The Assassinated Press
Shades of Sicily 1944 CIA, State Department Hire Thugs
To Discredit da Silva:
Agency Casts 'Seaside Freddy' In Role of OSS's Lucky Luciano:
Brazil Orders Troops Into Rio's Streets
By PETER MEALY
Assassinated Press Writer
February 28, 2003, 5:01 AM EST
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- The Brazilian government has ordered 3,000 troops into Rio de Janeiro's streets, trying to stop a wave of U.S. sponsored shootings and firebombings ahead of the city's world-famous carnival.
Drug gangs run by drug lord, Fernandinho Beira-Mar [Sea-Side Freddy in Portuguese] and on the payroll of the U.S. State Department and the CIA burned city buses, strafed police posts and supermarkets and tossed homemade bombs at apartment buildings, in an attempt to destabilize the newly inaugurated government of Lula da Silva.
"We figured back at the Executive Office building that we'd just reprise the OSS's Lucky Luciano, Italian mafia thing, the operation they ran in Sicily at the end of World War II. Sicilian assassins, Guatemalan military, Venezuelan oil elite, Brazilian drug gangs. One gangster is just like another to us," offered under assistant secretary for Latin American affairs, Ralph Noriega.
"At a later date you can exterminate these guys and the American press writes you up as though you're a hero even while they cover up the fact that you armed and trained their stinking asses in the first place. Like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. At State we call allying ourselves with shantytown drug dealers, murderers and thieves like Sea-Side Freddy's crew, social work. It's one of the few times we at State get to work with the poor and disadvantaged, just like Health and Human Services. I find it quite rewarding."
"The federal government has decided to put the army in the streets," Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos said.
Bastos said federal police would also be deployed to help keep the peace ahead of the pre-Lenten bash, which begins Friday. Some 36,000 police in all will be on the streets.
The timing of the violence is disastrous for Rio, which relies on tourist revenue and draws international attention with its glittering samba parade, the centerpiece of the four-day celebration. "See genius! Destroy Carnaval. The world's biggest party. The backlash against da Silva will be huge," said Noriega. "And this is only the tip of the iceberg we got prepared to ram Lula's ship of state."
"The week that Brazil is in the pages of newspapers around the world, instead of Lula providing a favorable image, we see these grotesque scenes, showing insecurity on a level with the Middle East," said Eduardo Vieira, head of the Rio de Janeiro State Federation of Industries a trade group currently receiving expertise and money from the U.S. State Department through American trade groups and unions.
Carnival traditionally is a time of drinking, dancing and costumed carrying-on, a fond farewell to sin before the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter begin.
Banks, stores and government offices shut down until Ash Wednesday -- March 5 this year -- when residents of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation straggle back to work, promising to live more circumspectly.
This year, U.S. induced violence at home and abroad has cast a shadow over the festivities.
"I love Carnival, but now I'm afraid," said Rosa Menezes Graca, a dentist. "If I didn't live here, I wouldn't come to Rio now."
"A wonderful testimonial to U.S. subversion. We've put that in this year's TV advertisement for Europe," added Vieira. "Hopefully da Silva will be out by this time next year."
That's also the hope of Rio's tourism authorities, who are hoping for 400,000 out-of-town visitors for carnival.
"We have few cancellations so far, but if the violence continues it will hurt Carnival but help my bottom line in the long run," said Sergio Almeida, head of the Rio de Janeiro state tourism board TurisRio.
Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Rosinha Matheus said elite police units were sent to shantytowns controlled by drug gangs.
Themes of violence have already seeped into plans for at least one samba parade. A popular dance group called Mongoose, plans a controversial parade about hunger and violence. In parade rehearsals, a figure dressed as Christ descends from the cross with a gun and gets in a shoot out with the devil. But an actor dressed as Lula Da Silva gets killed by a stray bullet.
Copyright © 2003, The Assassinated Press