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For The Record  

FTR #533 The Florida-Argentine Connection: Another Helluva Conspiracy Theory

Recorded November 13, 2005

Listen: MP3  Side 1  Side 2


Anders Ebbeson and Katherine Harris

Introduction: In this broadcast, we examine some important and revealing connections of Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris to figures associated with an episode in Argentina’s “dirty war” of the 1970’s and the cover-up of the AMIA bombing of 1994. In addition, the program delineates the relationship of some of these Bush associates to the business and media empire of Gustavo Cisneros—implicated in the 2003 coup attempt against Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the principal shareholder in Univision, the largest Spanish-language TV network in the United States. Harris and Jeb Bush appointed Argentine citizen Patricio Lombardi to be Florida’s Deputy Secretary of State for Latin American affairs, the first state in the country to have such a position. Lombardi is a former aide to Carlos Ruckauf, a one-time Argentine labor minister linked to the disappearance of dissident Mercedes-Benz workers during that country’s dirty war, as well as the cover-up of the AMIA bombing, a crime that has evidentiary tributaries running in the direction of the Oklahoma City bombing, as well as 9/11. Lombardi has also been associated with the Cisneros media empire and the Greenberg Traurig firm, Jack Abramoff’s former lobbying outfit. The program also sets forth information about Jerry Perenchio, the head of Univision (controlled by Cisneros) and one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s primary financial backers. Mr. Emory suspects that we are looking at an Underground Reich/Bormann capital network set-up here. In this context, do not lose sight of the government of Carlos Menem and the lengths to which it went to cover-up the Argentine role in the Nazi diaspora and flight capital program in the wake of World War II. For more about this, see FTR#532.

Program Highlights Include: Gustavo Cisneros’s alleged links to money laundering; Cisneros’s relationships with David Rockefeller and participants in the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende in Chile; Gustavo Cisneros’s Cuban origins; the strange death of Cisneros’s nephew; the relationship of Buenos Aires province of Argentina to Florida (established by Lombardi with his former boss Carlos Ruckauf, who is now the governor of Buenos Aires province); a look at some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s interesting financial backers.

1. Beginning discussion of the Florida-Argentine connection, the program highlights the signing of an agreement between the controversial Argentine politician Carlos Ruckauf and governor Jeb Bush of Florida. The agreement will develop economic and cultural ties between Buenos Aires province and Florida. The agreement was hammered out by Patricio Lombardi, an Argentine citizen and a former aide to Ruckauf. Lombardi is now the Deputy Secretary of State for Latin American affairs for the state of Florida, functioning in that capacity as an aide to Katherine Harris, who was instrumental in the stealing of the Florida election on behalf of George W. Bush in 2000!

“With the objective of solidifying the relationship of the province of Buenos Aires with the outside world, [provincial] governor Carlos Ruckauf will travel Monday to Florida where he will be meeting with his colleague Jeb Bush. The meeting will take place in Tampa, where both will sign an agreement on harbor facilities, Argentine Patricio Lombardi said to “Bugler.” Lombardi now handles all relationships between the state of Florida and Latin America for Jeb Bush.”

(“He Signed Agreements with Governor Jeb Bush: Ruckauf Visits Florida” by Ann Baron [Washington Correspondent]; Clarin; 7/22/2000.)

2. The article mentions that Jeb married a Mexican woman. Columba Bush’s sister is married to John P. Schmitz, a beneficiary of the fellowship programs subsumed under the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and the brother of Joseph Schmitz, currently the head of the Blackwater security outfit. John P. Schmitz has close links to the elder George Bush the 9/11 milieu. (For more about the Schmitz family, the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and other points of information in this relationship, see FTR#’s 469, 476, 529, 530.)

“Brother of the Presidential candidate and son of the ex-President with the same name, Jeb not only married a Mexican but has always been closely bound to Latin America by business. At the White House, ex-Argentine ambassador [to the US] Diego Guelar (who handles foreign relations for the Buenos Aires government) said: ‘For us, Florida is like a business partner of ours.’ ‘We have the same type of relationship with Sao Paulo in Brazil and Westphalia in Germany,’ he explained.”


3. Note that Buenos Aires province has the same type of relationship with Sao Paulo in Brazil and Westphalia in Germany [as noted in the paragraph above]. Note also that a series of student exchanges and scholarships are being set up between Argentina and Florida. These sound curiously like the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and its subsidiary fellowships—used to sponsor the professional careers of 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and John P. Schmitz, among others. Is the Florida-Argentine connection—like the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and its subsidiary programs—an apparent Underground Reich networking program? In that context, one should not lose sight of the primary economic position of the Bormann capital operation in Latin America. For more about this, see FTR#305.

“It is anticipated that Bush and Ruckauf will sign an agreement of cultural exchange and scholarships. ‘One of my tasks in the Bush administration is to work with the State Department to bring Latin American students to colleges in Florida’ said Lombardi. [Emphasis added.] Soon Ruckauf will go to Miami, where he will meet with industrialists and will attend a reception organized by the public relations firm Greenberg Traurig.”


4. Developing background information about this cast of characters, the program sets forth some of the skeletons in Ruckauf’s closet, including the fact that—as labor minister under Isabel Peron and then the military junta in Argentina—he drew up an accord that led to the “disappearance” of dissident workers at the Mercedes Benz plant in Buenos Aires.

“The ex-Argentine minister Carlos Ruckauf will have to testify before a judge investigating the disappearance of 14 people during the military dictatorship (1976-1983), it was announced today. The subpoena was issued by the Federal Court of the City of Plata, capital of Buenos Aires Province, which convenes next Wednesday for the testimony of the ex-minister and present national deputy-elect (Carlos Ruckauf). The case concerns the fate of 14 workers who worked in a Mercedes Benz Plant in Canuelas and from which they disappeared in 1976 after the coup d’etat that restored the military regime.”

(“In the Case of the Disappeared of Mercedes, the Ex-Chancellor Carlos Ruckauf’s Appointment with a Federal Judge” by: PL; 10/29/03.)

5. “The interrogation was asked for last August through the Permanent Assembly for Human Rights of Plata to consider if Ruckauf may have responsibility in the case, after the dissemination of some declarations that Ruckauf signed in 1975 when he was Secretary of Labor of the national government. The connection of the ex-minister to the case is sourced from documents given to the Argentine judiciary by German journalist Gabriela Weber, in which the automotive company recognized ‘the efforts of the Secretary of Labor to eliminate subversive elements in the factories.’”


6. Note that Ruckauf was vice-president of Argentina under Carlos Menem. For more about Menem’s suspicious connections, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 109, 328, 340, 457, 532.

“One of those texts indicates that Ruckauf pleaded for the suppression of those people in 1975, when he held the labor ministry in the cabinet that was soon overthrown by the military coup, and at the time when the Mercedes Benz plant was the center of a conflict that stemmed from the dismissal of 115 striking workers. During the last decade, Ruckauf has been vice-president of the country—in the government of former chief executive Carlos Menem—governor of the province of Buenos Aires (the most important in Argentina) and minister until last May in the administration of ex-president Eduardo Cuhalde.”


7. More about Ruckauf and the elimination of the Mercedes workers:

“ . . . In 1975, the company [Mercedes Benz] signed an agreement with Ruckauf, then Isabel Peron’s Secretary of Labor, which created an extraordinary basis of social action ‘to contribute to the well-being of the workers, to improve the production [of the plant] and to eradicate the negative factors that disturb labor activity.’ In the judicial process it is understood that this agreement [concluded by labor minister Carlos Ruckauf] served as the antecedent for the persecution and later disappearance of Mercedes Benz employees. ‘Mercedes Benz wanted to support the effort of the ministry and of SMATA to eliminate subversive elements of the factories,’ concludes the document. The following Tuesday, the Oviedo La Riojan will have to determine if there are facts preventing Ruckauf from being sworn in as a national deputy.”

(“From Mercedes Benz to the AMIA” by Felipe Yapur; Pagina 12 Website; 12/29/03.)

8. Ruckauf helped cover up the AMIA bombing of 1994. (The AMIA bombing has evidentiary tributaries leading in the direction of the bombing of Pan Am 103, Oklahoma City bombing, as well as 9/11. Fore more about these links, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 109, 328, 330, 457.)

“Jewish leaders plan to file a legal complaint against former foreign minister Carlos Ruckauf who last year apologized to the Iranian government for an Argentinean judge’s decision to issue international warrants against four Iranian ministers and diplomats accused of masterminding the July 18, 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, in which 85 people died. . . .”

(Article by Alana Rosenbaum, Diego Melamed, Frank Brown, Clare Chapman; The Jerusalem Report; 8/11/2003.)

9. Next, the program highlights some aspects of Patricio Lombardi’s professional career. A former aide to Ruckauf in Argentina, Lombardi is Florida’s Deputy Secretary of State for Latin American affairs. He has been involved with the business empire of Gustavo Cisneros in Latin America. Cisneros has a number of television networks that dominate Latin American TV, as well as being the principal shareholder in Univision, the largest Spanish-language TV network in the­ United States. (Cisneros’ operations are subsumed under the CGC—the Cisneros Group of Companies.)

“ . . . The government employee has in her staff an Argentinean who worked for Carlos Ruckauf and lobbied for the Menem government: Patricio Lombardi . . . One thinks that those trips [by Harris] are related to Bush’s behind the scenes businesses, as well as her own—she declared a personal fortune of 6.5 million, without counting the tens of millions that her Swedish husband (Anders Ebbeson) has amassed. Harris traveled to Argentina several times during the presidency of Menem, even saying that she and her husband are both enamored of Buenos Aires, where they spent some Christmases. . . . Harris has employed Lombardi for two years. The young entrepreneur, born in Lanus, worked as adviser ad honorem for Ruckauf . . . Now Lombardi is situated as lobbyist in the epicenter of power and already has a business relationship with the powerful Columbian group Cisneros.”

(“A Friend of Menem Could Be a Representative of Bush’s in Latin America” by Fernando Almiron; Pagina 12 Website [Todos Los Generos]; 01/01/2001.)

10. More about Katherine Harris and Patricio Lombardi. Note that Lombardi (again, an Argentine citizen and deputy to Ruckauf) is the first such “secretary of state” for any state in the union.

“Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris will make a special appearance at @d:tech.Latin America in Miami Beach on Tuesday, and plans to make a major announcement regarding the state’s Latin American trade initiatives. . . . The appearance by Harris follows her recent formation of the Internet Task Force for Florida and Latin America, and the appointment of Patricio Lombardi as the state’s first Deputy Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs.”

(“Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris to Make Major Announcement at @d:tech.Latin America; Statement Will Address State’s Latin American Trade Initiatives”; Business Wire; 3/13/2000.)

11. More about Lombardi: note that, in addition to his links to the Cisneros empire, he worked for Greenberg Traurig, the outfit for which Jack Abramoff worked! (For more about Abramoff, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 516, 528.)

“ . . . Mr. Lombardi was the first state level Deputy Secretary of State for Latin America in the history of the United States. . . . He was Director for Corporate Strategy and Institutional Affairs for Cisneros Group of Companies, a major pan-regional multi-media and entertainment with operations throughout The Americas. He also held an important position with the Inter-American Development Bank . . . He was a Senior Consultant for Greenberg & Traurig, a leading law firm in the United States. . . .”

(“Patricio Lombardi”; Arias Kent Website; 2004.)

12. The broadcast documents the relationship between Greenberg Traurig and Abramoff.

“ . . . The revelations led to Abramoff’s ouster in March from Greenberg Traurig, the law firm where he led one of Washington’s most successful lobbying groups. Greenberg Traurig said it acted after Abramoff ‘disclosed to the firm for the first time personal transactions and related conduct which are unacceptable to the firm.’ Lawyers for Abramoff and [Michael] Scanlon declined to comment this week on the investigations. . . .”

(“Ex –Lobbyist is Focus of Widening Investigations” by Susan Schmidt; Washington Post, 7/16/2004; p. A19.)

13. Next, the program sets forth some of the noteworthy characteristics of the corporate and media empire of Gustavo Cisneros, a close associate of the Bushes and one of many men and women of Cuban extraction in the Bush circle of friends. Note the Bush family’s Venezuelan connections. As will be seen below, Cisneros appears to have been deeply involved with the attempt to oust Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Don’t lose sight of the fact that Lombardi—Deputy Secretary of State for Latin American affairs for Florida, former aide to Carlos Ruckauf and associate of Greenberg Traurig—was deeply involved with the Cisneros group.

“ . . . A report by journalist Gerardo Reyes filed November 19,2000 from Miami, mentions that in 1977, when his father was named CIA Director, Jeb established himself in Venezuela as a representative of Commerce Bank of Texas, owned by James Baker, who was a friend of Bush Sr. and later Secretary of State. Jeb speaks Spanish fluently, thanks to his marriage to the Mexican Columba Garcia [whose sister is married to John P. Schmitz—D.E.], which is why ‘the family was rapidly accepted by the rich Venezuelan petroleum society.’ . . .”

(“The Bush Family’s Murky Dealings in Venezuela” by Edgar Gonzalez Ruiz.)

14. The broadcast highlights the apparent Cisneros involvement in the coup d’etat against Hugo Chavez.

“ . . . But, other members of the Bush family also have important ties to Venezuela. After the failed coup d’etat against Chavez, television magnate and Bush Sr. friend Gustavo Cisneros was implicated as one of the principal proponents of the coup. Cisneros publicly denied his role in the coup, but the magazine Newsweek noted that Pedro Carmona ‘was seen leaving Cisneros’ office’ before going to the Government Palace to swear in as provisional president. According to Newsweek, Venezuelan legislator Pedro Pablo Alcantara said that the brief Carmona dictatorship was organized in Cisneros’ offices, and that Cisneros was the ‘supreme commander’ of the operation. Newsweek also said that Otto Reich had spoken with Cisneros ‘two or three times’ during the events of the coup.”


15. More about Gustavo Cisneros’s vast business and media empire. Again, do not fail to note that he is of Cuban extraction. All of the Bushes, including Jeb Bush, have very close connections to the anti-Castro Cuban community. Do note that he is the largest stockholder in Univision, the largest Spanish language TV chain in the United States. Jerry Perenchio, the head of Univision, is one of the largest financial backers of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“ . . . 57-year-old Gustavo Cisneros Rendiles has a fortune of around $5 billion, one of the largest in Latin America, after Mexican Carlos Slim. Cisneros occupies the 94th position on the list of the 500 richest men in the world, according to Forbes magazine. Of Cuban origin, Cisneros is the majority shareholder in Univision, the largest Spanish language TV chain in the United States, and he possesses channels with vast audiences in other countries, such as Venevision in Venezuela, ChileVision, Caracol Television of Columbia, and Caribbean Communications Network. He also owns the bottler Panamco and is a major shareholder in Coca Cola. Cisneros, together with his wife Patricia Phelps, were often on the White House guest list of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The friendly relationship between Cisneros and Bush Sr. also seems to encompass privatizing the state-owned PDVSA, putting it on Bush Sr.’s list of Texas businesses. . . .”


16. “ . . . Cisneros belongs to the Americas Society, a non-profit organization chaired by David Rockefeller, whose mission is to ‘provide members strategic advantages for doing business in a region that offers enormous opportunities, but also considerable risks.’ Another member of this society is Chilean media magnate Agustin Edwards, who was a key figure in the CIA-backed conspiracy against the constitutional government of Salvador Allende. . . .”


17. After discussing allegations of drug-money laundering by Cisneros, the article featured here discusses the family’s involvement with financial fraud.

“ . . . Ricardo Cisneros, Gustavo’s brother and second in command of the family business, was involved in the most notorious financial scandal in Venezuela’s history: the 1994 failure of Banco Latino, the result of which a Venezuelan judge issued an arrest warrant against Ricardo, accusing him of fraud as a member of the bank’s Board of Directors. According to the charges, the Board of Directors approved credit to businesses, some of them owned by individual board members, exceeding established legal limits, and diverted bank funds. Ricardo, who was out of the country when the warrant was issued, fled. . . .”


18. Cisneros’s nephew (a director of Univision) died of an apparent drug overdose.

“Carlos Enrique Cisneros, the former president of the Cisneros Television Group, died on April 10 [2004] from a drug overdose. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. He was 38. The nephew of media mogul Gustavo Cisneros . . . . he developed foreign markets for the family bisness, the Cisneros Group of Companies (CGC). . . . Cisneros, who served on the board of directors of Univision Communications Inc. . . .dedicated his free time to philanthropic ventures. . . . [Emphasis added.]”

(“Carlos E. Cisneros”; 4/14/2004.)

19. Note that the Cisneros TV empire is based in South Beach (Florida).

“ . . . Cisneros had built a portfolio of a dozen Latin American pay-TV channels as president of South Beach-based Cisneros Television Group in the late 1990’s . . . in 2000, the Cisneros Group of Companies merged CTG with another of the parent company’s holdings, El Sitio, whose chairman, Roberto Vivo-Chaneton, took over as head of the new company, Claxson Interactive Group. . . .”

(“Cisneros Nephew [38] Found Dead in Los Angeles from Drug Overdose” by David Coleman; 4/13/2004.)

20. The head of Univision (controlled by Gustavo Cisneros) is Jerry Perenchio. Note how secretive he is. Note also that this Italian American got his start—in part—with MCA. Author Dan Moldea has written a superb book about MCA, Ronald Reagan and the mob titled Dark Victory.

“If Jerry Perenchio is a misunderstood man, he deserves to be. For years, the CEO of Univision Communications has not granted media interviews. Security guards wave off photographers who try to snap his picture. In 1996, Univision provided Hispanic Business with an official photograph, but the network quickly requested its return, and that was the last known image of the CEO. For that reason, this issue’s cover features an illustration based on that photograph. . . . Mr. Perenchio came to Hollywood from Fresno, the son of an Italian-American vintner. . . . After a stint in the Air Force, he took a job in 1957 at the talent agency MCA. Under the legendary agent Lew Wasserman. . . . Again, his secretive nature tends to create an impression of shadiness. . . The latest Forbes 400 ranks him as the 76th-richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $2.3 billion. . . .”

(“The Invisible Media Mogul”; Hispanic Business; 12/2003.)

21. Note that Perenchio is one of the largest financial backers of Arnold Schwarzenegger. His largest individual backer is William Armstead Robinson, who also gives evidence of being involved with the Bormann capital network and the Underground Reich. (For more about Robinson and Schwarzenegger, see FTR#492.) Note that another of Schwarzenegger’s financial backers is Tim Draper, descendant of the Draper family that played a prominent role in the development of fascism and is very close to the Bushes. (For more about Draper, see FTR#264.) Yet another of Schwarzenegger’s main backers is William Lyon, who helped develop some of the bogus colleges that appear to have served as intelligence fronts for—among other things—the trafficking around of West Coast associates of the 9/11 hijackers! (For more about William Lyon and the diploma mill connection, see FTR#507. For more about Arnold Schwarzenegger, see: FTR#’s 421, 422, 429, 434, 436, 492, 496, 529.)

“ . . . The list also includes Jerry Perenchio, head of Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish language television network; financiers Robert Day, Timothy Draper and Lawrence Dodge; developers Alex Spanos and William Lyon . . . .”

(“Schwarzenegger Patrons Provide Money, Support” by Tom Chorneau [AP]; 2/14/2004.)


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