Guest Column–Washington Works To Overthrow Argentine Government

The Stacks Are Loaded Against Reform In Latin America

Paul Craig Roberts

The Strategic Culture Foundation has published Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya’s report on the effort underway by Washington and Argentine intelligence agents to overthrow the reformist president of Argentina.

Washington cannot tolerate reformist governments in Central and South America. For example, Washington’s interferences in Honduras and overthrow of reformist governments are legendary. One of Obama’s first acts as President was to overthrow the government of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was allied with reformist Venezuela president Hugo Chavez and, like Chavez, was portrayed as a dictator and a threat.

Currently Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Argentina are on Washington’s list of governments to be overthrown.

For decades Washington has had what is euphemistically called “close relations” with the Honduran military. In Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, Washington is allied with the Spanish elite, which traditionally has prospered by permitting US business interests to loot the countries. In Argentina Washington is allied with the Argentine intelligence service, which is currently working with Washington and the oligarch class against the reformist president.

Washington squelches reforms in order to protect the looting ability of US business interests. As US Marine General Smedley Butler said of his service in Central America, “I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.”

With the documented long history of Washington’s interference in the internal affairs of its southern neighbors, the puzzle is why do these countries enable the overthrow of their governments by hosting US embassies and by permitting US firms to operate inside their countries?

Any time the political process within these countries puts in office a leader who thinks government should put the interest of its people above those of the United States, the leader is overthrown in a coup or assassinated. Latin America exists for the interests of the United States, and Washington is committed to keeping it that way. With a country’s elites and military allied with Washington, reform is continually sabotaged and frustrated.

Countries that open themselves to US embassies, US business interests, and US funded Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have to expect that their independence and sovereignty will be subverted. Real reform in Latin America awaits the eviction of all US interests and the dispossession of the oligarchs.

The Politicization of the AMIA Investigation: Pretext for Regime Change in Argentina?

History has a strange way of replicating itself. Argentina has been going through a process similar to the post-1999 years, after Boris Yeltsin stepped down and Vladimir Putin took his place in the Kremlin as the president of the Russian Federation. While it has been struggling to throw off the foreign yoke, the Argentine federal government in Buenos Aires has been consolidating its economic and political power.

Buenos Aires, however, has been opposed by a cross-section of the old regime and oligarchs collaborating with the United States. These forces have opposed major national projects, the re-nationalization of large companies, and the strengthening of the executive branch of government. In this regard, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s showdowns with her opponents are similar to Vladimir Putin’s showdowns with Russian oligarchs and politicians that wanted to subordinate Russia to Wall Street and Washington, as well as Western Europe’s capitals and financial hubs.

All opportunities are being used to weaken the Argentine government. President Fernández de Kirchner has even publicly accused her domestic opponents and the US of collaborating for regime change. When DAESH or the ISIL threatened to kill her in 2014 she alluded to the threat as really being Washington that was the entity that wanted to kill her and the one pulling the strings behind DAESH’s terrorist brigades in Syria and Iraq. [1]

The Death of Alberto Nisman

The latest chapter of the Argentina government’s struggle started in January 2015. On the same day the Israel’s killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Mohammed Allahdadi inside Syria, former special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a gunshot wound to the side of his head in the bathroom of his locked apartment on January 18, 2015. [2] Nisman had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a building belonging to the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina; AMIA) for ten years after. In 2003, he was appointed the task by President Nestor Kirchner, the dead husband of Argentina’s current president.

A few days earlier, he had made claims against Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, who himself is Jewish. In the words of the New York Times, Nisman «had leveled serious accusations.» [3] claimed «that Iranian officials had planned and financed the attack; that Hezbollah, Iran’s ally in Lebanon, had carried it out; and that the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and her top aides had conspired to cover up Iran’s involvement as part of a deal to supply Iranian oil to Argentina.» [4] 

The Jewish journalist Damian Pachter, who fled Argentina after Nisman’s death, has added fuel to the fire from inside Israel and even written a widely quoted, but unsupported, article for Haaretz that uses polemics against Argentine’s government. Pachter’s article makes Argentina appear like it is moving in the shadows of Nazi Germany or some fascist regime. Here are some of his comments:

–I have no idea when I’ll be back in Argentina; I don’t even know if I want to. What I do know is that the country where I was born is not the happy place my Jewish grandparents used to tell me stories about.

–Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system. I still haven’t figured out everything that has happened to me over the past 48 hours. I never imagined my return to Israel would be like this. [5]

Before moving forward, it should be added that in the ten years of Alberto Nisman’s investigation, he could not indict Iran or Hezbollah. Additionally, it has been revealed that Nisman consulted the US frequently about the AMIA case and that he was accused by Roland Noble, the former head of International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), of being a liar about a lot of the accusations he had made about the AMIA case. [6]

Alberto Nisman’s death was reported as a suicide. The timing of Nisman’s death, however, was very suspicious. He died merely a matter of hours before he was due to give a testimony to the Argentinean Congress. The Argentina government has said that his death was a murder aimed at hurting the government. [7] This claim is correct and has come into fruition as Alberto Nisman’s death is being used for political ammunition demanding the removal of the Argentine government.

The Fifth Column in Argentina

The Guardian published an article on January 27, 2015, which reported that Alberto Nisman’s death «follows a protracted struggle» between the Argentinean government and Argentina’s key «intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her.» [8] Some key points to be noted from the report include the following:

–Government officials have pointed the finger of blame at spies whom they say were working with Nisman and feeding him wiretap information.

–Chief among them is Antonio Stiuso, who until last month was the general director of operations and eavesdropped on the president’s political opponents. He was fired when Fernández discovered he was working with Nisman to build a case against her. He is believed to be in the US.

–In her televised address – which she made in a wheelchair after a recent accident – Fernández also criticized Diego Lagomarsino, who was charged on Monday with illegally lending a firearm to Nisman. [9]

What the above points allude to is that Argentine internal security and intelligence operatives have been working to topple their own government. Additionally, Antonio Stiuso and Nisman were secretly working on establishing a case to remove Kirchner from power. 

A fifth column exists in Argentina. It should be noted that some of the individuals involved in this case are leftovers elements from the period of the military dictatorship in Argentina that collaborated closely with the US. This could explain why Antonio Stiuso is believed to have fled to the US. Moreover, this is why the Argentine government has begun an investigation into the activities several federal police agents that were monitoring Nisman and why it has decided to replace the Secretariate of Intelligence (SI; formerly the Secretariate of State Intelligence or SIDE) with a new federal intelligence agency. [10] «This led me to the decision to remove agents that had been there since before the coming of democracy», Kirchner says herself. [11]

«We must start to work on a project to reform the Argentine intelligence system, in order to clear up a system that has not served national interests», President Kirchner has declared about the reforms. [12] Kirchner has revealed that the SI was working to undermine her government and to annul the agreement that Argentina had made with Iran. The Buenos Aires Herald has written that President Kirchner has «asserted that from the moment the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran over the AMIA bombings in 1994 was signed, ‘you could see that the agreement was being bombarded from the [Secretariate of Intelligence].» [13]

AMIA is a Pretext and Argentina is a Front in a Global Multi-Spectrum War

The AMIA case has been politicized on two fronts. One front is a domestic struggle and the other is in the realm of international relations. A group of Argentinean oligarchs are using the AMIA case to regain control over the country, while the US is using the AMIA case as another tool—like the vulture funds case against Argentina—to put pressure on the Argentine government and interfere in Argentina’s internal affairs.

Opinions are being galvanized inside Argentina as the lines are being hardened. Alberto Nisman’s death is being used by the Argentine government’s political opponents to demonize it. The opposition is even referring to Nisman as a martyr in a fight for democracy and liberty in a country allegedly run by an increasingly authoritarian regime. 

The political jockeying in Argentina over the AMIA attack and its investigation reflects something much bigger. Iran is not the only target in the polarization of the AMIA case. Nor is the case really about seeking justice for the victims of the AMIA bombing. China, Russia, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and a series of different independent countries are also targets in what is really a global struggle between the US and a coalition of independent states that are resisting US influence. 

The ultimate objectives of the US are to regain its lost influence in Argentina and redirect Argentinean trade relations and control its foreign policy. This includes ending the measures Buenos Aires has started taking to regain control of the Malvinas (Falklands) from the British, which is situated in an energy-rich area in the South Atlantic.

In addition to a resource war that includes energy reserves, the multi-spectrum war being waged by the US against its rivals has been preparing for an agricultural assault that will result in destabilizing food prices and even creating starvation. Aside from its untapped oil and natural gas reserves, Argentina is a major agricultural power. Controlling Buenos Aires would be useful to the US.


[1] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, «Eagles of Empire and economic terrorism: Are vulture funds instruments of US policy?» RT, October 24, 2014.
[2] Almudena Calatrava, «Supporters doubt Argentine prosecutor killed self», Associated Press, Janaury 20, 2015; Jonathan Watts, «Argentinian government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency», Guardian, January 27, 2015.
[3-4] Isabel Kershner, «Journalist Who Reported on Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Flees to Israel», New York Times, January 26, 2015.
[5] Damian Pachter, «Why I fled Argentina after breaking the story of Alberto Nisman’s death», Haaretz, January 25, 2015.
[6] «Ex Interpol head Roland Noble: What prosecutor Nisman says is false», Buenos Aires Herald, January 18, 2015.
[7-10] Jonathan Watts, Argentinian governments moves», op. cit. 
[11-13] «CFK announces plan to dissolve SI intelligence service», Buenos Aires Herald, Janaury 26, 2015.