UPDATE 16. February 2019: Lucifer’s Reign - The Role of Operation Gladio in the Subversion of Latin America
The famed Miskito Indigenous leader, Brooklyn Rivera, has been dealing with various manifestations of the FLSN (Sandinista) Party for decades.
He famously fought alongside AIM (American Indian Movement) founder and activist, Russell Means in the 1980’s. Means, who was injured by a Sandinista bomb while fighting alongside the Miskito, deemed their fight to defend an ancient indigenous territory from Sandinista nationalization and occupation as the ‘foremost struggle for Indigenous sovereignty in the world’.
It was dubbed by some U.S. media as ‘the last Indian war’; and Means would eventually go on to petition assistance from the U.S. government to support the Miskito as they had been supporting the Contras. He implied it would finally give them (the U.S.) a chance to be on the right side of an Indigenous cause.
Just as Indigenous Peoples caught in Guatemala’s civil war were ravaged by ‘scorched earth’ genocidal tactics – supposedly aimed at Marxist guerillas – Indigenous Peoples in Moskitia were subjected to genocidal attacks and mass internal displacement by the Sandinista, ostensibly via a similar false conflation with right-wing Contra groups. A more accurate depiction of the situation, however, is the FLSN were also waging war on them as a People; and, the ultimate prize was (and remains) their vast, lucrative natural resources and uniquely biodiverse rainforest – historically preserved through Indigenous stewardship and conservation.
Media coverage of the Ortega regime has increased since the nation-wide dissent began in April of this year. International venues are disseminating up-to-date information about Nicaragua to international audiences about the downward spiral of corruption which now defines the FSLN ruling party under President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Murillo – but there is also a false narrative emerging that this most recent student and campesino-led mass uprising was ‘unexpected’ and ‘sudden’.
Anyone who had been paying attention to the more marginalized struggles in Moskitia, a geographically isolated area historically under Indigenous rule, has seen this coming for years.
The Ortega government is using the same covert land grab operatives in other regions of Nicaragua – as reported by Al Jazeera – that Indigenous Peoples in the frontier communities of Moskitia have been trying to speak to the human rights community about for years.
The Global Witness report last year, citing Nicaragua as the most dangerous country per capita for land defenders was probably the most far-reaching international support and affirmation of their lived experience, to date.
Heavily armed settlers, dubbed ‘Colonos’ (which literally means ‘settlers’ in Spanish but is conceptually more specific in Moskitia) have held Moskitia under a violent siege for years. Their modes of operation and sophisticated weaponry – the latter of which has reportedly been traced to the government of Nicaragua and even further back to Russia – are eerily similar to the paramilitaries that terrorize the entire nation at this time.
Really, the armed groups who have shed so much Indigenous blood since the invasions escalated around 2015, are quite simply too similar – both in appearance and activity – to be considered at all distinct from this growing nationwide phenomenon.
Sadly, reports of sadistic torture at the hands of these government-backed paramilitaries paint a horrific parallel with reports IC collected on the ground from members of isolated Moskito communities in 2016 concerning the ‘Colonos’ – complete with testimonies of extremely violent sexual assault.
Consistent media coverage and international pressure are crucial to mitigating the murderous crackdowns on dissent, and criminalizing of protest, which the FSLN political machine has thus far shown no signs of stopping – dialogue or no dialogue.
As Al Jazeera, in particular, has put enough people on the ground to start reporting the real stories, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone to accuse critical media of the Ortega regime of having a pro-U.S. bias – a popular yet antiquated narrative spin offered by the Nicaraguan government, and their sympathizers, that the U.S. is behind these protests. This spin is also being countered by a student caravan across Europe – organized much like the Ayotzinapa caravan which sought to reveal truths behind the 43 disappeared students in Mexico.
And meanwhile, even Noam Chomsky has offered criticisms. Former Uruguayan president, Jose Mujica, has condemned the state violence as well. Both leftist icons have hinted that Ortega should either step down or submit to early, and more democratic, elections.
To give benefit of the doubt, Ortega may truly believe his own myth on the pretense that Russia has certainly re-established Cold War-esque relations with the small, impoverished country. Putin’s Russia, over recent years, has: supplied them with tanks and automatic weapons; provided security for the environmentally and socially disastrous attempt to build a transoceanic canal; initiated a new drug war in the small country — and begun training Nicaraguan militarized police to this end; and, built the equivalent of a modern Russian military base – a spy center capable of conducting covert surveillance over all of the Americas.
After all of this, it is understandable if the residents of Moskitia are put off that the new mass dissent still only seems to appropriate their struggles – such as the murder of Angel Gahona while he was livestreaming a solidarity protest in the region – when it furthers their own, albeit noble, cause.
However, when questioned directly, YATAMA political party leader – who has weathered innumerable, defamatory attacks on his reputation, another tactic which has emerged as a counter-strategy to undermine the nationwide uprising (i.e. attacking any signs of organized leadership) – does not see their struggles as wholly separate and expresses nothing but solidarity with the students and campesinos who continue to fill the streets in peaceful demonstrations, demanding the resignation of Ortega and Murillo.
Below is a transcript of an interview with Brooklyn Rivera, speaking as long-time leader of the Indigenous political party known as YATAMA (an acronym which translates in full as ‘Sons of Mother Earth) from July of this year (2018).
IC: What is your position on the current situation [in Nicaragua]?
Rivera: We are fully supporting the people; and, we are against the repression. We are participating within the context of our interests as Indigenous Peoples.
IC: How (or if at all) does the current situation compare to the Contra era?
Rivera: Today, it is a civic peoples’ revolution of the entire country. During the 1980’s, it was an armed resistance by the peasants and Indigenous Peoples against oppression.
IC: How does Ortega compare with Somoza?
Rivera: Both were family dictatorships; both attacked the Nicaraguan population with [government] repression and killings. Both tried, or are trying, to stay in power even as they resort to killings of the people and destruction of the country.
IC: Have you recently received any – directly or indirectly – threats to your life, or otherwise been terrorized by government forces or supporters?
Rivera: I have been attacked by riot police and pro-government mobs twice, both times while at the ‘Green House’ – the main headquarters of YATAMA in the Indigenous city of Bilwi – on November 4, 2017 and on June 14, 2018.
IC: What would you like the Indigenous Peoples of the world to know about the situation of Indigenous Nicaraguans right now?
Rivera: That our Indigenous Peoples have continued to suffer under the Sandinista regime since the 1980’s; but at the same time, we are still resisting all aggression and the policy of internal colonialism in general applied by the governments of Managua.
IC: How do you think Indigenous Nicaraguans should respond to recent escalations of violence and protest?
Rivera: With a higher level of unity…and resistance based on their identity and interest…but also in the context of the national struggle which is promoting a better chance in the future to exercise their rights as Indigenous Peoples.
Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Peoples in Nicaragua’s Civic Revolution
The Nicaraguan revolt to oust President Daniel Ortega from office began over two and a half months ago. University students initiated the “civic revolution,” called the April 19th Movement, but campesinos, civil society and several business organizations soon joined in, […]
The Role of Operation Gladio in the Subversion of Latin America
By Raul Diego - 16. February 2019
The End is Near
Italian authorities were on the trail of Roberto Calvi and the Banco Ambrosiano’s irregular activities, oblivious to the incredible chasm of corruption, blood and terrorism that lay open just behind him. Founded in 1896, the bank had cultivated a pristine reputation as a model of integrity and independent governance, thanks to its policy of restricting the total amount of stock any single entity could own in the institution to 5%. Calvi had created a web of shell companies with myriad subsidiaries to get around these limitations, and by such means attained 16% control of the bank on behalf of the Vatican.
When the scandal broke all over the Italian press, the Pope himself was implicated in a conspiracy so large and dark, that even the most audacious spy novelists would balk at the premise. A wide-ranging Masonic fraternity called P2, comprising hundreds of powerful government figures and mobsters, was exposed as a central mover in the multi-billion-dollar scandal. Even high-ranking Vatican officials were part of the fraternity – a violation of Church tenets.
Banco Ambrosiano’s long-established good name had been tarnished beyond recovery, but the Milan-based institution’s role barely scratched the surface of a far bigger and much more sinister reality emanating from the deep recesses of post-World War II America; a burgeoning superpower intent on asserting itself on the rest of the world, bleeding from the shores of the Mediterranean all the way to Latin America.
Dubbed “God’s Banker”, Calvi was in charge of laundering billions of dollars generated through world-wide heroin trade networks established years earlier by the CIA and its precursor agency, the OSS. Allen Dulles, future Director of the CIA, and his spy mentor “Wild” Bill Donovan, devised a plan at the conclusion of World War II to prevent – as claimed – a Soviet invasion of Europe. The concept revolved around recruiting Nazi officers and other extreme right wing elements to form so-called “stay-behind” units throughout the old continent, stationed clandestinely in several countries ready to act on a moment’s notice. They called the operation “Gladio”, and though the awaited red invasion never materialized, the services of the covert militias, who stashed CIA-provided armaments in thousands of secret locations, were requisitioned on multiple occasions as the need to quash left-leaning movements arose.
Calvi’s boss, Michele Sindona, had been the first to establish and manage the laundering networks for the IOR (Instituto per le Opere di Religione), the Vatican’s invisible bank, through which all drug trade, arms sales and miscellaneous illegal profits were funneled. His vast connections to the Sicilian mafia made him the perfect go-between in the early days, but Calvi’s more sophisticated knowledge and financial creativity offered Gladio the necessary expertise to scale their ever-increasing thirst for dirty money. Calvi’s stealth takeover of Banco Ambrosiano was a salient example. Sought out for its solid reputation, he would go on to open several international branches of the bank to facilitate the movement of Gladio-destined funds around the world. Among the places Calvi incorporated these brass-plate shells were Luxembourg, Nassau in the Bahamas and Managua, Nicaragua.
The Heart of Liberation
Anastasio Somoza Debayle ruled the small Central American nation of Nicaragua the way any scion of a foreign-backed, generational ruling family would. Protected by Washington from the start, Somoza had little to threaten his fiefdom. As long as his benefactors in Langley, Virginia and the U.S. State Department gave their tacit approval, there was no manner of corruption or repression he wouldn’t avail himself of to remain in power.
Agrarian movements and peasant revolts were ubiquitous in the entire region. Nicaragua was no exception. The Sandinistas had always been a thorn on the side of Somoza, but had little chance of mounting a successful revolution as long as American interests remained steadfast behind the dictator. But, the rise of left-leaning groups and political factions were a predictable consequence of the oppressive presence of U.S.-sponsored, right-wing dictatorships not only in Nicaragua, but all over Latin America. Most concerning for the Gladio intelligence clique, however, was the emergence of a grassroots religious movement, led by local Catholic bishops and clergymen called Liberation Theology.
To the immense consternation of a Vatican leadership, which was fully invested in the suppression of leftist ideologies and the imposition of conservative, right-wing governments in Italy and all over Europe, Liberation Theology began to draw a great number of advocates within dioceses all over Latin America. The concern was, of course, shared by their partners in the CIA who aided the Vatican in the subsequent persecution of priests, nuns and other members of the clergy who supported the movement through the already established, transnational spy network known as Operation Condor, centrally relayed through Southcom headquarters in Panama.
Spurred on by his superiors at the top of Gladio’s hierarchy, Roberto Calvi created a web of corporate fronts in different countries to facilitate the flow of black funds from the IOR to Latin American dictators, in order to round up, incarcerate and kill tens of thousands of dissidents. Argentina’s “dirty war” was only one of the operations of state terrorism financed by the Vatican/CIA nexus, which slaughtered, kidnaped and tortured over 30,000 people. Among Argentine dictator Videla’s informers was one Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, then the Provincial General of the Jesuits, better known today as Pope Francis I.
By the Skin of their Teeth
Years later, when the noose was tightening around Calvi as Italian judge Carlo Palermo uncovered more and more of the astonishing truth, Gladio’s financial wiz wrote a letter threatening to expose the Vatican’s deep ties to the murderous state repression unleashed by the coterie of military dictators halfway around the world, revealing that he had been tasked with creating:
an effective politico-religious penetration into secular society by securing control over banking institutions. The enormous importance of what I just said induced me to incur debts in foreign currency in order to buy Banco Ambrosiano shares in sufficient quantity to guarantee IOR control over the institution… On more than one occasion, I believed that my life was at risk as I rushed from one Latin American country to another, seeking to oppose the ferment of anticlerical ideologies. I did my upmost in every sense even to the point of concerning myself with the supply of warships and other war material…
The gauntlet was about to come down. Ambrosiano’s collapse was opening leads Italian law enforcement might think twice about before following them. Carmine “Mino” Pecorelli, the Journalist who first published the P2 member list, was promptly murdered. Judge Palermo was nearly killed when a car bomb exploded just as he was arriving at the office he opened in Sicily to continue his probe, and the head of Italy’s Military Intelligence, Guiseppe Santovito – whom Palermo had arrested and was scheduled to be interrogated by Italian investigators – was killed in his holding cell. The real culprits behind Italy’s “days of lead” were being exposed as right-wing Gladio saboteurs and not communists, as was propagated by those same Gladio networks. The CIA saw the writing on the wall and started leaving its partners in the lurch. Michele Sindona was indicted in New York and convicted after a convoluted attempt at a staged kidnapping, which ended up exposing even more P2 members and widening the net for Italian prosecutors, who would eventually try and convict over 72 members of the Sicilian mafia in connection to Gladio.
As the 70’s rolled around, several other factors began to interfere with the smooth execution of the operation. The OPEC nations’ boycott following the Arab-Israeli war reverberated across the world economy and directly impacted Gladio’s cash sources, which stretched across different currency baskets.
President Jimmy Carter’s policies would also interfere with the international scheme. Carter ended support for the Somoza regime and opened the door for the Sandinista revolution, which ultimately drove the U.S.-backed dictator out of power.
Nevertheless, Gladio had managed an enormous victory as the USSR found itself hopelessly embroiled in Afghanistan, where the CIA had successfully created cells of radical Islamic militants to wage Jihad against the Russian-backed government of Afghanistan, going as far as recruiting African American Muslims through proxy organizations in the U.S. to go fight in the Gladio-created holy war.
However, the Sandinista takeover of Nicaragua and imminent collapse of the Italian Gladio networks, thrust the American deep state into damage control mode. George H.W. Bush, who along with Henry Kissinger, represented the top of the Gladio pyramid, mobilized their political machinery to take the White House. The infamous “October Surprise” was engineered through Gladio’s Turkish networks, which delivered weapon caches to the Iranian government in exchange for delaying the hostages’ release and putting the Reagan/Bush ticket in office.
Just months into the new administration, the first of two failed Gladio assassination attempts occurred when Bush family friend, Hinckley Jr. shot Ronald Reagan. Pope John Paul II, who had incurred the network’s ire by holding secret talks with the Soviets, was slated to be removed later that Fall.
Power By Any Other Name
Roberto Calvi’s body would be discovered dangling over the Thames river in London. Bricks would be found in his trousers – a Masonic signature. The Pope would miraculously survive the bullets shot at him by multiple Turkish assassins, belonging to the Grey Wolves Gladio unit and the capture of Ali Agca nearly derailed the planned cover story to blame communists for the attempted murder. Ronald Reagan survived, as well, but he was mentally weakened enough from the trauma, that Bush could operate just as well from the Vice Presidential office.
Soon after the former spokesperson for General Electric recovered from his bullet wounds, he officially declared narcotics a matter of U.S. National Security and the “War on Drugs” was launched in earnest. A few years later, the Berlin Wall came down and George H.W. Bush assumed power directly, moving Gladio into the second phase of operation in a post-Soviet world.
The War on Drugs is yet another manifestation of the original Gladio operation, designed to maintain American hegemony in Latin America, as well as subvert any attempt at self-determination by countries in the region.
Framing it as a battle between Capitalism and Communism allows factions to align themselves on either side of an ideological debate, that is in itself, false. On final analysis, this is all just a gambit of power. The ultimate goal is to consolidate resources and energy in the fewest hands. The right-left paradigm is a Hegelian dialectic, and who ever participates in it – no matter which side they fall in – simply furthers the final objective.
Much of the research for this article comes from Paul L. Williams’ seminal work, “Operation Gladio – The Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA and the Mafia“
This article was originally published on Deep City Chronicles