From the Morning Star: [link]
A new dimension of the story of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital connections has now emerged, namely the possible link between Bain and violent ultra-right-wing political circles in Latin America.
In the early 1980s when Romney spun off Bain Capital from its parent company Bain and Company he was told that he had to find new people to put up the initial capital.
So he made a connection with some members of the elite "14 families" that have historically run El Salvador, many of whom were living in Miami at that time because of the civil war raging in their homeland.
Early contributors of a total of $9 million to Bain's start-up were members of the de Sola, Poma, Duenas and Salaverria families.
The facilitator for this link-up seems to have been Panama-born banker Frank Kardonski, who died earlier this year.
Romney later claimed that he was nervous about dealing with some of these people for fear that the money they would put into Bain Capital might be tainted by drug-trafficking or human rights violations.
So he had them vetted as individuals - he says - but did not check out their relatives. But for Latin American oligarchs, everything is "family business."
These Salvadoran families were involved in coffee and cotton production and other enterprises, and had kept control of the country through dictatorial governments.
In 1979 the dictator of the moment, Carlos Humberto Romero, was overthrown and replaced by a progressive military-civilian "junta," which tried to initiate land reform and the nationalisation of the banking and coffee industries. This greatly threatened the interests of the oligarchy, which responded violently.
During this period and subsequently, also, the Salvadoran oligarchs were interested in diversifying their investments, so the Bain opportunity was in line with their priorities.
They have continued to invest in Bain.
The money was channelled through shell companies and banks in Panama. This was in the early 1980s, when Panama was run by strongman Manuel Noriega, and when the Panamanian banking system was notorious for its secrecy and therefore its use for money laundering by drug-traffickers and other criminals, including the CIA.
Another Bain investor was corrupt press lord Robert Maxwell, who had ties to both the CIA and the Israeli Mossad, and after whose suspicious death by drowning was discovered to have been looting his employees' pension fund.
Another British financier who put up initial money for Bain Capital was Sir Jack Lyons, who later was convicted of unrelated corrupt practices.
Many of the Salvadoran families who pitched in for Bain Capital's start-up were contributors to the ferociously right-wing political party Arena (National Republican Alliance).
Arena's leading light was a former military officer, Roberto D'Aubuisson, who is considered to have been the godfather of the death squads in El Salvador.
D'Aubuisson is known to have ordered the 1980 assassination of the Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero because the prelate had been denouncing military violence against the Salvadoran people.
Seventy-five thousand people were killed in the Salvadoran civil war, the vast majority by the death squads and the military. The Reagan administration gave full support to all this violence, which, in the "Contra wars," eventually enveloped Nicaragua and Honduras too.
The networks of reactionary forces that were brought together by the activities of the Salvadoran elites, often working with the CIA and criminal elements, continue to be a destabilising element all over the western hemisphere.
The Salvadoran ultra-right was involved in efforts to start a terrorism campaign in Cuba in the late 1990s. Several bombs were set off in Havana, one of them killing an Italian tourist.
The networks which link central and south American reactionaries with right-wing politicians in the United States have their fingerprints on the coups in Honduras and Paraguay, and are deeply involved in efforts to destabilise the progressive governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Their activities are integrated with those of the right-wing Cuban exile elite in south Florida and elsewhere.
Many progressives have been disappointed by the Obama administration's Latin America policy.
The Cuba blockade is still on, and money continues to be poured into the "drug wars" in Colombia and Mexico. The Clinton State Department connived at legitimising the results of the 2009 coup in Honduras.
However, a victory for Romney and his Republicans in November would greatly worsen the situation.
It would mean that the kind of right-wing extremists who helped Romney establish Bain Capital in the 1980s and whom he still calls his friends would be partners in setting US policy toward the entire region.