One thing Machetera has to grant El Nuevo Herald and The Miami Herald is their boundless creativity. At a time when most newspapers in the country are in a well-deserved death spiral and their news bureaus reduced until what remains on the newsstand are thin advertising pamphlets, the ex-Cubans at the Herald keep churning out stories. And if there’s no real news, well, they just make it up.
This weekend’s Herald creations were all about how Raul Castro was way too quiet about the Colombian attack on Ecuador, so that must mean he’s involved in the hostage liberation negotiations. Except that according to documents sourcing from the magic laptop, which only the Herald and Jackson Diehl apparently still take seriously, Chávez had been cutting Havana out of the hostage release action, leaving Cuba feeling “marginalized.” So maybe Raul didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to anger Chávez, the real mastermind behind Colombia’s attack on Ecuador, and thereby cut off Cuba’s Venezuelan oil supply for which by the way, Cuba is WAY behind on its payments because after all they’re communist deadbeats in case you didn’t know.
But that’s not the really juicy story. The juiciest stories are in Spanish, and El Nuevo Herald carries them. They usually have to do with Miami’s favorite obsession: Cuban spies. This week’s source: Mexican intelligence, which of course would never lie. Sure there were some Mexican students killed in that Colombian attack on Ecuador which was all Chávez’s fault, but who set them up to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? A Cuban spy of course. And the Herald knows he’s a spy because he studied in Russia!
Machetera was going to deconstruct all of this, but then compañero Fidel got to it first:
The Thirst for Blood – Fidel Castro Ruz
The empire is not resigning itself to being the only loser from the Rio Group meeting held in Santo Domingo on March 7th. It wants to set up another bloody mess. It’s not hard to show.
On Tuesday, March 11, El Nuevo Herald, a newspaper extremely hostile to Cuba and the appointed guideline-setter for Latin America, published an article written by one of its Cuban-born writers under the title “Cuban is Presumed Leader of the FARC in Mexico.” The article states:
“A Cuban engineer living in Mexico was identified by intelligence authorities as the presumed leader of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) support group in Mexico.
The intelligence report – quoted by El Universal and The Wall Street Journal – indicates that Mario Dagoberto Díaz Orgaz, 48 years old, is the main suspect in the organization of an expedition by a group of Mexican students to a FARC camp in Ecuador which was attacked by Colombian forces on March 1st.
Mexican agents say they had photographed Díaz Orgaz in Quito on March 5, at 6:25 p.m., while he was hanging around the military hospital where Lucía Andrea Morett Álvarez, survivor of the attack, was confined.
The young woman, known as “Alicia” within the rebel ranks, had traveled to Havana on January 10 and from there to Quito. Her return to Mexico was scheduled for Tuesday.
The report on Díaz Orgaz also shows him to be the financial manager for the FARC in Mexico…
The Cuban engineer had been located in Ecuador by Mexican intelligence servies after surviving the military attack on the FARC camp.
Last night, El Nuevo Herald contacted a close friend of his by telephone in Queretaro, where Díaz Orgaz lives and works as a researcher in the Engineering and Industrial Development Center connected with the National Science and Technology Council of the Mexican government…
In order to avoid being hounded by the press, Díaz Orgaz has been staying with friends since Monday.
The friend said that the Cuban engineer is in a position to prove that the alleged trip to Ecuador did not happen, since on the date that Mexican intelligence put him in the vicinity of Quito’s Military Hospital, he was in the Mexican city of Villa Hermosa, capital of the state of Tabasco, along with a group of colleagues from the Engineering and Industrial Development Center.
Díaz Orgaz is originally from the town of Bejucal, in Havana province, where he was born on January 15, 1960. According to information in the hands of the Mexican federal government, Díaz Orgaz studied mechanical engineering at the Vladimir Polytechnical Institute, 180 kilometers from Moscow, and later completed assorted special courses in Meteorology…
He would have played a key role in the financial backing of FARC supporters at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Latin America…
The revelations come only days before Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa is scheduled to visit Havana, in a plan to re-establish relations between both countries.
Last February, the Colombian army captured the Cuban doctor Emilio Muñoz Franco, in Palmira, a department of Valle del Cauca. The optometrist had been named as a key part in the FARC’s logistical support network.
Muñoz Franco had brought Cuban medical students to train in the FARC camps between 2000 and 2001.
The Colombian authorities believe there is sufficient evidence against him to accuse him as a foreigner associated with the guerrillas. His neighbors in Palmira insist that they have never seen him caught up in any kind of scandal.
This stupid attempt to mix Cubans in the affair is quite clear, apart from the lie about the impossible presence of our medical students in the distant Colombian jungle. When a Cuban engineer or doctor abandons his country, they leave with the knowledge that our people paid for [him or her] with great sacrifice. On the 13th of this month to be exact, 177 members of the Medical Brigade and 35 teachers returned from having completed their sacred two year mission to East Timor.
I myself bid them farewell when they left.
In East Timor, which suffered a genocide before its independence, internal conflicts supported by Australia, a U.S. ally, arose in order to take over the natural gas fields near the coast of Timor. The Cuban doctors did not abandon their patients, the inhabitants of that small country, under any circumstances. The personnel replacing them remain there. These are indeed Cuban doctors and graduates, of which there are thousands, whom the empire makes unspeakable efforts to bribe, achieving precious few results.
No other country in the western hemisphere or indeed, the world, possesses such brotherly wealth. Today we are training hundreds of young Timorese in our medical schools. The doctors who have just returned show an example of what the conscience can do.
The article published in El Nuevo Herald is also a clear attempt to justify the fact that among the victims [of the attack on the FARC camp] there were young Mexicans who were interviewing Reyes, out of curiosity or for whatever reason, but they had not bombed anyone nor did they deserve to be murdered by Yankee bombs in the early morning while they slept.
Under the title “Deserter Warns that the FARC Leader Could be Killed” Chile’s El Mercurio wrote the following, in the words of Pedro Pablo Montoya, ex-FARC guerrilla:
“The guerrilla deserter who killed a top member of the FARC leadership, José Juvenal Velandia (a.k.a. ‘Ivan Ríos’) last week, pointed out yesterday that mid-level rebels and those below them could kill their leaders, among them the top guerrilla, Colombian Pedro Antonio Marín, a.k.a. ‘Manuel Marulanda Vélez’ or ‘Tirofijo’ (Sharpshot).
Pedro Pablo Montoya, a.k.a. ‘Rojas,’ who has been under Army protection since last Thursday when he turned himself in along with two other FARC members after having assassinated ‘Rios,’ said in an interview with El Tiempo of Bogotá, that non-ranking rebels are demoralized and unmotivated due to their ‘mistreatment’ by the guerrilla leaders…
After killing his boss, ‘Rojas’ cut off the man’s right hand and turned it, himself and the dead man’s identification papers and laptop, over to the soldiers surrounding the rebel unit.
In statements to Radio Caracol ‘Rojas’ said that the FARC had no intention of liberating the ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. ‘Not for the “big guy,” nor for any other reason. Doña Yolanda, Betancourt’s mother, ought to know this…
The rebel said that he was expecting a juicy bounty offered by the Colombian government, equivalent to $2.6 million in exchange for information about rebel commanders, while lawyers are debating whether or not he should receive the loot. ‘Rojas’ received backup last night from Colombia’s Attorney General, Mario Iguarán, who indicated that ‘in principle, the Attorney General’s office would not press charges for the murder of ‘Iván Ríos,’ clearing the way for the bounty to be paid.
For its part, the Washington Post, a good mirror of Washington’s mood, published an article written by Jackson Diehl on March 10th, where he points out:
“Latin American nations and the Bush administration…are just beginning to consider a far more serious and potentially explosive question: What to do about the revelation that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez forged a strategic alliance with the FARC aimed at Colombia’s democratic government…in their totality, the hundreds of pages of documents so far made public by Colombia paint an even more chilling picture…
All this is laid out in a series of three e-mails sent in February to the FARC’s top leaders by Iván Márquez and Rodrigo Granda, envoys who held a series of secret meetings with Chávez.
Assuming these documents are authentic — and it’s hard to believe that the cerebral and calculating Uribe would knowingly hand over forgeries to the world media and the Organization of American States — both the Bush administration and Latin American governments will have fateful decisions to make about Chávez. His reported actions are, first of all, a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, passed in September 2001…”
The Washington Post starts from the premise that only Uribe could invent or deliver such a document to the government of the United States and doesn’t consider any other possibility for the complex situation. However, it is known that on March 13th, Chávez phoned Uribe and agreed to an exchange of visits between the two presidents and the normalization of commercial exchange relations that are of such benefit to both countries. Chávez, for his part, is not giving up on the search for peace between the brotherly peoples of Latin America.
The most surprising thing is Bush’s own speech on March 12th and the rapid dispatch of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Brazil and Chile, something the wire services are covering by the barrel:
BRAZIL, March 13, 2008 (AFP) The U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, and the Brazilian Racial Equality Minister, Edson Santos, signed an agreement this Thursday in Brazil to launch a joint action plan ‘to eliminate racial discrimination.’
I read and re-read these words. While I sift through the wire service stories and write, I think it’s the very opposite of what actually happens in the United States. It’s astonishing!
I shall continue tomorrow.
March 15, 2008, 4:17 p.m.