Contra-supporting CNN pundit Ana Navarro lobbied for corrupt right-wing Latin American governments

ana navarro asco

ana navarro: worked with some of Latin America’s most notoriously corrupt right-wing forces.


In the era of President Donald Trump, a clique of neoconservative talking heads have rebranded themselves as moderate voices of reason.

Among the most prominent self-declared “Never Trump conservatives” is Ana Navarro, a Nicaraguan American Republican strategist who has become a prominent commentator on CNN, a regular at Telemundo, and a weekly guest host of ABC’s talk show The View.

Navarro’s sassy anti-Trump diatribes have earned her the adulation of the liberal self-declared “Resistance.” And as Bernie Sanders leads the Democratic primary campaign for president, Navarro has trained her fire on the independent Vermont senator, demonizing the self-declared democratic socialist and the progressive movement behind him.

While corporate media networks give Navarro a massive platform to attack Sanders and rebrand her neoconservative politics before impressionable liberal viewers who despise Trump, Navarro’s professional background has faced little scrutiny.

Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) documents reviewed by The Grayzone reveal that Ana Navarro and her Republican lobbyist husband, Al Cárdenas, have worked with some of the most corrupt right-wing governments in recent Latin American history, including leaders who have overseen egregious human rights abuses and been convicted for serious criminal offenses.

One of the politicians whose government Navarro was contracted to lobby for, former El Salvadoran President Tony Saca, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for stealing more than $300 million in taxpayer money.

Navarro remains a staunch supporter of the Nicaraguan Contras, far-right death squads the CIA armed and trained in the 1980s in a regime-change war targeting the socialist Sandinista government. The Contras waged a relentless terrorist campaign, massacring and torturing civilians in hopes of destabilizing the country. And Navarro has celebrated them as freedom fighters.

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Navarro’s father was a Contra himself; the CNN contributor has publicly boasted of his involvement in the murderous US-backed insurgency. She has even offered to help foreigners get in touch with former leaders of the Contra death squads.

In 1997, Navarro went to work for another right-wing government in Central America, this one led by corrupt Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Alemán. In 2003, he too was imprisoned on corruption charges stemming from his embezzlement of $100 million in public funds.

Later, Navarro consulted for the GOP, helping advise Republican Florida governor and failed presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

She was also a surrogate for neoconservative Republican John McCain in his 2008 presidential campaign, and served as the national co-chair of his Hispanic Advisory Council.

Navarro’s husband, Cárdenas, is a powerful top GOP operative and the former chair of the Florida Republican Party. Like his wife, Cárdenas and his firm have worked with some of Latin America’s most notoriously corrupt right-wing forces.

FARA records reviewed by The Grayzone show that the lobbying firm of Navarro’s husband, Cardenas Partners, lobbied the US government on behalf of a Salvadorean family company called Funes y Asociados, which was used by the Tony Saca administration to embezzle millions of dollars of public money. The son of the rich businessman who runs Funes y Asociados, César Funes, is a former secretary and close ally of President Saca, and was himself imprisoned for five years for his role in the corruption scandal.

What’s more, a law firm where Cárdenas is a partner, Squire Patton Boggs, once lobbied for the Guatemalan General-turned-President Romeo Lucas García, who killed thousands of people and carried out more than 300 massacres in a scorched-earth counterinsurgency campaign.

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Despite this sordid past, Navarro has tried to refashion herself as a sensible moderate in the era of Trumpism. And the corporate media outlets she works for have failed to disclose her links to heinously corrupt Latin American governments.

Ana Navarro lobbied for El Salvador’s corruption-drenched right-wing government

Ana Navarro has become something of a celebrity among mainstream anti-Trump liberals. Raw Story has lionized her with headlines like “Ana Navarro buries ‘little boy’ Donald Trump Jr. for his attacks on Mitt Romney” and “Ana Navarro burns Trump to the ground.”

Liberal talk show hosts like Trevor Noah have eagerly hosted Navarro; Stephen Colbert praised her as “one of the president’s fiercest critics,” even as she proudly boasted on his program, “I have been a Republican since I was 8 years old… so there’s no way in Hell I’m going to let that guy push me out of the party where I have been for my entire life.”

Navarro has also earned anti-Trump adulation through cheap stunts like filing her nails during a CNN debate on Trump’s pledge to build a border wall, eating popcorn live on air, and making exaggerated faces and jokes.

The proud lifelong Republican and GOP strategist even admitted in a video essay for CNN that she voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, in an act of protest against Trump.

But while she has sold herself on major corporate media platforms as a fun, lighthearted renegade defending democracy from Trump, Navarro has made a small fortune lobbying on behalf of right-wing Trumpian figures in Latin America.

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While Navarro has boasted of her support for the mass-murdering extremist Nicaraguan Contras, she has not publicly discussed her links to far-right figures in El Salvador hailing from a party that emerged from the country’s brutal military junta.

According to FARA documents filed with the US Department of Justice, Navarro registered as a foreign agent for the conservative, notoriously corrupt government of El Salvador in 2007.

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