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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Venezuelan Understudy is carrying on Cuba's Revolution

Monday, July 26, 2010

Venezuelan Understudy is carrying on Cuba's Revolution

By Jerry Brewer

A prominent question in the Western Hemisphere today is whether Cuba continues to pose a threat to anyone? A question that must be answered factually and with considerable consensus of neighboring allies that are experiencing unprecedented levels of murder, assassinations, and terrorist-style deliberate head-on attacks on military and police.

Counterintelligence/counterespionage officials view much of their own homeland violence through the eyes of those enforcement officials that are routinely tasked to proactively respond to incidents. However, the realities of post cold war espionage and the expanding issues of transnational terrorism equate to the necessary realities of recognizing anomalies and patterns that may elude traditional law enforcers.

The word “revolution” used throughout Latin America’s leftist regimes is a word defined as “a political overthrow brought about from within.” Another definition that may hold a more sinister alliance is an “orbital motion about a point or an axis.”

Why would the diminutive nation of Cuba be a topic of such grand speculation? After all, there are those that feel the initiatives exchanged between the U.S. and Havana since the U.S. embargo first went into effect in 1960 are of a cold war long since ended. Too, some believe that “the pragmatism associated with Raul Castro’s rise to power seems to be here to stay, and appears to be aimed at small reforms as well as transcending ones.”

Conducting a mature foreign policy with Cuba is another favorite quip that sounds stately and eloquent.

Cuba’s recent pledge to release its political prisoners after decades of reports of human rights abuses fell flat, yet it moved some to accept Cuba’s “possibly-earnest gestures.” There is little doubt that Communist rule unscrupulously forced horrific conditions and sacrifices upon the Cuban people under the Fidel Castro regime. And Fidel Castro continues to play a controversial pivotal role in their lives.

A report in 1998 produced by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) stated, “Cuba no longer poses a military threat to the United States.” This official disclaimer just happened to be “in large part, by a DIA intelligence analyst that was actually a Cuban intelligence agent by the name of 'Ana Belen Montes'.”

Cuba’s Interior Ministry reportedly consists of approximately 20,000 officials assigned to their security and intelligence apparatus, along with an estimated 50,000 Cuban nationals in various official missions in Venezuela.

Castro’s resource starved revolution has been nurtured generously by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. The Castro brother’s personal wealth has been estimated as “combined — easily worth $2 billion.” The Chavez Frias family in Venezuela “has amassed wealth on a similar scale since Chavez’s presidency began in 1999.”

In 1982 four close aides to Fidel Castro were convicted on drug smuggling charges in the U.S. One of those was Rene Rodriguez-Cruz, a senior official of Cuba’s DGI intelligence services. Another former member of the DGI testified in the Southern District of Florida in 1983 that “Cuban involvement in international drug operations was a multifaceted, methodical campaign aimed at undermining the U.S. and its international stature.”

Cuba had been getting approximately $5 billion a year from Venezuela in “oil, cash and kind.” It is further believed that Bolivarian organized crime groups entrenched within Chavez’s administration “have skimmed about $100 billion of the nearly $1 trillion of oil revenues PDVSA Oil has earned since 1999.”

The recent claim by the Colombian government, that it has clear evidence five guerrilla leaders are being sheltered in Venezuela, has been denied by Chavez. Colombia claims to have video recordings and the exact grid coordinates of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) camps, as well as those of the National Liberation Army, or ELN. Colombia asserts a “continued and permanent tolerance” of guerrillas with safe haven on Venezuelan soil. FARC drug trafficking and their transnational Latin American insurgency is reported to be prolific.

Both Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez continue to telegraph nervous vibes to true democratic and free nations with their vociferous support of Iran, Syria and North Korea, among others named as state sponsors of world terrorism, this as well as denouncing Israel and the U.S. The Castro and Chavez revolutions are indeed suspect, insofar as neither appears to benefit the suffering of the Cuban nor Venezuelan people.

Cuba is much less armed and resourced to defend a revolution by itself. If the Castro brothers and Chavez truly want to stand up factually to defend a benign threat to the hemisphere, as well as lead their people to a higher standard of survival and living conditions, they must aggressively denounce terrorism, drug trafficking, and related death and violence. Their actions in this positive step might show some genuine sincerity.


Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global risk mitigation firm headquartered in Miami, Florida. His website is located at

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