Eder PeñaThe most dynamic city-port in the United States determines more than just Latin American tastes (Photo: Daniel Slim)
The city of Miami (Florida, United States) has functioned as a nucleus in different operations of “regime change” against countries. From recent events, and not so recent, its El Doral enclave has been catalogued as a sort of Star Wars bar for aspiring “liberators” and warriors for hire.
Its reputation as a refuge for Latin American politicians accused or implicated in crimes of corruption is, in a way, historical, in that sense there has been no major distinction with respect to their nationality. From the late Venezuelan Carlos Andres Perez, Jaime Lusinchi, through different hierarchical levels that include former governors, former ministers and even former presidents, such as Ricardo Martinelli of Panama, the most recent who has been arrested and on whom an extradition request is pending.
Fake news and conspiracies are also forged in public events of the ultra-right wing calling for coups and interventions, such as the alleged Forum for the Defense of Democracy in the Americas held last May with the presence of other former presidents who were passing through: Mauricio Macri (Argentina), Andrés Pastrana (Colombia), Luis Guillermo Solís (Costa Rica) and Lenín Moreno (Ecuador), who accused Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro of the protests in Colombia, working hard to be established as an exiled speaker.
The list is long, but it is not the only activity sheltered in the territory between the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. From what is considered a global city due to its importance for the speculative metabolism of transnational capital, anti-political adventures are orchestrated because there are funds to spare, and if there are not, they are plundered by playing Monopoly with urban developments that serve to launder money, wherever it comes from.
The high horsepower of the financial, commercial and media machinery has turned the metropolis into “the capital of the Western Hemisphere south of the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico”, as the journalist and historian T.D. Allman would say in his book Miami. City of future. Hence, its factual powers determine narratives and export violence, as well as funds, becoming a key player in the implementation of unilateral coercive measures against other states.
The impact of such adventures is such that they have become policies that have been able to change the course of history in some countries. Let’s look at some cases.
THEFT AND LIES IN NICARAGUA
In July 2019 columnist Nan McCurdy published in The Grayzone that three board members of the so-called Nicaraguan Pro-Human Rights Association (ANPDH) accused its former executive secretary now “asylee” in Costa Rica, Alvaro Leiva, of stealing up to half a million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money from U.S. soft power organizations.
These were funds received between 2017 and 2019 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society, international entities aligned to destabilization processes of leftist governments in Latin America.
This NGO was founded in Miami in 1986 under Ronald Reagan to whitewash the abuses of the Contras during the CIA’s dirty war against Nicaragua. Leiva was further accused of inflating the death toll during the 2018 coup attempt to ask for more resources from US donors.
It was also denounced that the OAS, based on flawed ANPDH data to instigate condemnations and “sanctions” against the Central American country, remained silent until then.Nicaraguan Alvaro Leiva, of the Miami-founded ANPDH, is accused of theft and dissemination of false information during the attempted color revolution in 2018 (Photo: File).
In order to destabilize both Nicaragua’s internal politics and its international relations, from Miami the usual “failed state” narrative was instrumented using inflated figures by the ANPDH, claiming that in the four months that the violent escalation masked as protests lasted, there were more than 400 deaths. This figure exceeded the real figure, published by the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission, by at least 150 deaths and, in addition, falsely blamed the government for each death.
On the other hand, the only missing person related to the events that occurred between April and July 2018 was Bismarck Martinez, a Sandinista militant who was kidnapped on June 29, 2018 and found murdered in May 2019. The media mayamera concealed the videos of the torture of Martinez that were found on the cell phones of his torturers after his arrest, but amplified the exaggerations of the ANPDH regarding the number of detainees, wounded and disappeared.
GIDEON, FAILED INCURSION INTO VENEZUELA
In the heat of the 2020 presidential campaign, then Republican candidate and U.S. President Donald Trump gave a speech to Venezuelans in Miami decked out in their “Make America Great Again” caps, a slogan of the first presidential campaign.
At that February event, the tycoon spoke for more than an hour stating that “the days of socialism and communism are numbered, not only in Venezuela, but also in Cuba and Nicaragua,” adding that socialism would never be allowed to take root in the heart of capitalism, in the United States.
Three months later, on May 3, even though the Venezuelan government had warned of the presence of mercenary training camps in Colombian territory, there was a failed raid by 47 Venezuelan exiles and two former members of the U.S. Army Special Forces who were arrested and eight people were killed.
The objective of Operation Gideon was to capture, detain or remove President Nicolas Maduro, overthrow the government and install the then deputy Juan Guaidó as president chosen by the United States. The base of the operation was Colombia, specifically La Guajira, but the realization of the agreement that led to the events took place at the Red Course golf course at El Doral Resort.
The leader was former U.S. soldier Jordan Goudreau, founder of the private security contractor Silvercorp USA, who then filed a lawsuit for $1.4 million against Juan José Rendón, advisor to a criminal scheme, called “interim government”, headed by Guaidó, for breach of contract.J.J. Rendón was a key player in the design and drafting of the mercenary contract against Venezuela from Miami (Photo: Getty Images).
Goudreau exposed documents in which he showed that Guaidó knew about the coup attempt that would have put him in power, and the media in Miami, especially those not economically benefited by the “interim”, did show recordings in which he encourages the mercenaries, also a signed contract for an advance of 1.5 million dollars and for more than 200 million that would be collected through political favors.
Declared a participant in the preparation, Hernán Alemán: “We talked about the plan, a tactical operation to capture major political actors in Venezuela who would be handed over to the United States. Juan Guaidó would assume the mandate as interim president, which would lead to free elections in Venezuela”.
For his part, Goudreau would finance logistics through donations from individuals who would reap financial rewards in an eventual “transitional” government.
Rendón told the press that “we analyzed about 22 scenarios. Maybe a third of them involved the use of force”, this product of multiple meetings held in Miami of which, surely, some sectors of the Trump administration were aware but then declared to be unaware.
In addition, Goudreau, a doctor, sniper, Afghanistan and Iraq veteran and winner of three U.S. Army bronze stars, claimed to have met with two government advisors and had been hired in February 2019 to provide security at the concert sponsored by another tycoon, Richard Branson.
It was a musical event that received all the diffusion and even rallies of support from Miami, but was held as a tool of media pressure in Cúcuta, on the Colombian side of the border with Venezuela, so that the Venezuelan government would allow the entry of humanitarian donations that ended up being set on fire by the same anti-Chavez protesters as an excuse, also failed, to generate violence within the national territory.
In 2017 U.S. authorities said to unveil a network that illegally trafficked weapons from that country to Venezuela at least since 2013, the previous month the Bolivian government seized 75 large caliber weapons that left Miami and entered Bolivia.
MAGNICIDE PLOT IN HAITI
The city-port that hosts the largest volume of cruise ships in the world and the highest number of international banks in the United States has also been a key factor in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, which took place in the early hours of July 7.
The Venezuelan based in Miami, Antonio “Tony” Intriago, was the recruiter of the Colombian mercenaries arrested in Port-au-Prince for the assassination of Moïse and for serious injuries to his wife. Media outlets such as La Nueva Prensa have revealed his link to Colombian President Iván Duque in the context of the concert in Cúcuta, in the organization of which they both participated.
Intriago is the owner of several companies registered in the state of Florida, among them Venezuela Somos Todos, co-organizer of the concert, and CTU Security (Counter Terrorist Unit Federal Academy LLC), contractor of the Colombian mercenaries involved.
Witnesses affirm that the businessman shared with Duque and Guaidó during the event to which the latter arrived hand in hand with leaders of the narco-paramilitary organized armed group Los Rastrojos, a fact that was little publicized by the Miami cartelized press. The Cucutazo, the embezzlement of funds that were to be used for humanitarian work and for which USAID is still asking questions, was also little publicized.
According to witnesses who attended the concert in Cúcuta in 2019, Tony Intriago shared with Iván Duque and Juan Guaidó.
That same character recruited the mercenaries pointed to assassinate Jovenel Moïsehttps://t.co/lMnzq2n1Hd
– MV (@Mision_Verdad) July 13, 2021
Intriago and Duque coincided in Miami during a campaign event in February 2018 when the latter was a presidential candidate; the Venezuelan government denounced that the businessman offered CTU Security for the contract of the defeated Operation Gideon.
Another character linked to the Mayan coup is the Colombian “activist” Alfred Santamaría, Intriago’s partner in the board of directors of the Fundación Latino Americanos Unidos, Inc. based right there in Miami, who has published photos with Duque in his social networks dating back to last March. He was a candidate for mayor of the city, is a supporter of Martinelli (current boss of María Corina Machado) and some media have shown photos of him with Guaidó, his former advisor J.J. Rendón and Álvaro Uribe Vélez.Colombian President Iván Duque and Alfred Santamaría, Antonio Intriago’s partner on the board of the Miami-based Latino Americanos Unidos Foundation, Inc (Photo: File).
One of the two Haitian-Americans captured was identified as James Solages, 35 years old, lives in Fort Lauderdale (Florida), where he is the executive director of EJS Maintenance & Repair and runs an NGO. He worked as chief bodyguard for the Canadian Embassy in Haiti and, while in Florida, supported former President Michel Martelly of Moïse’s Party of Haitian Baldies (PHTK).
He also used to work as a security guard for both Reginald Boulos and Dimitri Vorbe, two members of what the late president of Haiti himself called the “Haitian oligarchy”.
THE PERMANENT TOXIC CAMPAIGN AGAINST CUBA
The United States has persisted with an iron blockade of the island and this has been instrumented from South Florida along with a relentless media attack and terrorist actions of varying intensities. The Soviet Union had offered Cuba ways to circumvent the blockade, however, after the fall of the socialist bloc, the U.S. elites, encouraged by a terrorist oligarchy of Cuban origin, attacked the economy through the Cuban Democracy Act (1992) and the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (1996). Both names have nothing to do with their actual effects.
From 1992 onwards, the vast majority of the UN General Assembly has voted for the United States to end the embargo and even experts of the UN Human Rights Council issued a statement calling for the withdrawal of such measures, which, moreover, have made Cuba’s attempt to combat the covid-19 pandemic more difficult.
In 2020 alone, the United States applied 55 illegal “sanctions” out of the 243 that Trump implemented during his administration, all based on the aforementioned laws and the desire for a social collapse to dislodge the Cuban Communist Party from power. Last June, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced before the UN General Assembly that the health sector alone was affected by 200 million dollars between April and December 2020, 38 million more than reported in 2019.
Even though Cuba has successfully managed the pandemic by keeping infection and death rates relatively low, the presence of more virulent variants has caused a rebound of cases that has overwhelmed the health infrastructure. This has required the dispatch of health personnel from other provinces and requests for solidarity and donations.
Media platforms at the service of colonial interests, and financed by the same interventionist agencies, have saturated the networks with false news and accusations against the government for rejecting their demand to open a humanitarian corridor or the intervention of international health organizations.
For at least two years, the San Isidro Movement (MSI), anchored in the Cuban cultural movement, has been developing, with support from Florida, which emerged from some artistic revolts that occurred in 2018. Due to controversial measures proposed by the government towards the cultural milieu, the elements already known in attempts of soft coups were shaped. The same stagings, the same “activists” (artivists, in this case) who “disappear” when they are arrested for violating the law, symbolisms, songs, fake news, stagings, more songs, overexposure of targeted demonstrations….
A new regime change operation is underway in Cuba. Here is our analysis https://t.co/sOeaeEecGU
– MV (@Mision_Verdad) July 11, 2021
Another major player in the most recent wave of color is another NGO: Unión Patriótica de Cuba (Unpacu), founded by José Daniel Ferrer García and funded in 2011 by the Miami-based Cuban-American National Foundation.
Several musicians residing in that city, where whoever the Cuban Mayan leadership says, speaks, sings or writes, participated in a mixed operation of record marketing and political propaganda that took the form of a song called “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life), in which MSI members living in Cuba also participate.
A media agent named Alex Otaola is the one who determines and points out the counterrevolutionary quality of an artist in Miami, hence, after every time an artist is pointed out, he/she must decide whether to give in or disappear from the media scene. This happens in the city where the tastes and artistic fashions of the Spanish-speaking cultural market are determined “in the name of freedom”.
Columnist José Manzaneda tells how Otaola managed to coerce artists such as the duo Gente de Zona, who greeted Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel during a concert in Havana. They were vetoed by the mayor of Miami at a New Year’s Eve concert and lost their dual residency in Miami and Havana.
Another coerced artist was the composer Descemer Bueno, who praised Cuban medical cooperation and condemned the blockade of his country by the United States. For these two reasons Otaola managed to boycott his concerts in Miami. Although Bueno resisted and took the presenter to court, he was defeated and ended up giving in.
Last October Otaola gave Trump a “red list” of Cubans to be prevented from entering the country, in the middle of the extortion process some of them congratulated his struggle for the “freedom of Cuba”.
Other MSI activists living in Cuba, such as Denis Solis Gonzalez, have acknowledged links with Miami-based terrorists such as Jorge Luis Fernandez Figueras, accused by the Cuban justice system of belonging to the paramilitary group Lone Wolves. Maykel Osorbo has not followed the line that the song is a call for peace and has declared that it is “a war hymn”, in addition to declaring: “I am in favor right now of an invasion. Are you going to invade Cuba? Come on over here.
While inside and outside the United States the powerful cartelized media silence the various organizations and entities that call for an end to the blockade, the artists at the service of those media travel to countries like Spain where they praise their “freedom of expression”, although no mention is made of rappers imprisoned in other latitudes, such as the Catalan Pablo Hasel.
Translation by Internationalist 360°