By Franklin D. López
Former United Press and The Associated Press news-Writer
@Trueblue51, Facebook/ FuerzaEstadista, Instagram , Pinterest, Medium
The worst phrase a policymaker wants to hear from a colleague is “I Told you so!”- Anonimous
During the past decade, China has been filling the vacuum of the United State benign neglect with its Latin American neighbors. The policy “open Wallet” with loans with onerous conditions to financially starved countries. During the Clinton administration, I tried hard to push for the creation of a Latin America FHA to guarantee housing loans promoting homeownership for low-income families. The property owner has a very effective effect on the homeowner’s psyche and creates a conservative and stable population block, planting the seeds for an eventual middle class. It is a game-changer. If the program would have been instituted we may not be experiencing the population influx especially from Central and South America during the past 10 years. The Maduro regime is at the brink of collapsing and is desperate looking for air to breathe! A bad eco-system to put into practice wild policies and implanting easy and fast solution provided by Putin or President Xi, destabilizing the region further!
China’s foreign policymakers filled the absence of United States interests in Latin America with “the open wallet policy,” of giving billions of dollars in loans and grants to cash-strapped and desperate Latin American governments. Evidence of this is that during the five-year period between 2015 and 2019, China’s President Xi Jinping set ambitious goals for exchange with the Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC): $500 billion in trade and $250 billion in direct investment. The pledge was made in January 2015 at the first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States, which was held in Beijing.
On November 8, 2017, the New York Times Clifford Frauss wrote ”
“Russia provided technical assistance to the Venezuelan military to build an AK=-47 assembly plant! A country whose population is starving and dying with Venezuela on the edge of default, Russia has thrown it a life preserver.”
The Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, announced on Wednesday that the two countries had agreed to the restructuring of roughly $3 billion in Kremlin loans.
The amount is tiny compared with Venezuela’s crushing $120 billion debt, but it may help President Nicolás Maduro’s government make hundreds of millions of dollars in payments over the next few weeks to other creditors and help reassure bondholders that a default is not imminent.
‘It has been a scramble for Venezuela to make a $1.2 billion payment on a national oil company bond due last Friday, mostly principal, which had no grace period. Early Wednesday, investors and financial analysts were beginning to fear that Venezuela would not come up with the money it had promised to pay.’
‘By midday, overdue transfers to bondholders began. Still, over the last month, Venezuela has delayed payment of more than $350 million in interest on various bonds, with grace periods ending over the next few weeks.
China has been holding secret conversations with the Maduro’s govenrment to lease an island off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean disguised as port facilities for the allege export of PDVESA oil products.
On May 18, 2017, Wall Street Journal news writers Jay Salomon and Bradley Olson wrote that the United States was examining Russia’s grip on CITGO’s assets because was at the brink of controlling because it defaulted on loans made by Russia’s state-owned giant ROSNEFT. Last week several defense web portals published the presence of Russian long-range bombers in a Venezuelan Caribbean Island named Salomon and Olson wrote” Officials and lawmakers are concerned that Rosneft, a major creditor to Citgo’s parent firm, could end up owning key energy infrastructure in the U.S.” This would create a beachhead to the United States National Security! China has been expanding it military presence in key strategic areas including China with an open wallet policy distributing billions to secure “commerce” Treaties throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.. seas sin 2016. Even creating artificial Islands! In the South China Sea. China jas been extremely active in securing strategic Islands in the South pacific. Building port facilities that could be easily used for naval operations in securing commerce channels that are vital to in the Salomon Islands, bribing government officials with million dollars cash payments in order to persuade them to renounced the recognition of Taiwan, and securing control of commerce channels vital to two key United States allies in the region; Australia and New Zealand.
Because of this almost certain situation, U.S Navy should look at the re-taking of Roosevelt road before it is dismembered and leased by the Territorial government to investors looking to make a fast buck there. The 8,860 acres facilities were built at a cost of billions of dollars. It has deep water port facilities for submarines and an enormous airports facility and more. This foreign military presence and threat is fueling further massive population exodus from Puerto Rico to the lower 48! It is time for action to deter the expansionist Chinese and Russian interests in the region! It is a matter of National security, especially with the winds of wars from Europe!
Besides securing the nonrecognition of Taiwan by the Salomon Island
Former governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares signed an MOU with a Chinese law firm granting China’s largest law firm, working for the Communist government expansionist policies development rights and access to the largest Naval base with the highest technological designs and to to the 8,000 acres former and largest naval strategic facility in the Caribbean. My sources at the Pentagon confirmed that there was no consultation or request for an opinion of the Secretary of Defense or the U.S. Navy in authorizing access to plans, technical documents, and other possibly classified materials The Naval Base has deep water docks for big naval ships and even an underground facility for submarines. Granting control of this facility is a major blunder by the former governor who has business ties with Chinese businesspeople in Beijing in 2004. It will provide a formidable platform for Chinese interests to undermine sensitive listening posts of the National Security Agency in Isabela and Lajas Puerto Rico.
Alexander Odishelidze in his book America Last Fortress reveals the imprudence of the young Rosselló’s administration not necessarily for not consulting the USA Pentagon on the documents that he signed giving complete access to the former US Navy base but for telling the Chinese to disguise the transaction as a tourist project with boardwalks, hotels restaurant, and other facilities. Mr. Agishelidze narrates how he was approached by two Chinese lawyers involved in the transaction after giving a speech to the Rotary Club of Hong Kong. I interviewed Mr. Odishelidze last week and he confirmed that the mere suggestion by Governor Rossello in disguising the transaction as a tourist investment raises many red flags that may cross the line of propriety. The U.S. Department of Justice has initiated an investigation to determine if classified information may have been given to the Chinese government that may jeopardize the National Security of the United States.
The alleged transaction of the Roosevelt Roads will give an absolute strategic position to China controlling and influencing the more than 8 small islands republic with a vote at the United Nations and in international organization and strengthening its newly acquired ally of the Republic of Venezuela. The Pierluisi administration continues to honor the agreement with the Chinese law firm controlled by the Chinese Communist government and has not requested an opinion from the Department of Defense on the controversial transaction that may have lethal consequences to the statehood efforts in a conservative political environment in Congress.
China has secured the support of the new tiny republic with an invaluable strategic position of Bougainville. The new Republic has received for the past several year high-level Chinese delegation with cash on hand to persuade local politicians to support their military interests disguised as commercial interest in the Island. They went as far and developed a comprehensive economic development plan for the archipelago and recently acquired the mining rights and operation of the largest gold and copper mine in the South Pacific paying more than $ 870 million of dollars. The mine has around 60 billion dollars worth of gold and copper. China took total control in a 75-year lease of one of Bougainville’s archipelago Islands.
We have to wait for the conclusion of the investigations being conducted by the Department of Justice of the Unites States and the possible investigation by the house and Senate Intelligence Committees! The time to act is now! This is a matter of National Security!