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From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: BLOCKING A NEW AXIS OF EVIL Constantine C. Menges
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 02:08:31 -0400
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 02:08:30 EDT
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Asunto: BLOCKING A NEW AXIS OF EVIL Constantine C. Menges
Fecha: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 3:47 PM
BLOCKING A NEW AXIS OF EVIL
Constantine C. Menges
A new terrorist and nuclear weapons/ballistic missile threat
may well come from an axis including Cuba's Fidel Castro,
the Chavez regime in Venezuela and a newly elected radical
president of Brazil, all with links to Iraq, Iran and China.
Visiting Iran last year. Mr. Castro said: "Iran and Cuba can
bring America to its knees," while Chavez expressed his
admiration for Saddam Hussein during a visit to Iraq.
The new axis is still preventable, but if the pro-Castro
candidate is elected president of Brazil, the results could
include a radical regime in Brazil re-establishing its
nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs, developing
close links to state sponsors of terrorism such as Cuba,
Iraq and Iran, and participating in the destabilization of
fragile neighboring democracies. This could lead to 300
million people in six countries coming under the control of
radical anti-U.S. regimes and the possibility that thousands
of newly indoctrinated terrorists might try to attack the
United States from Latin America. Yet, the administration in
Washington seems to be paying little attention.
Brazilians will hold presidential elections in October, and
if current polling is any guide the winner could be a
pro-Castro radical with extensive ties to international
terrorism. His name is Luis Inacio da Silva, the
presidential candidate of the Workers Party who is currently
at about 40 percent in the polls. The Communist candidate is
second with 25 percent and the pro-democratic contender is
at about 14 percent.
Mr. da Silva makes no secret of his sympathies. He has been
an ally of Mr. Castro for more than 25 years. With Mr.
Castro's support, Mr.da Silva founded the Sao Paulo Forum in
1990 as an annual meeting of communist and other radical
terrorist and political organizations from Latin America,
Europe and the Middle East. This has been used to coordinate
and plan terrorist and political activities around the world
and against the United States. The last meeting was held in
Havana, Cuba in December 2001. It involved terrorists from
Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, and sharply
condemned the Bush administration and its actions against
Like Mr. Castro, Mr. da Silva blames the United States and
"neo-liberalism" for all the real social and economic
problems still facing Brazil and Latin America. Mr. Da Silva
has called the Free Trade Area of the Americas a plot by the
United States to "annex" Brazil, and he has said that the
international lenders who seek repayment of their $250
billion in loans are "economic terrorists." He has also said
that those who are moving their money out of Brazil because
they fear his regime are "economic terrorists." This gives a
hint about the kind of "war against terrorism" his regime
Brazil is a vast, richly endowed country, nearly the size of
the United States with a population of about 180 million and
the world's eighth largest economy (with a GDP of more than
$1.1 trillion). It could soon become one of the world's
nuclear armed powers as well. Between 1965 and 1994, the
military actively worked to develop nuclear weapons, it
successfully designed two atomic bombs and was reportedly on
the verge of testing one nuclear device when a newly elected
democratic government and a Brazilian congressional
investigation caused the program to be shut down.
That investigation revealed, however, that the military had
sold eight tons of uranium to Iraq in 1981. It is also
reported that after Brazil's successful ballistic missile
program was ended, the general and 24 of the scientists
working on it went to work for Iraq. There are reports that
with financing from Iraq, a nuclear weapons capability has
been covertly maintained contrary to directives from the
civilian democratic leaders.
Mr. da Silva has said Brazil should have nuclear weapons and
move closer to China, which has been actively courting the
Brazilian military. China has sold Brazil enriched uranium
and has invested in the Brazilian aerospace industry,
resulting in a joint imagery/reconnaissance satellite.
Brazil shares common borders with 10 other countries in
South America. This would help da Silva to emulate â€” as he
has said he would â€” the foreign policy of the pro-Castro and
pro-Iraq Chavez regime in Venezuela, which has provided
support to the communist narco-terrorist FARC in Colombia as
well as other anti-democratic groups in other South American
countries. Hugo Chavez worked with Mr. Castro to temporarily
destabilize the fragile democracy in Ecuador two years ago.
Now both support the radical socialist leader of the cocaine
growers, Evo Morales, who hopes to become president of
Bolivia this August.
Along with helping the communist guerrillas take power in
the embattled democracy in Colombia, a da Silva regime in
Brazil would be well situated to aide communists,
narco-terrorists and other anti-democratic groups in
destabilizing the fragile democracies of Bolivia, Ecuador
and Peru, as well as to exploit the deep economic crisis in
Argentina and Paraguay.
Further, a da Silva regime is likely to default on its debt,
causing a sharp economic downturn in all of Latin America,
thereby increasing the vulnerability of its democracies.
This could also trigger a second phase of economic downturn
in the United Staes as export markets contracted.
A Castro-Chavez-da Silva axis would mean linking 43 years of
Fidel Castro's political warfare against the United States
with the oil wealth of Venezuela and the nuclear weapons/
ballistic missile and economic potential of Brazil.
Come our own elections in November 2004, Americans may ask:
Who lost South America? The United States was politically
passive during the Clinton administration, when it ignored
the pleas of Venezuela's democratic leaders for help in
opposing the anti-constitutional and illegal actions of Mr.
Chavez and also ignored his public alliances with state
sponsors of terrorism. Why can't the Bush administration act
before 20 years of democratic gains in Latin America were
allowed to be reversed? Why can't anything be done before a
vast new southern flank is opened up in the terrorist threat
and our nation menaced by one more radical anti-American
regime intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and ballistic
This disaster for U.S. national security and for the people
of Latin America must and can be averted if our policy
makers act quickly and decisively, but they must do so now.
Timely political attention and actions by the United States
and other democracies should include encouragement for the
pro-democratic parties in Brazil to unify behind an honest,
capable political leader who can represent the hopes of the
majority of Brazilians for genuine democracy and who has the
resources to mount an effective national campaign.
Constantine C. Menges, a senior fellow with the Hudson
Institute, is a former National Security Council member. >>
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