Americas’ reality worsens because the Castroist Chavist system has shown us that its actions and objectives are not a matter of politics but are entirely a matter of organized crime. The division between countries with democracy and those with dictatorships is no longer enough. The regimes from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Correa’s Ecuador besides having established de-facto governments concentrating all power and being sustained by violence, are deeply involved in transnational organized crime. We, therefore, must differentiate and separate politics from organized crime, calling it by what they really are.
The Palermo convention which includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and all Americas’ countries defines “an organized criminal group” to be “a structured group of three or more persons that may exist during a certain time and who deliberately acts with the purpose of committing one or more serious crimes or crimes catalogued by this Convention which are aimed to obtain, directly or indirectly, an economic or some other material benefit.” The Castro, Chavez-Maduro, Morales, Ortega, and Correa’s regimes are certainly included in the aforementioned definition.
The Convention defines “serious crime” as “the conduct which entails a crime punishable with a maximum of four years imprisonment or harsher sentence”. The Castroist Chavist chieftains have committed all sorts of serious crimes and as evidence that they are habitual and repeat offenders, let’s take a look at some of these crimes; attempts against life and liberty, assassinations, undue detentions, torture, crimes against the economies of their states, corruption, counterfeiting of all sorts, supplanting authority, usurpation of power, depriving people their rights, treason to their homeland, aggravated robbery, heists, kidnappings, extortion, narcotics’ trafficking, conspiracy, criminal cover up, human trafficking, contraband, terrorism, and other common crimes against humanity.
A “structured group” is “a group which has not been fortuitously formed for the immediate commission of a crime and in which roles, outlined in functional descriptions formally defined, are not necessarily assigned to the members who comprise it and wherein there may not be continuity for its members or there is no structure developed”. In the case of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, the “structured group” definition is certainly applicable because in the Castroist Chavist system there is assignment of functions and its has a well developed and institutionalized structure in the governments under its control.
For “assets, we shall understand to mean any type of asset; material, real estate, tangible, or intangible, and the documents or legal means which accredit the ownership or any other right over such assets.” By “product of the crime, we shall understand to include any type of asset obtained, directly or indirectly, through the commission of a crime”. Thus we now have a clear picture showing that the main asset, product of a crime by a structured criminal group who started as “the Bolivarian Movement”, “21st Century Socialism”, and now “Castroist Chavist” system “is to exercise and illegitimately retain power” and through the indefinite hold of power continue to commit and cover up all types of crime.
It has spread from Cuba, and now controls Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. It functions as a transnational organization and presents itself as a political undertaking with a leftist, populist, socialist, communist –whichever best suits it- ideology. With the resources gotten from crime, it controls and influences the news media, powerful lobby groups, attorneys, public relations firms, personalities, institutions, and even governments in order to sustain the appearance of a political undertaking to disguise what in reality is an unprecedented criminal organization.
With “the product of the crime” it controls and/or influences international organizations such as; Petrocaribe, the Organization of American States (OAS), the United Nations (UN), and it forges alliances with anti-democratic governments, jostling and negotiating positions wherefrom, instead of protecting the system they misuse it and place it at its service to protect narcotics’ trafficking, terrorism, and all sorts of crime it commits daily in order to indefinitely sustain itself in power.
The greatest threat against democracy, peace, and international security in the Americas is organized crime which controls Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Ecuador is now, perhaps, on its way out of this scheme. Democratic governments must clearly understand to separate politics from organized crime and act accordingly and for the sake of their own security because the peril is so great that whoever did not understand this is now imprisoned, exiled, or dead.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Sunday March 11th, 2018