-fascist newspaper, ABC, on the DEA’s new star: Corvette captain Leamsy Salazar, ex-member of the first ring of security around Comandante Chávez. One, consider that everything ABC says is “information”; the other, try to separate the facts from the operations. That [latter] is what we’re trying to do here.

Of what ABC has said, only one element can we give as proven: Leamsy Salazar deserted the ranks of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and will be in the United states, or at the disposal of that land. That is the only fact corroborated by diverse sources: the daily ABC, and on the other hand, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, the target of the Franco-fascist periodical’s attacks.

Diosdado Cabello told [journalist] Pedro Carvajalino, on VTV, in a video broadcast on Tuesday, January 27:

“This comrade was with Comandante Chávez. When the Comandante died, I decided, fine, in honor of the Comandante, I’ll take him to work with me. But suddenly I started talking to him, and he started to lower his eyes from mine…this was in the month of June. Month of June. He started to lower his eyes from mine, he wouldn’t meet my eyes, the deception began. I spoke with the Minister of Defence, and asked her for a replacement, and told her: Send him to study so he can be retrained, because he doesn’t look right to me. He went off to study, and never attended the course. On the contrary, he deserted. He deserted with his wife in December, which was decisive…but he deserted the course long before the course he was supposed to take, which all military officers do.”

The rest of what’s going around is biased constructions, driven by a rabidly anti-Chavista paper, which doesn’t hide its desire to see the government of Nicolás Maduro fall. It’s enough to read the editorial from January 28*, in response to the Venezuelan president’s denunciation. An editorial, unlike bylined articles, represents the paper’s position.

President Maduro had denounced ABC for promoting a “campaign of the international far right and factors of the US empire”. That’s the second proven fact. The international far right has one of its principal pillars in ABC at the moment of attacking Venezuela, and the plan is simple: ABC “broadcasts” its so-called “information” and the rest of a powerful media entente replicates it, using the first medium as source, without questioning the item and without looking for repercussions, points of view, contexts, etc.

The second part of President Maduro’s statement over the intervention of “factors of the US empire” is also proven. One day after the publication, the US Secretary of State for Narcotics and International Security, William Brownfield — long known in Venezuela — assured that what ABC published was “consistent” with his own analysis on the supposed penetration of drug cartels into Venezuela.

Later, the functionary said that he could “neither confirm nor deny” what ABC published. Really — a functionary of Brownfield’s rank could not confirm whether Salazar is in the United States, whether there exists an official investigation by the DEA in that respect, and whether there is any type of judicial denunciation rooted in any court in US territory? Of course he can. He won’t do it because it isn’t necessary right now.

Because from here on in, the second part of the operation unfolds, which consists of the press (could be ABC or some other opportune medium) “leaks” new information as to what Salazar “tells” the DEA. This will happen whenever the journalistic and political operators deem pertinent. Let’s illustrate with an example: The negotiations between the United States and Cuba to normalize diplomatic relations already appear more difficult than they initially seemed. If at any moment these should happen to stagnate, “revelations” from Salazar will appear concerning ties between Diosdado [Cabello] and the government of Cuba. In fact, this line is already laid out in the first ABC article.

The same could happen with any other conjuncture, which could have its “opportune” repercussions in new so-called statements by Salazar. Another example: This year, there will be presidential elections in Argentina; even though President [Cristina] Fernández is not up for re-election, they could easily smear the ruling party in some scandal linking to Diosdado [Cabello] or other Venezuelan officials to the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires. Why not? Salazar, let there be no doubt, will be good for everything.

Another element confirmed by official sources and documented proofs is that Leamsy Salazar was in fact part of the first ring of security around President Hugo Chávez, who in fact held him in high esteem as a young officer allied with the retaking of Miraflores Palace after the coup of April 11-13 in April 2002. Salazar remained in Chávez’s inner circle until the Bolivarian commander’s last days.

Much has been said about the possibility that the cancer that killed President Chávez in less than two years had been somehow inoculated. President Maduro as much as said that he concurred with this hypothesis. Political analysis as well as other other actions taken for a long time by the United States regarding the inoculation of illnesses into personages or entire communities lead us to conclude that, in effect, if the empire (beyond the US itself) had the opportunity to get close to Chávez, they would never have let it slip away.

Toby Valderrama has written several times of the political scenario he called the “biological assassination” of Chávez; the lawyer, Juan Martorano, write dozens of articles over the way in which the US have acted in different scenarios and moments by way of forced inoculations to twist history in their favor. All these writings can be found on the Aporrea website.

But all these efforts at reconstruction and analysis come up against a difficult obstacle: For the “biological assassination” of Hugo Chávez they would need to have him or the guilty parties get very close to the leader and for a long time. There, in the inner circle and for years, was Leamsy Salazar, today at the disposal of politico-journalistic operations by ABC and the United States.

We cannot confirm in any way (at least with the proven information we have to date) that Salazar had anything to do with the death of Comandante Chávez. We don’t know [that he did]. What we do know is that we must assume that the president’s inner circle had been compromised. That is a fact.

It is time that an official, rigorous and serious investigation begin as to the possible assassination of the Comandante. History demands it.

Translation mine. Linkage added.

So, we can see a lot of players from previous putsches against Chavecito there in the mix. William Brownfield, the former US ambassador to Venezuela, is the key one, and of course his “analysis” agrees with the statements of Leamsy Salazar. And why not? He probably coached Salazar very carefully on what lines to spout before the DEA. I take it for granted that any US diplomat in any foreign country is automatically a spy until proven otherwise, and so far, none has proven otherwise. So it stands to reason that Brownfield was probably feeding Leamsy Salazar the appropriate “information” (note the quotes, there for a reason — and that’s how they appear in the article I translated, too!) If his job was to meddle in Venezuelan interior politics — and it was — then this oh-so-strange coincidence between Brownfield’s account and Salazar’s becomes a whole lot less strange. And a lot less coincidental, too. After all, there’s Venezuelan oil (largest proven reserves in the world, remember?) to be stolen, and for that, a full-scale invasion must be mounted. Venezuela is no longer tame to US interests, after all…

And oh yeah, how funny too that Argentina should also be mentioned! You’ll note that for the past several days, I’ve been blogging about the strange death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who allegedly ordered the arrest of none other than the president of Argentina herself. Argentina, too, has been slandered in the efforts to drum up an invasion of Venezuela — remember the “briefcase affair” from a few years back? That was another smear directed at both Chavecito and Cristina Fernández, which proved to be a damp squib, and ended up embarrassing only those in whose faces it blew back. None of the shit ever stuck to either of the two presidents it was aimed at, and no wonder: Neither one had a thing to do with it. It was just one more false flag operation in a lengthy series of them.

Of course, Leamsy Salazar may well prove to be good for a lot more than just media smears and false-flag smoke and mirrors, at least in the eyes of his gringo masters. If indeed the suspicions of a great many Venezuelans, including Madurito himself, prove true, and it emerges that Chavecito was in fact injected with a cancer-causing virus (which has been possible since 1963, according to Judyth Vary Baker, the young US scientist who worked on a top-secret project to kill Fidel Castro with just such a virus), then suspicion will fall on Leamsy Salazar all over again…this time as a possible murderer, or accessory to murder, as well as a traitor.

Which he already is, any way you look at him.

*The original article says the 29th, but the only unsigned article I was able to find from that day was one from the wires about Diosdado Cabello, not Nicolás Maduro, accusing ABC of libel. The previous day’s editorial fits the statements of the paragraph better, so I linked to it instead. I suspect that the author of the piece may have gotten the dates mixed up.


Argentina: Stella Calloni on the Nisman case


Further to yesterday’s debunker of the myths of the strange death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor supposedly investigating the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires, here’s another hard look at what lies behind at all, courtesy of the redoubtable Stella Calloni:

I felt the need to write this, because of the immense sadness I feel at seeing so many comrades of other times opining without knowing what this false and scandalous denunciation by a prosecutor like Nisman is about; that he should never have been in charge of the AMIA case, because he was part of the disasters — not innocent, but imposed by others from without — committed by the judge Juan José Galeano.

On the same night as the crime the US and Israel determined that the accused must be Iran, without having investigated anything. It was impossible to perform a serious investigation with such an obstacle.

To refresh your memory: The US and Israel offered a “witness” in 1994. Now no one remembers that Galeano flew off to Venezuela to interrogate the supposed witness, Manoucher Moattamed, who presented himself as a former Iranian functionary escaped from his land, something he never was and which never happened as he claimed. All the money spent, all the false information, broadcast with big headlines. He was a witness invented by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad, but at the same time was totally discredited by his lies, contradictions and falsehoods, after creating false illusions for the victims’ families as well.

Now — what little memory some people have! — to forget that a case was mounted without one single line of truth. A scandalous case, accusing these and those, and with Telleldin as a witness, a delinquent who made a profession of selling stolen cars. To whom Galeano, with the approval of Rubén Baraja, then president of the DAIA, paid $400,000 — in the jail where he sat — so that he would lie and accuse an Iranian and others, including local police, who had accounts at the ready, but as was shown in the oral hearing, had nothing to do with this case, and had to be freed.

So many, so many lies — all this came out in court, and can be read in the dailies of the day — turned the trial into a disaster. To this add stolen evidence, which precisely does not implicate Iran. That “justice”, to maintain the theory that the US and Israel had committed all those blunders, which led to the detention in London of the former ambassador of Iran to Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour, in 2004, for whom they sought extradition.

When British justice demanded evidence for said extradition, which Argentina — “Argentine justice” — sent, it contained none. Because none existed. As a result, London had to pay the Iranian functionary almost 200,000 pounds sterling in compensation for having detained this man without any cause. This is everywhere. This is not invented. Even Interpol, at that same time, devolved a petition by Argentine authorities for a red alert for lack of evidence.

Most recently, and after great changes in that organism and pressure from the powerful — a red alert was imposed, but they asked for evidence. What evidence did Nisman sent? Ask that. Because if those proofs were the accusation against Iran which the prosecutor mad the year before, it’s a scandal. Letter by letter, it takes what the US and Israel used as accusation — suppositions, half-truths, not a single concrete proof. Trying to use this cruel crime with so many victims, accusing a certain country which they have wanted to invade for a long time, is as criminal as the attack itself.

Even though they continue to act without concrete proofs and there is talk of a “witness C” — certainly interviewed out of country and provided by those same services — this same has not been able to provide any proof.

No country that respects itself in the world would hand over functionaries accused by the CIA and Mossad or other foreign intelligence service. Those same services are those who did the following recently: attacking a boat of pacifists who were bringing food and medicines to Gaza, where a people under siege resists permanent bombardments, interventions and massacres. That boat was assaulted in international waters by Israeli special forces; there were 13 dead and many others beaten and tortured. The recent release of a summary — only a summary — of the tortures and crimes committed by the CIA, to which we must add the intelligence services of the European countries in NATO, forbid any country of the world from handing over persons accused by these services and without any proof. This is not a posture. This is in the United Nations charter.

Why does the Israel government not want that Argentine authorities travel to Venezuela and Europe to interrogate false witnesses, never mind taking statements from the accused, in their own countries, in the pressence of commissions of impartial international observers, as guarantee of absolute seriousness and respect for justice?

The Memorandum [of Understanding, between Argentina and Iran] arises from patient diplomatic work as an extraordinary gesture, which contributes to international politics and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Could it be that listening to those accused could put the truth on the scen and not all that which was hidden with pressures, money and more in the trials they attempted here?

But when one investigates, one confirms that all those who have intervened in attacks around the world are tied to the intelligence services of those countries which like the US are determined to control the world, with their minor partners in a global government. Countries which under the orders of NATO — whose actions are illegal and where they use thousands and thousands of mercenaries — want to keep the great natural resources. They used lies to invade Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and now they are using them to try to invade Syria.

Translation mine.

To the list of countries they want to invade, add Iran, widely trumpeted as Syria’s “controller” when it comes to the backing of parties Israel wants to see wiped out — Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon. And which, it just so conveniently happens, is sitting on some mighty fine oil reserves, right next to those of Iraq, which is turning into a bigger and bigger shit-show and mockery of US and NATO governance every day, what with ISIL and all.

What better time to roll out the distraction of an old (but not cold) bombing case or two from Argentina? After all, Argentina’s willingness to co-operate with Iran in exonerating that country of the crimes in which it stands accused — the bombing of the Israeli embassy and the AMIA centre, both in Buenos Aires — is just one more slap in the face for gringo imperialism and Israeli complicity. Already Argentina is fighting off the hedge-fund vultures, which is bad enough for US capitalism. Now this? Israel caught bombing and killing its (supposed) own people? False flags out the wazoo, PROVEN? Can’t happen. No, let’s paint the president of Argentina as a crazy murderer instead, and paint Argentina itself as a country gone mad, instead of what it really is: a country coming slowly and painfully to its senses. And which is finally starting to get a good grip on its own reins again, much to the dismay of those who want to control it all behind the scenes, forever.

Yeah, let’s just keep doing the ol’ distraction dance. Works every time, right?



Argentina: The myths and meanings of the Nisman case


“Let the dogs bark, Sancho, my friend; it is a sign that we are advancing.” — Don Quixote

Right now, the US media is in full cry, blatting about how Alberto Nisman wanted to arrest the president of Argentina just before he died. As though that were somehow “proof” that she “had him killed”. Never mind that the arrest order in question was actually found in the trash, strongly suggesting that he had thought twice and decided against it, and that all physical indications at the scene (and on the body of Nisman himself) point to suicide. No, it’s obviously a murder, and it’s been done to cover Iran’s ass for the AMIA bombing, according to the crapagandarati!

At this point, it would be instructive to actually place the whole kerfuffle in its proper context. And to help us do so, here is Carlos Aznarez, sorting out the meaning from the myths:

A couple of questions to begin with: Reader, do you recall the bombing by Colombian airplanes, with tactical support by the CIA and the Israeli Mossad, against the encampment of FARC commander Rául Reyes, in Ecuador? It was during the first days of March 2008; Reyes was vilely assassinated on orders of the duo, Alvaro Uribe and Juan Manuel Santos. And from that moment a huge novel was spun around Reyes’ computer. There was much made of the topic, since from the moment the supposed data the Colombian intelligence services “had found”, homes were raided and numerous militants detained, under the excuse of having committed a thousand and one outrages “in the service of the FARC”. Time was passing and the great majority of the accused were absolved since, as often happens in these cases, everything designated as “criminal” was false suspicions, rampant lies, pure smoke.

With this guy, Alberto Nisman, something very similar happened. The man, it bears repeating, was only the pawn of an international strategy to condemn the Islamic Republic of Iran. And in turn, carrying out the orders of his Zionist bosses in the difficult and much-thumbed AMIA case, in order to pronounce in favor of the decreed “Iranian lead”, against various fighters of the Revolution that toppled the pro-Yankee Shah.

An agent of Mossad and the CIA, the said Nisman dedicated himself for all those years to accumulating malicious rumors disguised as “A-1 information”, with an eye to what his monitors in Tel Aviv and the US Embassy ordered, and his handlers from the SIDE whispered to him. In that compendium of gossip and distracting moves, Nisman could not connect in a decade and a half even one element which might have been taken seriously to tackle the difficulties which prevented them from finding those actually responsible for the attack. Or demonstrate, as many politically incorrect people think, that it they attacks were (including that on the Embassy) “false flags”.

With the spy, Jaime Stiusso, as his Deep Throat, and his intimate friend Lagomarsino as an extra, Nisman mixed water with oil and the result was a nonsensical summary. One day he took up against the Iranian cleric Moshen Rabani, whom he stigmatized without any proof (save the hatred and islamophobia which Zionism cultivates), another he took as true the wiretaps (330 disks) provided by the SIDE (pointing to Luis D’Elía, Fernando Esteche, Yusuf Khalil and…the list goes on) and on other occasions, he took up against various functionaries whom he connected to cover-ups. If there’s anything left to add, they also attacked Hugo Chávez, his former ambassador Roger Capella, and the Bolivarian Revolution, whom Nisman and his SIDE buddies accused, and Clarín and Infobae, among other media, took advantage to beat up on them.

In that great sea of judicial barbarities, worthy of the summaries which Baltasar Garzón was elaborating in Spain, Nisman thought he was skating on solid ice, and that nobody would pull it out from under him. The man did not foresee that his chiefs now considered him to be a played-out pawn, and promptly (and not by coincidence), a few days after the operation (also suspected of being a false flag) against Charlie Hebdo in Paris, they gave the order that he raise the bet. Now it was not enough for them with the wiretaps and the whispers in the ear by Stiusso or Lagomarsino; this time they had to involve the president herself, and her minister of exterior relations. Just them, and very ungratefully on the part of Nisman, whom they had protected so much from 2003 until the days of the Memorandum, when they fell into misfortune thanks to the decision of Netanyahu and his select group of killers. Neither the permanent “declaration of war” on Iran by the government, nor the presidential couple’s visits to the World Jewish Congress in New York, nor the persistence of Interpol red alerts to pursue any distraught Persian, would suffice. When the disciples of Theodor Herzl turn thumbs down, the least that comes out of their mouths is missiles.

The rest is known: As an obedient soldier of Mossad, Nisman left his daughter in the lurch in Madrid, and at the hands of Lanata, Magnetto, Morales Solá and all; the regiment of those loyal to the USA erupted like a tornado in the hot January of Buenos Aires. His friends in the press trumpeted: “The government is to blame” and “its days are numbered”, they bayed. However, the prosecutor realized that his 350-odd folios wouldn’t even do for confetti, and surely, at any second, he sensed that night was falling on him and that he was “more alone than one”, as the saying goes.

After that, things sped up, and the accusatory circus ended in a funeral.

In reality Nisman was already dead before taking the plane from Madrid. It doesn’t matter whether they killed him or he killed himself, the important thing is against whom his death was plotted. “Coup d’état,” wrote Alfredo Grande, with sure aim. “Power struggles and not those of those at the bottom,” he added, lucidly, the popular militant. But as well, a high-flying international operation, using a single shot (from a .22 pistol, on top of everything) to poke holes in Argentina’s sovereignty, put Iran back in the crosshairs, and strike a blow against the anti-Zionist, pro-Palestine and anti-racist movements. All for the same price.

From then on and up to now, the greater part of the population (spurred on by the terrorism of the media) believes that Agent Nisman was killed by the government, the rest doesn’t know or won’t answer, and a fringe, among whom lamentably there are a certain number of leftist militants, confused or opportunistic, not telling us that they defend Nisman, but coming very close to it. As proof there are their malignant utterances on social media or corporate TV, against the popular militants attacked by Alberto “Mossad” Nisman.

Meanwhile, no one is calling on Stiusso to testify, who continues at his job, as if he were not the reason why journalist Miguel Bonasso, in his latest book, warns of him and asks how it is possible that no one is touching him. Three or four days later, the government intervened in SIDE and threw the super-spy out in the street, unpunished. On the other hand, the victims of AMIA are sick of everyone lying to them and demand that the guilty parties appear at last (the real ones, and not those whom the genocidal Israelis want).

After many intrigues, the government dissolved the SIDE, and called for the creation of another structure, which they will obligatorily fill with the same people as before, for which reason nothing good can come of that measure. It won’t be Stiusso (as one can imagine), but others like him, accustomed to spying, sowing discord, accusing falsely, persecuting, creating projects X or Z, and even prefabricating attacks. They are already imagining “new” and dangerous scenarios.

Amid all this complicated panorama, one important fact: Strategic alliances between Latin America and China and Russia are still advancing. Two other details to bear in mind when imagining for what reason Washington — following co-ordinates set for the whole continent — supports, without any kind of subtlety, changes of government. Including in those which until yesterday it considered to be their own forces.

Translation mine.

“It doesn’t matter whether they killed him or he killed himself, the important thing is against whom his death was plotted.”

In fact, it doesn’t even matter if “they”, whoever they are, made him kill himself. Driven-to-it suicides, like false suicides and frame-up murders, are a common thing in the land of spooks. In the end, the exact identity of the killer might be a mystery, but not the killer’s ties, or their cause.

As in my previous article on who stands to benefit from the Nisman case, this bears repeating: Cui bono? Cristina Fernández doesn’t come off better for his death, so clearly it was done not to cover for her, but to spite her. After all, she is fighting off the US vulture funds who are trying to extract yet another pound of flesh in Argentina right now, and the US media therefore has it in for her, big-time. The same goes for the government of Iran, which has had to fend off the “terror sponsor” image ever since the Revolution kicked out the Shah. Iran is currently in the crosshairs for yet another US oil war, and more so since Iraq has become politically unstable since the last one.

For whose benefit was it, then? All signs point, as always, to Israel, to the Mossad and Shin Bet, and to the Likudniks, who never hesitate to profiteer on the back of terrorism. And who are not averse to staging a false-flag incident of their own, if it benefits them.

Or a dozen, come to that.


Leamsy Salazar: Unmasking a Venezuelan traitor


Chavecito and his then vice-president, Diosdado Cabello (first row, side by side), in happier times. He’s surrounded by the usual circle of bodyguards. But there is an infiltrator. That man in the circle is now the subject of intense scrutiny. Who is he, and what are his connections to the late president’s death? Was it murder? Cabello has his suspicions, and since that man in the circle is now a “defector”, they are coming to light:

Last Tuesday, Diosdado Cabello made declarations with respect to the real identity of Leamsy Salazar and his connection to the executive cabinet of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez.

The president of the Venezuelan National Assembly affirmed that the accusations made by Salazar are false, at the same time emphasizing the bad behavior of the Venezuelan opposition in support of the North American empire in order to exercise pressure on the policies of Venezuela.

At the same time, Cabello hinted that Salazar could be linked to the death of Comandante Chávez, since there have been suspicions about the induction of the cancer that the president suffered, and which cost him his life in 2013.

“I have no doubt that this person was infiltrated on the Comandante’s side for many years,” Cabello emphasized. He also pointed out that in the middle of last year, Salazar offered his services as a “disinterested” notary.

For that reason, Cabello explained, he asked the minister of Defence, Carmen Meléndez, to remove Captain Salazar from his team and reassign him. She sent him to a training course from which he never returned, for which reason he is now considered a deserter by the Venezuelan armed forces.

Cabello also stated that he included Salazar on his team at first out of commitment to Comandante Chávez, since he had been on his security team for many years.

Now, as a deserter and aligned with the interests of the North American empire and the national and international right-wing, it is suspected that the captain betrayed the confidence of the Venezuelan national government, having possible ties to attacks against Comandante Chávez.

“He (Salazar) will have problems when they (his US overlords) ask him for proofs and he won’t have even one, our conscience is clear,” said the Venezuelan parliamentarian, referring to the lack of proof on the part of the opposition and the empire to bring about an attack against him.

Translation mine.

Oh yeah. Now would be a good time, I guess, to note that there is yet another coup attempt underway in Venezuela. Saudi Arabia has driven the price of oil down worldwide, and thus economists are preaching gloom and doom for Venezuela, whose social programs hinge on the profits of PDVSA’s oil. There have been violent guarimbas in various cities (the university city of Mérida in particular), and the usual tiresome media squawkings from Gringolandia and its press gangs. So Cabello isn’t making accusations in a vacuum, nor are they baseless. There are parties standing to benefit from destabilization in whatever form it takes. And all of them have ties to Washington.

Chavecito’s death, in particular, has long been suspected as no ordinary cancer case, but as one of a cancer deliberately induced. The purpose? To create conditions of political instability, conducive to a coup. With Venezuela unstable and devoid of the strong leadership of Chávez, what “better” time for a US-backed coup d’état, as in, say, Argentina following the death of Juan Perón?

Only — too bad for the US and its Venezuelan right-wing toadies — so far, it hasn’t worked out that way.

Even with Chavecito suddenly gone, far too young and at the height of his popularity, the country is far from ungovernable. The people are onto the opposition and sick of its dirty economic tricks. Hoarding of basic goods and necessities in “independent” grocery stores, followed by “protests” by rich kids from the private schools, with military traitors furnishing snipers and the US supplying the training and the guns? Hardly news in Venezuela. It’s now just the usual, dreary, everyday shit.

What was supposed to be an economic war of attrition is being lost by those attempting to lay siege to the country; its social programs, even with funding allegedly in danger from lowered oil prices, are still bearing fruit, and the bottom sectors of the economy are still as militantly Chavista as ever. More so, in fact, since now they are defending their hard-won common good from its old, old enemy…the oligarchs and their oil-hungry gringo buddies. The education and health missions are now in advanced phases, and the government-run supermarket chains, PDVAL and Mercal, are still doing brisk business despite repeated opposition sabotage attempts, while the private sector keeps shooting itself in the foot with hoarding and price-jacking.

So it’s little wonder the government hasn’t fallen, or even wobbled just a wee bit. With a fully literate, media-savvy, increasingly educated common populace, Venezuela has been repeatedly vaccinated against putschism. The ordinary folk can see with their own eyes what the opposition is up to, and government-installed anti-speculation hotlines are constantly buzzing with denunciations, while the police regularly swoop in to arrest hoarders, price gougers, and speculators.

And with members of the government taking to the airwaves on a regular basis, as Diosdado Cabello does (he has his own TV show on the national public channel VTV), it adds even more to the general atmosphere of media literacy and public awareness. Traitors and suspects can be exposed before they do the damage they intend. Leamsy Salazar appears to be just the latest in a long line of such betrayers.

And I can hardly wait to hear (and translate) more about his involvement with the possibly induced cancer that killed the late, very much lamented president.


The Nisman case: cui bono?


Juan Gabriel Labaké seems an unlikely figure to have cracked not one but two infamous bombing cases in Argentina. But the lawyer, who represents a Syrian-Argentine accused in one of the crimes, has done just that. And not only that, but he also denounced the late prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, for abuse of powers and bungling the AMIA case. He was interviewed by Ana Delicado about that and related topics. Here’s what he had to say…and I think you’ll agree that it is tremendously revealing, and makes a lot of sense:

Juan Gabriel Labaké, a lawyer on the case of the attack on the AMIA Jewish centre, accused prosecutor Alberto Nisman of treason nearly four weeks before the latter was found lifeless in his apartment.

The death of Alberto Nisman has generated new interest in the investigation of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) bombing in 1994, which caused 85 deaths. The inconsistency of the denunciation which Nisman himself presented against Argentine president Cristina Fernández a few days before his death places in doubt all the investigation which he brought to bear in accusing Iran of the attack.

The so-called Iranian lead was imposed from the moment of the attack, with the almost automatic abandonment of other possibilities. The participation in the investigation of the intelligence services of the United States and Israel was a key element. The presumed use of a car bomb in the attack was the other factor which directed the evolution of the case. The man accused of buying that car was Alberto Kanoore Edul, an Argentine of Syrian origin, who has been implicated since the beginning of the case.

His lawyer, Juan Gabriel Labaké, denounced prosecutor Nisman for treason before the Attorney General’s office 27 days before Nisman’s mysterious death. Público spoke with the attorney, who, from within the case and with documents in hand, has arrived at conclusions other than those the late prosecutor pursued.

Q. Why did you denounce Nisman for treason?
A. The key is in a top-secret report which the CIA gave to Miguel Ángel Toma, who was then head of intelligence, in 2002. This was in a safe belonging to the court. Nisman made me sign an agreement in which he made me promise to keep confidential the content I read.

Q. Why is that key?
A. It’s a 150-page report assembled by the CIA and the Mossad, as the document itself says. When former president Eduardo Duhalde took power in 2002, he asked for the State Department’s help in refinancing Argentina’s debt to the IMF, and they insinuated to him that the problem would be solved by the CIA, because with ex-president Fernando de la Rúa (1999-2001), through imprudence, the identity and photograph of the chief of the CIA station in Buenos Aires had been published. The CIA was very resentful. Duhalde asked his chief of intelligence, Miguel Ángel Toma, to work this out with the then director of the CIA, George Tenet. The newspaper, La Nación, reported all this. Toma travelled to the United States, good relations resumed, but Argentina decided to investigate the matter of AMIA on the basis of this confidential report.

Q. How did it become involved in the case?
A. This report came with the indication from Tenet that the case should be managed exclusively by intelligence agent Jaime Stiusso, because he was his confidant. Duhalde put Stiusso in as chief of counterintelligence, who had in his hands the division of spies who tapped telephones, the most important dirty intelligence weapon. Stiusso translated the report, pretty badly of course, and in January 2003 Toma handed it to judge Juan José Galeano the first magistrate in the AMIA case. He could do almost nothing because he was removed from office in 2004 [for falsifying evidence]. The next judge, Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, realized what a time bomb he had on his hands, and got distracted, so that at the end of 2004, the Jewish institutions in Argentina, AMIA and the Delegation of Israeli-Argentine Associations (DAIA) asked that Nisman be promoted to attorney general and that all the powers of an instructing judge be transferred to him, which is allowed when the case if very complex and has enormous political repercussions.

Q. So that’s how Nisman entered the case.
A. Nisman came to have 43 employees, of whom 32 are lawyers, and an almost unlimited budget. With all that in hand, Nisman fell into Stiusso’s web.

Q. What did you do?
A. Once I was able to read the confidential report in November, I compared it with Nisman’s petition in 2007 that served as a basis to solicit the extradition of eight Iranian functionaries and diplomats.There are paragraphs which are carbon copies. This led me to present the denunciation against Nisman. Officially, that report was part of the AMIA case, only that it’s not in the case files, but under lock and key.

Q. On what was Nisman’s petition based?
A. The petition, like the CIA’s secret report, was based on information given to them by Iranian ex-secret services agents, who had belonged to the Organization of the Mujahideen (MKO). When Ayatollah Khomeini made his revolution in 1979, the MKO joined the revolution from the orthodox Marxist standpoint. When they proposed to continue with violent actions, Khomeini removed them from power and they sought protection from the CIA, which furnished them a secret base in Iraq, near the Iranian border, where the CIA maintained, trained and financed 3,000 guerrillas for three or four years at least. They were the ones who launched the worst attacks in Iran. That group was classified as terrorist by the European Union, the UN, and the United States, which withdrew that classification not long ago. The CIA used them in their confidential report and Stiusso named them as proof of the culpability of Iran in the AMIA attack.

Q. What were they alleging?
A. That two years before the attack, the Security Council met in Tehran and decided there to prepare the attack. Since these Iranians had been part of the SAVAK, the Iranian secret service, they used them to inculpate the country. But at that moment they had already been expelled from the SAVAK, and one had even fled the country because he had been sentenced for passing bad cheques. Nisman committed the indecency of using these testimonies in his petition, and for that reason, the Iranian attorney general complained: “Why are you using this to accuse us?”

Q. Why did you direct your denunciation specifically against Nisman?
A. Because if he continued as prosecutor, my client, Edul, would never be off the hook. For ten years I’ve demonstrated his innocence to Nisman through all means, but he wouldn’t dismiss him. Nisman was the point man for the CIA, AMIA and DAIA for sustaining the accusation against Iran for political reasons. They wouldn’t let him make any type of investigation that was not strictly indicated by the CIA report. When I became convinced of that, I presented the first denunciation to the Attorney General against Nisman for bad performance [of his duties]. They rebuffed me because they said there had been no illegality or irregularity in his conduct. But at that moment I didn’t have the proof in the CIA report. I had to gain access to it. And with the proof in hand, I made a second denunciation. Article 215 of the Criminal Code considers a crime to be treason when someone follows the instructions of a foreign organism to the detriment of power in national decisions.

Q. Why did the intelligence services of Argentina allow such interference?
A. The problem is that when Raúl Alfonsín (1983-1989) took office, upon Argentina’s return to democracy, the intelligence service was chock-a-block with military men. He left 1200 agents abroad, who were those who later made his life impossible with attacks and press operations. This forced the restructuring of the French security service, and the Israeli Mossad. This is official, not a rumor. And they left their own moles, and those of the CIA as well.

Q. What was the position of the governments of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández with respect to the Iranian connection?
A. Until 2011, the Kirchners co-operated with the policies of the Mossad and the CIA, and for that they named Héctor Timerman as minister of Exterior Relations, since he had lived for years in New York and belonged to the Labor Party of Shimon Peres and Itzhak Rabin in Israel. He could connect them with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a group which included the most powerful and influential Jews in the United States. He could also serve as a link to AIPAC, the association they had so that the US could aid Israel. The newspaper Forward, of the Jewish community in New York, printed [articles about] how thanks to a trip by the Kirchners in 2006 to the AJC meeting, both met with the directive [in hand] and agreed to orient the AMIA investigation strictly toward the accusation against Iran.

Q. What happened next?
A. President Fernández began to suspect Stiusso in January 2011, when she ordered Timerman to make contact with his Syrian counterpart so that Syria could act as intermediary with the ambassador of Iran. A breach began to open between Stiusso and Cristina when she signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran in 2013. That’s when he began to prepare psychological operations against the government [of Argentina]. Stiusso, who is no fool, set up a network in which the judges depended on him, not the Executive Power. While things were still amicable between him and the Kirchners, there were no problems. All the accusations against the president arose when the Secretariat of Intelligence (SI) began to launch them.

Q. What motivated the government to sign the memorandum with Iran?
A. I don’t want to give a categorical response. Could be a hidden message to the United States, which at that moment was beginning a subtle rapprochement to Iran under current president Hassan Rouhani. Secondly, the topic of the accusation against Iran had crumbled. After sending his petition to Iran calling for the extradition of eight Iranian functionaries, Nisman said that Iran had not responded, which is a flagrant lie. Iran responded in 2008, destroying 37 pages of the prosecutor’s argument, and demanding proof. They never got it.

Q. You also denounced Nisman for abuse of authority and false accusation.
A. Nisman made a second accusation two years ago, accusing ten Latin American countries of harboring Iranian terrorist sleeper cells. As well, on top of all that, there are instances of discrimination against Muslims which are more than proven.

Q. What did Argentina have to gain from derailing the investigation?
A. Argentina has been tied to US policy since the downfall of Juan Domingo Perón. It has never been able to have a new, independent foreign policy. We have an unfortunate cultural dependency on the United States. They don’t have to pressure us with anything. The people commonly accept it. From the crisis of 2001 forward, they allow it with the argujment that we are very weak, which is true. But we could also follow a strategy to liberate ourselves bit by bit from that patronage.

Q. But the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran has caused Cristina many problems.
A. I chatted with her in October and brought up the subject of AMIA. She seemed to me ideologically convinced that there had to be a turnaround. Maybe they did it too slowly, because they too have dirty hands, having been in bed with both the US and Israel, but it seems to me that in here, there is a quota of ideological decision of realignment on that front.

Q. What was the reason for the attack on AMIA?
A. Our suspicion is that it was done because of internal struggles in Israel to put an end to the the peace treaties between former prime minister Itzhak Rabin and the then president of the PLO, Yasser Arafat, but they used it at first to inculpate the line of Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Edul, my client. I intervened in the case to defend him, because they accused him of buying the van which allegedly exploded in the AMIA centre, and of arming it with explosives.

Q. A massacre to stop Rabin?
A. Argentina had two assaults: the explosion in the Israeli embassy, in March of 1992, and the AMIA explosion, in July 1994. One year after the Madrid accords between Arafat and Rabin in 1991, the embassy exploded. Two years after that, AMIA blew up, and a year and a half after that, they killed Rabin. In between, there were 11 more attacks, all in a line of terrorism against Rabin. Two months after the AMIA attack, Rabin signed a peace accord with Jordan, which was preparatory to the final accord, “Peace for the Territory”: the Palestinians would receive the lands stolen in the 1967 war, and guarantee in exchange, peace with the State of Israel.

Q. Who wanted to stop that?
A. The right-wing ultra-religious Israeli sectors, who at that time were members of the Gush Emunim movement. An activist from that group was co-opted by a sector of the Israeli secret service, Shin Bet, dedicated to interior security, to kill Rabin. The detail is that on each anniversary of the death of Rabin, the party of current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes to pay homage to Rabin’s assassin.

Q. What happened in the attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires?
A. It has the same structure as the attack on AMIA, in terms of logistical organization and the cover-up. The attack on the embassy did not take place with a car bomb, but with explosives placed inside the building. But when the police began to study the internal explosion, the chief of security of the embassy appeared at the police headquarters, and pressured them to pursue as sole line of investigation the car bombing. This was discovered by the penal secretary of the Supreme Court, Alfredo Bisordi, who was at the police station at an inopportune moment, on the day after the attack, and who met with the security chief.

Q. The Court intervened in the investigation of that attack.
A. When there was a discussion as to whether there had been a car bomb or not, the Court asked the National Academy of Engineering for a study via computer digitalization. They determined that the explosion came from within the embassy, but when that same embassy protested, the Court convoked an audience with the experts of the Federal Police and the Gendarmerie, who maintained that the attack was with a car bomb, and those of the Academy. The experts from that institution destroyed the arguments of the police, and the court declared publicly a new line of investigation of the internal explosion, without abandoning that of the car bomb. The then ambassador, Itzhak Avirán, took the microphone on a TV channel and said that if they did that, they would consider it a clear act of antisemitism, and promote a political case against the Court. The Court conceded, and in 1998 declared that they could not determine who had produced the attack, but that there were suspicions that it was an Islamic jihad group. A year later, in secret, that declaration by the Court became a ruling, and the case was archived. The embassy, however, never asked them to produce any proof.

Q. What happened with AMIA?
A. The same happened with AMIA. There was no car bomb, nor any crater in the sidewalk. The journalists Jorge Lanata and Joe Goldman wrote the book Smokescreens, in which they gathered the testimonies of 11 witnesses who never saw any minivan exploding outside the building. With the explosion, the furniture in the apartment next to the AMIA slid toward the window opening onto the street, and not the other way. If there had been a car bomb, the front of the building would have suffered more damage than it did. The manner in which part of the building fell is also eloquent for arriving at this conclusion.

Q. Who investigated that?
A. The ex-president, Carlos Menem, in an unprecedented attitude and for the only time in the history of the land, drew an imaginary line around the AMIA Centre, and by way of presidential decree, ceded that perimeter so that the Israeli army, the Mossad, the FBI and the CIA could investigate. In those conditions, an Israeli soldier found a motor with an intact vehicle identification number in the rubble.

Q. The car bomb theory held up.
A. Zionists in Argentina pressured enough that it would be the only route of investigation. Judge Galeano, in 1996, doubted the existence of a car bomb, and asked the director of the Institute of Structure and Explosives, of the Faculty of Engineering at [the University of] Tucumán, Dr. Rodolfo Danesi, to perform a study by computer digitalization, which determined that the explosive, between 300 and 400 kilos of ammonal, was inside the AMIA centre, about a metre or a metre and a half from the entry door.

Q. Who do you believe is behind the attack?
A. By way of who covered up, and the way Israel comported itself, I believe it was the same sector of Shin Bet that produced the attack. Two hours after the attack, the Israeli State Department communicated to our embassy in Washington that those responsible were Iran and Hezbollah.

Q. What interest could they have had in attacking a Jewish community?
A. The United States has used the assault on AMIA to accuse Iran of being a terrorist state. Israel, in its insistence to the US that they attack Iran pre-emptively, used AMIA as their casus belli. As many as eleven times, an ambassador or high-level diplomat of Israel has stated that it was Iran. In three cases they said that they had proof. I asked Canicoba and Nisman to present those proofs. The two of them called diplomatically upon Israel, but there was never a response.

Q. Tell me at least a couple of sure things about the responsibility of Israel in the attack.
A. In law, a criminal investigation is based upon two suppositions: Who benefits, and who covers it up. Whoever benefits is the first suspect. The one who covers up knows who is behind it, and is also suspect. In both cases, Israel is in the thick of it.

Q. And what is your own interest in the case?
A. I have lost clients for defending a citizen of Syrian origins. I am a politician, and I have been denied all access to the press. No one wanted to publish my book, AMIA-Embassy, Truth or Fraud?, nor distribute it, nor sell it. I sent copies to 153 journalists from the major media, and never got a reply. My interest, aside from defending Edul — pro bono, because they’ve destroyed him economically with this accusation — is to try to free Argentina from this sticky matter. As long as we don’t solve this, as long as we don’t raise accusations as to why we have not wanted to investigate AMIA, they will tie us to the conflict in the Middle East. And this has served in Argentina to create the notion that Iran is being protected. And riding on top of that, they’re destabilizing a government. The problem is that, in fact, they are destabilizing a country.

Translation mine.

As usual, the question that must be asked, the one that cracks the case, is simple: Cui bono? Who benefits? Asking that, one quickly concludes that Iran could not possibly benefit in any way from bombing the Israeli embassy in Argentina, or any other country. Nor could they have benefited from the AMIA bombing. In fact, those assaults were promptly seized on by Washington and Tel Aviv to paint Iran as a terror sponsor, to the point where an Iranian attorney general complained. Writing in an op-ed for the New York Times, Horacio Verbitsky points out a number of inconvenient truths that exonerate Iran in either case. Key among them is this one:

According to the affidavit, the Memorandum of Understanding that Argentina and Iran signed in January 2013 facilitated a cover-up, the secret goal of which was to enable Argentina’s purchase of Iranian oil — something highly unlikely because of the high sulfur content of Iranian oil, six times the amount allowed by Argentine refineries. But the memorandum’s actual purpose was to allow a judge to interrogate the accused Iranians and to set up an International Truth Commission, composed of prestigious jurists from other countries.

So, if Iran’s butt is not being covered over oil, as Nisman’s accusation would hold, then maybe there is no need to cover up anything to do with Iran at all. Argentina in fact has plenty of oil itself, and thus no need to import from Iran, much less a crude so sulfurous that Argentine refineries aren’t equipped to handle it. In fact, Argentina has enough oil that it doesn’t even need to frack, although US-based oil companies have stepped into do just that, to disastrous effect, as Pino Solanas found out while filming a fantastic recent documentary (alas, only in Spanish):

So…if not Iran and its plentiful oil resources (which the US and Israel both have ample cause to covet), then whose butt is being covered? In both the AMIA bombing and that of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, it appears that the culprit is none other than Israel itself. Just look at how Carlos Menem bent over for them, even letting them investigate the bombings themselves, rather than assigning the job to the Argentine federales, as would be regular procedure. Unprecedented — and reeking of cover-up. But then, as Verbitsky says, Menem’s own hands are far from clean:

The key to the story is not likely to be found in the present government, but rather in former president Carlos Menem’s administration. Mr. Menem is of Syrian descent, and before Argentina’s 1989 presidential election, he met in Damascus with the Syrian leader, Hafez al-Assad, who had backed him financially. Argentina’s participation in Operation Desert Storm against Syria’s ally, Iraq, in 1991, spoiled this romance. Then, in 1992, the Israeli embassy in Argentina was attacked and in 1994 the Jewish community center was bombed.

Secret documents that were declassified in 2003 revealed that Israel’s prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, sent a personal envoy to Argentina just hours after the 1994 attack to agree on a common interpretation of events to present to the press. At the time, Mr. Rabin was facing political pressure at home from opponents of the Oslo peace talks with the Palestinians, which were for the first time occurring with Syrian approval.

After his meeting with Mr. Menem, Mr. Rabin’s envoy accused Iran of the attack. The same week, a spokesman from the State Department in Washington went further and excluded Syria from the list of suspects.

Mr. Menem also found it politically convenient to look away from Syria, and he did all he could to prevent the Syrian angle from being investigated, due to his previous relationship with the Assad government and his unfulfilled promises to Syria of diplomatic support and cooperation on nuclear and missile technology.

Today, Mr. Menem is on trial alongside some of his cabinet members from that era, as well as a judge and two prosecutors accused of obstructing justice and covering up evidence about the 1994 attack.

Good ol’ Carlos Menem. Not only did he fuck Argentina over with his obedience to the IMF’s economic model, which caused the catastrophic crash of 2001, but he’s clearly the right-wing Shin Bet’s bitch, too. With “friends” like him, the Argentine Jewish community didn’t need any enemies. And with “friends” like the US and Israel, neither does the rest of Argentina. After all, those are the influences that corrupted the Argentine secret services, the same that Cristina Fernández is now trying to purge and overhaul. And the same that probably had a hand in the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, too.


Economics for Dummies: The truth about those “dropping” oil prices


“Dude…and to think there are people who call this a ‘drop’ in the price of oil!”

On the upside, though, this is terrible news for anyone who wants to despoil the Arctic, contribute to the mess that is Mordor (in Alberta), and frack up the US countryside. Because with oil prices down the way they are, it’s going to be highly unprofitable to do any of those things. Ha, ha.

Posted in Barreling Right Along, Canadian Counterpunch, Economics for Dummies, Good to Know, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't It Ironic?, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Economics for Dummies: The truth about those “dropping” oil prices »

Economics for Dummies: The real reasons for the lifting of the Cuba blockade?


This is Puerto Mariel, Cuba. It looks pretty sleepy from the air right now, but don’t be fooled. What you’re looking at there is actually a sleeping giant with the potential to shake markets as far away as New York, if Telesur’s report (via Contrainjerencia) has anything to say. And if it reawakens before the Yanks come in with their suitcases full of money…

Mariel was built by Brazil and Cuba, during the government of Dilma Rousseff, with an investment of 957 million dollars, meaning that Brazil would become Cuba’s greatest economic partner.

In 2011, Brazil and Cuba obtained a combined market of $571 million, which surpassed the markets of China and Venezuela.

The port, which received $682 million from the National Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) is considered to be one of the most modern ports, compared to those of Kingston (Jamaica) and Freeport (Bahamas). It has the capacity to receive large ships of the “Super Post Panamax” class.

Another benefit of the expected economic improvement of the Caribbean island, and especially for Brazil, is the geographic zone, which lies near the coast of the US, just 150 kilometres away; and it is from there that Brazilian companies could export to the US.

Translation mine.

Could this be what put a fire under the gringos’ butts? Oh, possibly. And if not that, there’s always a good chance that it would be that sweet, sweet, offshore Cuban crude oil that’s got them thinking that maybe, just maybe, an ideologically motivated anti-socialist blockade might not the the best thing for their capitalism, either:

Under the current embargo, Cuba cannot access U.S. oilfield equipment for both drilling and environmental protection. The embargo prohibits the exporting and re-exporting of items that contain more than 10 percent American components under the De Minimus Rule under Sections 734.4 and 736.2 (b)(2) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). What is particularly interesting about the embargo is the fact that Washington refued to allow an exemption for U.S. oil spill prevention and response companies even though the Obama Administration was very concerned about potential oil spills from drilling operations located relatively close to the U.S. – Cuba maritime boundary in 2012.   

Of course, with Venezuela firing up a plan to help Cuba exploit that oil itself, and with PDVSA’s significant presence in Cuba already, and with their access to equipment not of US provenance, well…that would put quite the crimp in the US’s blockade, not to mention any hopes Gringolandia’s oilmen might have of a future right to exploit those considerable offshore reserves!

And with Chavecito’s ALBA being nearly ten years old now, that means there’s been plenty of time for Cuba to strike up good mutual economic relations with not only Venezuela, but a number of other Latin American countries as well.

No wonder Gringolandia is out in the cold when it comes to the oilfields. And no wonder they want in now, before big, bad, socialistic-progressive Brazil and other Latin American countries gobble up all of that yummy, yummy Cuban economic pie.

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