24.2.17

DDoS, DMZHOST, spam, Project Shield...

This post was intended to be posted in infodio.com. Evidently, my contentment about having defeated the DDoS attack was premature... It's been a busy week. As I was chatting to a source in Caracas the other day, I noticed that this site was down. Asked my web host (shout out to the excellent folks at LeaseWeb), and was informed that -yet another- DDoS attack had been launched against us. This is the third time a DDoS attack has been directed to my websites: once at vcrisis.com and twice at infodio.com

This is how it looked this morning...










I must wonder, of course, at the reasons. Why would anyone seek to prevent the general public from learning about the stuff I publish? Is it because we expose Venezuela's rampant corruption? For those who are yet to get acquainted with the situation, Venezuela is a Spanish speaking country, of some 30 million. It is, after 17 years of chavista rule, a failed nation in the fullest sense of the term. But this site does not cater for a Venezuelan readership. It seeks to inform the wider world about who's who in the Boliburgeoisie, a new extremely wealthy and, equally, extremely inept class of 'businessmen' that could only become minted under the shadow of Hugo Chavez's so called socialist revolution. We talk about the Alejandro Betancourts of this world, the Juan Carlos Escotets, the Victor Vargas, the Danilo Diazgranados, the Francisco D'Agostinos and Luis Obertos... we investigate the origin of their newly found riches, we track their operations across many different jurisdictions, we expose those who enable, aid and abet them, like Adam Kaufmann, Glenn Simpson, Al Cardenas, or even Baltazar Garzon, we uncover their deals, in Africa, Europe, Russia, Asia, in sum, we shed a glimmer of sunlight on their otherwise opaque underworld.

It is, therefore, to be expected that such work would attract the ire of nasty, criminal, yet extremely resourceful thugs (dirty money is welcomed by everyone everywhere nowadays). Dealing with this lot exposes us to very dangerous vendettas. They operate in a world without border / immigration barriers. They criss-cross the globe in their own private jets: one day they're having Heston Blumenthal cooking for them, the next they're in St. Barths hanging with Roman Abramovich, and the third meeting with ex-WSJ hacks, former Manhattan prosecutors and leaders from America's GOP, when not cavorting with the very best of Sloanes in London. Their reach knows no constraints either. A London raid can be easily organized from Caracas, without as much as a worry of ever getting caught. That's the kind this site deals with.

The latest comes from Russia, or more specifically, an IP address controlled from Russia (191.96.249.70). A vulnerability in the Wordpress blogging platform allows the pingback method to be used to launch DDoS attacks (explanation here). Basically, someone makes use of that vulnerability to ping a target website. Checking my server logs, I noticed the following pattern:

"GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 32295 "http://infodio.com/" "WordPress/4.7.2; https://www.customescaperoom.com; verifying pingback from 191.96.249.70"


"GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 32293 "http://infodio.com/" "WordPress/4.6.3; http://www.toptasting.com; verifying pingback from 191.96.249.70"


"GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 145833 "-" "WordPress/4.0.15; http://wisecleaner.online; verifying pingback from 191.96.249.70"


When that request is repeated many thousands of times per second servers tend to collapse due to increased traffic, as was the case with mine. Thousands of such requests, as well as POST and HEAD requests, were launched from servers around the world.

However, IP 191.96.249.70, as all others, is associated to a host provider, in this case DMZHOST.CO. Said domain, as all others, is in turn registered by a person, somewhere, in this case a Christian P, with an address in the Seychelles very similar to that of Mossack Fonseca (Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis Rachel Street, Victoria Mahe, Seychelles).


Every domain has to have a person or organization responsible. In the case of DMZHOST.CO it initially had Dmzhost Limited as responsible party, but seems to have passed control to JUPITER 25 LIMITEDA search for Jupiter brings us closer to home, to 35 Firs Avenue, N11 3NE, London, United Kingdom. Please do note, in the last link, that there's a chris@dmzhost.co as contact for Jupiter. Could this be the same person as Christian P in the Seychelles? 

There are hundreds of companies registered in 35 Firs Avenue. According to Companies House data, Darren Symes is Jupiter's director, Symes is associated with over 200 companies. Others folks investigating similar attacks have had this to say about DMZHOST in the recent past:


“Bulletproof hosting” providers like DMZHOST provide VPSs that advertise themselves as outside of the reach of Western law enforcement. DMZHOST offers its clients “offshore” VPSs in a “Secured Netherland datacenter privacy bunker” and “does not store any information / Log about user activity.” At the same time, DMZHOST’s terms of service are just as concise. “DMZHOST does not allow anything (related) to the following content: – DDos – Childporn – Bank Exploit – Terrorism – NO NTP – NO Email SPAM”. 

Further investigation of IP 191.96.249.70 and Jupiter 25 Limited indicate that its DNS servers are controlled by yet another London-based company: Host1Plus. This one in turn seems to be a trading name of Digital Energy Technologies Ltd.

Bitcoin payments, obscuring identity of ultimate culprits, are readily accepted by both DMZHOST and Host1Plus. I sent a tweet to Host1Plus' Vincentas Grinius, that was replied in the most ridiculous fashion to avoid dealing with the actual DDoS question. 

I also sent an email request to chris@dmzhost.co, and got an almost immediate reply, asking for logs. Chris sends emails from somewhere around Pavia in Italy (93-36-187-144.ip61.fastwebnet.it). He claims the server used for DDoS attack "has been shutdown", but refuses to say who used the server, who contracted server services with his company, how did he get paid, and refuses to provide his full identity or that of his client/s. If he ever identifies himself fully, and provides proper explanations as to use of his platform to DDoS this site*, I shall add his comments here, alas I have no hope: while asking him to reconsider, my inbox has been rendered almost dysfunctional in a matter of minutes by an avalanche of spam (see below), which started after my third email to Chris. So the server "has been shutdown" alright, but the attack has morphed...


Despite denials, queries per second peaked minutes after
confronting Chris@dmzhost.co as per Project Shield's data.
Not all has been bad though. Right after Brian Krebs suffered the largest ever DDoS attack I remember having read about how Google had come to the rescue. Through Twitter I got in touch with Nicholas Platt, Digital Media Producer of Jigsaw, a technology incubator of Alphabet (Google's parent co) and got an invite to join Project Shield, which is the Google platform that defeated Krebs attackers. I will be forever grateful for this. The folks from LeaseWeb, my web hosting provider, must also receive my public gratitude: rather than kicking me out -after all the attack caused a lot of disruption and man hours to solve, Tom, Reece and Bagata kept their Dutch cool and were tremendously helpful. 

Virtual crooks are getting more brazen by the day, though I seriously doubt they will ever reach Google's levels of computing power. The silver lining is that due to the latest DDoS attack, no amount of stolen Venezuelan money will ever be able to knock this site offline again. It is yet to be determined which of the thugs normally exposed here is behind the latest attack, though we will carry on investigating, exposing, and shedding light upon corruption and the Boliburgeoisie. The latest findings put to rest the no-bid contracts given to Derwick, Diazgranados intentions to buy a sizeable portion of Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique, Charles Henry de Beaumont's dirty dealings with Oberto and other thugs in the Caribbean, the direct links between corrupt chavistas and their preferred contractors, etc.

* Right after confronting chris@dmzhost.co this afternoon, DDoS attack against infodio.com was relaunched, with the added bonus of a huge spam avalanche in my inbox. Chris claims that neither him nor his company were behind DDoS attack, and added that he "c­ould help you on miti­gating ALL attacks. W­e are experienced on ­mitigating attack sin­ce also us receice ma­ny attacks"... (sic)



Further investigations indicate that Chris' UK proxy, Darren Symes, has had a colourful past fronting for other scam artists grouped under Claremont Partnerships and Noble Rock Partners.

12.1.17

FusionGPS steps in it (again): now about Trump

Let us start with the NYT's headline "How a Sensational, Unverified Dossier Became a Crisis for Donald Trump", and a quote:
Fusion GPS, headed by a former Wall Street Journal journalist known for his dogged reporting, Glenn Simpson, most often works for business clients. But in presidential elections, the firm is sometimes hired by candidates, party organizations or donors to do political “oppo” work — shorthand for opposition research — on the side. 
It is routine work and ordinarily involves creating a big, searchable database of public information: past news reports, documents from lawsuits and other relevant data. For months, Fusion GPS gathered the documents and put together the files from Mr. Trump’s past in business and entertainment, a rich target.
Report from Guido Fawkes site.
News about the unverified dossier have gone round the world a few times by now. Buzzfeed, the site that decided to go public with the "report" produced by Fusion GPS, certainly hasn't covered itself in glory: some of the most reputed liberal media outlets (BBC, NYT, The Guardian and WaPo) refused to touch it, even though they'd love to claim Trump's scalp.

There's already some talk about the similarities between Hugo Chavez and Donald Trump, especially in the way the president-elect treats non-compliant media. But I digress.

What I'm finding remarkable about this, is that Fusion GPS was in the news in the past for, precisely, its ethical and moral deficit. Here's a quote attributed to Simpson:

"We’re hoping that people who have an interest in bringing things out, to do something about corruption, fraud, will come to us."

Well, if attempting to destroy Republican donors -or its perceived GOP enemies- doesn't work, there's always a gig to be had with the Democrats. It does crack me up however, to read, in The Guardian no less, stuff like: "Fusion GPS, led by former journalists skilled in digging up secrets on public figures." Skilled?

I know better. Fusion GPS were (may still be?) in the employ of Derwick Associates, without a shred of a doubt one of the most corrupt group of thugs ever to have come out of Venezuela. The sort of "businessmen" that have no qualms in stealing over one billion USD from an almost destitute country. Fusion's "former journalists", of course, don't have a problem with corruption, so long as billable hours keep adding up.

Glenn Simpson managed to get a few quid from the Derwick thugs. He dispatched his sidekick Peter Fritsch to Caracas once upon a time, along with another equally contemptible and disgusting former "prosecutor", basically to impede journalists from carrying on with, erm, corruption reporting.

Fusion GPS's Peter Fritsch's record of visit to Hotel Lido in Caracas in July 2014.
I happen to know one of the "skilled" journalists at Fusion GPS, Tom Catan. He covered Venezuela's 2006 presidential race for The Times of London, and as I was shadowing the opposition candidate, I was asked to organise an interview. We met a few years later, in Spain, when, again, I helped with another interview. I invited the guy to my house for dinner, we broke bread together, talked, had a few drinks with my family... He seemed, then, a decent enough person. Imagine my surprise when I found out that his firm was retained to destroy me on behalf of Derwick Associates. I confronted him with the kind of tactics they so readily employ with their targets. His reply dispelled my doubts as to his integrity.

But then, Derwick thugs decided to crank it up a little. My family was the subject of illegal surveillance in London. We were photographed going about our daily affairs for months. The operation culminated with a break into my flat, theft of my laptops, and threats of sexual abuse against my daughters. Now that I read about Simpson's connection to a former British MI6 agent, I wonder: did Fusion GPS participated in the attack against my family? Did it subcontract former British intelligence officers to track me down in London?

To be frank, I doubt that British spooks -regardless of how spineless and money driven they may be- could be as inept as to allow themselves to be caught in CCTV in the process of carrying out criminal activity. However, it is entirely feasible -considering its clients- that Fusion GPS asked its British counterparts for my whereabouts, and once determined the information was passed along to other more (let's say) blunt operatives, who may have been sent from Venezuela, or Spain, to assault my flat in broad daylight. I will carry on digging, though I guess, for really skilled hacks like Fusion's, there's always the possibility of joining Russia Today, or better yet, Wikileaks.

The story about Venezuelan monumental corruption is, still, to play out. One thing seems certain though, when it does, Fusion GPS hacks will find impossible to justify their association with criminals.

Addendum: just read this morning a piece by David Satter, regarding Fusion GPS's and Christopher Steele's kompromat fabrications, which included "reporting" Trump having been filmed with prostitutes, doing "golden showers", etc. Did I mention that whoever masterminded the attack against me also took the trouble to spread online totally unsubstantiated stories about my alleged "connection" to drug trafficking, extortion, car theft, and (a Russian favourite) "involvement" in paedophilia? The most implausible of all was of course an accusation regarding my mother, who having died of cancer in 1983 was somehow revived and placed, by my creative accusers, as the leader of a drug cartel in 2006! 

22.12.16

Our Odebrecht, our Petrobras...


So Odebrecht is in the news again (here and here). For those who don't know, Odebrecht was, till not long ago, one of Brazil's "success" stories: a construction company with operations spanning the globe. It was an exhibit of South America's "entrepreneurship" until Brazilian Justice Sergio Moro decided to take a closer look into the company's activities in the context of Petrobras' massive corruption scandal.

The core of the issue is, of course, bribe payments to obtain procurement contracts. Odebrecht was at it, as much as any other company, big or small, from LatAm or otherwise, getting deals from governments in the region. That is just how business is done in that part of the world. Whenever procurement contracts aren't assigned directly, using whatever legal emergency provision that allows it, bidding processes tend to be rigged before start: a method typically favoured would be that all companies participating in a given open bid would be under ultimate control of same people.

Brazil's economy is many times the size of Venezuela's. Odebrecht is one of Brazil's largest and most "successful" corporations. 38% of Odebrecht foreign work is meant to originate in Venezuela, where amount of procurement granted since chavismo took over is believed to be over $20 billion. Odebrecht has admitted to a scheme whereby, according to the Justice Department, it "paid approximately $788 million in bribes to government officials, their representatives and political parties in a number of countries in order to win business in those countries." Braskem, a petrochemical company controlled by Odebrecht, also pleaded guilty in the international bribe payment scheme.

And yet, we are meant to believe that of the $788 million Odebrecht only paid $98 million in bribes in Venezuela, to obtain over $20 billion worth of public contracts. This doesn't add up. Regardless of how involved Lula and Dilma Rousseff were in securing contracts directly from Hugo Chavez as a quid pro quo for donations made by Odebrecht to their Workers' Party (PT), $98 million is not even 0.5% of total value. Hardly believable.

Justice Department's authorities, as commendable as their international fight against corruption is, used some lofty language referring to the case:
“Odebrecht and Braskem used a hidden but fully functioning Odebrecht business unit—a ‘Department of Bribery,’ so to speak—that systematically paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government officials in countries on three continents,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Suh.  “Such brazen wrongdoing calls for a strong response from law enforcement, and through a strong effort with our colleagues in Brazil and Switzerland, we have seen just that.  I hope that today’s action will serve as a model for future efforts.”
“These resolutions are the result of an extraordinary multinational effort to identify, investigate and prosecute a highly complex and long-lasting corruption scheme that resulted in the payment by the defendant companies of close to a billion dollars in bribes to officials at all levels of government in many countries,” said U.S. Attorney Capers. “In an attempt to conceal their crimes, the defendants used the global financial system – including the banking system in the United States – to disguise the source and disbursement of the bribe payments by passing funds through a series of shell companies.  The message sent by this prosecution is that the United States, working with its law enforcement partners abroad, will not hesitate to hold responsible those corporations and individuals who seek to enrich themselves through the corruption of the legitimate functions of government, no matter how sophisticated the scheme.”
“This case illustrates the importance of our partnerships and the dedicated personnel who work to bring to justice those who are motivated by greed and act in their own best interest,” said Assistant Director Richardson.  “The FBI will not stand by idly while corrupt individuals threaten a fair and competitive economic system or fuel criminal enterprises.  Our commitment to work alongside our foreign partners to root out corruption across the globe is unwavering and we thank our Brazilian and Swiss partners for their tireless work in this effort.”
“No matter what the reason, when foreign officials receive bribes, they threaten our national security and the international free market system in which we trade,” said Assistant Director in Charge Sweeney.  “Just because they’re out of our sight, doesn’t mean they’re beyond our reach.  The FBI will use all available resources to put an end to this type of corrupt behavior.”
My question, to Justice Department officials, U.S. Attorneys, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, DEA, and SEC is: when will you act on the information you already have about Venezuela's Odebrechts? When will you start issuing indictments against PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, Baldo Sanso, Diego Salazar, Nervis Villalobos, Diosdado Cabello, Wilmer Ruperti, Derwick Associates, David Osio, Danilo Diazgranados, Moris Beracha, Pedro Torres Ciliberto and son, Luis Oberto & co, Victor Vargas, Juan Carlos Escotet, Alejandro Andrade, Leopoldo Gonzalez Dellan et al, all of whom regular users of the "banking system in the United States"? All of whom U.S. residents or regular visitors?

The Odebrecht case, as its originator the Petrobras corruption scandal, are small play in the greatest Latin American corruption scheme of all: Venezuela and PDVSA. It is no secret that, again, albeit small, the largest amount of bribes paid by Odebrecht took place in Venezuela. The biggest criminal cartel south of the Rio Grande these days is called chavismo, known officially as the Government of Venezuela. Want to deal a significant blow to those who "threaten our national security and the international free market system"? Act on what you have on Venezuela, PDVSA and its U.S. based enablers. Going down that rabbit hole will undoubtedly reveal the most brazen and largest ever corruption scheme this side of Moscow.

29.11.16

Entrevista a Armando Valladares sobre muerte de Fidel Castro

Emb. Armando Valladares
La muerte del tirano Fidel Castro ha producido una avalancha de apologías a nivel mundial. Desde el primer ministro de India hasta el de Canada, todos los idiotas útiles del planeta se han pronunciado, sin rubor alguno, sobre las inexistentes bondades de la dictadura castrista. Por ello pensé apropiado entrevistar a alguien que si tuvo que sufrir la dizque "liberación" que los barbudos impusieron por la fuerza en Cuba. Armando Valladares, escritor, poeta, y prisionero de conciencia por 22 años, es aparte de cubano, víctima del castrismo. Quién mejor, para explicar la realidad cubana? Armando es además, quizás la única persona en el mundo que se puede dar el lujo de afirmar que sus acciones como embajador de los EEUU ante la Comisión de los Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas derrotaron la propaganda y diplomacia castrista en marzo de 1988, lo cual forzó a Cuba a abrir las puertas a observadores internacionales, algo que Fidel nunca habría permitido. Dicha acción puso a Cuba, por primera vez, en la categoría correspondiente a regímenes con graves violaciones a los derechos humanos.



- Pregunta: "Si Fidel es comunista, que me pongan en la lista”. De dónde salió ese eslogan, considerando las afirmaciones del propio Castro a Erik Durschmied en Sierra Maestra negando que era comunista / marxista?

Respuesta: Ese slogan fue una campana del Partido Comunista preparando al pueblo para cuando Fidel Castro admitiera que era comunista, no tuviera mucho rechazo. Decían si lo que esta haciendo Fidel Castro -dando tierras (no en propiedad) a los campesinos, rebajando los alquileres etc-, si eso era ser comunista, pues también somos comunistas.

- Puedes narrar la causa de tu arresto y encarcelamiento por 22 años?

Respuesta: Yo era funcionario del gobierno revolucionario. Un día milicianos armados fueron por todos los departamentos del Ministerio de Comunicaciones colocando en los escritorios un slogan que decía: "si Fidel es comunista, que me pongan en la lista, que estoy de acuerdo con él”. Yo me negué. Los milicianos me preguntaron: "Tu no estás de acuerdo con Fidel…?- Si es comunista NO"- fue mi respuesta. Eso fue suficiente para señalarme como un desafecto a la Revolución, como un contrarrevolucionario. Semanas después me arrestaron en mi casa. Registraron todo y no encontraron armas, ni explosivos, ni propaganda, NADA QUE PUDIERA comprometerme como un conspirador. El oficial de la Policía Política que me interrogo, me dijo: "Mira, no hemos encontrado nada, nadie te acusa, pero tenemos la convicción moral de que eres un enemigo potencial de la Revolución, y por eso te vamos a condenar." En un juicio revolucionario integrado por campesinos, sin abogado defensor, en menos de una semana desde el arresto, fui condenado a 30 años de trabajos forzados y 30 de interdicción política. Mi caso no es excepcional, miles hubo condenados de esa misma forma. Recuerda que los juicios en épocas de Stalin eran así, solo por pensar u opinar los mandaban a Siberia. En Cuba fue exactamente igual.

- Tu libro “Contra toda esperanza” se convirtió en uno de los libros mas importantes de la literatura sobre prisioneros de conciencia a nivel mundial. Qué opinión te merecen quienes celebran a Castro como liberador del pueblo cubano?

Respuesta: Los que apoyan y justifican los crímenes de los tiranos, pasarán a la historia como cómplices  de esos crímenes. Los carniceros de sus pueblos siempre han tenido seguidores y simpatizantes. Los tuvo y tiene Stalin, Hitler, Pinochet, Pol Pot y Ieng Sari de Cambodia, y los tiene Fidel Castro. Uno de ellos es el canadiense Justine Trudeau, que Cuba lo tiene comprometido por filmaciones intimas de sus frecuentes viajes a Cuba. Un día, y todo llega, esas filmaciones se harán públicas, sera un Wikileak escandaloso, especialmente para los familiares de esos “amigos” de la revolución cubana. Todo llega... Todo se sabe.

- Fue tu encarcelamiento un caso aislado, o ejemplo de persecución sistemática contra todos aquellos que la dictadura castrista percibía como enemigos?

Respuesta: Mi caso no fue aislado, arrestaron a miles de cubanos, en tanto los paredones de fusilamiento no dejaban de ejecutar las noches enteras en toda la isla.

- Una vez en el poder, qué tipo de “avances y logros sociales” trajo la revolución?

Respuesta: Cuba en el 1959, cuando llego Castro, era un país en vías de desarrollo. Solo era superado por EEUU en algunos aspectos. En ese 1959 teníamos más medicos, dentistas y hospitales que Holanda, España, Grecia, etc. El menor indice de mortalidad infantil de toda América, solo superado por EEUU. En 1958 fuimos los segundos en el mundo en tener TV en colores. En ese 1958 el peso cubano valía más que el dólar. Castro ofreció cifras falsas a los periodistas, que deslumbrados y embobecidos por el guerrillero barbudo se convirtieron en cómplices de las mentiras, y prostituyeron su trabajo (lo mismo que hicieron aquí las grandes cadenas (excepto FOX) en la manipulación de la información, en difundir falsedades contra Donald Trump y ya admitido por ellos mismos), y no chequearon esa información. Los invito a que, hoy mismo, busquen los anuarios estadísticos de la ONU, de la Organización Mundial de la Salud, de la Unesco, de la FAO, para comprobar que Cuba no era una aldea donde la gentes se moría de disentería en las calles; que teníamos más dentistas y médicos que el resto de America y muchos países de Europa; que teníamos el más bajo índice de analfabetos, y si les cuesta trabajo revisar esas fuentes, baste que vean lo que hemos hecho en Miami. Pero examinen esos anuarios y comprueben como Castro los engaño a todos...

- Una de las cartas de presentación del tirano era haber implementado exitosamente en Cuba un sistema de salud y educación ejemplar, no solo en la región sino a nivel mundial. Considerando el estado depauperado del pueblo cubano, puede dársele alguna credibilidad al argumento de que la Cuba castrista mejoró la situación?

Respuesta: La prensa cómplice ha creado esos mitos. Hoy en día es posible gracias al internet saber la verdad. Hay en Cuba hospitales para los jerarcas del gobierno y para los turistas (fuente de divisas), pero el pueblo no tiene acceso a ellos. Si la asistencia médica es tan buena, por qué razón existen en Miami, New York, etc., cientos de empresas cuyo negocio es enviar medicinas a los familiares de los exiliados en Cuba? Miami está lleno de esos negocios. La semana pasada enviamos unas ámpulas de anestesia a un familiar de mi esposa para que pudieran extraerle una muela. Tu conoces de algún inglés que tenga que enviarle a sus familiares en Francia o España antibióticos, aspirinas y vitaminas? Los hospitales del pueblo están llenos de cucarachas y ratones, no hay equipos, tienen que llevar las sabanas y botellas de agua y toallas y no hay medicamentos. Quieres verlo en internet, pues te invito a ti y a tus lectores a que abran esta pagina: www.Therealcuba.com

- Por qué inició el tirano la campaña de “conducta impropia”? 


Respuesta: La Revolución persiguió a los homosexuals, los torturó, los machacó por décadas. Discrepar en cualquiera de los lineamientos de la Revolución era “una conducta impropia”. Hay una película muy buena sobre ese proceso.

- Cuántos cubanos, aproximadamente, fueron recluidos en las Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción?

Respuesta: Decenas de miles. Homesexuales, proxenetas, desafectos, sacerdotes, religiosos, etc.

- Rachel Ehrenfeld argumenta en su libro “Narco-terrorism” que Fidel Castro básicamente convirtió a Cuba en una plataforma al servicio de los carteles y grupos narco-guerrilleros colombianos. Si agregamos la permisividad del régimen para con la prostitución, utilizada por el propio estado con fines “estratégicos y políticos”, qué diferencia real existe entre Batista y Castro?

Respuesta: Cuba fue la escala intermedia hacia EEUU de los carteles colombianos. Eso quedo demostrado en una operación de la DEA que infiltró a sus agentes en uno de esos viajes. Raul Castro fue filmado en una base en la costa norte de Cuba mientras transportaban la droga. Se hizo público todo porque hubo un juicio en el Congreso de EEUU. Fueron condenados en ausencia el embajador de Cuba en Colombia, el jefe de la Marina de Guerra cubana Aldo Santamaria Cuadrado y Raul Castro. Por esa razón, observando la leyes norteamericanas, ningún gobierno norteamericano podia negociar nada con Raul Castro, porque está condenado en ausencia por el delito de narcotráfico. Pero el actual Presidente Obama ha violado las leyes y la constitución decenas de veces, y lo hizo negociando con el tirano de turno en Cuba. Bueno en realidad no fue una negociación, fueron concesiones de EEUU a la tiranía cubana a cambio de nada. Obama es cómplice del recrudecimiento de la represión, de las torturas, de los atropellos a los disidentes, de las violaciones a los Derechos Humanos respaldando a esa tiranía. Para que tu como venezolano compares, la diferencia entre la dictadura de Batista y la de Fidel Castro, seria mas o menos como comparar la de Marcos Perez Jimenez y la actual dictadura de Nicolas Maduro.

- El dictador modeló su imagen internacional casi exclusivamente en la “lucha contra el imperialismo yanqui”. Qué opinas sobre el imperialismo castrista en países centroamericanos, africanos, y más recientemente en Venezuela?

Respuesta: si la dictadura de Fidel Castro se hubiese establecido en Africa o Asia, hace muchísimos años que hubiera desaparecido. La garantía de su larga existencia se debe a su cercanía con los EEUU, y a su enfrentamiento a este gran país. El 99 % del mundo, políticos, gobierno, intelectuales y pueblos en general, ODIAN A EEUU, los corroe la ENVIDIA, y la envidia -decía un  autor cubano- es admiración con rabia. Y ese odio y esa rabia, la han canalizado apoyando a quien se ha enfrentado durante décadas a los EEUU, a Fidel Castro, y ellos que no han tenido el valor de hacerlo, en una aberración moral absoluta se han hecho cómplices de los crímenes de Castro en la creencia errónea de que con ese apoyo, le dan en la cabeza a los norteamericanos, y no saben que a ningún norteamericano le importa eso y ni lo sabe. Lo sufrimos nosotros los cubanos, que cuando esperábamos el abrazo solidario de nuestros hermanos latinoamericanos y del mundo, hemos visto con estupor como ese abrazo se lo dan al verdugo del pueblo de Cuba.

Fidel Castro ha llenado de sangre y de luto miles de hogares latinoamericanos, de Asia y de Africa…ha invadido esos países cuando tenían gobiernos democráticos, como el caso de Venezuela, Colombia etc., y qué han hecho esos países y gobiernos? Besarle el trasero a Castro. Abrazarse con el sin importarles los miles de compatriotas que murieron por la metralla castristas o sus representantes, financiados, entrenados y apoyados por Cuba. Todas, absolutamente todas las guerrillas y grupos terroristas de America, fueron creadas por el tirano que acaba de morir. Hoy con Venezuela es distinto, el pueblo venezolano sabe que la dictadura castrista es la que los oprime.

- Podrías comentar sobre la esclavitud a la que la dictadura castrista somete a profesionales de la medicina cubana en esas dizque campañas de asistencia internacional, como el “Barrio adentro” en Venezuela?

Respuesta: El trafico humano, el trabajo esclavo, ha sido una de las fuentes de ingresos de divisas del régimen. Recientemente Brasil decidió no pagarle mas al gobierno cubano por los medicos que trabajan en ese país, y decidieron pagarle a los propios medicos. Estos solo recibían el 15% de lo que Cuba le cobraba a Brasil. Y ni siquiera podían recibirlo en Brasil, se lo depositaban en una cuenta en Cuba. Esto para impedir que los profesionales, médicos casi todos, pudieran acumular cierta cantidad en dólares y escapar. Aun  así están escapando por cientos. La venta de trabajo esclavo de Cuba es una practica de la cual se benefician decenas de países, hay  algunos países democráticos que se convierten en socios de este repugnante negocio. Que bueno que Brasil, ya dejo de hacerlo.

- Qué esperanza democrática puede abrigar el pueblo cubano con la muerte del dictador?

Respuesta: La muerte del cerebro y el alma diabólica de la Revolución cubana ya se achicharra eternamente en las pailas del infierno. Eso es algo bueno. Hoy el mundo es mejor y mas limpio. Raul Castro se ha mantenido vivo tantos años por que su guardaespaldas, su hermano Fidel Castro, lo ha protegido. Nadie se atrevía a meterse con él. Pero ya el guardaespaldas no está. Dentro del gobierno comunista hay varios grupos o tendencias, y casi todos desprecian a Raul Castro. La muerte de Fidel Castro es el 50% del problema eliminado. Yo pienso que pueden ocurrir cambios ahora dentro de la misma pandilla, y cualquier cosa puede suceder.

- Finalmente, qué mensaje le enviarías a los numerosos admiradores de Castro?

Respuesta: ya lo comente en una de las preguntas anteriores. Todavía hay gentes que defienden a Hitler, y a Stalin. Cuando los periodistas occidentales entraron con sus cámaras en los campos de concentración nazi, el mundo se horrorizó y hubo muchos que negaban la existencia de aquellos campos de la muerte, que recibieron el desprecio y el repudio de sus contemporáneos y de la historia y quedaron como cómplices. No hay dictadura buena: el crimen y la barbarie son iguales a la derecha que a la izquierda. Y ese doble estándar de aplaudir a una y repudiar a la otra, por exactamente los mismos crímenes, es una zona reservada a la cobardía.

Armando Valladares. 27 de noviembre del 2016. Fin de la entrevista.

11.11.16

Fanaticism

Remember this? It wasn't that long ago, was it? Lessons haven't been learned. If anything, the will of the people has been redefined, by almost all media, in most countries, as a retrograde manifestation that ought to be repudiated at every available opportunity.

But who are the creators of the new dogma? Who are the new oracles, seers, and high priests of post modern morality? Do their knowledge spring from sacred scriptures? From where do these prophets derive their wisdom? What makes their capacity to interpret reality so unique, that only their anointed peers can see it?

We live in an era of fanaticism, of nihilistic delusion. The motto "après moi le déluge" has lost its reflexive connotation, and has morphed into a collective utopia that inhabits the minds and thoughts of educated elites up and down this world. The shared creed is not to be questioned, and crucially not challenged. Democracy no longer fits the purpose. Consensus? Only to pledge absolute loyalty to the "new" normal. Any deviation from the grand diktats of the PC establishment is to be derided, mocked, ridiculed, and exposed as epitomes of racism, misogyny, ignorance, insularity and brutality across all social, political, religious, academic and media channels under their control. A singular unity and conformity characterises the narrative of this collectivity, as in the most fanatic of sects.

Interpretations and discourse aren't derived from observation. Consultation does not inform argumentation. Fanatics feed their worldview solely and exclusively from other cabal members. No outside perspective is allowed to pollute considerations. The "new" reality is a construct, wherein poverty, unemployment, and disease do not exist. Worse still, aspirations are forbidden. People that do not know what it is to go hungry, to lose a home, to be chronically unemployed; people that can not see the pitfalls of public education and its consequences, and are incapable of recognising, much less of empathising, with the other are meant to be beacons of morality that should be followed blindly. Only full allegiance will do.

It is concerning that such an infantile dystopia is shared among many of the Western world's "experts", intellectuals and "cool" politicos, for whom the poor are repugnant, a "basket of deplorables." And it is pervasive, almost omnipresent, Gramscian. Those who vote, and do so with their pockets, stomachs, or feet, deserve nothing but ostracism. Electoral results contrary to those expected by interest-in-possession life tenants, Claret-sipping Guardianistas, and assorted members of the status quo can only bring about cataclysmic chaos, ungovernability: the end of times.

Hope can only be had for aligned candidates. Revolution? Only against perceived enemies (imperialism, capitalism, etc.) Only the right can be corrupt, and abuse power. Only right-wingers can be racist, and misogynistic. The Big Dog can't do wrong, victims of his predatory sexual abuses are nothing but gold diggers. It is perfectly fine, and beyond reproach, to illegally conduct affairs of State from the kitchen, breach duty of care, and abuse position in get-rich-quick schemes sanctioned by "non for profit" organisations.

Donald Trump is a piece of work, no doubt. And perhaps America is the only place, well Italy comes to mind, where such a flawed character could reach the highest office. But the Clintons? I mean, seriously? Trump is certainly a member of that establishment that American voters seem so keen on getting rid of. He is as amoral, crooked, and every bit as selfish and megalomaniac as the other two. But instead of making himself unelectable by insulting the electorate, he employed that tried and tested method of telling people what they wanted to hear, something true believers are simply unwilling to even contemplate. American institutions will now have to deal with the resulting mess, checks and balances will guarantee observance to rule of law. Trump is just one clown, an American Hugo Chavez, bent on profiting from people's desperation, though the U.S. is not Venezuela, and soon enough the realities of governing the world's superpower will quickly chuck away all the deranged nonsense spewed during the campaign.

The others, the 1%, are a sect of deluded, egotistic and dangerous fanatics who live in denial. They will never walk a year in the shoes of a poor person to try to understand why they keep being trumped at the polls. Ultimately, they'll take care of Trump too, either through absorption or ejection, alas the gap with those of us who don't live in their rarefied ecosystem can only grow wider. Brexit brought about Theresa May... An unelected Prime Minister without a mandate. It is doubtful that she'll better the lot of this country's people. Trump does have a mandate, although no one should believe that he'll have an easy ride with GOP-controlled Congress and Senate. In the meantime, Americans and the British continue to lack true representation in politics, an issue that affects populations in many countries around the world. Fanatics won't shine much light on what causes the new normal: upset (for them) at the polls.