Dr. Menges served as as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and at the CIA as a National Intelligence Officer. He is a scholar, author, and for years has been a university professor. His responsibilities in the government included the design of several major successful foreign policy strategies. For example, he devised strategies to counter Soviet political warfare and indirect aggression and to encourage transitions to democracy abroad.
His warning about the growing threat of a new pro-Castro axis through the region follows:
There is growing but unnoticed threat to U.S. national security. A new terrorist, nuclear/bioweapons and geopolitical threat may well come from an axis including the regimes of Castro in Cuba, Chavez in Venezuela and the pro-Castro presidents of Brazil and Ecuador.
Together, these four countries have a population of 223 million.
Castro, Chavez, and Brazil’s President Lula da Silva all have years of links with Iran and China. Visiting Iran in May 2001, Castro said, "The peoples and governments of Cuba and Iran can bring America to its knees."
Chavez also visited Iran in 2001 where he declared a "strategic alliance" with that sponsor of terrorism.
Since 1990, Lula da Silva has chaired the Forum of Sao Paulo, a Castro-initiated international group that has convened all the communist and terrorist organizations of Latin America, many terrorists from the Middle East and Europe, as well as representatives of Iraq, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Vietnam and China.
The new pro-Castro axis could expand to include more than nine countries with 340 million people. There is also the possibility that thousands of Islamic and newly indoctrinated regional terrorists could try to attack the United States from Latin America.
Combining the strategic experience of communist Cuba, its Soviet-provided bioweapons technology with the oil derived financial resources of Venezuela and the long-established nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs of Brazil could mean that the pro-Castro axis might be able to threaten its neighbors and the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
Also, communist China has established close political and military relations with Cuba (1999) and Venezuela (2000). It is flying two reconnaissance satellites with Brazil, and President Lula da Silva has announced his plans to greatly expand Brazil’s relations with China. Therefore, it is likely that the pro-Castro axis could soon be geopolitically aligned with and militarily helped by communist China.
The Castro regime in Cuba has been using political means as well as covert action, terrorism and insurgency to bring anti-U.S., radical regimes to power in the Western Hemisphere and other regions since 1959.
In 2002, a high-level defector from Cuban intelligence wrote that "Cuba’s espionage apparatus (the DGI), one of the largest and most efficient on the planet, with more than 10,000 spies, has been active on a global scale. The DGI rapidly [learned] … undercover operations …, cryptography, falsification of documents, training of operatives, theft of secret information, [establishing] illegal centers, the penetration of governments and armed forces, disinformation, assassination of political figures …"
Furthermore, Cuba trained more than 30,000 terrorists from various continents of which 10,000 were from Latin America, with the rest being operatives from the Middle East and Europe. Castro’s terrorist/insurgent methods mostly failed in Latin America, except in Colombia, where the threat from the communist insurgency continues and has increased. However, the 10,000 DGI personnel and many of the 30,000 Cuban-trained terrorists provide the cadre for Castro’s new strategy.
Castro’s intentions have not changed since 1959, nor since the end of the Cold War. In 1990, Castro initiated the Forum of Sao Paulo with Lula da Silva as its chairman.
This organization is a successor to Castro’s Tricontinental Congress which, beginning in 1966, increased collusion among terrorist organizations from Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. The Forum of Sao Paulo also convenes all the communist parties and terrorist organizations of Latin America, along with terrorist organizations from the Middle East and Europe, as well as representatives from Iraq, Libya, North Korea, China, Laos and Vietnam.
During the 1990s, Castro decided on a new strategy: helping radical political leaders friendly to him take control of their countries by winning national elections in which they present themselves as "populists," opposed to corruption, while concealing their ultimate purposes. This new Castro method has four components:
Providing propaganda and political support openly and covertly to radical, pro-Castro leaders, not officially members of any communist party, who would run for the presidency of their countries. They would avoid Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and instead favor "populism" and oppose "neoliberalism," expressing Castro's ideological agenda in more neutral terms.
These pro-Castro democratically elected presidents would then use the Chinese communist approach of pursuing a two-level international strategy.
Step by step, these "populist" pro-Castro presidents would use electoral and pseudo-constitutional means to consolidate their rule and make it irreversible.
A key nexus in the new Castro strategy is the Forum of Sao Paulo. At Castro’s suggestion, this group was founded in 1990 with Brazil’s Lula da Silva as its public leader. Since then, it has brought together virtually all the communist, radical and terrorist organizations of Latin America, the majority of which were allies of Castro since the 1960s.
The main theme of the first (1990) and fourth (1993) annual meetings of the Forum of Sao Paulo was that "our losses in Eastern Europe will be offset by our victories in Latin America." This was an explicit indication of its solidarity with communist regimes and of Castro’s future intentions, which in fact are being realized.
Participants at the 2001 Forum meeting in Cuba and the December 2002 meeting in Guatemala included communist and radical parties from nearly every state in Latin America - including the Worker’s Party of Brazil and Chavez’s MVR of Venezuela; Latin American terrorist groups such as FARC, ELN, MIR, M19 and Tupac Amaru, and global terrorist groups such as IRA, ETA, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
In December 2002, as in most past years, there were representatives from supportive regimes such as Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Libya (both of which have had connections to Cuba and its allies during and after the Cold War) and the communist regimes of North Korea, Laos, Vietnam and China.
The December 2002 meeting of the Forum, as usual, issued a number of statements hostile to the United States, examples of which include:
"NATO troops perpetrated genocide in Kosovo, U.S. and British forces massacred the population of Afghanistan… [prisoners held by the U.S. in Guantanamo, Cuba] are submitted to punishment and tortures … with full U.S. support, the government of Israel continues to carry out a systematic policy of murdering Palestinians."
The recent Forum meeting declared further that the Bush administration’s military actions abroad were an attempt to "apply a strategy of unilateral political domination that unfolds in worldwide warmongering" in order to avert the public attention away from the domestic and societal contradictions "neoliberalism" creates in the U.S.
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