Pablo Jofre Leal
U.S. laboratories created, developed and operating under Pentagon leadership are scattered throughout Africa, Latin America and practically all the countries that made up the former Union of Socialist Republics. It is estimated that at least 200 biological research laboratories worldwide are financed by Washington.
The presence of U.S. specialists in the construction of chemical and biological weapons, especially in post-Soviet territory, is part of the evidence of the objectives of U.S. administrations to carry out a policy of maximum pressure against the Russian Federation. In these facilities, U.S. agencies are working on creating and modifying pathogens of deadly diseases, for their probable use, either in the military field or in sabotage actions within the broad field of the so-called hybrid wars. Both the UN and various international conventions, aware of their capacity and ease of destruction, have established regulatory agreements to prevent their use and proliferation. However, this decision does not prevent Washington from plaguing the world with research centers aimed at creating weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
An interesting study carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid with researchers from the Department of Genetics, Physiology and Microbiology of the Faculty of Biological Sciences of this study center points out that “the Geneva Protocol of 1925 initiated the regularization of the production and use of biological weapons. The Geneva Protocol was expanded in 1972 with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). This convention can be considered the first multilateral disarmament treaty expressly prohibiting the production of biological weapons. It has now been ratified by 173 states and prohibits the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons and toxins” (1).
Despite the large number of signatory countries, this treaty has no verification system to ensure compliance, nor does it prohibit research with potentially dangerous biological agents. As early as 1991, at the Third Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, the UN, through the Office for Disarmament Affairs, established an ad hoc committee called VEREX. A committee to investigate verification measures, to enforce control of biological weapons from a scientific and technical point of view. Almost three decades later, in 2004, the United Nations Security Council established Resolution N°1540, which establishes the obligation to issue annual reports on the status of international monitoring of the use and manufacture of biological agents as WMD.
In U.S. facilities around the world, work is being done to create and modify various pathogens of dangerous diseases, also intended for use in the military field. Such is the case of Kazakhstan, which has six U.S. facilities on its territory. This, from the year 2005 where research in the biological field has aroused the alarm of Russia which has pointed out that the main facility, located in the capital city Almaty – former Alma Ata – where an initial investment of 120 million dollars in 2013 made possible the development of the Raykimbaev National Scientific Center. Let us recall that this program was initially supervised by the late Republican Senator Richard Lugar, closely linked to the US military elite – the so-called military industrial complex – and known for promoting the dismantling of the former USSR’s nuclear facilities in Kazakhstan and the development of biological weapons in Ukraine and Georgia (2). It is interesting to note that in 2021 the Ukrainian media Politnavigator denounced that American biologists in the military in Ukraine were working, in addition to their country, also in Kazakhstan to develop new methods of spreading contagious and deadly virus strains through livestock raised in Central Asia (3).
On the borders with Kyrgyzstan, the Kazakh government is building a high-level biological laboratory, which has been protested by the Kyrgyz inhabitants and which will join the 40 projects already being tested on lines dealing with pathogens from the animal world, which can cause various diseases: pests in their different varieties, turalemia, encephalitis and a number of other viruses specific to the Asian region, as well as projects under way to modify the bat coronavirus.
In Armenia, the Defense Threat Prevention Agency (DTRA) of the U.S. Department of Defense is carrying out a program in its laboratories in the South Caucasus country to create and integrate disease surveillance systems. 94 special technical complexes from Washington have been deployed in laboratories in Armenia, especially in the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Public Health, as well as in centers of the Ministry of Economy, the Emergency Ministry. Central structures of the State Food Safety Service of the Ministry of Agriculture located in the Armenian capital were inaugurated in 2016 by two Armenian ministers and the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, establishing regional structures establishing regional structures in the provinces of Shirak, Tavush, Lori, Gegharkunik and Syunik. The key task of these U.S.-funded centers in the hot South Caucasus area.
In Georgia, the Richard Lugar Center – named after the far-right Republican senator considered a bitter enemy of the former USSR – is a medical and military laboratory located on the outskirts of the capital city, Tbilisi. A U.S.-funded center with a large group of scientists, state-of-the-art facilities and high production capacity, it allows them to carry out experiments aimed at measuring the impact of pathogens and their effects on people, taking into account racial and ethnic factors, which constitute a serious danger for Russia, denounced in many forums. There is a U.S. representative on the board of directors of this center, which makes it possible to control that the funds allocated go in the direction of Washington’s interests. Moscow has, on more than one occasion, pointed out that it is concerned about the Pentagon’s activity of installing medical-biological laboratories in the immediate vicinity of Russian borders. In 2015 the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that “under the roof of the Lugar Center a medical research unit of the U.S. Army is operating” (4).
Azerbaijan, also located in the South Caucasus, has also been criticized for the installation of commercial companies – under the umbrella of the Pentagon – for biological research that unified enterprises of the Ministry of Health. In the case of Ukraine, I pointed out, in a work of the portal segundopaso.es, that with the financial and organizational support of Washington, after the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, the Ukrainian regimes have deployed in Ukraine a network of 30 biological laboratories for research and study of deadly diseases, especially pathogens and viruses that could be used in biological warfare. Indian media have alleged that these laboratories in Ukraine have been working on the creation of biological weapons of selective action targeting certain ethnic groups (5). The funder and recipient of the research is the so-called Defense Threat Prevention Agency (DTRA) under the US Department of Defense with headquarters in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has pointed out that the so-called investment fund Rosemont Seneca Thornton, founded by Hunter Biden, son of the president of the current US President Joe Biden, together with the investment fund of the speculator George Soros have financed the biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine, which have the approval of the Pentagon (6) In early March 2022, Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland – a known supporter of the Ukrainian ultra-right – declared before a Senate hearing that ‘biological research facilities’ have been operating in Ukraine, in response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio – Republican of Florida – about the presence of chemical or biological weapons in the country (7).
In the case of Africa, I briefly detail the presence of the United States with biological research laboratories in some countries of this continent. This is the case of Kenya, where the United States, through the Pentagon, is expanding the Kisumu and Kericho medical centers. Entities where 80 U.S. researchers are employed, who are working not only on endemic diseases, but also on a new vaccine “Gineos” to combat the so-called simian smallpox – monkeypox – the spread of which can complicate, especially for immunosuppressed people, HIV patients or pregnant women at any stage of gestation. Along with people at occupational risk, i.e., those whose jobs may expose them to the virus. For example, STI/HIV health care personnel and laboratory personnel who handle Monkeypox samples.
In Liberia, there is a joint research center between American and Liberian scientists with projects linked to the study of Ebola Lassa, Marburg and Zika viruses that often cause social and economic havoc. Liberia has had experiences, in previous years, of studies that have meant the abandonment of primates used for secret research. Such was the case in 1974 when the US blood bank New York Blood Centre (NYBC) decided to create Viral II in Liberia to experiment with viruses in wild chimpanzees. These primates were intentionally infected, for example, with hepatitis virus and other pathogens, supposedly to develop vaccines. In 2005, Viral II’s director, Alfred Prince, announced the end of all experiments and assured that the organization was making arrangements to “care for life” for the chimpanzees. These primates are abandoned today, slowly dying out (8).
In Djibouti, in the so-called African Horn, a center of undoubted geostrategic importance, since it is located on the west coast of the Bab al Mandeb strait, through which 40% of the oil from the Persian Gulf transits on its way to Europe. There, at the US military base of Camp Lemonnier Forward Operating Base, there is a laboratory for biological studies. In Tanzania, the U.S. Army Research Institute “Walter Reed”, the Pentagon’s main biomedical research center. It funded a biological laboratory on its premises in the Tanzanian city of Mbeya. This center is one of eight operating in this African country, three of which have BLS-3 biological protection which means strict safety measures on primary and secondary barriers to protect personnel in contiguous areas, the community and the environment from exposure to potentially infectious aerosols. From 2015 to date funding for these centers has exceeded $100 million, more than any humanitarian support in this country.
There are four U.S. military biological laboratories in Nigeria. The accusations of the Russian federation regarding the presence of Washington here revived a necessary character to take into account, especially that the World Health Organization (WHO) was warned to investigate the work of laboratories in Nigeria subsidized by the United States. This was stated last May by the head of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops of the Russian Armed Forces, Igor Kirilov. Kirilov pointed out that “according to available information, at least four biological laboratories controlled by Washington are operating in Nigeria and according to the WHO report, the South African strain causing monkeypox was exported from Nigeria. We call on WHO leaders to investigate the activities of the US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria and Lagos, and to report their findings to the world community” (9).
In the Republic of South Africa, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention – based in Atlanta – is currently conducting a research project as part of the government’s “AIDS Relief” program. The dozens of scientists attached to this program and others more secretive are conducting clinical trials on local citizens with practices for the use of new drugs. South Africa, which at the time of apartheid was a close Western ally in the production of chemical and biological agents whose victims were the black population. An example of this was the Coast project, whose director was the physician Wouter Basson. A classified biological and chemical weapons program, it was the successor to a similar post-World War II program that produced the lethal agents CX and mustard gas, as well as tear gas. Even the search for a mechanism to sterilize the black population in an ethnically selective and destructive program that was even supported by Swiss funds (10).
I reiterate what I have stated in previous works: The biological laboratories of the United States, spread throughout the world, represent a threat to humanity, since what is developed there can generate a hecatomb against life on our planet. Developed mainly by the United States, biological weapons can disguise themselves as ordinary epidemics and quickly attack large numbers of people. This means that in the event of an accident in any biolaboratory, whether in Latin America, Africa, Asia or Europe, controlled by Washington, the consequences for humanity could be disastrous and clearly constitute an international crime.