On December 30, 2010, the US Government decided that they were not going to extradite Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. The Venezuelan government is seeking Posada’s extradition for his alleged role in the 1976 terroristic bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people, something Posada has denied (http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_16970097).
Nicaragua also wants Posada, who is a native of Cuba. Nicaragua wants Posada for his role in helping the Contras, the U.S.-supported group that fought against the Marxist Sandinistas during the 1980s (ibid).
Posada, a terrorist, now lives and languishes in Florida, with the rest of his anti-Castro Cuban pals, out of reach from Nicaragua and Venezuela and under the canopy of US protection.
On September 9, 2012, the Guardian also reported that:
“In October 2003, the intensely pro-US president of Bolivia, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, sent his security forces to suppress growing popular protests against the government’s energy and globalization policies. Using high-powered rifles and machine guns, his military forces killed 67 men, women and children, and injured 400 more, almost all of who were poor and from the nation’s indigenous Aymara communities. Dozens of protesters had been killed by government forces in the prior months when troops were sent to suppress them.
The resulting outrage over what became known as “the Gas Wars” drove Sanchez de Lozada from office and then into exile in the United States, where he was welcomed by his close allies in the Bush administration. He has lived under a shield of asylum in the US ever since” (ibid)
Bolivia then demanded his extradition from the US for him to stand trial. That demand, ironically, was made pursuant to an extradition treaty signed by Sánchez de Lozada himself with the US. Civil lawsuits have also been filed against him in the US on behalf of the surviving victims.
The former leader – a multimillionaire mining executive who, having been educated in the US, spoke Spanish with a heavy American accent – was a loyal partner in America’s drug war in the region. More importantly, the former leader himself was a vehement proponent and relentless crusader for free trade and free market policies favored by the US: policies that the nation’s indigenous poor long believed (with substantial basis) resulted in their impoverishment while enriching Bolivia’s small Europeanized elite.
But there’s another important aspect of this case that distinguishes it from the standard immunity Washington gifts to itself and its friends.
When he ran for president in 2002, Sánchez de Lozada was deeply unpopular among the vast majority of Bolivians as a result of his prior four-year term as president in the 1990s. To find a way to win despite this, he hired the consulting firm owned and operated by three of Washington’s most well-connected Democratic party operatives: James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Bob Shrum. He asked them to import the tactics of American politics into Bolivia to ensure his election victory.
As detailed by a 2006 New York Times review of a film about the Democratic operatives’ involvement in Bolivia’s election, their strategy was two-fold: first, destroy the reputations of his two opponents so as to depress the enthusiasm of Bolivia’s poor for either of them; and then mobilize Sánchez de Lozada’s base of elites to ensure he wins by a tiny margin (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/sep/09/america-refusal-extradite-bolivia).
The US constantly refuses requests to extradite - even where (unlike Russia) they have an extradition treaty with the requesting country and even where (unlike Snowden) the request involves actual, serious crimes, such as genocide, kidnapping, and terrorism. Maybe those facts should be part of whatever media commentary there is on Putin’s refusal to extradite Snowden and Obama’s rather extreme reaction to it.
On August 7th, 2013 President Obama canceled a long-scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in part because the US president is upset that Russia defied his personal directive to hand over Edward Snowden despite the lack of an extradition treaty between the two nations (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/07/obama-putin-extradition-snowden).
Just one month earlier, on July 19, 2013 the US refused to hand over a CIA agent wanted in Italy along with 21 others. The Guardian out of England reported that:
“Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA agent was released from Panama. Panama, decided that he would not be extradited to Italy, where he faces a sentence of up to nine years in prison for his role in the CIA capture of a terrorism suspect who was secretly snatched off a street in Milan and transported to Egypt.
Lady has been living in Latin American, according to former colleagues at the CIA. All of the Americans convicted in the case had left Italy before trial” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/panama-releases-former-cia-operative-wanted-by-italy/2013/07/19/c73ebc12-f083-11e2-a1f9-ea873b7e0424_story.html).
Lady was the CIA base chief in Milan when Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, was bundled into a van as he walked to a mosque. Nasr was secretly flown out of Italy and delivered to Egypt, according to Italian court records.
Although U.S. intelligence officials have said that the Italian intelligence service sanctioned the operation, Italian prosecutors pursued U.S. officials on kidnapping and other charges.
The criminal Isaias brothers
If you do not know who the Isaias brothers are, you should. They are criminal banksters from Ecuador who, as fugitives, live and languish in upscale Coral Gables where they enjoy virtual immunity for their heinous crimes against the Ecuadorian people. This is not surprising for some of the most vitriolic and dangerous criminal refugees, members of the anti-Castro Cuban community, live and breathe alongside the brothers. In fact, the whole gaggle of corrupt and dangerous criminals that reside in Florida make up a large assemblage that has existed since at least 1959 and have been aided and abetted by the FBI, CIA and the Italian Mafia, to name just a few of the shady associations that find sunny Florida an attractive haven.
To provide some background to the unfolding story of the criminal bankers, the Isaias brothers, refugees from Ecuador who reside and flourish in luxury in Coral Gables, Miami, and their ties to money laundering and political pay-offs, some background is needed.
The Ecuadorian bank, Filanbanco’s failure helped cause the 1999 banking crisis in the tiny country of Ecuador. It is estimated that the brothers Grim, William and Roberto Isaias Dassum, owe the Ecuadorian treasury a whopping $661 million which they allegedly embezzled from the bank. Armando Bermeo, then head of the Supreme Court, accused the Isaias brothers of the crime of bank embezzlement and forgery in the arbitrary handling of depositors’ money, as well as several credits granted by the Central Bank Filanbanco through a government bailout. The allegation was finally etched in fact as the Isaias were accused and then convicted of hiding the Filanbanco’s financial problems from Ecuadorian regulators. They also were judged to have embezzled $158 million.
At Filanbanco, Roberto Isaias served as executive president and William Isaias as executive vice president — that is until the crisis. Both of them vamoosed when the bank was turned over in 1998 to a newly created deposit Ecuadorian guarantee agency, similar to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The 2009 lawsuit filed in Miami claims some of the pilfered money garnered by the Isaias came from $1.11 billion in Ecuador bail-out monies injected into the bank to keep it afloat.
The brothers were among the wealthiest people in Ecuador, with interests in sugar, media, banking and other businesses.
The Isaias family used and continues to use their vast media holdings to proclaim their innocence.
The financial mess caused the Ecuadorian national treasury about $8 billion and damage to thousands of customers (http://www.cuencahighlife.com/post/2013/07/05/Snowden-asylum-case-brings-up-the-case-of-Ecuadors-Isaias-brothers3b-Ecuador-claims-that-the-US-uses-a-legal-double-standard.aspx).
The brothers were convicted by an Ecuadorian court in absentia in 2003. According to Ecuadorian authorities, the Isaias’ booty was and is stashed in U.S. banks, mostly in Miami, as well as in banks in other countries (ibid).
Readers can see more about the criminal Isaias at: http://www.dailycensored.com/robert-and-william-isaias-dassum-the-case-of-the-ecuadorian-banking-fugitives-that-live-and-invest-in-the-u-s/
The story, written at Dailycensored.com in 2013 has now mushroomed into a US federal probe of the Isaias in the US for money laundering, among other things. Unfolding events have also shed light on the coin operated politicians, mostly of Cuban descent, who have aided and abetted the bank robbers. We will cover this in more detail later but readers are encouraged to read the article on Dailycensored.com at (http://www.dailycensored.com/democrat-robert-menendez-the-anti-castro-cuban-senator-from-new-jersey-denies-that-an-investigation-has-started-against-him-for-his-ties-to-criminal-fugitives-in-miami/) for more information.
The date was March 19, 2014 and I was sitting in Cotacachi, Ecuador at a small restaurant reading the right wing newspaper ‘El Comercio”. There, on page four, was an Isaias paid for editorial that covered a quarter of a page defend their theft and refugee status. The ‘editorial’ or paid for propaganda, signed by both brothers, basically asked: “Why is the Ecuadorian Government Condemning the Isaias Brothers”, and then went on to answer the question stating that the brothers were being persecuted because Rafael Correa, the elected president of Ecuador wanted to confiscate the Isaias brothers Ecuadorian TC Televison, Gamavision, and CN3, which Correa did in 2008.
According to the Isais, this was done so that the government could socialize the brother’s former companies and use them for propaganda purposes. The brothers went on to complain in the editorial that they were being politically persecuted and that their human rights were being violated. They even stated that what they called an attack on their human rights was the gravest that had ever occurred in the country.
Not once did the paid for editorial state that the brothers were accused by the Ecuadorian government and judged ‘three times’, in absentia to be guilty by the Ecuadorian Courts for stealing $158 million dollars and running off to the US with the loot before they could be arrested and judged. This slight fact must have escaped their politically persecuted minds –- but of course, not their wallets.
The fact is that Correa seized the brother’s assets for the crime of embezzlement but again, no mention of this in the paid for bulletin that appeared in the right wing ‘El Comercio’.
None of this is shocking and as I read the newspaper and the brothers’ feeble attempts to blame the Ecuadorian government for the seizure of their assets in Ecuador, I could only ask: “Isn’t this what all governments do when they have been thieved?” In the US we call it ‘forfeiture’. We have in the US both public and private forfeiture.
However, as I ruminated it was clear that the Isaias brothers did not have all their assets seized for they escaped to Coral Gables, home of some of the worst of the worst when it comes to anti-Castro-mafia connected Cubans with a great deal of money — millions in fact. Where it all is we do not know.
And this leads us to the story that both appeared in the NY Times at the end of March as well as in El Telegrafo, the periodical from Ecuador.
Both US political parties are involved in protecting the fugitive Isaias Brothers: both parties took their stolen swag
As I wrote at Dailycensored.com recently:
“For many years the Ecuadorian courts has been asking the U.S. for the extradition of Roberto and William Isaiah Dassum brothers , former owners of Filanbanco , who fled the country of Ecuador after being executors and beneficiaries of a major financial and banking collapse of 1999, which brought impoverishment and to ruin to millions of Ecuadorians. They were convicted in absentia for embezzlement and bank larceny. That is why they fled to Florida.
The U.S. response to calls for their return to Ecuador to face their crimes has been negative on three occasions. And in Ecuador, growing suspicion that these shady characters in the Sunshine state were protected by the American political system and its coin-operated politicians of both parties, which has not only given them shelter, but also allowed them to remain bankers in the country , despite the fact they are fugitives from the law – bank robbers and life destroyers, is rife” (http://www.dailycensored.com/us-politicians-of-both-parties-aid-and-abet-terrorists-and-criminals-in-florida-the-isaias-brothers/
The Isaias made contributions to fund staff and buy political leverage, such as I wrote about in the unfolding case of New Jersey Senator, Robert Menendez, a Cuban-American (the corporate press likes to refer to the ‘Cuban American Community’ or the ‘Cuban Exile Community’, when, as we will see these are sophistic attempts to cover up the fact that many of these ‘Cuban Americans’ are ‘anti-Castro-Cubans’ with long histories of assassinations, robberies, murder, drug trafficking and money laundering. (We will cover this later in the article).
Senator, Robert Menendez surely is a virulent anti-Castro Cuban who is currently chairman of a powerful government committee and that has attacked the government of Rafael Correa and has sabotaged the extension of Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which was eventually rejected by Ecuador.
But favors by smarmy politicians done for the wealthy criminal class come at a cost. In this case the cost is so minimal it is astounding.
According to the Dailybeast:
“But Menendez wasn’t the only member of Congress that the Isaias clan called upon. Those same Isaias family members donated at least $23,700 to Ros-Lehtinen in the 2010, 2012, and 2014 cycles, according to federal campaign contribution records. The Isaias brothers live in Coral Gables, which falls inside Ros-Lehtinen’s district.
In March, 2011, Ros-Lehtinen wrote a letter to Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela on behalf of the Isaias brothers, whom Ros-Lehtinen said “believe they are being politically and economically persecuted by the Government of Ecuador” (ibid).
Sounds like chump change compared with the millions the Isaias stole. Yet again, a year later the Congresswoman did the same, but this time she directed her letter to the then secretary of the Department of State, Hillary Clinton, on behalf of Stephanie Isaiah, who was denied a work visa for non-residents.
A former employee for Stephanie Isaias was Alfredo Balsera. He was induced to donate another $ 1,000 to the campaign of Republican (ibid).
Ros- Lehtinen is a rising star in the Republican Party. Just weeks ago the Congresswoman was responsible for answering the annual accountability made by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address (http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/politica/item/congresista-abogo-por-residencia-de-los-isaias-en-ee-uu.html).
The Congresswoman spoke Spanish primetime and across the United States in an attempt to bring her party to the Hispanic community and women. But she never mentioned that she was being paid by taxpayers to lobby on behalf of convicted bank robber and embezzlers who donated heavily to her campaign for re-election. Nor did she mention that she was part and parcel of a more general attack on the Ecuadorian government headed by Rafael Correa.
So, now we have two members of the ‘exile Cuban community’ who happen to be powerful politicians in the US lobbying on behalf of convicted bank robbers and embezzlers. As we will see, it is no coincidence that both corporate democrats and republicans that claim allegiance to the anti-Castro Cuban community would be lobbying on behalf of convicted fugitives from law.
And the fact they engage in ‘pay to play’ comes as no surprise either. These are corrupt enemies of the American people who, had it not been for the support of both the anti-Castro criminal community and notables like Jeb Bush, would never have been able to become politicians.
Isaias brothers investigated by Homeland Security for alleged money laundering: Obama 2012 campaign received $90,000
According to the New York Times, the Department of Homeland Security is investigating the Isaias brothers to determine whether any of the millions the men were accused of pilfering from Ecuador made it to the United States (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/americas/us-investigates-brothers-from-ecuador-with-ties-to-campaigns.html?_r=0).
The Isaias family members have donated more than $300,000 to the political campaigns of Democrats and Republicans, including $90,000 to President Obama’s re-election effort in 2012. Yes, Obama got some of the stolen swag as well. This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Last year, the Washington Department of Justice under Eric ‘Holdem’denied Ecuador’s request to extradite the brothers. The DOJ said the Ecuadorean government lacked sufficient proof. Ecuador then sent its attorney general to Washington in March of this year to urge its embassy to extradite the Isaias brothers.
The New York Times also reported that a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is currently conducting a money laundering investigation into the brothers. It dates to 2011 and focuses on whether ill-gotten money transferred to American banks continues to circulate.
Tracking new financial transactions of dubious money would be critical, because the crimes the men were accused of committing in Ecuador took place in 1998 — and the statute of limitations for money laundering is five years, according to the federal law enforcement official (ibid)..
The brothers Grim of course deny the allegations and insist that the bank they owned in Ecuador, Filanbanco, failed several years after it was taken over by the Ecuadorean government. Not so, said the Ecuadorian courts and they sentenced the brothers to eight years in prison.
The Times quoted Robert Isais stating:
“There was no proof of any wrongdoing on our part” (ibid).
What about allegations of money laundering? Roberto did not respond to a request for comment regarding this allegation.
The Ecuadorean government says the brothers presented doctored balance sheets that made the bank appear solvent. In a lawsuit filed in Miami, Ecuador’s government contends that the brothers made questionable loans to companies they controlled and used loyal employees to cover them up (ibid).
According to the lawsuit filed against the brothers by the Ecuadorian government in Miami:
“Substantial sums” were embezzled, transferred out of Ecuador and hidden abroad” (ibid)
The Miami lawsuit ended in the Isaias favor in June, when a state judge in Miami ruled that Ecuador could not recover the $200 million it says the brothers still owe by enforcing Ecuadorean laws in American courts.
Convinced that the brothers were guilty of serious financial crimes (they were convicted three times by Ecuadorian Courts to eight years in prison), the United States Embassy in Ecuador for years tried to get their visas revoked, deliberately stalled their visa applications and urged the State Department to deport them. But several American diplomats who worked in Ecuador at the time said the efforts always failed, despite pleas to the highest levels in Washington. The men, the diplomats said, seemed protected. And as I have written, they were.
The White House has denied any connection between the Obama campaign contributions and the decision not to extradite the men. The New York Times stated that the White House did not respond to a request for comment on the money laundering investigation. The Democratic National Committee, which received tens of thousands of dollars from Roberto Isaias’s wife and son, also declined to comment (ibid).
Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, stated for the Times that:
“It should have mattered to the campaign that they were fugitives” (ibid). Of course it did not. Any money is good money when you want to be the Chief CEO of America, as Obama is.
We will have to see if the US government will rule once again on the side of the Brothers Grim. Don’t be surprised if they do. Harboring fugitive bankers is the US ‘way’. We have our own banksters that should be prosecuted in the US as well as people like former corporate democratic Governor of New Jersey, John Corzine, who used depositor monies in his company, MF Global, to gamble in the stock market. He got away free and clear as well (http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/26/say-how-come-the-doj-isnt-prosecuting-top-obama-crony-jon-corzine/).
US government hypocrisy is beyond comprehension to most Americans. We repeatedly find the prevailing notion that asylum is something that is only to be granted by the US and its western allies against what they deem to be “unfriendly governments.” The very notion that one may need asylum from the US or the west – or that small Latin American countries unfavorable to the US can grant it rather than have it granted against them – is offensive and perverse to all good and decent western citizens; they know that political persecution is out of the question for the oligarchs that run the world. So, when you hear Obama clamoring for the extradition of Snowden or Julian Assange keep all of this in mind.
The state of Florida is home to some of the most dangerous and criminal elements in the world. With both the corporate democrats and reactionary republicans working on behalf of these monsters for money, the rule of law has been flushed down the toilet.
As Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador recently noted during his visit in the US this month, justice for war criminals, banksters and plutocrats is not high on the agenda when it comes to the US.
“We have done everything we could legally do to gain the extradition of the Isais brothers; all we lack if the political will of the US government” (El Telegrafo, April 13, 2014, CNJ No admitio la recausacion presentada por los Isaias).
Shady terrorists, such as criminal banksters, supporters of genocide and crooks all live side by side in sunny Florida thanks to the help of both the corporate democrats and the reactionary politicians who protect and serve them.