Disinfo: Trump Administration is updating Operation Condor in Latin America for the XXIst century

Summary

US president Donald Trump’s fixation is to root out Socialists. The Latin American left warned of a resurgence of Operation Condor in the XXI century, this time through updated methods. After taking part in the coup in Bolivia, the US reinforced sanctions against Nicaragua’s left-wing government and is now pointing to Mexico, where it could use the excuse of the designation of drug trafficking organisations as terrorist groups for direct military intervention.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim that there is an 'Operation Condor of the XXIst century', nor the alleged US involvement in the events in Bolivia or that the US government wants to designate drug trafficking organisations as terrorist groups for a military intervention in Mexico.

Operation Condor was a US-backed, coordinated intelligence operation from 1968 to 1989, formally institutionalised in 1975, between right-wing Latin American dictatorships, whose intelligence services illegally tracked down, kidnapped, murdered or forcefully disappeared thousands of political opponents across the continent. At least 50,000 killings were documented by the perpetrators. Nothing of a similar scale in any count has been suggested by any serious observer in these times.

This is part of a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative about constant US plots to undermine Latin American governments. You can see many examples in our database, such as an alleged CIA-led Twitter campaign and a hybrid war in Bolivia, the engineering of blackouts all over Latin America, the promotion of secessionism in Mexico or Venezuela, the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana for military operations inside the country or preparations for a military intervention in that country after forcing Brazil to join NATO.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Bolivia, Mexico, US
  • Keywords: Imperialism/colonialism, Colour revolutions

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Russia restored its relations with the West by doing everything contrary to the latter’s will

Over the last few years, Russia has improved its position in world politics because it did not follow the others’ rules and orders. This was risky, but the strategy of compliance with the West’s instructions would definitely run Russia into a catastrophe. Many of the “Kremlin’s adventures” such as counter-sanctions, the military operation in Syria, import substitutions, construction of pipelines which the West initially ridiculed, have brought fruits and consequently contributed to the restoration of relations with the Western countries.

Disproof

The claim about Western plans to run Russian into a catastrophe is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's deliberate anti-Russian activities. It misinterprets the dynamics of Russian-Western relations by alleging that they improved as a result of Russian activities in military and economic fields such as the introduction of counter-sanctions or assisting Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

In fact, the EU has unanimously voted for continuation of the sanctions against Russia since they were introduced in 2014 and the US made sanctions against Russia stricter in August 2019. Therefore, Russian-Western relations have hardly been restored due to Russian military and economic measures as the articles claim.

The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: the West ignores Russian or Soviet interests

The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: The West ignores Russian or Soviet interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood.

The conflict over Ukraine and Crimea for more than five years seems to follow a similar pattern to that over Afghanistan 40 years ago: Western activities deliberately ignore Soviet or Russian interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood. When Moscow can no longer ignore this, and reacts to it, it is accused of exactly that, in both cases first and foremost by the USA. This is followed by one-sided blame, distraction from one’s own role and interests, and sanctions.

[Context: The conflict over Crimea was a consequence of the coup in Kyiv in February 2014.]

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western belligerence towards Russia, Western attempts to encircle Russia, its involvement in the war in Ukraine, stating that the 2013-2014 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine and other states as failing states incapable of making its own policy choices and painting the West as the puppet-master of their politics.

The Euromaidan was not organised by the West but was the sovereign choice of Ukrainians for pro-European development. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine.

Crimea and Sevastopol are irreversibly Russian

Crimea became part of Russia again after the March 2014 referendum, with 96.77 percent of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s people voting in favour of joining Russia. This was after the overthrow of the regime in Ukraine in February 2014.

The Russian leadership has stated many times that the people of Crimea have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia, in a democratic process that fully complies with the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. According to President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is complete and irreversibly closed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea and Sevastopol.

Crimea is part of Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia. Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpointbarring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.