Now that eight foreign "terrorists" have been arrested in Caracas and evidence appeared on the web that the fascist wing of the Cuban exile community is plotting and scheming in Miami to end the Bolivarian project in Venezuela, why not look at Panama for a moment to see where our little isthmus fits in?
After all, we've had plenty of allegations coming from Venezuela that Panama is a center for anti-democracy planning as well, and our former narco-ambassador at the OAS, Guillermo Cochez, has been yelling and twittering his ass off against everything Chavez, Maduro and evil socialism in general, including a failed ploy to "prove" that Maduro wasn't really a Venezuelan citizen.
Ah, but in November last year, lawyer Eva Golinger - author of the best seller The Chavez Code - wrote on her blog about damning documents. A cabal of US consultants, Colombia's former paramilitary narco-president Alvaro Uribe and loyalists had supposedly drafted a document on how to overthrow the Chavistas. Wrote Golinger:
The document, titled “Strategic Venezuelan Plan”, was prepared by the Democratic Internationalism Foundation (http://fidauv.org), headed by ex Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, together with the First Colombia Think Tank (http://www.pensamientocolombia.org) and the US Consulting firm, FTI Consulting (http://www.fticonsulting.com). Dated June 13, 2013, the plan was developed during a meeting between representatives from these three organizations, leaders of the Venezuelan opposicion, including Maria Corina Machado, Julio Borges and Ramon Guillermo Avelado, expert in psychological operations J.J. Rendon and the Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for Latin America, Mark Feierstein.
The strategic plan to destabilize Venezuela has the primary goal of debilitating the government before the December 8 municipal elections, as revealed in the document: “The objectives put forth in the present plan are essentially geared towards the municipal elections set for December 8, while at the same time including the accelerated deterioration of the government, facilitating an opposition victory for this event...” Though the text states further, “...but if it could be done beforehand, that would be even better”.
The document also details the strategy to sabotage the electrical system in Venezuela, with the objective of blaming the government for a weak infrastructure and therefore projecting an image of crisis in Venezuela on an international level. As part of the plan, the authors propose, “To maintain and increase the sabotages that affect public services, particularly the electrical system, that will enable responsibility to be placed on the government for supposed inefficiencies and negligence”. For the past few months, blackouts and other electrical shortages have affected different regions throughout Venezuela, causing general discontent and reflecting negatively on the government. Just weeks ago, Venezuelan authorities detained various individuals involved in sabotaging the electrical system and at the end of September, President Maduro expelled three US diplomats from the US Embassy in Caracas for their alleged role in destabilization plans against the state.
In the section labeled “Actions”, the authors of the document detail their next steps to undermine the Venezuelan government. In addition to “Perfecting the confrontational discourse of Henrique Capriles”, the opposition candidate who lost to Maduro in April’s presidential elections, they also talk of “Generating emotion with short messages that reach the largest quantity of people and emphasize social problems, provoking social discontent. Increase problems with supply of basic consumer products”.
We asked Mrs. Golinger for a copy of the document, which she sent us immediately. We are now the first to make it available for download, here: VenPlan.pdf.
Now here is where it gets interesting where Panama is concerned: When we visited the website of FTI Consulting, we were immediately redirected to the site of the Panama branch office of that outfit. It's located on the 4th floor of the Dresdner Bank building on Calle 50.
According to the society pages of La Prensa, the Panama office was opened in August 2009.
The site only lists one person who works there, one Matias Mora Simoes:
For over 14 years he has provided a variety of investigative and intelligence services, including internal investigations, financial frauds, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, FCPA Audits, SOX implementation and the review and execution of comprehensive money laundering prevention programs.
Before joining FTI Consulting, Mr. Mora Simoes was the responsible of Holder International’s Financial Advisory Services area. He also led that practice in Kroll Inc. and ended up being the Head Office of the Buenos Aires’ office.
His boss, for whom he worked already before joining FTI, is one Frank Holder. Holder is no stranger to political plotting and smear in Latin America - he was involved in a botched attempt to discredit Brazilian president Lula da Silva with a fake report in which it was - falsely - alleged that Lula owned offshore bank accounts. In Argentina he produced a report, paid for by a banker, to smear two legislators. It was found to be completely unfounded by the courts later.
Holder and Mora are, or so it seems, the two big men at FTI Consulting where it comes to Latin America. And that same firm is one of the co-authors of the dirty campaign plan that Eva Golinger unearthed and that is these days, almost by the letter, being executed in Venezuela.