The New Operation Condor is Underway in Latin America

Carmen Esquivel
Translation by Internationalist 360°

Havana (PL) False accusations and media campaigns are used against Latin American governments and leaders to get them out of political life in what many consider to be the re-edition of the Condor Plan, because their goals are the same, but with different methods.

The so-called Operation Condor, a kind of transnational crime, was implemented in the southern cone of Latin America between the 1970s and 1980s by military regimes, under the auspices of the United States, to eliminate opponents, mainly from the left.

But if at that time they tried to silence their voices through murders, torture and disappearances, nowadays many other ways are used to politically disable them.

A new Condor Plan is underway in the region, warned former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and explained that now, through false allegations of corruption, they try to delegitimize former presidents to destroy their reputation and leave them out of the electoral game.

The most recent case is that of the founder of the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, imprisoned by order of the judge of first instance Sergio Moro, after a court sentenced him to 12 years and one month in prison for alleged corruption, without presenting evidence, or any witness capable of incriminating him.

The arrest of Lula provoked a wave of repudiation in the region, where political leaders denounced that the real intention of the process against the Brazilian ex-President is to prevent him from presenting himself as a candidate for a new term in the presidential elections in October.

Until now, and despite his illegal confinement, the PT founder dominates the intentions of voters, with a wide advantage over the far right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

The persecution against Lula is a new phase of the judicial parliamentary coup set by the Brazilian Senate in 2016 against President Dilma Rousseff, accused of alleged violation of fiscal norms.

By 61 votes in favor and 28 against, the Senate removed from power a woman leader who had been democratically elected by more than 54 million votes.

This type of ‘soft blow’, so called because military force is not used, had been applied in 2012 in Paraguay against then-President Fernando Lugo, who was removed from office through a so-called expedited express trial by opposition in Parliament.

Asked about the onslaught against progressive governments in Latin America, Bolivian President Evo Morales said that the region faces a second Condor Plan, only now it is through the judicial coup.

When a left-wing president or governments that oppose looting policies emerges, there comes the soft blows Evo Morales warned of on his Twitter account.

The Bolivian leader himself was the epicenter in 2015 of a media war, whose objective was to damage the center of gravity of the process of change.

Through a campaign of lies, attempts were made to tarnish the image of the first Bolivian indigenous head of state, despite the profound changes registered in that country since his arrival in power.

Suffice it to say that in just over a decade Bolivia left the list of the most backward countries in South America and became the first in regional economic growth. In that period more than two million people left poverty.

President Morales has warned that the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, is behind the plans against progressive and leftist governments.

‘Almagro has a Plan Condor policy. If it does not eliminate a leader or government physically, it will politically eliminate anti-imperialist presidents and governments”.

The Secretary General of the OAS uses the hemispheric body as a platform to permanently attack Venezuela, promote sanctions against that country, ignore its electoral processes and even encourage foreign intervention, as evidenced by the last Summit of the Americas held in Lima.

The reissue in Latin America of methods applied in the past to generate chaos and violence and create pretexts for a US intervention, is also an issue that has been addressed by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

“The Condor Plan is behind the Venezuelan and regional right to attempt to return us to the times of rule and looting by the oligarcgy,” Maduro once said.

For some experts, there is similarity between the dirty war waged against the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and what the El Mercurio newspaper in Chile did between 1970 and 1973 against the democratic government of President Salvador Allende.

Four decades after the massive repression and the coups applied in South America, history repeats itself, although today other means are used to destabilize governments, such as psychological warfare, media campaigns, the promotion of street violence, and the incitement to discontent and social disobedience.