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December 9 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

Should Venezuela be listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

For several years, SFS has actively researched the linkages between Venezuelan government officials and international terrorism. On June 4, 2014, our first policy report, Canada on Guard: Assessing the Immigration Security Threat of Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba, revealed a criminal-terrorist pipeline sending funds and drugs from Latin America to the Middle East and bringing back foreign fighters and potential Islamic terrorists. This report identified specific Venezuelan government officials who developed an illicit financial network functioning as a service provider for Islamic militants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In particular, the report mentions at least 173 individuals from the aforementioned countries receiving either passports, visa’s, or national ID cards from the Venezuelan government.

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December 2 2015 image description
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PUTIN AND HIS POLICIES: By Evgueni Novikov, Ph.D.

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Center for a Secure Free Socierty (SFS). 

Evgueni NovikovIntroduction:

The reader might appreciate that my opinions on Russia and its leadership are based on my long time cultural experience as an insider and observer of the Soviet/Russian elites. My mother’ sister, Olga Nikolaevna, was a wife of Mr. Alexey Koslov, CPSU top apparatchik, former deputy of Soviet PM Malenkov and a Soviet minister of agriculture. Olga Nikolaevna’s social status made it possible for her to be a friend of Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alilueva. In my childhood years I would spend a lot of time with Olga Nikolaevna’s family and I had vivid impressions about the way of life of Stalin’s party elite members. Mr. Alexey Koslov helped me to enroll in the prestigious Nachimov Naval preparatory school in Leningrad, where I became a friend of Admiral Yuri Panteleev who was the President of the Leningrad Navy War College. I was accepted into the Admiral’s family and was able to watch the life styles of members of the Soviet military. While I pursued my studies in Leningrad, I became acquainted with the Leningrad culture of the intelligentsia, to which the family of young Putin belonged. Following my years at the Nachimov Naval preparatory school, I became a student at a most prestigious Soviet University – MGIMO (all Russian foreign ministers are and have been alumni of this University). After graduation, and until my defection to the USA in 1988, I worked for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee’s International Department. (My former colleague, Mr. Alexey Pushkov is a head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma). My cultural and personal experience enables me to understand the way of thinking and acting of the Russian inner circle and of President Vladimir Putin. Based on the above experience I shall try to explain why the Russian people like and support President Vladimir Putin. More importantly, an appraisal of Putin’s domestic support can help us to discern his ambitions in Ukraine and his latest endeavor in the Middle East.

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April 20 2015 image description
by: jmhumire 0 Comments

SFS Podcasts

The Center for a Secure Free Society has recently participated in the discussion regarding the U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba. SFS has been actively involved in the recent conversations and has gained a number of media mentions over the last few months, as well as the launch of several new digital products that relate to these on-going conversations regarding the U.S. Cuba policy. … Continue Reading »

March 5 2015 image description
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SFS Panel and Reception for Cuba: Off the List?

On Wednesday, February 25, SFS hosted a policy roundtable regarding the U.S. State Department’s sixth month review to determine whether Cuba should remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. The list currently includes Iran, Syria, Sudan, and Cuba. In an effort to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States, Cuba requested removal from  the list citing that it hampers normalization efforts.  Our panelists included former Assistant Director of FBI’s Office of International Operations, Thomas Fuentes, Associate at Vision Americas and former U.S. State Department official, José Cardenas, SFS senior fellow Fernando Menéndez, with VOA’s Foro Interamericano host, Patricia Dalmasy, as the moderator…. Continue Reading »

July 18 2014 image description
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SFS hosts Venezuelan Vice-Admiral Carratú for a discussion of current conflict within Maduro’s government

WASHINGTON, DC– On Wednesday, July 16, SFS hosted a policy roundtable concerning the growing conflict in Venezuela— not simply between the populist government and its civilians, but between the government and military factions as well—and how this increasingly important issue impacts the United States. Our three panelists were Armando Guzman, the host of Perspectiva Nacional on the Spanish-language channel Univision and a prominent journalist of the DC area; Adm. Mario Iván Carratú Molina, the ex-Vice Admiral of the Venezuelan Presidential Guard under President Pérez who currently resides in the United States under forced exile by the Venezuelan government; and Douglas Farah, a well-recognized defense consultant and Latin American security expert who has worked as a career investigative journalist and foreign correspondent for several news outlets.

The event began with an introduction from Mr. Guzman, who emphasized the global reach the recent protests in Venezuela had, saying that “not only the United States, but the entire world knows what is going on in Venezuela,” but there is little motivation or resource to affect change in the region. Mr. Guzman compared the tormented Venezuela of today to that which he visited years ago, reflecting that “the contrast is incredible from the last time I was there… there is no happiness… there is poverty and hunger… [Caracas] is converted into a capital of misery.” However, while the international community may be aware of the violence of the protests that started last spring, lesser known is the growing separatist attitude in the government and the armed forces, laying the groundwork for a larger and even more disastrous clash within the government itself.

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