picture of the faces of the military coup in Ecuador:
General Guillermo Durán, commander of the Ecuadorian Army side-by-side with Alfredo Poveda, head of the Ecuadorian Navy
During the early 1970’s, Richard Helms, at the time Director of the CIA, along with Desmond FitzGerald, then the CIA’s Director of Plans under Helms, worked with David Atlee Philips, who headed CIA operations for Cuba and all over Latin America, including the CIA’s Chile Task Force. The men were very busy planning the assassination of Fidel Castro in Chile (they started their work to assassinate Fidel in 1959 under Vice President Richard Nixon) and the eventual assassination and overthrow of Omar Torrijos, then President of Panama.
The alleged motive for the assassination of Torrijos was that some American business leaders and politicians strongly opposed the negotiations between Torrijos and a group of Japanese businessmen led by Shigeo Nagano, who were promoting the idea of a new, larger, sea-level canal for Panama.
In May 1991, Manuel Noriega‘s attorney, Frank Rubino, who represented Noriega, Torrijos succeeding president, was quoted as saying:
Torrijos was succeeded by Manuel Noriega and his attorney in 1991, Frank Rubino also a well-known attorney for the mafia, was quoted as saying:
“General Noriega has in his possession documents showing attempts to assassinate Mr. Torrijos by agencies of the United States”.
Torrijos would find his way to the grave in 1981 by the white hand of the CIA in one of those classic airplane crashes that Latin America is so well known for (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Torrijos#Death).
The scope and depth of the CIA plots against Latin American leaders, with the help of the US mafia, most notably Santo Trafficante out of Florida and Carlos Marcello from New Orleans, are part of the history of the CIA in Latin America. They are also part of the current CIA plans as recently stated by American Secretary of State, John Kerry on April 23, 2013.
Kerry recently called Latin America the “backyard” of the United States, on April 23, 2013 during a speech before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives. He pointed to the old Monroe Doctrine, and said that regardless of the sovereignty of Latin American countries, he considers these countries as their “back yard” and added that plans are being made to change the attitude of some of these nations.
The leader of Bolivia, Evo Morales, angrily responded to Kerry’s remarks, stating:
“So you think U.S. government, that we’re your backyard? I condemn, repudiate that. We will never again allow Bolivia or Latin America to be your backyard” (http://www.democraticunderground.com/110814325).
Recent news reported at Dailycensored.com, shows that Kerry and his CIA cohorts are still busy working to overthrow governments, in this case once again, Ecuador, using pretexts of freedom of speech (http://www.dailycensored.com/is-the-cia-behind-attacks-on-ecuadors-press-correa-warns-us-ambassador-namm-dont-be-a-meddler/).
The following news is from new Wikileaks revelations as reported in the Ecuadorian newspaper, El Telegrafo. It seems that Kerry and his pals in the CIA not only are currently busy trying to create havoc in Latin America, but new revelations show just how involved the CIA and their ‘diplomats’ really were back in the decade of the 1970’s in the tiny country of Ecuador (http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/wikileaks/item/estados-unidos-conocia-del-golpe-en-contra-de-rodriguez-lara-antes-que-el-mismo-ecuador.html).
The United States knew of the coup against Rodriguez Lara before Ecuador Did
Before the removal of President of Ecuador, Guillermo Rodriguez Lara, planned and executed by of the Ecuadorian military regime (triumvirate), the U.S. Embassy already knew what was going on behind the scenes in Quito before the Ecuadorian people had any clue. All of this was just released by Wikileaks and the story tells of an unbridled CIA in the region of South America during the heady years of the early 1970’s when Henry Kissinger ran foreign policy under US President Richard Nixon with the help of criminal and mafia-connected, Richard Helms, head of the CIA.
If the U.S. government was comfortable with “revolutionary and nationalist” Guillermo Rodriguez Lara, his successor by the military junta-triumvirate, would heighten their elation.
Diplomatic cables recently leaked by WikiLeaks from the sordid epoch of Henry Kissinger (ranging from 1973-1976 – a time when the Chilean government of Salvador Allende was brutally overthrown and Augusto Pinochet ‘employed’ by the US as the Chilean dictator), cover almost the entire administration of Rodriguez Lara, who led Ecuador after overthrowing the dictatorship of dictator José María Velasco Ibarra.
The military junta which then eventually overthrew Rodriquez Lara was formed by the three heads of each of the branches of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces: Alfredo Poveda, of the Ecuadorian Navy, Guillermo Durán, from the Army, and Luis Leoro from the Air Force. These men assumed the Executive of Ecuador on January 11, 1976 which covers a short period of the military government; but it must be noted that the military junta sought and received Washington’s influence at the time. All the “new leaders” leaders qualified as “pro-American” in the eyes of the CIA.
In early January of 1973, the U.S. Embassy in Quito and Washington reported on movements within the government. Wikileaks has found US Embassy communiqués, from then US Ambassador Robert Brewster, dated January 9th, 1973:
“Reports received by the ‘Mission’ argue that the three heads of the branches of the Armed Forces apparently agreed yesterday that President Rodríguez should be removed, but did not agree on a formula for his successor. Rumors are that the leaders were unable to agree on which person should replace the president (http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/wikileaks/item/estados-unidos-conocia-del-golpe-en-contra-de-rodriguez-lara-antes-que-el-mismo-ecuador.html).
The diplomat (Brewster) added that rumors about the change of command run throughout Quito and those discussions, focus on who should replace Rodriguez Lara. The next day the U.S. representative in Ecuador describes the scenario and for the first time mentions a “political crisis”:
“Reports that the Joint Command and senior military officers of the Armed Forces have decided to remove Rodriguez as president seem valid, despite official announcements that there will be no change of government. Reports from those close to the main actors say that a Board (emphasis mine) would replace the ruler, but its composition is controversial” (ibid).
On January 11, 1973 the US Embassy issued a report notifying about the changes in the command of the government and gives a detailed description of the facts. Brewster’s first report focuses on Admiral Alfredo Poveda, who was minister of government of Rodriguez Lara and the head of the Navy.
Those charges had been the subject of a special intimacy with the US Embassy, not only for the Embassy purchase of weapons for the police in charge of facing dissent and drug trafficking, but also because the Navy handled key issues for the United States: the “tuna war” (*) and of course, the exploitation of oil.
Poveda visited Washington to buy two destroyers during this time. In fact, on March 1974, Wikileaks reports that Poveda was the only figure able to oust Rodriguez and that the Navy qualified as the most influential entity in the military government at the time.
With this surly background, US Ambassador Brewster then writes:
“Poveda is favorable to the United States, the free enterprise system and Western-style democracy. He is the most intelligent and capable of the triumvirate. Duran, who commands by far the most powerful branch of the Armed Forces is considered to be of limited ability, and a strong authoritarian personality. He has been considered pro-US conservative, but recently there have been reports that he has been indoctrinating or indoctrinated by some leftist Ecuadorians. These reports, however, may have been generated by his rivals in the Armed Forces. Leoro is considered a bit antagonistic to the U.S. and is the weakest of the three individuals” (ibid).
Brewster and his paymasters, the CIA, were privy to the existence of a rivalry between Leoro and Duran. For him and the CIA that could be useful knowledge and their main focus for the destabilization of the regime. However, the diplomat reported to Washington that “the Embassy’s initial view is that the military rulers change should have little effect on the policies of Ecuador to the United States or our interests in Ecuador” (ibid). In other words, business as usual in ‘America’s Backyard’.
The U.S. representative, Brewster, stated at the time that “the triumvirate is firmly in control” and he also assumed that the question of recognition of the new government “does not arise”. Indeed, the United States finally did recognize the new government, but doing so took a few days.
When the June 14 military junta gave its first press conference and presented Poveda as President of the triumvirate, the US Ambassador immediately recounted his statements. And at the end of the cable he shows his main concern:
“In the context of the appointment of René Vargas as Natural Resources Minister (who was director of the state oil company for the implementation of policies harmful to businesses of Ecuador and the United States), Poveda told the US Embassy that it expects recent government decisions to change and give more light to the oil policy, one favorable to the US. Reports on Poveda report that he will be careful about unrealistic ideas Vargas kept relative to oil, so it will be under review” (ibid).
The next day, Brewster sent diplomatic representatives’ biographies of the members of the triumvirate:
“Poveda is widely regarded as the ablest and most intelligent of the three members of the Supreme Council,” said the ambassador’s report. The text says that Poveda was more interested in rebuilding military relations between Ecuador and the United States, after the “tuna war”.
“Poveda is probably the most pro-American of the three members of the Supreme Council, but for pragmatic reasons rather than ideological, he cannot bring to fruition the reality that Ecuador needs foreign assistance, both for equipment and military training as well as economic development and technical assistance. Although nationalist, he is receptive to both private enterprise and foreign investment. If the U.S. attitude is negative towards Ecuador assistance, he probably will be forced to reassess his position, both by other branches of the Armed Forces and by his subordinate officers in the Navy. He has been personally friendly with the Americans and available and receptive to our approaches. His dislike and distrust can easily allow Durán to be a destabilizing factor, which is composed of the weakness of the Navy and the fact that their bases are in Guayaquil, away from the mountains of Quito that are guarded by Duran forces.”
About Duran, US Ambassador Brewster wrote:
“He seems to have reached the top of the military through a combination of leadership, cunning and loyalty to a man (who at the time) wrote his efficiency reports. He is considered by his fellow officers (who were his rivals) or Ecuadorian political minds as a gifted intellectual and has been described by some as arrogant” (ibid).
The Embassy cites a statement by Durán, who allegedly said that the military should take the reins of power for 20 years to end the influence of the oligarchy.
Brewster goes on:
“Davis is undoubtedly a hard line on discipline and will probably be an advocate for strong sanctions against the rioters, whether students, union leaders causing strikes, the media, politicians or even possibly the business community. He was once considered politically conservative, quite friendly to the U.S. and receptive to our approaches, but recently we have had reports of his flirtation with the leftists. An explanation of these stories, of people friendly to the U.S. and close to it, is what began his struggle within the military to replace President Rodríguez Lara. If the Left has indoctrinated, or has applied for support, or if he has changed his attitude toward the U.S., or simply adopted a more nationalist view, this not known “(ibid).
The Leoro biography is more modest because he was the least influential of the three members of the triumvirate.
“Military officials consider him ambitious (…) he has also occasionally been described as authoritarian. We know of his particular political attitudes. Earlier in his career he was described as strongly pro-American, an attitude which now seems to have disappeared. We believe, however, that may be a personal thing rather than a professional or ideological stance. Our relations with the Ecuadorian Air Force are good “(ibid).
THE MILITARY THAT ORGANIZED TRIUNVIRATO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY
The government of Guillermo Rodriguez Lara brought a period of stability that the twentieth century Ecuador had not seen in decades. After the successive overthrow of Jose Velasco Ibarra, the country became used to governmental changes — at the rate of a maximum of every three years. In fact, the brief governments had the support of some sectors of the left and people that worked in management.
The difficult international context at the time (the rise of Augusto Pinochet, border tensions with Peru, the “tuna war”), and the continuing popular unrest in Ecuador, especially in Guayaquil, and inflation and corruption does not seem to have affected the regime.
Those who really unseated the Rodríguez Lara’s regime were his own fellow soldiers, but especially Alfredo Poveda, who was the Minister of Government and supreme authority of the Navy.
Alfredo Poveda, head of the Ecuadorian Navy
A few days after the rise of military triumvirate headed by Poveda, the U.S. Embassy told the State Department that the military and oligarchy are the dominant powers in Ecuador.
The triumvirate lasted less time than the administration of dictator, Rodríguez Lara and had a history that qualifies it as a transitional government, as forces set about organizing the general election so that the country would finally return to rule of law.
The whole thing was a process full of surprises: the murder of Abdon Calderón Muñoz and the curbing of the presidential ambitions Assad Bucaram, Concentration of Popular Forces (CFP).
On January 15, 1978 there was a referendum held to decide amongst two Ecuadorian constitutions: between a completely new set of constitutional provisions or an amended 1945 constitution. A new constitution was adopted in favor of amending the 1945 constitution.
The military banned candidates Bucaram, Velasco Ibarra and Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy from participating in the run for president. The presidential elections were held in June 1978 and the second round was held on April 29, 1979. In the elections Roldós Jaime Aguilera was elected, from the alliance CFP-Democracia Popular (DP).
Jaime Roldos Aguilera: Dead Man Walking
Jaime Roldós Aguilera took office on August 10th of that year, which meant that democracy finally did return to Ecuador — for brief moment, that is. Roldos’ major accomplishment was his struggle for human rights for Ecuador at a time when Latin American governments were under the thumb of military dictatorships supported and in some cases, placed into power by the CIA.
Roldos had met with the democratically elected governments of Venezuela, Colombia and Peru at the time and proposed the signing of The Charter of Conduct, in which the principles of universal justice and human rights were too be established. He also formed ties with the new Sandinista government and the Democratico Frente from El Salvador (http://www.wattpad.com/1240500-cia-hit-list-jaime-rold%C3%B3s-aguilera-president-of#.UYp6AUrYHgw). These actions no doubt sealed his fate.
On May 24, 1981 Roldos also died in an “unexplained’ airplane crash, along with his wife and Minister of Defense, right in “America’s Backyard”. This is the policy that the despicable Secretary of State John Kerry says he now continues to support. The death of Hugo Chavez should give rise to suspicions that the CIA is still an active party in the “backyard’.
*Economically underdeveloped Ecuador, lacking an exploitable continental shelf and mindful of the rich fishing potential off its coast, in 1952 along with Peru and Chile claimed a 200-mile territorial limit. The US continued to recognize a 3-mile limit plus, in 1966, a 9-mile contiguous fisheries zone. The so-called “tuna war” began in 1963 when a US fishing boat challenging the 200-mile limit was seized and fined by Ecuador. Other seizures followed, also in Peru and Chile.
In 1967 the US began compensating the fined US owners although not deducting the amount from aid to Ecuador as US law provided. In December 1968 US military sales to Ecuador were suspended under a newly-passed law, but renewed in July 1969 despite further seizures. Four-nation talks were held in August 1969 and September 1970. On January 18 1971, with seizures since 1966 totaling 28 vessels, the US again suspended military sales and placed all aid “under review.” The OAS opposed U.S. moves to submit the case to inter-American peaceful settlement or the ICJ. On February 1, Ecuador ordered the US military mission withdrawn. By March 3 seizures for 1971 alone totaled 25 (http://web.mit.edu/cascon/cases/case_eus.html).