Colombia: Venezuela Crumbles Into Uncertainty

While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading

Former Soviet spy: We created Liberation Theology

Ion Mihai Pacepa on Raul Castro’s yacht in Cuba, 1974. Photo courtesy of Ion Mihai Pacepa.

 

 

.- Espionage deep in the heart of Europe. Secrets in the KGB. Defection from a communist nation. Ion Mihai Pacepa has seen his share of excitement, serving as general for Communist Romania’s secret police before defecting to the United States in the late 1970s.

The highest-ranking defector from communism in the ‘70s, he spoke to CNA recently about the connection between the Soviet Union and Liberation Theology in Latin America. Below are excerpts of the interview. All footnotes were provided by Pacepa.

In general, could you say that the spreading of Liberation Theology had any kind of Soviet connection?

Yes. I learned the fine points of the KGB involvement with Liberation Theology from Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, communist Romania’s chief razvedka (foreign intelligence) adviser – and my de facto boss, until 1956, when he became head of the Soviet espionage service, the PGU1,  a position he held for an unprecedented record of 15 years.

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Experts: Iran Exerting Troubling Influence in Latin America

Iran and its terrorist proxy groups’ influence in Latin America remains a troubling security threat to the region and world, experts said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Hezbollah, a Shiite terrorist group based in Lebanon and sponsored by Iran, has established illicit networks in Latin America in the last few decades to provide millions annually for its global operations, experts on the region told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.

Those networks involve money laundering, counterfeiting, piracy, and drug trafficking in cooperation with local criminal groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Continue reading

Colombia heads toward NATO membership

BOGOTA : Colombia’s defense ministry later this month will sign a cooperation agreement with NATO, in hopes of joining the international military alliance, President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday.

“In June, NATO will sign an agreement with the Colombian government, with  the Defense Ministry, to start a process of rapprochement and cooperation, with  an eye toward also joining that organization,” Santos said at a military  promotion ceremony. Continue reading