Donald Trump’s and his far right-wing flank of war-mongering zealots in the US Congress are calling for former Secretary of State John Kerry to be criminally investigated for violating the arcane Logan Act of 1799. Enacted during a time when President John Adams—who rolled back much of the foreign policy independence of the United States in favor of Great Britain, its former colonizer—wanted to deal out harsh punishment to those like then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Dr. George Logan, a Philadelphia Quaker, who were negotiating peace with the post-French Revolution Directory in Paris. Adams dearly wanted to ally the United States with Britain in a war with France. In pursuit of criminal sanctions against pro-French politicians like Jefferson, Logan, and others, Adams and his pro-British clique, which included former President George Washington, enacted the Logan Act and the Alien and Sedition Acts.
The Logan Act states: “Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
Trump and his reactionary bloc are upset about Kerry’s meetings with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the chief Iranian diplomatic negotiator who hammered out the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement between the United States, Iran, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany. Mr. Trump pulled out of the agreement in May 2018. In an effort to keep Iran in the agreement, Kerry met with Zarif on four occasions, including at international conferences in Norway, New York, and Munich.
Trump tweeted about Kerry’s meetings: “John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people . . . He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!”
In a letter to the Justice Department requesting a criminal investigation of Kerry, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio wrote, “Last week former Secretary Kerry publicly admitted that he has met with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif ‘probably three or four times’ including in the United States, since leaving office. The Department of Justice should therefore make a determination on whether or not former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent actions related to the [Iran Deal] potentially violate the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
Rubio should be careful about what he wishes for. There is more than ample evidence that Rubio, a Cuban-American, and a clique of right-wing Cuban-American activists, expatriate Latin American oligarchs and tax-evaders who maintain residences in south Florida, and diplomats of reactionary Latin American regimes violate the Logan Act and FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act) on a daily basis.
The type of political machine backing Rubio in Miami-Dade is a carbon copy of the old right-wing Latin American oligarchies of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, and Joaquin Balaguer in the Dominican Republic. Add to the Cuban mafiosi in south Florida that backs Rubio, lucrative financial support from billionaires like Miami’s Norm Braman, Wall Street vulture hedge fund magnate Paul Singer, and the Koch Brothers, and the reason for Rubio’s support for reactionary regimes and political movements throughout Latin America becomes apparent. Not only does Rubio violate the Logan Act and FARA, but also the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
The right-wing Cuban machine that backs Rubio consists of his political “godmother,” Rebecca Sosa, Miami-Dade Commissioner, and Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.
Bovo’s father, Esteban Bovo, Sr., was a member of the Central Intelligence Agency-supported Brigade 2506, which saw combat during the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961. Viviana Bovo, Bovo’s wife, is Rubio’s Senior Advisor for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the US Senate. Rubio is the chairman of the Senate’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
Rubio regularly engages in anti-Venezuelan government activities in the exclusive Venezuelan expatriate community of Weston in Miami-Dade. There are so many wealthy Venezuelan opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the community is now called “Westonzuela.” Included among the more prominent Venezuelan opposition figures calling Westonzuela their home are a former congressman, a former Supreme Court justice, and a former energy minister. Luigi Boria, the mayor of Doral, where Trump owns the Trump National Doral Golf Club, is an expat Venezuelan. There are so many Venezuelans living in Doral, it has the nickname “Doralzuela.” The Cuban right-wingers associated with Rubio have formed an alliance with the anti-Maduro Venezuelan expat community in south Florida, along with other anti-progressive forces from Nicaragua and El Salvador, including former leaders of the Nicaraguan “contras” and El Salvadoran death squads.
Rubio lobbied hard to get his man into the Trump White House to oversee Western Hemisphere affairs in the National Security Council. He is Juan Cruz, a Puerto Rican-American, who is the former CIA station chief in Bogota and the agency’s former director of the Western Hemisphere branch.
The first trip abroad for Colombian President Ivan Duque, a reactionary puppet of Colombia’s narco-lords and right-wing former President Alvaro Uribe, was to visit Rubio in the United States. Rubio is relying on Duque to create a safe haven for anti-Maduro Venezuelan and Colombian guerrillas, backed by the CIA, to operate in order to carry out cross-border attacks inside Venezuela.
Rubio has also established close ties to Honduras’s military-backed president, Juan Orlando Hernández, re-elected in a fraudulent election. Rubio has sought Hernandez’s agreement to reactivate several old Nicaraguan “contra” bases inside Honduras to battle against the democratically-elected government of President Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Rubio successfully sought and received Hernandez’s backing for US insurgency operations against the Maduro government in Venezuela.
Rubio is running a virtual right-wing parallel foreign policy on Latin America from his Senate office in Washington. Rubio, by establishing himself as the US “caudillo” exercising control over Western Hemispheric relations, has the State Department, under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, doing his bidding. After El Salvador established diplomatic relations with China, following that nation’s severance of ties with Taiwan, Rubio promoted legislation to cut off all US economic aid to El Salvador, which he claimed was ruled by a “leftist government.” Rubio accused the Dominican Republic of being “bribed” by China when it switched ties from Taiwan to China. Rubio also expressed dismay with Panama when it dropped Taiwan in favor of China. However, because Rubio’s right-wing Cuban, Colombian, and Venezuelan backers and allies have substantial interests in the Dominican Republic and Panama, including offshore bank accounts, Rubio did not threaten to punish them in the same way he did El Salvador. Rubio tweeted: “The US response to Panama & Dominican Republic switching from Taiwan to China is NOT the way we will react if El Salvador does the same. If they do this I will have no choice but to immediately begin work to end their funding & remove them from Alliance For Prosperity plan.”
It is not John Kerry who is running his own foreign policy, but Rubio, whose caudillismo grifting is nothing new to the expat gangsters and oligarchs who have taken up residency in south Florida and who maintain Rubio in office.
This article originally appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).