Who is Leopoldo López?


Leopoldo López, in his former capacity as mayor of Chacao, doing what he does best…leading “protests” that are nothing but riots.

If you think this pretty boy is some kind of hero or martyr in the cause of Venezuelan freedom, you’ve no doubt been eating stoopid sandwiches, served up by your friendly media under Operation Mockingbird — which, contrary to anything you may have been told, is still up and running to this day. Fortunately, I’ve got the antidote for that mental poison right here. A Canadian journalist in Cuba, Jean-Guy Allard, has the goods on Prettyboy Leo, and has written two blog entries on him. Cubainformación has helpfully compiled them into one piece at this link. Here’s the first one:

The international media are presenting Leopoldo López, right-wing leader and instigators of the recent wave of violence in Venezuela, as an innocent victim of what they call “the Chavista régime”.

Leopoldo López is a typical example of a rich kid from the Venezuelan elite, tied to US interests. He studied at the exclusive Kenyon College in Ohio, and in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, both well-known nurseries for the CIA.

In Venezuela, López was part of the elite which for years controlled the state oil company PDVSA, where he was an assistant to the chief economist. Recall that Hugo Chávez undertook a true renationalization of the oil industry, firing thousands of cadres who had built a state within a state, behind all social objectives.

Implicated in the failed coup d’état of 2002, in December 2007 Leopoldo López benefited from the amnesty offered by President Chávez himself.

López has been linked for years to the International Republican Institute (IRI), tied to the Republican Party of the United States, which furnishes strategic and financial support.

López has always gambled on violent actions against the Bolivarian Revolution. As mayor of the upper-crust Chacao district of Caracas, in 2004 he gave cover to the strategy known as “guarimbas”, acts of violence which caused many deaths at the time.

Founder of the right-wing Primero Justicia party, along with Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo López bet on the most expeditious and violent ways, for which he created his own party: Voluntad Popular. He promotes the so-called “Popular networks”, an initiative financed by USAID, a government agency of the US, for infiltrating the popular communities, close to the Revolution, and recruiting people there to be paid for destabilizing actions.

Personages like Leopoldo López do not arise spontaneously. Washington has its “leader” factories, which it provides with funding and strategies for the destabilization of inconvenient governments. In Libya, Bolivia, Syria, Ukraine, Cuba or Venezuela…nothing is down to political chance.

Translation mine. Here’s the second:

What do US general David Petraeus, former CIA director who recently stepped down, and Leopoldo López Mendoza, chief of the fascist hordes trying to do away with the achievements of Chávez, have in common? Both are linked to the Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, a known incubator of officials in the Central Intelligence Agency.

Many elements in López’s life, as well as his current activities as a putschist provocateur, tie him to the organs of US intelligence. Son of a family that always prospered in the highest spheres of the right-wing political fauna, he identified from an early age with the United States and the elites of the imperial universe.

Typical son of his father — of those who grow up over-protected behind the walls of opulent mansions in the most exclusive neighborhoods in Caracas — López was sent by his family, at the age of 18, where the privileged of the south send their heirs to buy themselves a future.

So it is that in 1989, young López washed up at the very exclusive Kenyon College, in Ohio, where he was to discover his new homeland. He spent nearly five years in this prestigious institution reserved for the rich: the annual cost of the prestigious academy for kids with money would come to $60,000 of Uncle Sam’s money today, a real fortune.

The CIA doesn’t recruit its people among the poor. It has always been known that the CIA controls elements among the professors of Kenyon College, whose task is to identify the students who could be useful, sooner or later, to the “Company”.

From the Cold War years, one knows of the famous case of the poet, John Crowe Ransom, who was considered by the CIA as an important “operative” when he taught at Kenyon College, according to experts in the matter.

The college’s literary magazine, the Kenyon Review, of great influence among US intellectuals, was even financed by the agency with the objectives of penetrating into this world of difficult access. There are witness accounts of Ransom helping to recruit potential CIA employees among the students. One of Ransom’s pupils, Robie Macauley, was on the agency payroll when he succeeded Ransom as editor.

Kenyon had such prestigen in the agency that Michael Morrell, number two man of the “Company”, as well has having twice served as an internal director, who recently retired after 33 years at Langley, chose to give his first conference of official retirement there. Among other things, Morrell spoke to the graduates about torture, specifically of simulated drowning (“waterboarding”).

It is hard to believe that López, a Latin American of wealthy family, was not monitored and in the files of the “operatives” of Kenyon.

It could not be a coincidence that López later reappeared at Harvard University — another venue for those with money — and specifically in the Kennedy School of Government, where he obtained a master’s degree in political science in 1996.

The Kennedy School is another hunting ground for the head-hunters of Langley. Several facts confirm it.

There is the somewhat piquant story of General David Petraeus, the CIA chief and confidant of Barack Obama in matters of intelligence, who stepped down not long ago after confessing his adulterous relations with Paula Broadwell.

Broadwell graduated from West Point Military Academy, and worked in military intelligence for a long time. She specialized in counterinsurgency and geopolitical analysis. Broadwell met Petraeus while working on a doctorate…at the Kennedy School of Government.

Petraeus frequented the institution for several years, and felt quite at home there; he gave conferences and frequently participated in debates where he met with high officials of the military command.

Retired general Petraeus soon found another job. He is now a professor at the Kennedy School.

The president of New Generations of the Spanish right-wing Popular Party, Pablo Casado Blanco, served as a CIA liaison to instruct his subaltern, Ángel Carromero, in his counterrevolutionary mission in Cuba. A mission that ended with the death of the Cuban “dissident” to whom he had handed over a hefty sum of money.

Casado, who put Carromero in contact with a mysterious correspondent in Sweden, who in turn connected with a right-wing Swedish director with whom she travelled, is a pure product of these big North American schools where the CIA recruits its agents, whom it later situates in the political hierarchy of their country of origin.

A lawyer educated in Madrid, Casado Blanco graduated drom the Kennedy School.

Upon return to Venezuela, López took a job as analyst, assistant to the chief economist and economic advisor in co-ordination and planning at PDVSA, the state oil company, thanks to his mother, Antonieta Mendoza de López, who was director of public affairs there.

There is also a donation from his mama, who diverted funds from PDVSA to benefit the political adventures of her son, which López later owed his presence before the tribunals where he had to explain this fraud.

Promptly, the politician connected with the CIA, or rather a known façade of the “Company”, the International Republican Institute (IRI), linked to the Republican Party, which later threw all its strategic and financial support behind him. With this proposition, starting in 2002, he made frequent trips to Washington and to the IRI’s headquarters to meet with functionaries of the government of George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, he joined the “civil association” Primero Justicia, which later became a political party now headed by his rival, Henrique Capriles Radonski. This other son of his father also makes up an element of the destabilization mechanism programmed by the CIA, the State Department, and their Embassy in Caracas.

On April 11, 2002, he led an opposition putschist march to Miraflores Palace, causing the death of dozens of persons and the kidnapping of President Hugo Chávez.

He was also implicated in the criminal “arrest” of the minister of the Interior and Justice, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín. The court case against López for these crimes ended on December 31, 2007, thanks to the amnesty offered by President Chávez himself.

Despite the failure of the CIA’s destabilization plan, López took up where he left off with his fascist provocations, inspired by Yankee intelligence manuals.

At the end of February 2004, he was one of the leaders of the guarimba in Chacao, where he was mayor, to “force” the resignation of President Chávez, provoking more deaths.

Frustrated at not occupying the leader’s position in other parties, López later created his own, called Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), where he gives free run to his extremist ideas, clearly inspired by Nazism. He also promotes the so-called “Popular Networks”, an initiative financed by USAID, with the objective of infiltrating communities and breaking their revolutionary lines, to recruit personnel paid for destabilizing actions, supposedly “spontaneous”.

López is a a cousin of another CIA agent, Thor Halvorssen, self-proclaimed head of the Human Rights Foundation, a CIA creation which had a hand in the failed coup against Bolivian president Evo Morales, in 2009. The Bolivian subsidiary of Halvorssen’s fake NGO was directed by the Cuban-American terrorist Armando Valladares, an old accomplice of US intelligence.

Personages like López, in Latin America and throughout the world, wherever the empire fights for its interests, rarely arise spontaneously. Nothing is owed to chance. Washington has its “leader” factories, which provide its intelligence mechanisms with the material necessary for their Machiavellian plans. “Leaders” trained in their academies of future destabilizers of all provenances, in the image of their imperial boss.

Again, translation mine. Linkage added.

Well. That was a fair chunk to bite off and digest, wasn’t it? Let’s see what we can filter out of that soup.

First off, big boos to Kenyon College for their part in all this. My opinion of John Crowe Ransom and the Kenyon Review just slipped and fell straight into the toilet as I was translating that. Suffice to say I don’t think I’ll be sending them any of my literary work. Assuming it even stands a chance there to begin with. American literary writing has been anemic for decades…not coincidentally, since about the time the CIA started putting its oar in the writing workshop business. You’ll see a lot of highly polished, mannered and strangely forgettable poetry and prose emanating from that era; determinedly apolitical, as though it were a dirty thing to have a political conscience and to dare to write from it. (Just as it’s considered vulgar for rich people to talk about money, no doubt.) If you wonder where that came about, here’s a little light reading. It doesn’t mention Kenyon, but any big lit-mag that regularly publishes polished literary mediocrities is almost certainly a beneficiary of similar influence.

And any author who “got big” despite a distinct lack of big ideas is suddenly just that wee bit more suspect, no? I think this may be why not a single poem by John Crowe Ransom, though he was much acclaimed, is even the least bit memorable to me. I do recall, very generally, that his material was highly polished, like a pebble out of a tumbler: perfectly smooth and featureless, with no angles or textures to grab onto. It just slips right back out of your hand the moment you try to feel for something about it. The poet in me is disgusted, but I can’t say she’s at all surprised.

Maybe this is why the last political poet of any real import in the US was Carl Sandburg, who could not have been further removed from the Kenyon College set if he tried. I could be all wet, but I get the distinct feeling that anything even slightly critical, or remotely of the people, gets very politely discouraged at the lit-mag level, and has been for decades. Just take a look at all the reams of apolitical literary blancmange yourself, if you have the stomach for it.

All the other personages in this tale are less the stuff of highbrow lit, and more that of a third-rate farce. Petraeus and Broadwell are a dirty joke that only just got stale. As for Valladares and Halvorssen, they are bit players who were never worth taking seriously in their self-assigned (or CIA-designed?) roles as human rights activists in the first place. (Although I did get a kick out of Fidel Castro’s legendary takedown of the “miraculous” cure of the allegedly paralyzed Valladares, who was so shameless as to publish a book of “critically acclaimed” poems titled From My Wheelchair — Fidel told him that he was free to leave Cuba if he just walked on and off the airplane…and Valladares did!)

All of this is background material, an insight into the world that produced Leopoldo López. Far from being an independent voice of freedom, as the media would have you believe, he is very much a churned-out product of the right-wing, Cold War operative factory of the CIA. And he’s not a very good one, either. The only question is why this ridiculous creature is still being taken seriously. But now that the emperor’s nudity has been pointed out (for the umpteenth time!) in plain English, it’s going to be that much harder, isn’t it?

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