Venezuela-Iran’s Aeroterror: Airplanes full of drugs & money

March 26th, 2015

Remember those direct Tehran-Caracas flights I posted about in 2008? The ones La Stampa reported about? (click on image to enlarge)

Well, they carried (carry?) terrorists, drugs, and money:
AEROTERROR: A regular flight from Caracas to Tehran carried more drugs and money than people

High-level Venezuelan defectors then started talking to Veja journalist Leonardo Coutinho. They told Veja that Aeroterror came to be a biweekly flight that carried drugs and cash to finance Iran’s activities in South America, and that it would stop in Damascus to pick up fake passports and other documents to ensure that Iran’s agents could move freely once they arrived in Caracas.

Aeroterror. Let that sink in for a moment.

Reports indicate that Chavez and Ahmadinejad planned Aeroterror at a meeting Caracas back in 2007, during which Ahmadinejad also asked Chavez to help him get Argentina to help Iran with its nuclear program. Since then, Iran has only strengthened its ties to South America.

Alberto Nisman was on the trail early on,

. . . Nisman published a report on the same subjects that he took to Interpol in 2007 — Iranian officials threatened to arrest Nisman after it was presented.

Veja’s article, Venezuela vendia passagens fantasmas para o “aeroterror”O voo que fez a rota Caracas-Damasco-Teerã entre 2007 e 2010 era deficitário, mas passageiros comuns nunca conseguiam fazer reserva em um de seus assentos, pois o avião destinava-se a transportar drogas, terroristas e dinheiro

According to Chavez exiles in the United States, the flights were used to carry dozens of Islamic extremists who had to travel to the West, from Iran and Syria, unnoticed.

It is unclear if the flights are still continuing.

Today’s podcast

March 26th, 2015

Talking with Silvio Canto, Jr., about US-Latin America: Cuba-Venezuela, elections in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina & more, archived for your listening convenience.

Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

March 26th, 2015

Read Steve Dudley’s report at In Sight Crime, Barrio 18 in El Salvador: A View from the Inside

Barrio 18 is one of the two largest gangs in El Salvador. The other, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), is thought to be slightly larger in membership than the Barrio 18. The Barrio 18 is known as the more violent and less sophisticated of the two.

Barrio 18 Gang Hierarchy

  1. “Palabreros” in the prison system: coordinate all criminal activities. One palabrero keeps a notebook that keeps track of all finances, homicides, drugs, and weapons.
  2. “Palabreros” outside the prison system, aka, “en la libre.”
  3. Leaders of the “canchas.” A cancha is a territorial division that isn’t necessarily based on municipal delineations. Each cancha has several “tribus,” or tribes.
  4. Leaders of the “tribus.” There are thought to be 28 Barrio 18 “tribus” in El Salvador, according to one study. Each tribu leader may be responsible for dozens and perhaps hundreds of members. In rival gang theMS13, these are known as “clicas,” and there are thought to be far more — an estimated 246.
  5. Collaborators: those who are not quite or never will be gang members. They help the gang with small jobs, like gathering intelligence, and moving or holding illicit goods.

The #Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

March 25th, 2015

Ben Cohen writes about The Nisman Case and the Whitewashing of Iran

Consider, for example, the alleged role of the Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, in whom President Barack Obama has placed so much faith regarding negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Rouhani was not among the Iranian officials named by Nisman in his 2006 report. The Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer, however, revealed in a January 21 article that Nisman had told him about an Iranian witness who had reported that Rouhani had been a member of a special-intelligence committee, “which in 1994 was overseeing secret operations abroad, including the AMIA bombing.” Oppenheimer wrote that Nisman “added privately that he believed in [the witness’s] testimony, and that as a member of the committee Rouhani was likely to have known of the AMIA bombing plan.”

Such a promising lead should be pursued. But the Argentine government is incapable and unwilling to do so, and the current American administration is determined to let nothing obstruct its pursuit of a nuclear deal with the Iranians.

Read the whole thing, keeping in mind

Iranian Leader Khamenei: Death to America; Obama Is Trying to Turn Our People against the Regime

About that “Cuban side or the white side”

March 25th, 2015

I normally ignore anything said by members of The View because life’s too short, but today I’m writing About that “Cuban side or the white side”

And, not surprising,

Thank you, Newsmax

March 25th, 2015

Theodore Kettle of Newsmax included me in Newsmax’s Top 50 Conservative Blogs of 2015

24. Fausta’s Blog – If you want to keep track of what matters to lovers of liberty in Latin America, it’s Puerto Rican-born Fausta Wertz’s cornucopia of political, economic, and foreign policy information and commentary about south of the border, with a dose of New Jersey state current events thrown in (she has lived in Princeton forever). No surprise hers was the go-to site when President Obama announced plans to normalize relations with Communist Cuba — “No, Cuba is not China. No, you can’t have free markets without free peoples” — but she is also the handiest source for the latest on Colombia’s FARC guerillas or disguised Chinese backing of a proposed Nicaraguan canal.

It’s an honor to be included among them. Thank you!

Argentina: Beef for bombers

March 24th, 2015

After John Kerry (the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam) declared that “The Monroe Doctrine Is Over”, not only do we get Russia’s long-range bombers to conduct regular patrols over Arctic Ocean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, now Argentina’s considering leasing a dozen Russian long-range bombers, too:
Falklands defence: Why is Argentina considering an aircraft deal with the Russians?
Russia’s potential deal to lease 12 long-range bombers to Argentina is causing Britain to rethink its protection of the Falklands. Why is Cristina Kirchner cosying up to Moscow?

The Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft would be sent to Buenos Aires in exchange for beef and wheat, in a proposal which would help Moscow beat EU sanctions over Ukraine. Michael Fallon said that while any agreement between Russia and Argentina was not yet signed, Britain would increase its presence on the archipelago.

The beef-for-bombers deal offers endless opportunities for corrupt kleptocrats to make out like gangbusters (how do I love mixing my metaphors? Let me count the ways), but, also likely, from the Obama administration’s point of view, it potentially has the added benefit endangering a member of the UK Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA).

Or are we to suppose that Argentina is leasing 12 long-range bombers for peaceful purposes?

Today’s WSV* moment: Now Snowden wants to come back

March 24th, 2015

Looks like those asylum offers from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador came to naught, and Brazil turned him down, so now the NSA leaker is pleading with Obama to cut him a deal

Letting him return to the U.S. to make his case would be “the best resolution for the federal government and the public broadly,” the former National Security Agency employee told CeBIT technology conference in Germany last week. “We don’t want to be the kind of government where people who reveal serious wrongdoing have to seek shelter in other countries to seek any kind of justice.”

What do you mean “we,” Comrade Snowden? “We” didn’t flee to Russia.

Let’s play it!

*WSV = World’s Smallest Violin

Today’s immigration headlines

March 24th, 2015

From Drudge,

DOCUMENTS: 165,900 Criminal Aliens Released into US Population Through April 2014…

Small-town America ‘struggling to cope’ with immigrants…

For small-town America, new immigrants pose linguistic, cultural challenges
A new generation of immigrants is arriving in Midwest towns from far-flung places such as Myanmar, Somalia, and Iraq. The communities are trying to adjust.

12,509 illegal kids already over border in new wave…

Related:
Judicial Watch: New Documents Show Homeland Security Released 165,900 Convicted Criminal Aliens throughout U.S. as of April 26, 2014
Documents show Al Jazeera wanted to film people with “significant diseases”



Ted throws his hat in the ring

March 23rd, 2015

and he didn’t need no stinkin’ teleprompter, either (video of full speech here, text of full speech here),

TedCruz.org