Adamant: Hardest metal
Tuesday, June 10, 2003


BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International

A CIA-sponsored agent and beneficiary of the generosity of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Robert Menard is famous for his iron-fisted management of the organization Reporters Without Frontiers (RWF), a kind of one-man-show where he and no one else gives orders. He has realized that in the last few days, the United Nations organization that he had apparently successfully penetrated was not so docile at the point of drawing conclusions.

Apart from his sponsors in Washington, Langley and sectors of the European Union that he has managed to poison, Robert Menard, sui generis "freedom fighter" doesn’t hesitate to accept checks from several figures who are not exactly characterized for their defense of the poor.

According to the AFP news agency, RWF could soon lose its role as a consultative member within the UN following a decision by the UN Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to propose its suspension for one year.

The French agency reported that the committee "took the decision of asking for the one-year suspension of RWF at the behest of Cuba", mentioning that the proposal was also supported by China, the Ivory Coast, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.

In statements revealed by AFP, Menard mentions opposition by Peru and Chile but omits to mention – purely by chance – the United States.

If the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accept the petition in July, RWF would lose its status as a consultative member.

The Cuban delegation proposed RWF’s exclusion for having provoked incidents at the opening of the 59th Human Rights Commission in Geneva last March 17, during the contribution by the Libyan representative who presides over the commission.

In its violently anti-Cuban charade, whose characteristics are in line with CIA directives, besides organizing various costly publicity campaigns in newspapers and on television – RWF has recently organized various operations in Paris in relation to the detention in Cuba of several paid collaborators of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, led by CIA agent James Cason; not to mention costly publicity campaigns in newspapers and on television.

These mercenaries, or self-styled "reporters," were recruited as informants for the ultra-right press in Miami and have been openly financed by Menard, who acknowledged the fact in an interview with journalists Hernando Calvo Ospina and Katlijn Declercq, authors of the book Dissidents or Mercenaries?


Menard’s crew, associated with the fascist International Freedom Foundation created last October in Spain, led by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa and of which terrorist Carlos Alberto Montaner – honorable son of one of dictator Fulgencio Batista’s agents – is a member, occupied the Cuban Tourist Office in the French capital for a number of hours in early April, and at the end of the same month attempted to prevent people entering the Cuban embassy.

The whole of RWF’s campaign is systematically linked with the anti-Cuban plans of the United States developed in Washington and Miami, where Menard has wide connections with the mafioso leadership that dominates South Florida using terror, blackmail and corruption. And these "independent journalists" that he defends with such ardor are precisely the ones that feed the Batista press such as the Diario de las Américas and governmental organizations like Radio Martí, a subsidiary of Voice of America.

Apart from his sponsors in Washington and Langley, and sections of the European Union that he has succeeded in poisoning, this sui generis "freedom fighter" doesn’t hesitate to accept checks from French multi-millionaire and editor Francois Pinault.

And likewise from Jean-Luc Lagadère - who recently passed away - another wealthy Frenchman and trader in… missiles. And besides these two, Serge Dassault, international arms dealer.

In such a way when European missiles fell over Belgrade and killed 16 journalists from the national television, Menard forgot to account for them in his "annual report."

In Venezuela, Menard’s defense of the putschist press’ condemnation of Hugo Chavez’ popular revolution was really quite eloquent. And in Iraq, where was Menard when the U.S. troops opened fire on the Hotel Palestine where the international press was staying?

It is also known how Menard even defended the "freedom of the press" by going to the extreme of legitimizing... the neo-fascist press, the most retrograde, as he scandalously demonstrated last January 8, during the program Culture et dependances on French TV channel, France 3.


Menard’s "free" press is the one that justified the massacres in Afghanistan and Iraq by dint of lies, that denied seeing the corpses inside containers in Kabul, the concentration camp-style cages in Guantánamo and the two million prisoners – the vast majority blacks or Latinos – as well as the record figures of executions in U.S. jails.

It is also the press that belongs to the information multinationals that sustain self-censorship according to their own interests and which tried to convince the world that George W. Bush’s presidential election was a democratic one.

In reality, Menard, the prophet of global misinformation, does not defend freedom of the press but the absurd capitalist concept that everything one could desire is for sale, the freedom of the monopolies of information to acquire anything that moves in the media world, even though it reduces journalists’ freedom to enslavement to those intercontinental monsters of pseudo-information.

Menard plays naive when it comes to the single greatest danger to press freedom: economic censorship.

To offer one revealing detail, Menard’s press campaigns are conceived "free of charge," according to him, by the New York office of the international advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi... the global giant of capitalist propaganda, which employs 7,000 workers in 138 offices in 82 countries, and holds 60 of the most important 100 corporate advertising accounts worldwide. Nothing less.

It would appear after all, that RWF is, unquestionably, the multinational of lies.


A strange dichotomy was awaiting Robert Menard during a visit to the Californian capital of Los Angeles, while his State Department buddies ran to his aid in Geneva, Switzerland. As he had no press visa, the lifelong Reporters Without Frontiers president was arrested, registered several times, put on the police records and jailed for 26 hours by the immigration authorities before being deported to France.

Menard was on his way, with six expert journalists, to a video game trade fair, when immigration agents – responsible for applying the Patriot Act in the interests of national security – realized that the seven Frenchmen did not possess the corresponding journalist visas required by the Bureau for Citizenship and Immigration regulations.

"If you are a reporter and are coming to the United States as a journalist, you need a specific visa," explained Francisco Arcaute, spokesperson for the governmental organization.

Menard and his friends arrived in the United States on May 10 and left on the 11.

Frustrated by this lack of respect towards him after having rendered so many services to the empire, Menard sent a letter to Howard Leach, U.S. ambassador in Paris, complaining that he had been treated like a "common criminal."

The most absurd thing about the controversial figure’s situation is that his buddies in Washington are now pledging to block at all costs the proposal to kick their agent out of his seat at the Human Rights Commission.

According to Amanda Blatta, State Department spokesperson, Cuba would have to provide "a detailed report of the incident" at the UN’s request before demanding his expulsion.

Washington’s rush to aid this figure who so actively supported its interfering operations in the Third World confirms – if that is needed -- the true orientation of Menard’s activities that, certainly frustrated by the mistreatment he received in Los Angeles, failed to denounce any violation of... the freedom of the press.

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