Cuban Alliance with Russia Highlights Moscow’s Expanding Influence in Latin America

Putin’s government increases weapons sales, military cooperation as U.S. reduces aid to the region

Recent reports that Cuban military personnel are on the ground in Syria to support the alliance between Russia and the Assad regime underscore Moscow’s efforts to establish its most significant foothold in Latin America since the Cold War, analysts say.

A U.S. official told Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special operations forces arrived in Syria to assist Russia, which has deployed troops and equipment and launched airstrikes in recent weeks to prop up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Cuban troops could be there to advise the Syrian army or operate Russian-made tanks. The White House said in response that it has seen no evidence that Cuban forces are actually in Syria. Continue reading

Mass starvation expected in Venezuela after socialist government nationalizes food distribution system

(NaturalNews) In a policy move that is sure to worsen Venezuela’s economic condition and impose more suffering on the country’s population, President Nicolas Maduro pledged recently to nationalize food distribution amid record shortages of the most basic goods, skyrocketing inflation and a deepening financial crisis.

Maduro – a longtime bus driver and left-wing union activist who never graduated from high school – said during a rally in early May, on International Workers Day, that he would carry out his measure “in the coming days and weeks.” He claimed the move was necessary to ensure fair delivery of goods to all the people.

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The Marxist face of the Greek crisis

Soviet bloc intel defector Pacepa says Athens’ money woes only part of problem

Greece said no to the European Union and blamed capitalism for its economic crisis. The winner was Greece’s Marxist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who named his son Ernest as tribute to Marxist mass killer Ernesto Che Guevara.

The Greeks who voted for Tsipras were just as misinformed as were the Romanians in 1967 when they voted to bring to power another two-bit Marxist Dracula, named Ceausescu. I was one of them, and I will never forgive myself for that. In December 1989, 1,104 Romanians died in order to reverse that disastrous decision.

It took many years for my native Romania – and for me – to learn that Marxism leaves nothing behind but countries looking as though they had been devastated by a hurricane, with their leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. All Marxist rulers have inevitably ended up in Hell – all, from Trotsky to Stalin, Tito to Zhivkov, Enver Hoxha to Mátyás Rakosi, Sékou Touré to Nyerere and Hugo Chavez. All had their days of temporary glory, but all ended in eternal disgrace.

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Cuban fiasco: Obama throws a lifeline to an imploding, tyrannical, bankrupt regime

Lest we already forget what Raúl Castro mentioned months ago: The Communist revolution is basically triumphant because nothing had to change to make America open the floodgates.

 

In that simplistic jargon characterizing President Barack Hussein Obama’s worldwide “transformation” of U.S. foreign policy, the chief argument for his Cuban shift has been “[T]hese 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked.”

In the facts of history, in this as in so many other instances, Obama is wrong.

The fact is that U.S. policy toward Cuba, with its ups and downs, has been generally successful. Continue reading

How Vladimir Putin is building alliances around the world

As the Russian president visits his EU ally Viktor Orban, prime minister of Hungary, we look at other leaders around the world who have embraced the divisive Vladimir Putin

Venezuela

Caracas is a major buyer of Russian weapons and has recognised breakaway pro-Russian territories such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia.

Moscow reciprocates by investing billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil projects.

Vladimir Putin once even gave Hugo Chavez a puppy. Continue reading

Former LANL scientist sentenced to five years for attempt to sell nuclear secrets

Bringing a bizarre case of would-be espionage to a close, former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist P. Leonardo Mascheroni was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for trying to pass classified nuclear weapons information to a man he believed to be a Venezuelan government official.

The couple’s actions as described by federal agents often sounded like a James Bond movie plot. Leonardo Mascheroni, now 80, was alleged to have told an FBI officer masquerading as a Venezuelan agent that he could help Venezuela develop a nuclear bomb in 10 years and 40 missiles with nuclear warheads in 20 years. Continue reading

The Cuba Deal: Why Now?

At this point it time it’s a complete waste of time to ask “why?” as the floodgates have now been opened. Immigration is not the point behind the concern, although it is a concern. The main concern is that Cuba, with one of the world’s most renowned spy and espionage capabilities (after the USA/Russia/Israel), is a hornets nest of intelligence gathering. Russia has in the past, as now, state-of-the-art intelligence gathering equipment that listens over all aspects of American communication in the region. Cuban spies were also trained by Russians during the Castro revolution and have continued to be ever since. Once that floodgate to opens, you’re opening the door to this, plus inviting the Russians right in — in addition to whatever else Pandora’s Box has to offer.

 

On Wednesday, Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro announced the most profound change in relations between the United States and Cuba in decades.

Why now? What explains the timing of this historic change to a policy in place for over half a century? The short answer is that the decision to restore diplomatic ties between the two countries was driven by a surprising convergence of biology and technology. Biology dictated the aging of the Castro brothers and other leaders of their revolutionary generation in Cuba, as well as the graying of the Cuban exile population in Florida. This dynamic altered old political balances both inside the Cuban regime and in U.S. electoral politics. Technology—especially innovations in the extraction of shale oil and gas—allowed the United States to upend the world’s energy map and push down the price of oil, thus undermining the ability of Venezuela, a major oil-exporter, to continue providing a lifeline to Cuba’s bankrupt economy. Cuba needed an economic alternative, and the U.S. became one. Continue reading

The Psychopath Under the Bed – PART ONE

Because we can see that there is a complex and clever system in Russia, quite opaque and full of interesting details and inner rules, we should conclude that the system came about by intelligent design. But how? The evidence strongly suggests that it did not come about by chance. This book firmly rejects the ideas often promulgated in Western academic circles that Putin is an ‘accidental autocrat’ or a ‘good tsar surrounded by bad boyars.’” – Karen Dawisha, Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?

The elite [are] the ultimate authority [in Russia]: it provides the collective leadership of which [the president] is a member and which decides, among other things, how long he should serve as President. The elite has to have some mechanism at its disposal through which such decisions can be reached and through which controlled political events can be coordinated. It is essential to the success of the strategy that this mechanism should be well concealed from the West. I lack the facilities to study how it might be operating. The likelihood is, however, that it functions under cover of some openly acknowledged body. The National Security Council might be a candidate for investigation as a possible front for this secret mechanism. – Anatoliy Golitsyn, Memorandum to the CIA: 1 October 1993

I want to warn Americans. As a people, you are very naïve about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia now is your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR [Russian Foreign Intelligence Service] is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War. – Sergei Tretyakov, as quoted by Pete Early in Comrade J, 2007 Continue reading

Fidel Castro says his economic system is failing

Another possible ‘misquoted’ remark that is surely in the future to be corrected, just like when he said communism didn’t work.

It was a casual remark over a lunch of salad, fish and red wine but future historians are likely to parse and ponder every word: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us any more.”

Fidel Castro’s nine-word confession, dropped into conversation with a visiting US journalist and policy analyst, undercuts half a century of thundering revolutionary certitude about Cuban socialism.

That the island’s economy is a disaster is hardly news but that the micro-managing “maximum leader” would so breezily acknowledge it has astonished observers. Continue reading

Ukrainian port eyed as Syria’s regime arms source

OKTYABRSK PORT, Ukraine — On Jan. 5, the Ocean Fortune, a 380-foot-long workhorse of the global arms trade, left this Black Sea port with unknown cargo concealed in its cavernous hold. The ship steamed south, slipped through the Bosporus Strait and turned toward the eastern Mediterranean. Then it disappeared.

The ship’s transponder, which normally sends automated signals to other vessels and harbor masters along busy sea lanes, went mysteriously silent Jan. 9, just as it was rounding Turkey headed toward open waters, maritime records show. Not a trace of the ship was seen for two months, until it surfaced in the southeastern Mediterranean in mid-March.

The ship’s apparent vanishing act repeated a pattern seen by other freighters embarking from the same Black Sea port — a known point of origin for weapons shipments — over the past year. Recently, such behavior has begun drawing the attention of investigators tracking the flow of arms and supplies to the combatants in Syria’s 21 / 2-year-old uprising. Continue reading

US and China: The Fight for Latin America

According to Robert Valencia, China is vying for greater economic influence in Latin America, to include possibly constructing and operating an alternative ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua. One unanticipated consequence of this burgeoning US-China rivalry, Valencia observes, is that it might push Latin American countries closer together.

During the first weekend of June, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California to discuss cyber espionage and territorial claims in the Pacific Rim. While tension on these topics has hogged the headlines, the fight for influence in another area could be even more important—Latin America. Other emerging markets in Africa, where China has an overwhelming influence due to foreign direct investment in mining and oil, also offer economic opportunities, but Latin America has an abundance of natural resources, greater purchasing power, and geographic proximity to the United States, which has long considered Latin America as its “backyard.” Continue reading

Food rationing to begin in Venezuelan state

In a sign Venezuela’s food shortages could be worsening, restrictions on the sale of 20 basic items subject to price controls, including toilet paper and chicken, are set to begin next week in its most populous state, officials said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government said it is incorrect to call the plan rationing because it is meant to fight smuggling of price-controlled food across the border into Colombia. He said there are no plans to extend the program nationally. Continue reading

China eyes post-Chavez oil axis

China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s largest importer of oil this decade. While the expansion of China?’s economy has slowed from a breakneck 10% yearly rate to a still-formidable 7% per annum, the economic metamorphosis of the Middle Kingdom is having huge impacts on global energy markets.

The growing ranks of China’s middle class increasingly aspire to a lifestyle – and level of consumption – that approximates the patterns of their counterparts in the world’s richest countries. The death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has further highlighted China’s need for the lifeblood of a modern economy and the economic and geopolitical threats China’s dependence on imported energy hold for the leadership in Beijing.  Continue reading

Germany’s Entire Gold Hoard At The Fed May Already Be Gone

Today a legend in the business told King World News, “… the German gold hoard, which is supposed to be stored at the Fed, may already be gone.”  Keith Barron, who consults with major companies around the world and is responsible for one of the largest gold discoveries in the last quarter century, also believes countries like Germany, Austria, and others are in serious danger of having claims on their gold stored at the Fed evaporate.

Here is what Barron had to say:  “This has been happening for quite some time.  In fact, I can remember hearing 6 or 7 years ago that Gaddafi wanted all of his gold back from New York.  There were several tons going on a transport plane out of New York once a week to Libya.”

“He (Gaddafi) just didn’t trust any other government with it.  Of course we all know what happened to him eventually.  His gold has kind of gone missing (appropriated), and nobody knows where it is now.  This is the problem the Germans, Austrians, and various other countries are facing. Continue reading

It Begins: Bundesbank To Commence Repatriating Gold From New York Fed

In what could be a watershed moment for the price, provenance, and future of physical gold, not to mention the “stability” of the entire monetary regime based on rock solid, undisputed “faith and credit” in paper money, German Handelsblatt reports in an exclusive that the long suffering German gold, all official 3,396 tons of it, is about to be moved. Specifically, it is about to be partially moved out of the New York Fed, where the majority, or 45% of it is currently stored, as well as the entirety of the 11% of German gold held with the Banque de France, and repatriated back home to Buba in Frankfurt, where just 31% of it is held as of this moment. And while it is one thing for a “crazy, lunatic” dictator such as Hugo Chavez to pull his gold out of the Bank of England, it is something entirely different, and far less dismissible, when the bank with the second most official gold reserves in the world proceeds to formally pull some of its gold from the bank with the most. In brief: this is a momentous development, one which may signify that the regime of mutual assured and very much telegraphed – because if the central banks don’t have faith in one another, why should anyone else– trust in central banks by other central banks is ending. Continue reading