An overview of Frank Calzon, member of the Miami Mafia. Also reviews Freedom House, an organization that is more or less run by the CIA and the US State Department as a pure propaganda arm of the state. In addition, we look into some of the most corrupt of the US rightwing labor organizations which spent years fighting against workers in the US and abroad. Warning: Long, 57 pages on the web.
Cuban Blackmail, 50 Years After the Missile Crisis
By JEB BUSH AND FRANK CALZON* (see notes below)
WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 23, 2012
The past decades have shown that the Castro brothers’ behavior in October 1962 was perfectly characteristic.
With this week marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, Americans are recalling the 13 days in October 1962 when the Soviet Union and Cuba’s Fidel Castro [sic –but not the USA?] brought the world to the brink of nuclear Armageddon.
But in assessing the crisis, and President John F. Kennedy’s decisions over those 13 days, it is equally important to consider what has happened since. Using what the late U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick called the “politics of deception,” Cuba’s Castro brothers have maintained power through international deceit, blackmail and hostage-taking.
The past decades have shown that the behavior of the Castro brothers in 1962 was perfectly characteristic. Fidel Castro has never shied away from a political gamble such as deploying secret Soviet missiles and then lying about them. He assured other governments that he would never do such a thing, just as the Soviet Union’s ambassador to the United States told the Kennedy administration that rumors about missiles were false. But the missiles were there, and their deployment was an effort to intimidate and blackmail America.
Today, Havana’s intimidation and blackmail are of a different magnitude, but there are plenty of examples.
Days ago, a Cuban court sentenced young Spanish [rightwing] politician Angel Carromero to four years in prison for committing manslaughter in the death of Oswaldo Payá, one of Cuba’s most prominent human rights leaders. Payá died while a passenger in a car Mr. Carromero was driving, when it veered off the road and hit a tree under suspicious circumstances.
Payá’s family says that Mr. Carromero has sent text messages saying that a vehicle (presumably driven by Cuba’s state security police) was attempting to force him off the road. The family was prevented from attending the trial and is calling for an international investigation.
[Note that not only did Mr. Carromero not say any such thing in his trial, but his other passenger –a Swedish political activist who returned to Sweden after the accident — contradicted this, along with witnesses along the road who all confirmed that Carromero’s car was speeding way over the speed limit, passed signs warning of road construction, and that no other car was remotely involved. This would not be surprising given that Carromero’s license in Spain was revoked for numerous incidents of excessive speeding. klw]
For years, state security had tried to intimidate Payá and his foreign visitors, part of a larger effort to discourage democracy advocates from visiting or contacting Cuban dissidents.
Havana similarly tries to intimidate other countries—such as Spain, whose nationals have business interests in Cuba—into accepting its routine violations of human rights, including the beatings of dissidents. [This is of course insulting not only to Cuba but also to Spain, but then, a country that routinely puts business over human rights would hardly find it strange to assume another country would do the same. klw]
Joining Mr. Carromero as a hostage in Cuba is Alan Gross, an American development worker held since December 2009.
His supposed crime: giving a laptop computer and satellite telephone to a group of Cuban Jews. [For those who haven’t been following the Gross case, the USAID subcontractor went to Cuba five times, supposedly as a tourist but handing out to people the US hoped would support its efforts to change the Cuban form of government, sophisticated hi-tech satellite phones with special chips commonly used by spy agencies. klw]
Mr. Gross has lost some 100 pounds in prison, according to his wife, who also reports that he has a growth on his shoulder that may be cancerous. The Castro regime intends to keep him in prison until the U.S. government releases five Cuban spies from prison in the U.S.
There is long history here. In 1962, Fidel Castro wrung $53 million from Washington in exchange for releasing the prisoners he had taken after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion [Untrue. The US was supposed to provide baby food and medicine, but never did. klw].
Before that, during the guerrilla war against the Batista dictatorship, Raúl Castro extorted thousands of dollars from owners of sugar mills, threatening to burn down their homes and mills unless they aided the guerrillas. In June 1958, he tried to force negotiations with Washington by kidnapping 29 American sailors and marines; when word got out that Washington might send U.S. Marines to rescue the hostages, the Castros freed them.
In dealing with Cuba’s regime, the Obama administration has too often sent contradictory signals of U.S. resolve. Though Raúl Castro (who now heads the Cuban government) has refused to allow Mr. Gross to return to the U.S. to visit his seriously ill mother, the Obama administration allowed a Cuban spy to leave an American halfway house to visit his sick mother.
While Mr. Gross remains in prison, the Obama administration last year issued visas to Raúl Castro’s daughter and her retinue so they could visit America and attack its Cuba policy. [It should be noted that the former Bush administration also gave a visa to Mariela Castro “and her retinue” but nobody seemed to protest that visit except perhaps the ultra-rightwing Florida Cuban legislators. klw]
The lessons of October 1962 must not be forgotten. President Kennedy showed fortitude and resolve in forcing the Soviet Union to stand down. Whoever wins the Nov. 6 election ought to deal similarly with today’s intimidation and deception from the Castro regime.
Mr. Bush is a former governor of Florida. Mr. Calzon is executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba in Washington, D.C. [read all about Calzon and his center below–klw]
As reported in SourceWatch:
In 2007 Calzon noted that: “I am a Cuban refugee who has spent most of my life advocating human rights for Cubans and others. From l986 through 1997 I was Freedom House’s Washington representative. I have testified before the U.N. Commission for Human Rights in Geneva and for the last ten years I’ve been the executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba.”
Frank has a tendency to deny he ever had anything to do with CIA, even threatening Counterpunch through his attorney to force them to retract their statements on his CIA employment.
We merely note that, according to The Freedom House Files by Diana Barahona at HaitiAnalysis.com, Freedom House alone is a notorious den of Agency types, even employing a former CIA Director, R. James Woolsey, who joined Freedom House in 2000. As for his various anti-Cuban operations (Center for a Free Cuba, Free Cuba Foundation), they were not exactly staffed by choirboys…
According to TerrorFileOnLine’s U.S. Terrorism in the Americas – Standard Encyclopedia, developed out of Venezuela:
Born 1947 in Cuba. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1960. Graduated from the University of Georgetown, where he was president of the Association of Cuban Students. Recruited by the CIA during his time as a university student.
From a very young age, Calzon became involved in Miami terrorist organizations of Cuban origin like Alpha-66 and Abdala. In Abdala Calzon held leadership positions and took part in subversive activities against Cuba.
During the 1970s, he co-founded, along with counterrevolutionaries Elena Mederos, Siro del Castillo and Humberto Medrano the Of Human Rights organization. Through this organization he maintained a systematic and intense defamatory campaign against Cuba, based fundamentally on supposed human rights violation and the state of counter-revolutionary prisoners.
During this period he became part of the board of directors of the Miami-based counterrevolutionary organization Committee of Intellectuals for the Freedom of Cuba. During these years, Calzon directed his attacks against groups that promoted a policy of understanding with the Cuban Revolution such as Areito magazine.
In 1981, Calzon founded the American National Foundation, along with Jorge Mas Canosa, Francisco Jose “Pepe” Hernandez and other emigrés of Cuban origin known for their terrorist activities against Cuba. In CANF, he was executive secretary, a position he used to promote laws against Cuba in the U.S. Congress, as well as to set up the well-known subversive radio station Radio Marti.
During this time he was also responsible for spearheading a number of aggressive press campaigns against the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of Cuba.
Calzon left the CANF in 1987, after a power struggle with president Jorge Mas Canosa.
Afterward, he joined the New York based nongovernmental organization Freedom House. Founded in 1941 by conservative sectors, Freedom House is dedicated to launching campaigns, under the guise of human rights, against countries that don’t share their ideologies. Calzon has used this organization to launch defamatory campaigns against Cuba, to lobby against Cuba at the UN Human Rights Commission and promote subversive activities against Cuba.
With the fall of the socialist camp, Freedom House intensified the development of programs directed to subverting Cuba, fomenting the creation of counterrevolutionary organizations and ringleaders in the national territory. Between 1995 and 1997, Calzon directed the Cuban Program of Freedom House, using the same methods employed against former socialist states in Eastern European. His long history with the CIA, beginning at a young age, was a perfect reference point for this post.
As part of the Cuban Program, Calzon has sent numerous collaborators to Cuba for several different illegal missions related to supplying and financing counterrevolutionary groups.
In August 1997, David Norman Dorn, a U.S. labor activist traveling in Cuba under a tourist visa, was detained in Cuba, for delivering money to counterrevolutionaries ringleaders under the orders of Frank Calzon.
These subversive activities committed against Cuba by Frank Calzon, through the posts he occupied at Freedom House and the Center for a Free Cuba, have been financed by the U.S. government via the Agency for International Development (USAID).
The first funds provided by USAID to Freedom House were announced in October 1995 by then president William Clinton, to the amount of half a million dollars; a figure that has steadily increased proportionately to escalating U.S. aggressions against Cuba.
Frank Calzon systematically attended sessions of the UN Human Rights Commission, in Geneva, where he organized anti-Cuba campaigns and supported U.S. anti-Cuba resolutions. — Link.
The Freedom House Files, 2007
By Diana Barahona – HaitiAnalysis.com
“Freedom House is an independent non-governmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world.” – Freedom House
Freedom House is a small but influential organization based in Washington and New York with more than 120 offices around the world and an annual budget of US$19 million.1
Calling itself “America’s oldest human rights group,” it is best known for its yearly “Freedom in the World” report, which rates countries as “free,” “partly free” and “not free.” What it is not known for is the high percentage of its funding that comes from the State Department—an average of 95% between 2000 and 2003—or its list of trustees, a Who’s Who of neoconservatives from government, business, academia, labor and the press.
In 1940 a liberal New Yorker named George Field and some friends formed the National Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies to build support for the U.S. entering WWII. The group attracted prominent figures in the arts, journalism and government—including Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt—and “within a year it was drawing thousands to rallies at Madison Square Garden and making headlines.”2
A month before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Field joined with Republican presidential candidate Wendell L. Willkie and some anti-Nazi groups to found Freedom House “as a counterpoint to the Nazi Braunhaus, Hitler’s propaganda center in Munich.”3
After the war Freedom House joined with other government agencies such as the CIA and State Department to combat “Soviet and Chinese Communism, anti-Semitism and the suppression of human rights in Eastern Europe and Asia.”4
It championed NATO abroad but supported liberal causes at home, condemning the Ku Klux Klan and McCarthyism and sharing its New York headquarters, the Wendell Willkie Memorial Building, with the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and the Metropolitan Council of B’nai B’rith.
Field retired as executive director in 1967 but served as secretary to the board of trustees until 1970. In the 1970s and ‘80s Freedom House lobbied at UNESCO against the New World Information and Communications Order, an attempt by Third World countries to create media systems that weren’t dominated by First World corporations and governments.
During the 1980s the organization began to receive a majority of its grant income from the newly created NED (founded by Congress in 1983), and contracts for Latin America far surpassed those for Eastern Europe.5
Under the Reagan-Bush administrations Freedom House continued to promote the foreign policy objectives of the United States in Central America, “supporting the death squad-linked ARENA party in El Salvador while attacking the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, championing Contra leaders like Arturo Cruz, and serving as a conduit for funds from the National Endowment for Democracy.”6
Considered “neoconservative” even at that time, the group’s trustees and associates were affiliated with the State Department, the National Security Council (Jeane Kirkpatrick), the CIA (through front groups), the U.S. Information Agency, the Trilateral Commission (Zbigniew Brzezinski), the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Committee on the Present Danger, Accuracy in Media, the American Enterprise Institute, Crisis, The New Republic and PRODEMCA, a group that raised funds and lobbied for the Contras.
During the 1980s Freedom House also formed the Afghanistan Information Center, one of several NED-funded groups supporting the mujahedin. This was to complement the government’s US $3,000 million covert funding program for the anti-Soviet groups.7
According to Freedom House’s IRS Form 990, prior to 1997, its government funding was in the form of “government fees and contracts,” presumably for work performed on behalf of the State Department. After that year, however, the funding was qualified as “grants.”
But with neoconservatives such as Kenneth Adelman, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Otto Reich, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Samuel Huntington, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Malcolm Forbes Jr. on the board of trustees, there was no danger the organization would change its ideological course.8
Freedom House’s government-linked trustees have traditionally shared seats in the boardroom with corrupt, right wing union bosses.
In the 1980s and 1990s there were cold warriors Lane Kirkland, William Doherty, Albert Shanker and Sol C. Chaikin. Doherty, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, was executive director of the CIA-linked AIFLD.
Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was also on the board of the Committee on the Present Danger, the NED and the NED-funded Free Trade Union Institute. He served on a private sector committee which advised the U.S. Information Agency on labor, “help[ing] the USIA enhance its programming through increased use of the ‘international activities’ of U.S. labor organizations.”9
Sol Chaikin was president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and he followed the lead of his predecessor, 30-year president David Dubinsky, in embracing “piece-rate wages, no-strike pledges, five-year contracts, opposition to the minimum wage, and opposition to government aid” in an attempt to keep the garment industry in New York City.10
He also embraced corruption and racketeering. By 1997, according to longtime union activist Robert Fitch, “New York City’s mostly unionized garment industry, with about 35,000 workers, had become a mob-dominated racket that made a mockery of collective bargaining while pushing wages down and hours up to the limits of human endurance.”11
Chaikin never tried to clean up the racketeering or better the third-world working conditions of the union’s largely immigrant garment workers, but he was a crusader against communism in other countries, joining the Committee on the Present Danger and the board of the Free Trade Union Institute. Chaikin was succeeded as ILGWU president by Jay Mazur, who served from 1986-1995.
Mazur is president emeritus of UNITE, the ILGWU’s successor, where he banked over half a million dollars in his last year in office while representing New York sweatshop workers who earned an average of $7,000 annually.12
Mazur likewise succeeded Chaikin on Freedom House’s board of trustees. Like Chaikin, Mazur allowed high levels of corruption in his union but took a hard line on international communism, chairing the AFL-CIO’s International Affairs Committee from 1996 to 2001 and overseeing the Solidarity Center during that time. As of 2004 Mazur was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, according to the Wilson Center.13
Trustees Terence O’Sullivan Sr. and Jr. come out of labor’s “mob monolith,” the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). In 1975 Sullivan Sr., who was secretary-treasurer “was forced into early retirement as punishment for disrupting” a mobster’s funeral “with his importunate demands for higher office.”14
His son, Terence O’Sullivan Jr., had better manners: as top assistant to Genovese mob puppet Arthur Coia Jr., he was next in line to become the union’s president when Coia was removed by the Justice Department in 2000.
Adrian Karatnycky has been a prominent fixture at Freedom House since 1993, when he served as executive director. He served as president from 1996 to 2003, and then became a senior scholar. Karatnycky’s links to labor seem to stem from his political work with the AFL-CIO, which in the 1980s and early 1990s continued its implacable decline in the United States but was eager to exercise its influence abroad in the fight against communism.
Karatnycky supervised AFL-CIO’s programs of assistance to the Polish union confederation, Solidarity, as well as to independent labor unions in Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern-bloc countries. From 1991 to 1993 he was assistant to the president of the AFL-CIO. He is listed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has contributed to its magazine, Foreign Affairs, as well as the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Washington Times.15
Freedom House has also traditionally had journalists on its board of trustees. Currently these include Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, P.J. O’Rourke of Rolling Stone, and former Reagan aide and Bush Sr. speechwriter Peggy Noonan, now a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal.
NPR Vice President for Communications Andi Sporkin said in an email to the author that Liasson, NPR’s national political correspondent since 1985, is no longer a Freedom House trustee; however she is listed as one from at least 1997 to the present.16 IRS 990 forms from 1999 show that Paul Wolfowitz, Otto Reich, Donald Rumsfeld, and Steve Forbes were all together at one time listed as officers, directors, and trustees.
In 1995, at the same time Miami exiles and their friends in government were predicting the rapid fall of the Cuban revolution, Freedom House began its USAID and State Department-funded Cuba Program to “provide assistance to Cuba’s civil society” and to “raise awareness among international audiences regarding the need for a peaceful transition process in Cuba.” From 1995-1997 this program was run by Frank Calzon, a Freedom House principal since 1989.17
It is currently run by Xavier Utset in Washington, DC. Journalist Walter Lippmann says Freedom House was granted US$2.1 million for its Cuba program in 2004.18
On May 11, 2001, the Permanent Representative of Cuba to the UN lodged a complaint with the NGO Committee, alleging that Freedom House engaged in activities that violated its consultative status, objecting to “those NGOs that were being used as agents by certain governments to violate the sovereignty of other States.”19
The organization was “a machinery of subversion, closer to an intelligence service than an NGO,” he said. “Documents showed receipt of money by illegal groups in Cuba and evidence of clandestine activities. The current Cuba program of Freedom House involved the recruitment and training of journalists from Eastern Europe and sending them to Cuba for subversive activities.”20
Cuba said that during the 57th session of the Commission on Human Rights, “the NGO had accredited as its representatives members of terrorist organizations. Also, accredited Freedom House representatives had lent their badges to non-accredited persons of Cuban origin in order to enter the Palais de Nations, which was not only illegal but put diplomats at risk.”
New York librarian, Robert Kent, expelled from Cuba in 1999 for espionage, told the New York Times that Freedom House paid for “some of his 10 trips” to Cuba21 and he dropped Frank Calzon’s name while he was there meeting with paid “dissidents.”22
But Amanda Abrams, press officer for the organization, says that nobody at Freedom House knows Kent.
Haiti and Venezuela in the Sights
The State Department and Freedom House have also targeted Haiti and Venezuela for regime change. The organization reacted favorably when President Hugo Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002,23 claiming on its website that “in Venezuela, it worked with those seeking to stem the authoritarian direction of the Chavez government.”
But Abrams claims that Freedom House has only been supporting opposition groups in Venezuela since 2004, funded by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives. 24
IRS 990 documents from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004 show that Freedom House received 95.6 percent of its funding from the United States government.
On March 17, 2004, days after the coup against Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, The Washington Post published an editorial by Adrian Karatnycky, titled, “Fall of a Pseudo-Democrat, “25 which rationalized Aristide’s ouster.
Karatnycky called Haiti and Venezuela “pseudo-democracies” to justify the overthrow of democratic governments that were not to Washington’s liking. This stratagem—saying that the target government wasn’t a true democracy—was used previously by Dr. Jennifer McCoy of the Carter Center, who told a U.S. subcommittee on March 15, 2000, that the Chavez government was an example of “new, subtler forms of authoritarianism through the electoral option.”26
McCoy invented the term, “hybrid democracies, ” to describe democracies that produced results the United States disagreed with.
In “Fall of a Pseudo-Democrat,” Karatnycky charged that President Aristide had “squandered his democratic mandate by tampering with elections, intimidating the opposition and tolerating widespread corruption.”
If in fact any of these charges were true, and there is no evidence that they are, as the spokesman of an organization which claims that it’s mission is to promote democracy, Karatnycky should know that the democratic way to change the government is not through a military coup, but through elections. This is true especially, as in the case of Haiti, when the leaders of the coup are known human rights violators.
The coup was predictably followed by a bloodbath and widespread persecution of supporters of the elected government, who when not executed with their hands tied behind their backs were imprisoned without charges.
According to a study published by the medical journal Lancet, under the interim government installed with the coup, 8,000 people were murdered and 35,000 women and children were raped in the greater Port Au Prince area alone. Haitian Death squads, made up of criminals from the disbanded Haitian military rampaged across Haiti opening jails and targeting supporters of the elected government.
Using a fallacious comparison, Dr. McCoy likened the Chavez government to the dictatorship of Alberto Fujimori in Peru in her testimony before Congress. Karatnycky put both Aristide and Chavez in the category of undemocratic leaders: “Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, having survived a coup attempt in 2002, faces mass discontent and intense growing civic pressure because he has strayed from the democratic path.”
An even more outrageous attack on Chavez by Freedom House was published in the Miami Herald in August 2006.27
Today Freedom House continues to serve as both a think tank and a “civil society” funder as part of the State Department’s modern “democracy promotion” complex. Frequently cited in the press and academic works, the reports and studies produced by Freedom House and its affiliates promote the neoconservative ideology of its trustees and government sponsors.
Although some names and affiliations have changed, the group is still dominated by neocons. Brzezinski and Forbes are still on the trustees list, as well as Liasson, O’Rourke and Noonan. Trustee Ken Adelman is a contributor to the Project for a New American Century, along with former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who joined Freedom House in 2000.
Adelman was an assistant to Rumsfeld from 1975-1977, U.N. ambassador and arms control director under Reagan, and is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board. He wrote an article for The Washington Post in 2002 titled, “Cakewalk in Iraq”28 in which he said: “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk.”
Another trustee, Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington, is the U.S. author of the Trilateral Commission report, The Crisis of Democracy and The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order (1996).
1 Freedom House, “Freedom House Statement on the Passing of George Field,” June 1, 2006.
2 Robert D. McFadden, “George Field, Defender of Human Rights, Is Dead at 101,” New York Times. May 30, 2006. Proquest database.
5 Michael Flynn, “Freedom House” Interhemispheric Resource Center, Right Web Profile. July 2005. Total income for Freedom House during fiscal year 1987 was $2,108,320. Its total income from grants and contributions was $1,315,759.
Assuming that the fiscal years for both NED and Freedom House overlap for the most part, that means that Freedom House received a full 35 percent of its total income from the Endowment during 1987. Of its total grant income, the figure becomes a staggering 57 percent.”
6 International Relations Center, “Freedom House,” Group Watch Profile. March 1990.
7 Jim Lobe and Abid Aslam, “Afghanistan” Foreign Policy in Focus. Nov. 20, 2003.
8 Freedom House IRS Form 990, 1997.
9 IRC, 1990.
10 Robert Fitch, Solidarity for Sale (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), 200.
11 Ibid, p. 193.
12 Ibid, p. 197.
13 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Feb. 26, 2004).
14 Fitch, p. 143-144.
15 Yuri Shevchuk, “INTERVIEW: Adrian Karatnycky Speaks on Ukraine’s Internal and Foreign Affairs,” The Ukrainian Weekly, No. 43, Vol. LXXI, Oct. 26, 2003.
16 Freedom House, 2006. Board of Trustees.
17 IRC, 1990.
18 Walter Lippmann, “Overt U.S. Government Funding for Cuban ‘Dissidents’ 2004.”
21 Felicia R. Lee, “A Library In Cuba: What Is It?” New York Times, June 28, 2003, p. B.7. Proquest database.
22 Eliades Acosta Matos, “The Truth About Robert Kent,” Cuban Libraries Solidarity Group, June 20, 2005.
23 Diana Barahona, “Uneasy Standoff in Venezuela’s Media Wars,” Counterpunch.org, Aug. 16, 2005.
Steve Chapman was the author of a pro-coup editorial published on August 14, 2002, in the Chicago Tribune. He said in a telephone conversation that he wasn’t knowledgeable about Venezuela and that in order to write the editorial he had made phone calls to Freedom House, as well as consulting clips from the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the New York Times. He said he didn’t know FH was funded by the State Department until I told him.
24 Amanda Abrams, 2006. Email response to query by author: “Freedom House has had a Venezuela Program for human rights defenders since 2004. The program is funded by USAID, the Office of Transition Initiatives. Freedom House’s Venezuela program is a regional effort to tie human rights defenders throughout Latin America with one another, sharing best practices and lessons learned, through targeted exchanges and workshops focused on important human rights issues.
The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of Venezuelan human rights defenders to do their job, and to tie them to counterparts in other countries.”
25 Adrian Karatnycky, “Fall of a Pseudo-Democrat,” The Washington Post, March 17, 2004.
26 Justin Delacour and Diana Barahona, “The Carter Center’s Jennifer McCoy: Can She Be an Impartial Observer of Venezuela’s Referendum?” Counterpunch.org, Aug. 14, 2004.
27 Walker, C. and Tatic, S. (Aug. 3, 2006). “Eroding Democracy.” The Miami Herald.
28 Kenneth Adelman, “Cakewalk in Iraq,” The Washington Post, Feb. 13, 2002.
If you want more of a refresher course on US-backed counterrevolutionary terrorists, for whom Calzon and all of the Bushes had the highest regard, read on:
REICH-POSADA-BOSCH: The Axis of Deceit
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD (Granma International staff writer)
While five Cuban patriots remain imprisoned in five different penitentiaries throughout U.S. territory for having counteracted the terrorist plans of Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada Carriles and others of their ilk, these two terrorists, the most dangerous in the hemisphere, receive high-level support from Otto Reich.
THROUGHOUT their lives they have pursued their personal interests, within the CIA and its networks, displaying total disdain for their adopted country, which they systematically discredit and deceive. They form the most dangerous axis that has ever penetrated the United States of America, the Axis of Deceit, and one of the many symptoms of a cancer which is slowly but surely leading that country down the road to perdition.
One of them works in the White House. He is Otto Reich, currently assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs – in other words, the U.S. government’s Number One man in Latin America.
The second is “Dr. Death” Orlando Bosch, the “capo” of the most fanatical terrorist grouplets in Miami and the “godfather” of the Commando of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU), the extremist secret society responsible for more than 50 murders in the United States, Cuba and other nations. He was “liberated” from a Venezuelan jail and absolved thanks to Number One.
The third, Luis Posada Carriles, is now in a Panamanian prison along with four accomplices in murder. He is another former “godfather” of CORU and guilty of innumerable attacks, was once the head of Venezuela’s political police, is a proven drug trafficker involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and a buddy of all the Miami and Central American mafiosos, and he now awaits his release – announced by his drug-dealing lawyer and financed by dirty tricks conceived by Number One and Number Two.
Of course, they have one common characteristic: in the early 1960s they fell into the clutches of the CIA and became the most rabid of that agency’s Cuban contacts. At the same time, through “the Company” they made fortunes from working for the million-dollar Cuban-American counterrevolutionary cartel, utilizing an impressive set of contacts established through deceit, extortion and terror.
They evolved in different ways: Reich, wearing a coat and tie, concentrated on penetrating the circles of power and palling around with the various capos of the Miami mafia; while Posada and Bosch guided the activities of their murderous organizations from Buenos Aires to Santo Domingo, from Montreal to Madrid and Luanda.
DISCOVERED BY CIA AGENT FRANK CALZONE, A MASTER OF DISINFORMATION
Born “accidentally” in Cuba, as a commentator once put it, of an Austrian father and a Cuban mother, Otto Reich was taken from the island when he wasn’t yet 15 years old, and his family took up residence in Charlotte, North Carolina, a considerable distance from the Caribbean.
He hooked up with the CIA while at the university, having been selected by Frank Calzón, who would become the CIA’s trusted agent in various disinformation operations. Later on, he would collaborate with Calzón on the Freedom House project, a supposedly pro-democratic invention of the CIA. A master of disinformation, Calzón recognized Reich as an able and willing student.
After getting his degree, Reich was anxious to act on his newly declared U.S. citizenship, so he went into the army for two years and was stationed in – guess what? – Panama, the mecca of the counterinsurgency movement.
Otto Reich moved to Miami in 1972, very consciously linking himself to the right-wing Cuban-American circles that were already imposing their terrorist dominion on the city. Moreover, the CIA maintained its most active center of operations there, especially aimed at Cuba and the continent it planned to dominate.
ALL IS FAIR WHEN COVERING UP DIRTY TRICKS
Reich came into the public eye in the United States during the era of Ronald Reagan and the dirty war in Nicaragua. At that time he was chosen to head the Office of Public Diplomacy, conceived by the CIA to carry out officially – under the cloak of the State Department – the cover-up and disinformation he had already been doing covertly.
At that time, former CIA agent and former CIA Director George Bush was Reagan’s vice president and confidant. He took charge of sponsoring Reich’s entrance into those high levels of government, with the same determination he had used as CIA director to approve the creation of the strongest anti-Cuba terrorist organization, CORU, whose chain of crimes is almost endless.
Under the title of State Department Special Counsel for Public Diplomacy, he worked furiously on matters that later helped provoke what is known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, although it should have been called the Narco-Contra Super-scandal.
In Reich’s eyes, any action was justified in the effort to support the mercenary Nicaraguan contras, and of course to cover up the dirty tricks carried out by CIA operatives in that effort.
Today, the whole world knows that the arms sales to Iran were just the tip of an iceberg that included – in much larger proportions and multi-million-dollar profits for the contras – the transfer and sales of drugs (mostly marijuana and cocaine) from South American producers to the U.S. market.
This monstrous drug trafficking operation, engineered entirely by the CIA, utilized the network created in U.S. territory by the members of Operation 40, following the Bay of Pigs invasion. (For more information, see Jerry Meldon, The CIA’s Dope-Smuggling Freedom Fighters, available on the Internet.)
THE SAME OPERATION, FROM WASHINGTON TO ILOPANGO
From his office in Washington, Reich was in constant contact with two Cuban-Americans who were directing the whole operation: Félix Rodríguez (alias Max Gómez) and Luis Posada Carriles, both of whom worked out of the Ilopango air base in El Salvador.
Rodríguez was a Watergate burglar and a trusted confidant of George Bush Sr. In fact, years later, Bush officially received him in the White House, despite his criminal record, with full protocol.
Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch are the terrorists responsible in 1976 for blowing up a Cubana Airlines passenger plane in mid-flight, thereby killing all 73 persons on board. Posada Carriles has also carried out more than 50 assassination attempts, both successful and unsuccessful.
After the CIA and the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) helped him escape from the Venezuelan jail where he was being held in relation to the Cubana airplane bombing, Posada returned to his dirty work, and the CIA recognized his great talent in such activities.
For years, Reich energetically backed the efforts of these two Cuban-Americans with innumerable lies. He knew perfectly well that they were terrorists who had been specially trained by the CIA and utilized in that utterly illegal operation.
A report by the General Accounting Office would later expose to the U.S. Congress the nature of the deceitful maneuvers feverishly perpetrated by Reich, utilizing his government position.
As a result, the U.S. public discovered how, with taxpayers’ money, Reich had fabricated news items, with the objective of disinforming both the citizenry and the politicians, claiming that the Sandinistas were persecuting the Misquito Indians [something that the late Russell Means and other unwitting Native Americans bought into for a time -klw], that they had purchased MiG-29s from the Soviet Union and that were preparing attacks on U.S. territory.
To promote these official lies, Reich expressly ordered that false letters of denunciation be written, signed with the names of the mercenary contra leaders.
Refining his methods, Reich used (illegally, of course) government funds to publish requests for donations to the contras. The purpose of this maneuver was to justify the existence of the money that really came from drug trafficking, collected by his cohorts in Ilopango and deposited in bank accounts, in Grand Cayman and Switzerland, belonging to anti-Sandinista mercenaries.
Reich’s collaboration with arch-terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was maintained until the Ilopango operation was exposed in October 1986, when a light aircraft belonging to the CIA was shot down. The pilot, Eugene Hasenfuss, not only denounced the drug trafficking operation, but also identified Félix Rodríguez and Luis Posada Carriles, the latter a fugitive from Venezuelan justice.
FOR ORLANDO BOSCH, REICH IS LIKE A BROTHER
Given this situation, the Reagan-Bush administration ushered Reich out the back door, suddenly appointing him U.S. ambassador to Venezuela.
In Caracas, Reich was so diplomatic that he was able to continue his activities of official deceit in Washington. Clearly, he was in Venezuela for one purpose: to find a solution, whatever the method, to the case of Posada’s buddy Orlando Bosch Avila, a CIA agent and also imprisoned for the bombing of the Cubana flight. Reich also serviced the Cuban exile mafia, also conspiring to get its piece of the U.S. pie.
Otto Reich was like a brother to Orlando Bosch. Using who knows what subterfuge, he obtained a court order for Bosch’s release, after having prepared his departure to his adopted land, Miami.
But Bosch’s case remained delicate: like Posada Carriles, Bosch had a terrible reputation in the United States. Despite his “exemplary” behavior in the CIA, the killer pediatrician had a long criminal record in that country, identifying him as a terrorist leader and eliminating his chance of being granted a visa.
What’s more, in an interview published in the May 3, 1977, issue of New Times, Bosch admitted to having responsibility for more than 50 attacks executed by CORU.
Having arrived from Cuba on July 28, 1960, with a 30-day visa, Bosch created the Insurrectional Movement for Revolutionary Recovery (MIRR), later identified by a representative of the Attorney General’s Office as “an anti-Castro terrorist organization. “
On September 16, 1968, Bosch led a bazooka attack on a Polish merchant ship, the Polanica, in Miami harbor. On November 15, 1968, as punishment for that crime and for having sent letters containing death threats to the president of Mexico, the Spanish head of state and the British prime minister, the South Florida federal court sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.
In 1972, Bosch violated parole by leaving the United States and reappearing in the Dominican Republic, where he and Posada Carriles took the lead in creating CORU. It goes without saying that there, he received not only the CIA’s blessing, but its total assistance.
AS IF LYING WERE AN INFALLIBLE METHOD
Otto Reich took recourse once again in deceit, as if lying were an infallible method.
He told State Department officials that a special team of Cubans were going to Venezuela to kill Bosch and that therefore Bosch had to be taken out of that country as soon as he was released from prison.
But those officials – apparently doubting the word of their former special counsel for public diplomacy – continued to refuse Bosch a visa. So Reich resorted once again to illegal methods.
He organized his protégé’s exit from jail and sent him directly to the United States, where he was arrested on May 17, 1988, for violating his parole.
Reich, by now a true believer in the power of deception, had to get Bosch out of jail again. It wasn’t so hard for him: he just asked President George H. Bush to spring him.
Even for the man then occupying the White House, and no less a former director of the CIA, obtaining the release of such a confirmed criminal – of a killer who had demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that he had no remorse for his actions, no matter what the outcome – isn’t an easy task.
An astute politician, Bush knew what was politically correct.
If he freed Bosch from prison, he ran the risk of provoking another scandal. But on the other hand, he had to worry about appeasing the Miami mafia, which could even decide the presidency, as Bush’s son proved a few short years later.
In July 1990, after consulting with the CIA and listening to the remarks of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – always ready to support anti-Cuba terrorism, no matter what the consequences – George Bush Sr. signed the papers releasing the killer pediatrician.
Behind the scenes, “lobbyist” Otto Reich, the man truly responsible for this absurd decision, applauded Bush’s action.
Twelve years later, Orlando Bosch continues to endorse violence as a political solution and doesn’t lose a single opportunity to fan the flames of terror from within the Miami mafia.
In August 2001, three weeks before the criminal attack on the Twin Towers, Orlando Bosch and the most criminal elements of the Cuban-American community published a call to terrorism in the Miami Herald.
And just a few days ago, the man responsible for the destruction of a passenger plane in full flight and the resulting deaths of 73 people, along with more than 50 assassination attempts, several of them fatal, appeared once again on a public tribunal, as the guest of honor of 60 mafia groups and grouplets meeting to share their nostalgia for the Bay of Pigs.
These same terrorist groups hysterically demand the release of Luis Posada Carriles and his accomplices from their Panamanian jail. And just last week they celebrated the White House’s official appointment of Otto Reich as assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere!
Through all this, five Cuban patriots remain under lock and key at five U.S. penitentiaries, for having risked their lives, fighting to counteract the terrorist plans of Bosch and Posada Carriles. What an irony that the two terrorists who belong to the Axis of Deceit can depend on the total support of that government’s top authorities.
Terror File Online
By Nicanor Leon Cotayo
Prensa Latina, 30 August 1996
One of the front organizations utilized by the U. S. government to carry out subversive plans against Cuba is the Washington-based Freedom House Foundation. Its leader is the Cuban exile, Frank Calzon, has since his arrival in the US in 1960 has specialized in propaganda campaigns against Cuba under the sponsorship of CIA.
Spy vs. Spy – Cuban Dissidents March to Orders of U.S.
Frank Calzon 4/16/04 Cuba Socialista:
“Another ex CIA agent and former director of the terrorist groups ABDALA and the National Liberation Front of Cuba. He also was one of the first directors of the CANF. Presently he is one of the directors of Freedom House and Cuban Committee of Human rights.
Both of these organizations amply financed by the US government. He also receives substantial amounts of money from the International Development Agency in Washington. He is also the director of Free Cuba Center; a center financed by Washington. Calzon finances the activities of Gustavo Arcos and other counterrevolutionaries in Cuba.”
Center for a Free Cuba - Calzón is Director
Free Cuba Foundation – founded by Calzón