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      By Manuel Yepe*

      Just as in the 1970s and 1980s there was a Plan Condor –which was an operation of criminal coordination and mutual support among dictatorships of the Southern Cone of the American continent, under CIA supervision. Its methods were to murder, spy, monitor, kidnap, torture and illegally exchange persons between countries, regardless of borders, sovereignties or national rights. Today Latin America suffers under a new “Plan Condor” aiming to reinstate neo-liberalism.

      That Plan Condor was one of several operations conducted within the scheme of planting military dictatorships in the Southern Cone of the Americas –applying the theory National Security doctrine– and leaving the peoples trapped under state terrorist governments. This was allegedly done to combat the danger of communism.

      Participants in that operation or Plan Condor as it was then known, with varying degrees of involvement, were the dictatorial regimes Washington had imposed or embraced in Latin America. The countries involved were Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador with –of course– the United States as gang leader.

      “Today, Latin America is living through an non-conventional coup plan against its progressive governments. It’s a new Plan Condor aiming to reinstate neo-liberalism, not by military dictatorships, but through the combined power of the mass media, national entrepreneurs, right-wing political parties and governments of the great powers,” the multinational Latin American TV station TeleSur denounced.

      Interviewed by TeleSur, analyst and journalist Miguel Jaimes identified the new operation as low-profile, as compared to Western-sponsored coups in the Middle East –which are characterized by implanting conflicts using the weapons of war. What is being promoted in Latin America are political trials such as the one launched against the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and the one that is being manufactured against the former president of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and the lingering image of her leadership.

      For his part, researcher Adalberto Santana said that what the US seeks, with its current version of Plan Condor, is to dismantle the popular governments and maintain or regain control over the political processes and thereby control the oil, environmental and economic resources it covets in the region.

      The aim is to create despair among the population, put an end to the social programs of the popular governments and to destroy the image of revolutionary leaderships in the region, employing the media to generate rejection among the citizens.

      The basic strategy in this new version of Plan Condor does not exclude armed violence or attacks on leaders to eliminate popular leaderships in social movements and leftist parties. It also aims at sowing demoralization and fear at grass-root levels (such as the murder of indigenous leader Berta Caceres in Honduras and national assembly deputy Robert Serra in Venezuela, for example). The distinctive features of this model are the direct attack on the economy and the productive structures of the targeted countries.

      An essential objective of these actions –beyond their terrorist expressions– is to affect the financial sources of social programs that are the basis of the popular support for progressive governments. Consequently, it emphasizes, for example, creating shortages of basic consumer products.

      Funding by Washington –and one or another occasional ally– of opposition parties and NGOs is also important in this non-conventional warfare. By using resources to promote subversion, with specially-designed methods, they have achieved the inclusion of a layer of middle class youth as the spearhead of right-wing protests.

      US government organizations such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) –identified as the promoters of the 2002 coup in Venezuela– have been responsible for organizing street violence using young people whom they pay.

      Then the media makes sure that acts of street violence are turned into “symptoms of social discontent”, “sign of economic chaos” or “evidence of police repression”.

      Certainly, if there is one actor which stands out in this new neo-liberal Plan Condor for Latin America, it is the powerful mass media. Constant information campaigns criminalizing leftist governments and a torrent of high-impact news are intended to influence certain sectors of the population to cause fear, exhaustion, and, finally, to manipulate their political positions.

      The mass media today, in the current neo-liberal Plan Condor designed in Washington, play the role that the reactionary military in Latin America played in the 1970s and 80s of the twentieth century.

      *Manuel E. Yepe, is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana. He was Cuba’s ambassador to Romania, general director of the Prensa Latina agency; vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television; founder and national director of the Technological Information System (TIPS) of the United Nations Program for Development in Cuba, and secretary of the Cuban Movement for the Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples.


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