This report was originally published at Wayne Madsen’s investigative site, and republished here in effort to spread the word. Please follow Madsen’s site for lots of detailed, deep political information.
by Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report
During the recent Republican presidential candidates’ “debate” in Cleveland, former Florida Governor John Ellis Bush (JEB) wanted to recount his eight years as governor of the Sunshine State; however, it is not Bush the politician who should be of interest to voters but Bush the Central Intelligence Agency “non-official cover” banker in Venezuela and Miami-based real estate businessman/money launderer who should alarm the American electorate.
While Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush, glossed over his AWOL status with the Texas Air National Guard, Jeb does not have a military record to defend but he does have a CIA employment record to fess up to.
Jeb’s early work in Venezuela and south Florida is much more troubling than Dubya pretending to be on active duty in Texas while he was actually off in Alabama helping a GOP U.S. Senate campaign and getting sloppy drunk in redneck bars. Jeb should fully explain his relationship with Alberto Duque, a Colombian national who laundered drug money for the Medellin and Cali narco-cartels and Nicaraguan contras while serving as owner of City National Bank of Miami and president of the General Coffee Company of Colombia.
Apparently, there was more than coffee arriving in sacks of coffee coming into Miami from Colombia. Duque financed a $30 million real estate development project run by Jeb Bush.
In 1983, Duque was convicted for fraud and sent to federal prison. Duque hired a Bush family CIA crony to serve as City National Bank’s president.
He was Don Beazley, who previously worked for the CIA’s Nugan Hand Bank in Australia. Before it collapsed, Nugan Hand was responsible for laundering money from the CIA’s Golden Triangle opium and heroin smuggling operations from Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and paying off U.S. surrogates in Asia, including Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Suharto in Indonesia, Park Chung Hee in South Korea, and various Thai generals.
In return for CIA money gifts, Marcos ordered his Energy Minister, Geronimo Velasco, to have the Philippines National Oil Corporation enter into business relationships with three Bush family-owned businesses: Zapata Petroleum Corporation, Zapata Offshore Company, and Overbey Oil Development Corporation. The three Bush firms were also linked to various CIA activities, including the abortive 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
Jeb Bush’s Texas Commerce Bank was also the bank used by the Zapata companies. Velasco died of a sudden heart attack in San Francisco in 2007. Velasco’s Republic Glass Corporation became a holding company that owned a number of British Virgin Islands-based subsidiaries.
Beazley had also been president of Great American Bank of Miami. The bank was indicted for drug money laundering in 1982. Beazley also negotiated the sale of Second National Bank of Homestead, a subsidiary of Great American, to Nugan Hand. It was in this environment of interconnected CIA money laundering banks that Jeb Bush found himself and his real estate business immersed in the 1980s.
On January 25, 1980, Frank Nugan, the Australian co-founder of Nugan Hand Bank, was found dead in his car near Bowenfels, New South Wales from a “self-inflicted” rifle shot wound to his head. The card of ex-CIA director William Colby, who, himself was found floating in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland in 1996, was found in Nugan’s pocket.
Colby was Nugan Hand’s legal counsel. Hand had planned to move with his wife and three young children to Florida but someone apparently did not like the idea of Nugan showing up in Florida during the year George H W Bush was trying to become the president of the United States.
After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was the CIA official who gave him his in-brief at Langley in 1977, Robert Gambino, the deputy director of security at the agency.
In the 1980s, Jeb Bush provided liaison between his father’s national security adviser, Donald Gregg, and various Florida-based right-wing Nicaraguan and Cuban exile organizations helping to fight the clandestine war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
Jeb was appointed by his father to the board of the National Republican Institute, the GOP branch of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA-financed money laundering operation that saw millions pour into the coffers of the Nicaraguan contras, Cuban exile groups, and Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Honduran death squads.
Jeb acted as a liaison between Dr. Mario Castejon, a right-wing candidate for president of Guatemala, and Vice President Bush. Castejon sought funding for a secret shipment of arms to the contras and other right-wing rebel groups in Central America that would be masked as “medical supplies.”
Jeb Bush’s relationship with City National Bank, whose other senior director was Leonard Abess, a director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Foundation, ensured that a large share of NED money flowed to Israeli security firms like Tadiran, which helped Guatemala and Honduras track down leftist guerrillas and exterminate them.
Jeb Bush’s current support for Israel stems from his early business relationships with Zionists like Abess and other offshoots of the Meyer Lansky “Kosher Nostra” crime family in south Florida. Abess is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank branch of Miami. [See linked article below in “Summary” on pre-9/11 Fed money movement to Fed branch in Miami].
It could be argued that Jeb Bush, from his in-brief by Gambino at the CIA in 1977, to his unsuccessful run for governor of Florida in 1994 was a reliable CIA and Israeli asset.
In 1990, Jeb urged his father to pardon Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch, a man wanted for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian passenger plane that had taken off from Bridgetown, Barbados.
Jeb Bush was also a supporter of the U.S. House of Representatives candidacy of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the most rabid anti-Castro and pro-Israeli members of Congress. Jeb also succeeded in having his father name Dexter Lehtinen, Ileana’s husband, to be U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida.
Lehtinen permitted a number of Jeb’s friends in the Cuban and Jewish communities in southern Florida to escape prosecution for crimes ranging from drug money laundering to narcotics smuggling and contract assassinations to banking fraud.
Most of Jeb’s business friends were CIA-linked bankers. In addition to Beazley, Duque, and Abess, these included Paul Helliwell, a Miami-based lawyer and the owner of two CIA money laundering banks, Great American Bank of Miami, later bought by Nugan Hand and indicted in 1982 for drug money laundering, and Castle Bank & Trust Ltd. of Nassau in the Bahamas.
Helliwell, a veteran of the Office of Strategic Security (OSS) during World War II, died at the age of 62 on Christmas Eve of 1976, just a few weeks before George H W Bush departed as CIA director.
The autopsy said Helliwell died from “complications of emphysema.” Castle Bank shut down in 1977, the same year that Jeb moved to Caracas to work for Texas Commerce Bank.
Jeb Bush’s rise to financial and political power in Florida is coupled with a trail of dead bodies, failed banks and savings and loan institutions accused of laundering money for the CIA, and dubious characters who served as CIA assets.
Until Jeb Bush fully accounts for his business activities in the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s, he is actually more unfit for the presidency than his draft-dodging and AWOL status brother, George W. Bush.
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!