NGO terrorist rights advocates in Peru

Mary Anastasia O'Grady:

Thursday's vote by the European Parliament to take the Peruvian guerrilla group known as the Tupac Amaru (aka MRTA) off its terrorist list has Peru in an uproar. For good reason: The MRTA is notorious for kidnapping, torturing and murdering civilians to advance its political agenda. More recently, Peruvian officials have linked it to Hugo Chávez's "Bolivarian Movement," which seeks to destabilize democracies in Latin America, and to the Colombian rebel group FARC.

The Europeans' decision is maddening. But it is also instructive, in that it shows how terrorists can advance their cause with the help of nongovernmental organizations. Under such headings as "human-rights" advocacy, NGOs that share the ideology of the far left toil away daily in Peru, trying to legitimize their buddies who, behind the scenes, continue their "armed struggle." The kicker is that these NGOs are often funded by foreign governments and philanthropists.

Peruvian Congressman Rolando Sousa, who I interviewed in Lima 10 days ago, knows a lot about the problem. He headed a congressional subcommittee that looked into the activities of the Bolivarian Movement in Peru. Its findings are now before a special commission with subpoena power that is likely to uncover even more. But he's already learned enough to cause alarm.

Mr. Sousa says that Mr. Chávez's Bolivarian Movement sits on a three-legged stool. Two of the legs are legal, the third is not. The first leg is official Venezuelan "diplomacy." Discounted oil shipments have bought the allegiance of 19 countries in the region. Other ploys, such as the purchase of Argentine debt and aid for Ecuadorian energy projects, are likewise designed to create dependence and establish Venezuelan dominance.

The second leg of the stool is the effort to establish ideological control within unions and grassroots organizations. These organizations have created a series of nonprofit "associations," which, Mr. Sousa says, operate internally like political parties, with official titles like "secretary of foreign relations" and "secretary of doctrine."

The names of these NGO associations – like "Houses of Alba" (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) and "Houses of Friendship" – may sound innocuous. But, says Mr. Sousa, "What matters is their objective which, like a coin, has two sides. One side is open. The other is hidden."

Openly, the associations administer eye clinics, literacy programs and health centers manned by Cuban doctors. Behind the scenes, the congressman warns, they work to indoctrinate the poorest Peruvians in the ideology of the extreme left.

The third, illegal leg of the stool is the most dangerous. Mr. Sousa cites two groups: the "Continental Bolivarian Coordinator" and the "Bolivarian Congress of the People." His committee found that both are recruiting and using the most extreme elements of the country – anarchists, terrorists and the radical left – to produce "the social conditions . . . the chaos" necessary to create the impression that democracy is not working.

Once this is accomplished, the grassroots organizations – nurtured by the NGOs – are standing by, ready to bring the extremists to power through the ballot box. The strategy was used in Bolivia to bring down the Sánchez de Lozada government in 2003 and bring Chávez puppet Evo Morales to power.

...

This sounds like they are using the Hezballah-Hamas approach to power. They are pushing the evils of liberalism on poor people instead of religious bigotry. Chavez subversion of South America is very active and it needs to be countered before he ruins the lives of people outside Venezuela too.

The Washington Time reports that Bolivia government is also setting up insurgent operations in the "high Andes region of Peru, which Peruvian officials fear have become centers of revolutionary training that threaten to revive Marxist-inspired insurgencies that terrorized the nation for decades." Bolivia has become a client state and proxy for Chavez in Venezuela.

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