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From The FTAA To CELAC, US Interventionism Does Not Rest

Above Photo: A CELAC meeting. CELAC International.

On January 24, the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be held in Buenos Aires, attended by around 15 presidents of the region, including Lula da Silva, and chaired by the host Alberto Fernández.

It is obvious how important it is for Argentina’s government that the CELAC Summit be successful, with the delicate internal political situation that the country is going through, with a presidential election on October 22. That the summit and the transfer of the pro tempore presidency (to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, an ALBA member country) go well would help improve the image of Argentina throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, the Latin American right wing, hand in hand with the US State Department and its intelligence agencies, are conspiring to prevent the development of CELAC, strengthened recently with the addition of the progressive governments of presidents Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Gabriel Boric in Chile, and Xiomara Castro in Honduras—a country that will soon join ALBA.

During the first “Pink Tide,” the regional right wing and the United States tried to use the Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAA). This was defeated in Argentina, at the Mar del Plata Summit in 2006. Today, they count on the success of weapons such as the OAS.

At the height of the last progressive cycle in Latin America, referred to as the “Pink Tide,” they conspired to impose “free trade” across the Americas from Canada to Patagonia, now they do so to defeat “cultural Marxism” and “gender ideology.” To devise an action plan against “socialist expansion” in Latin America, the world’s largest far-right organization, the Conservative Action Political Conference (CEPAC), met recently in Mexico with former Trump Chief of Staff Steve Bannon at its lead.

Its results have not been long in coming. Several of its participants played a prominent role in the parliamentary coup against Pedro Castillo in Peru, the second part of the Bolivian coup led by Fernando Camacho in Bolivia, or the coup against democracy on January 8 when followers of Bolsonaro took over Brasilia, the Planalto Palace, the National Congress, and the Federal Supreme Court.

Now, the Latin American right, in general, and, in particular, Argentina’s right—which is showing its strength, especially within the justice system—are conspiring to tarnish the image of Alberto Fernández, and by extension to weaken CELAC. In addition, the interest of the Cuban-American right wing in Miami is added to this, which aims to damage the standing of the delegations from Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, in addition to those from the governments that they consider socialist, such as Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil, which has now announced its reincorporation into CELAC.

Among the extremists in Miami who are gathering to conspire against CELAC are:

  • Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat, president of the Cuban Democratic Directorate (DDC) that has been characterized by its permanent provocative actions against Cuban delegations in Ibero-American summits and other international forums.
  • Tomás Pedro Regalado y Valdez, former mayor of Miami, supporter of the US Republican Party and faithful supporter of Trump, also current president of the Inter-American Institute for Democracy.
  • Luis Manuel de la Caridad Zúñiga Rey. Former CIA agent and former director of paramilitary activities with the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF).
  • Rosa María Payá, supported by Marcos Rubio and Luis Almagro; her mission is the anti-Cuban campaign abroad, being received by members of the European Parliament at the request of the US State Department.

The people mentioned all receive generous funding from US federal agencies, support any measure that strengthens the blockade, and have publicly called for military intervention against Cuba and Venezuela.

However, any action in this CELAC Summit cannot be carried out without local collaboration, and for this they are meeting and conspiring with the following people of Argentinian nationality:

  • Gabriel Salvia, president of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) Foundation, financed by USAID and the US State Department.
  • Gerardo Bongiovanni, director of the Fundación Libertad, financed by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID, and also linked to the ATLAS, PADF, RELIAL, CATO Institute, Friedrich Neuman and Konrad Adenauer foundations, all of which are in permanent campaign against progressive Latin American governments.
  • Leandro Querido, with close relations with Rosa María Payá, executive director of the NGO Electoral Transparency.
  • Agustín Antonetti, coordinator of the Fundación Libertad youth group, media coordinator of the Atlas Network and main Twitter operator of the anti-Cuban campaigns of July 2021 and 2022.
  • Micaela Hierro Dori, founder and president of the Cultura Democrática association, used by the NED as an intermediary to finance organizations such as the San Isidro Movement.

All the aforementioned people, those from the US, Cubans, and Argentinians, work within the following plan:

  • Start a strong campaign in the media and social networks against the delegations of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Mexico, using regional and national media, to provide negative coverage of the CELAC Summit.
  • Use funds from federal agencies in the United States and funds earmarked for OAS social projects to finance the transfer to Buenos Aires of elements of the Latin American far-right, in order to carry out actions within the framework of CELAC.
  • Given the complex situation that the official airline of Cuba is going through and the possibility of using a Russian or Venezuelan aircraft, they are exploring a legal maneuver to retain the plane, as happened recently with the Venezuelan-Iranian cargo plane of the EMTRASUR company.
  • Mobilize counterrevolutionary Cubans, Argentinian friends and other nationalities in Buenos Aires to demonstrate in front of the embassies of the aforementioned countries.
  • Use Rosa María Payá’s contacts with the president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, repeat the attacks against Cuba during CELAC, as happened at the previous summit in Mexico.
  • Take steps with the delegations of Paraguay and Ecuador so that, in the context of the Summit, they make statements against the governments described as “dictatorial.”
  • As happened in 2006 in Mar del Plata, it is essential that in 2023 in Buenos Aires this new attack against Latin American and Caribbean integration be resisted and condemned.
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