By James Daly, Ph.D
I remember it well, the US-backed coup in Chile that overthrew their democratically-elected president Salvador Allende. Richard Nixon’s CIA’s covert operation was a test drive of what would soon be the norm in much of Central and South America, to impose the new (and now failed) economic model known as NeoLiberalism on the entire hemisphere – regardless of it’s abject failure, the attempts continue today, unabated.
The atrocities committed in most countries south of Mexico’s southern border since then are largely lost now to this new generation, with the blood of the innocents on the blood-stained shirts of all the corporate CEOs and US politicians and presidents who allowed it or who had a hand in the tortures, murders and disappearances since then; their stories, the stories of these innocents whose lives were snuffed out, mothers, fathers, teachers, students, university professors, union leaders, laborers and countless others who were disappeared during Operation Condor in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay or during Pinochet’s brutal reign of terror, lost to history and remain only as memories to their loved ones, could fill multiple volumes and needs to be told.
In the case of Chile, the genocidal monster Augusto Pinochet was installed as the country’s defacto president and, as history would tell it, would come to rule the country as the most despotic dictator of the later half of the 20th century, a grotesque monster who would have made Hitler blush. He even escaped prosecution, dying in Chile before his trial, arrested on an international arrest warrant issued by Judge Baltasar Garzón of Madrid for the torture and death of Spanish citizens living in Chile. This article, however, isn’t about Pinochet or Chile, it’s about Colombia and Ivan Duque now, in the 21st century.
The tactics, first taught to the Salvadoran Death Squads in the early 1980s, the same death squads who massacred the innocent priests and campesinos of El Mozote or who assassinated the Archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Romero while giving Mass, were taught at WHINSEC, formerly known as the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia.
What do those tactics involve?
The answer to that question can be found by watching the videos coming out of Colombia now. It was the same in Lenin Moreno’s Ecuador, a lying trojan horse of a president, the vice president and choice of former president Rafael Correa (Moreno was such a good liar that Correa unwittingly supported him for president), as the country’s working class took to the streets in that country, rebelling against, as might be expected, NeoLiberal austerity measures; it was the same under the US-Backed, now disgraced and jailed coup-president Jeanine Áñez of Bolivia, and the list continues now with Ivan Duque of Colombia.
Water canons turned on protesting citizens, rubber bullets and pellets fired by police at the heads and eyes of citizens protesting in the streets (many lost their eyesight with this tactic), batons cracking the skulls of protesters already subdued, indiscriminate firing of live ammunition into crowds, attempting to disperse them. As Pinochet did in Chile, Duque is using helicopter gunships such as this US-made Blackhawk helicopter to compliment their arsenal of US-supplied weapons. How many deaths are accounted for, how many grieving mothers and fathers lose their only child to these murderers? Who will be prosecuted for the murder of these innocents? No one!
Where are all the fake progressives in the country? Where is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Where is US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Where is the president and the vice president? And why are there children still in cages at the US Southern border?
It’s widely known that Ivan Duque is a US Puppet, put there to do Washington’s bidding, largely used in his capacity as a “Narco President” to funnel illegal narcotics into the United States, the world’s largest market for “illegal” drugs while the stenographers and useful idiots in the press here parrot the State Department’s lies and propaganda that it is President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela who is the region’s narco president.
Colombia’s economy is in the tank, unemployment is the highest in Latin America, yet Duque is imposing draconian austerity measures on the backs of the poor and working class (a hallmark of NeoLiberalism) to make up for state expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the while hosting multiple US military bases in the country.
Why, you may ask, do I accuse Duque of being the region’s narco President?
Almost 40 years ago when the U.S. Senate did its first comprehensive evaluation of C.I.A. covert action, the committee headed by Senator Frank Church recognized the need for strict supervision and control over this dark side of the agency. If policy and legislative procedures could not be instituted to ensure that clandestine operations adhered to the principles of U.S. democracy, the Church committee recommended, then “covert action should be abandoned as an instrument of foreign policy.“
The Church Committee (formally known as the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) was a U.S. Senate select committee formed in 1975 to investigate abuses by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church (D-ID), the committee was part of a broader series of investigations into intelligence abuses conducted in 1975 and dubbed the “Year of Intelligence“, including its House counterpart, the Pike Committee, and the presidential Rockefeller Commission. The committee’s efforts led to the establishment of the permanent U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
US President Gerald R. Ford issued Executive Order 11905 to be replaced later in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 to ban and make illegal U.S. state-sanctioned assassinations of foreign heads of state.
Following the Church Committee‘s findings, the CIA, the agency largely responsible for all the misery and suffering in all countries south of the US Southern border (while not as bad as the rest, Mexico suffered for over 30 years under the yoke of US Neoliberal economic policies and trade measures – NAFTA for example, with the three presidents prior to Mexico’s current president, Andres Manuel Lopez-Obrador (AMLO), acting at the behest of Washington as puppets), would find it difficult to fund covert operations whose ultimate goal would be to topple governments who wouldn’t capitulate to Washington’s demands or who were unpalatable politically (generally governments left of what Washington considered acceptable -code really for a real democracy, unlike the illusion of democracy we have here in the US) and had to find a new source of cash. As a side note, this is what fueled Ronald Reagan’s cash for guns fiasco, also known as “Iran Contra“, a covert operation designed to subvert the democratically elected Sandinista Government of Nicaragua, an operation that ultimately failed to oust Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas at the time.
So how does this involve Ivan Duque’s Colombia and why is he the region’s narco president?
Since the CIA’s regime-change operations in Central and South America can’t be lawfully funded as a line-item in the nation’s annual budget approved by congress, they have to fund it by other means. Reagan funneled proceeds from covert arms sales to the Khomeini government of Iran to the “Contras” of Nicaragua. The proceeds from Colombian Cocaine shipments are directly used to fund some of the CIA’s nefarious activities in the region – that’s it.
How does this work and does Congress know?
The operation is quite easy: the cocaine is loaded onto a designated aircraft that is flown directly into a large regional airport or hub, outside of normal customs inspections or CBP. Some of these narco jets or their shipments have either been interdicted directly or shot-down outright by Mexico or Venezuela when attempting to fly through their airspace without clearance. And, if congress knows -and they should know because these covert ops continue, they’re turning a blind eye to it.
The world needs to know what’s happening in Colombia and it has to stop!
US-made and supplied Blackhawk Helicopter gunship being used to deploy tear gas against unarmed civilians in the Palo Blanco sector
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 6, 2021