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11/07/2010 | Cold War heats up a bit

Carlos Alberto Montaner

The news about the Russian spies uncovered in New York, beyond the comedic aspects of the episode, is a mine of interesting information and analysis. The first thing that needs to be discarded is the naive notion that the Cold War is over.

 

That’s not true. Espionage services have their own internal dynamics, which generate their own inertia.

When Lenin took power in 1917, he built the Cheka, his fearsome political police, on the foundations of the czar’s very efficient Okhranka. For a while, the methods, and even the agents, were the same. Later, the organization changed name as the struggle for power generated new actors, but without giving up the original imprimatur of czarism. The Cheka became the GPU, then the NKVD, later the KGB and now the Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR.

This intelligence corps, organized after the end of communism, the disappearance of the Soviet Union, and the rejection of Marxist superstitions, planted the 10 agents in the United States. Why did it do that, if the Russians had already discarded their project of world conquest and even got rid of a few expensive and useless satellites? They did it because those were the methods they had been using for a long century.

With the right lobe of the brain, they understood that communism was a failed project and Marxism a grave intellectual error, but with the left one they continued to suspect the West, especially the United States, and felt the need to combat it, without knowing why. I suppose that during the spies’ interrogations a few psychiatrists will sit next to the FBI agents to study this fascinating variety of ideological schizophrenia.

In the group there is a Latin American woman who doesn’t quite fit into the operation, Mrs. Vicky Peláez, a Peruvian journalist for El Diario-La Prensa of New York. She was rounded up along with her husband, who calls himself Juan Lázaro Fuentes and passes himself off as a Uruguayan, although he seems to be a Russian. Peláez was a very radical columnist, viscerally anti-American, and a defender of the FARC narcoterrorists, the Shining Path guerrillas, and the Cuban dictatorship.

What was that couple doing amid a bunch of Russians disguised as Americans? Maybe they coincided only in terms of their source of income. According to the charges, SVR agents slipped them briefcases with cash in public places in Latin America. Was the money only for them or did they have to share it with the Russians planted in the United States?

In any case, what’s interesting about Peláez and her husband is not the services they rendered to Moscow but the role they played in the Cuban-Venezuelan propaganda circuit. Post-Gorbachev Russia no doubt has cancelled its communist model and its plans for world domination, but the Chávez-Fidel duo hasn’t.

Absurd and delirious though it may seem, Chávez proposes to create a communist state just like the one the Castros built in Cuba, while the two countries engage in the task of conquering first Latin America and later the rest of the world. No sensible person doubts that they will fail in that endeavor, but history is full of enlightened madmen who, every so often, drag their people in the direction of catastrophe.

It is within those plans that Peláez and her husband played a role. What role? Very simple: agents of influence. The two were part of a propaganda circuit created by the Cuban services decades ago, today utilized by the Venezuelans as part of the political joint venture the two countries have formed, a circuit devoted to disseminating information, defending causes, attacking adversaries and denigrating countries and ideas, as part of the grand strategy of demolition of the “bourgeois democracies” and their replacement by collectivist, single-party societies.

That circuit exists from Mexico to Argentina, even in Spain and France, and in each country there is one or several Peláezes integrated into the chorus directed from Havana and Caracas.

What’s odd is why Moscow paid these Cuban-Venezuelan agents of influence. Did Cuba lend Moscow these two agents of influence to facilitate the job of channeling funds that had been previously “laundered” in Venezuelan banks? Are they part of a greater transaction that includes other exchanges of favors? Did the couple serve two masters at the same time, the Russians for money and the Cuban-Venezuelans for ideologic devotion? Surely we’ll have answers soon.

Source: Firmas Press

Hacer - Washington DC (Estados Unidos)

 


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