Cordiality . . . and Cause for Caution
Byline: Constantine C. Menges, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
President Bush and President Lula da Silva of Brazil had a cordial meeting in Washington on June 20, 2003. Cabinet ministers from both countries agreed on joint projects in agriculture, energy and combating AIDS in Portuguese-speaking Africa. There was also discussion about economic and trade matters. President Lula da Silva said Brazil wants a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and that he is supported by "many people in the world and all of Latin America." He also told the Brazilian press after the meeting that "we do not have to be friends, but can still have civilized relations".
The Brazilian president, known as Lula, has conducted a conventional economic policy that pleases domestic and foreign investors and that sets the stage for his goal of greatly increasing Brazilian exports to the United States. As a result, many observers and Wall Street seem pleasantly surprised. However, there are other aspects of Lula's presidency that deserve discussion in Washington.
At the same time, he is working to continue business relations, Lula is also taking open and secret actions to assist his allies, who are also Fidel Castro's allies, to take power in other Latin American countries. I previously predicted that Lula as well as the other leaders of the new pro-Castro axis Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Lucio Gutierrez of Ecuador would implement such a "two-level" strategy: normal diplomatic and business relations at one level combined with a parallel strategy of open and secret support for radical, pro-Castro political and armed groups in Latin America such as the communist narcoterrorist FARC and ELN of Colombia.
For nearly 30 years, Lula has been a public supporter and admirer of Mr. Castro. In 1966, Mr. Castro founded the "Tricontinental Congress" to increase collusion among anti-U.S. terrorists from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. In 1990, he joined with Lula as convener to rename this group the "Forum of Sao Paulo," which annually brings together many radical and communist political movements and guerrillas; as well as international communist and terrorist groups. Members include the Sandinistas, FMLN, URNG, FARC, ELN, the Cuban communists, the MVR Party of Hugo Chavez, and Lula da Silva's Workers' Party. Regular international observers include the Palestine Liberation Organization, Irish Republican Army, Spain's Basque separatist ETA, Chinese Communist Party, representatives from North Korea, Iran, Libya and formerly the Iraqi Ba'athist Party.
The Forum's "Central Document" for its December 2002 meeting accused U.S. troops of genocide and massacres in Kosovo and Afghanistan and claimed the war in Iraq was to be waged for oil and corporate interests. Forum resolutions produced at the end of its meetings include support for the Taliban in Afghanistan (as late as December 2001) as well as for Saddam Hussein's regime.
Through the Forum, Lula's Workers' Party coordinates with similar movements in Latin America and the rest of the world. For example, under Lula da Silva, Brazil (as well as Cuba) has been a key ally for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, providing oil and other kinds of foreign aid during the anti-Chavez, prodemocratic strike there earlier this year. …