From Volume 7, Issue 1 of EIR Online, Published Jan. 1, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Venezuela's Chávez Stages FARC Hostage Release

Dec. 26 (EIRNS)—Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced at a press conference today, that his government had worked out arrangements with the Colombian narco-terrorist FARC, for the imminent release of two women hostages and a child born in captivity, should the Colombian government accept, which it quickly did. Venezuelan Vice Foreign Minister Rodolfo Sanz announced on Dec. 27 that the timing of the release "is the exclusive competence and authority of President Hugo Chávez."

The operation is being staged in grandstand fashion, with Chávez suggesting that the next step should be "peace talks" with the FARC—with himself at the center. Although the release of any of the hostages held in their jungle concentration camps is welcome, the Chávez-FARC operation is likely to play into the British policy of legitimizing and granting de facto recognition to the FARC cartel, destabilizing Colombia, and furthering national and regional disintegration.

To be released are Clara Rojas, a Vice Presidential candidate kidnapped in February 2002 along with her Presidential running mate, French-Colombian Ingrid Betancourt; Rojas's three-year-old son; and former Senator Consuelo González de Perdomo, held since September 2001. Dozens of other hostages are held by the FARC.

Operation Condor: Arrest Warrants Issued in Italy

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Jorge Néstor Fernandez Troccoli, a retired officer of the Uruguayan Navy, was arrested in Salerno, Italy on Dec. 24. Troccoli was wanted in Uruguay, because of his role in Operation Condor, the extermination of political opponents of military dictatorships in South America in the 1970s and 1980s.

Additionally, Rome Judge Luisanna Figliola has issued arrest warrants for 146 citizens of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia, including former leaders of Argentina's 1976-83 military junta, Rafael Videla and Emilio Eduardo Massera, former Uruguayan dictator Jorge María Bordaberry, and Manuel Contreras, former head of Chile's secret police, the DINA.

The Rome warrants are the product of a nine-year investigation by prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo, in lawsuits brought by relatives of Operation Condor victims of Italian origin.

Commenting on Capaldo's actions, Lyndon LaRouche asked whether George Shultz and fascist banker Felix Rohatyn will be arrested too. He pointed out that these two are inseparable from the coordinated terror/murder campaign in the Southern Cone countries in the 1970s, having sponsored the 1973 overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende, and installed the fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet officially created Operation Condor in 1975, together with Manuel Contreras. Active roughly through the mid- to late-1980s, this killing machine illegally detained, tortured, murdered, and "disappeared" thousands of citizens in six countries.

Paraguayan lawyer Martín Almada, who was a victim of Operation Condor in the 1980s, and played a crucial role in providing evidence to Capaldo, has also urged that the name of Henry Kissinger be included in examining the events of this period. Speaking from Buenos Aires on Dec. 9, Dr. Almada stated that despite the fact that numerous Operation Condor agents have been brought to justice, "the Condor continues to fly and its wings must be clipped." As has been documented by other investigators, Almada pointed out that Kissinger personally oversaw many of Operation Condor's activities. "I don't know if Osama bin Laden is among the worst terrorists," he said, "but Henry Kissinger certainly is."

Mexican Congress TV Network Broadcasts PHLINO Hearings

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—The television network of the Mexican Congress, which is seen nationwide, has been repeatedly broadcasting the testimony of the Pro-PHLINO (North West Hydraulic Plan) Committee, first before the House Rural Development Committee last October, and then before the Senate Regional Development Committee on Nov. 27. Sources report that this latter three-hour session, where LaRouche associate Alberto Vizcarra explained the significance of the Chinese press publishing LaRouche's remarks on the global financial collapse, was broadcast in its entirety.

Coverage of LaRouche-Mexican Collaboration at Ottawa Conference

Dec. 21 (EIRNS)—The Dec. 21 issue of the statewide Sonoran daily Diario del Yaqui devoted coverage in its widely-read agriculture section to the participation of the Pro-PLHINO Committee for the 21st Century in the Dec. 11 EIR conference in Ottawa, on "The Strategic Importance of the Eurasian Land-Bridge." With the title, "PLHINO Unveiled in Canada," and a subtitle highlighting the Pro-PLHINO Committee's participation, the article reports that the Committee coordinators, including LaRouche associates Alberto Vizcarra and Jesús María Martínez, CTM regional labor leader Antonio Valdez Villanueva, and engineer Manuel Frías, attended the conference on the invitation of EIR, and that they spoke on the economic importance for the United States and Canada of strategic works like Mexico's PLHINO, a proposed ambitious series of water projects on Mexico's west coast.

LaRouche Movement Brings Classical Music to Panama

Dec. 26, 2007 (EIRNS)—For the second year in a row, EIR's Carlos Wesley took to the airwaves in Panama on Christmas Day, to bring Panamanians a joy generally missing from their lives: Classical music. The country has no regular Classical music program, either on radio or television.

Last year, the radio station which hosted Wesley's program was shocked by the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to Wesley's program. So this year, the program was broadcast on three stations, two of them nationwide, as well as on the Internet.

Among the musical selections played, were several pieces by Bach, Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and "Ave Verum," Franck's "Panis Angelicus," and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler.

Among the many calls which the show provoked, the general sentiment was: Why can't we get something like this every day?

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