-Caveat Lector-

     "Meneses and Blandon were not the largest drug traffickers
-- neither were the Costa Ricans.  It was the Honduran Army that
was supplying 1/3 to 1/2 the cocaine reaching America.  In the
final days of the Contras, the Honduran Army got busted with more
than 6 tons of cocaine headed for the UNITED STATES.
     "Now, when we speak of Honduras, what we are really talking
about here is Carl Lindner ... ."

     "When the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a series in May 1998
detailing inhumane labor conditions, environmental crimes, and
much more from the Chiquita banana company, Chiquita's CEO,
Carl H. Lindner, Jr. threatened to take the Enquirer to court.
     "The Enquirer fired the journalist, Mike Gallagher, and
agreed on a settlement with Linden to print a (misleading)
apology and retraction and pay Chiquita $10 million in damages --
even though none of the allegations made in the articles (based
on a full year of research by Enquirer reporters Mike Gallagher
and Cameron McWhirter) were ever disproven in court."

     "Members of the Clinton Administration have moved to help
Chiquita open European markets to its bananas.  For years,
Chiquita grew lots of bananas throughout Latin America and was
the largest supplier to Europe.
     "Then in 1993, the European Union announced changes to its
trade regulations on banana import quotas.  Colombia and Costa
Rica agreed to this new European "banana plan" and were key to
making it work.  But because of this new policy, Chiquita's sales
and profits dropped.
     "Although there are relatively few US jobs at stake, Lindner
has managed to bring his "banana problem" to the top of our
national agenda.
     "In January of this year, US Trade Representative Mickey
Kantor concluded his year-long investigation of the European
banana trade dispute and determined that [Chiquita competitors]
Costa Rica and Colombia's trade agreements with the Europeans are
"unfair."  The Clinton Administration investigated the idea of
imposing trade sanctions against Colombia and Costa Rica."

    "The PORTLAND FREE PRESS is now providing the full coverage
of the Gary Eitel civil law suit that Arizona journalists know
would lead to their dismissal.
     "The CIA air operation known as T&G Aviation named in this
suit, which used Senator JOHN MCCAIN to obtain 3 C-130s from the
DOD via Roy Reagan, is located at the old Chandler (Arizona)
Municipal Airport, located conveniently on an Indian reservation
where customs and the DEA have no jurisdiction.
     "The PORTLAND FREE PRESS pulls no punches with its account
of Arizona's U.S. Attorney, Janet Napolitano, giving the CIA back
its C-130s and then resigning her office."

_______________________________________________________________


BANANA REPUBLICAN: CARL H. LINDNER

     In addition to being a big Dole backer, Lindner has served
as a mentor and colleague to two of the best-known financial
crooks of our time, Charles Keating and Michael Milken.

     Carl H. Lindner, 76, Cincinnati, Ohio.  Donated $337,500
since 1993.  Party: Mostly D.  He gave one $250,000 soft-money
gift to the Democrats, and $42,000 in party donations to the GOP.
He also gave $31,000 to 31 candidates, nearly all Republican.

By L.J. Davis

     Carl Lindner, the tan eminence of American finance (Lindner
always wears tan), is chair and CEO of Chiquita Brands
International Inc. This may help explain why Sen. Bob Dole, a
major recipient of Lindner contributions (and frequent flier on
Lindner company jets), has been a vocal critic of trade
agreements that cut Chiquita out of the foreign banana market.
     Dole's friendship may also give Lindner political cover.
Chiquita Brands, among others, faces a lawsuit alleging that its
use of the pesticide DBCP caused sterility in 16,000 foreign
farmworkers.
     More well-known than Lindner himself are two of his
proteges, Charles Keating, of S&L fame, and Michael Milken, the
former junk bond king.  Keating, whose law firm did work for
Lindner's conglomerate, American Financial Corp., became vice
president of AFC in 1972.  A few years later, the Securities and
Exchange Commission charged Keating and Lindner with defrauding
stockholders.  Lindner, described in James B. Stewart's "Den of
Thieves" as a "father figure" to Michael Milken, was also the
single largest purchaser of Milken's junk bonds.
     Lindner, thought a conservative by temperament (he was a
member of the anti-pornography group largely responsible for
Cincinnati's Mapplethorpe dustup), gives money to whoever in in
power.  Despite his relationship with Dole, he was President
Clinton's largest single contributor as of July 1994.  But
shortly after Republicans took the House in November 1994,
Lindner sent a check for $55,000 to Speaker Newt Gingrich's
GOPAC.
     What would Lindner ultimately like in return for his
generosity?
     For the SEC and Congress to stop looking into his sleazy
deals and leave him alone.


Copyright (c) Foundation for National Progress


So You Want to Buy a President?  Carl Lindner

     Carl Lindner, a Cincinnati businessman with international
interests ranging from banking to bananas, is one of the nation's
wealthiest men. His frequent, abundant contributions to political
candidates and parties have put him at times in the public
spotlight.
     His friends defend his political giving as merely the
generosity of a public spirited citizen.  His critics suspect
that his money buys him political access and influence.  In
either event, he is one of several large contributors at the
center of the controversy over whether the American
campaign-finance system is serving the public interest.
      Born in Dayton, Ohio, he dropped out of high school to help
run the family's ice-cream store when his father became ill.
With a head for figures and a knack for financial deals, Lindner
built the business into  a chain of stores known as United Dairy
Farmers. Today there are over 200 such stores run by his brother
Robert.
     Dairy-store profits have fueled Lindner's investments in
financial institutions. First, he acquired savings and loans
companies and then  diversified into the insurance business.
Today he runs a corporate empire  known as American Financial
Group.
     As chairman and chief executive of American Financial Group,
Lindner presides over business assets worth $14 billion by his
own reckoning. He is a former part owner of The Cincinnati
Enquirer.  He controls, among other businesses, Chiquita Brands
bananas.
     Lindner has made a name for himself on Wall Street as an
astute investor.  He has a reputation for "bottom fishing" --
that is, buying a financially troubled or undervalued company at
a bargain price and transforming it into a profitable enterprise.
He was an important customer of "junk" bond king Michael Milken,
who worked for the now-defunct investment banking firm of Drexel
Burnham Lambert.
     For years American Financial employed a Cincinnati lawyer,
Charles Keating, as corporate counsel and executive vice
president. Lindner and Keating  parted company, and Keating moved
to Phoenix and gained notoriety in the 1980s as the man behind
the multibillion-dollar failure of Lincoln Savings & Loan.
     Mild-mannered and shy,  Lindner routinely refuses reporters'
requests for interviews. He has a habit of handing out little
white cards with gold-embossed, folksy sayings on them. One
reads: "I like to do my giving while I'm living so I'm knowing
where it's going."
     He is a devout Baptist who says he does not smoke, drink or
swear. In 1990, he led the opposition to a Cinncinnati exhibit of
photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. Later that year, he withheld
his usual financial support to the arts fund he deemed
responsible for the show. As a philanthropist, Lindner has been
generous. He has estimated his contributions to various charities
over the past 10 years at $60 million.
     Lindner gives heavily to political campaigns. While his
contributions in Cincinnati and Ohio heavily favor Republicans,
in national races he gives generously to both sides. Since 1988,
Lindner and his associates and companies have given $650,000 in
soft money to the Democrats and $1.5 million to the Republicans,
according to Common Cause, a Washington watchdog group.
     Lindner, his family, and  business associates also make
donations directly to politicians. Among them: $106,000 to George
Bush's presidential campaigns in 1988 and 1992; and $172,500 to
Senator Robert Dole since 1980. In a field of the "top ten career
patrons"  of Senator Dole, Lindner ranks seventh, reports the
Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan Washington public
interest research group.  Dole has also made frequent use of
private jets owned by the Lindner family -- twelve flights in
1995 alone, according to the Federal Election Commission.
     Recently,  Majority Leader Dole,  House Speaker Newt
Gingrich, and members of the Clinton Administration have moved to
help Chiquita open European markets to its bananas. For years,
Chiquita grew lots of bananas throughout Latin America and was
the largest supplier to Europe.
     Then in 1993, the European Union announced changes to its
trade regulations on banana import quotas.  Colombia and Costa
Rica agreed to this new European "banana plan" and were key to
making it work.
     Chiquita said because of this new policy, which it claims
violated trade laws, sales and profits dropped.
     Although there are relatively few US jobs at stake, Lindner
has managed to bring his "banana problem" to the top of our
national agenda.  The Clinton Administration investigated the
idea of imposing trade sanctions against Colombia and Costa Rica,
and Bob Dole pushed the issue in Congress.
     In January of this year, US Trade Representative Mickey
Kantor concluded his year-long investigation of the European
banana trade dispute and determined that Costa Rica and
Colombia's trade agreements with the Europeans are "unfair."
Despite Chiquita's lobbying, the US has decided for the time
being not to impose retaliatory sanctions against the two
countries, instead pressuring the Europeans to open their banana
market to free trade.

Copyright (c) 1998 PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE


September 12, 1998
Take Action:  Boycott Chiquita Bananas

     When the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a series of articles in May
1998 detailing inhumane labor conditions, environmental crimes,
and much more from the Chiquita banana company, Chiquita's CEO,
Carl H. Lindner, Jr. (mentor of Charles Keating and Michael
Milken and major financial donor to Clinton, Dole, Gingrich, Pat
Buchanan, ...) threatened to take the Enquirer to court.
     Instead, the Enquirer fired the journalist, Mike Gallagher,
and agreed on a settlement with Linden to print a (misleading)
apology and retraction and pay Chiquita $10 million in damages.
     None of the allegations in the articles, which were based on
a full year of research by Enquirer reporters Mike Gallagher and
Cameron McWhirter, were disproven, but Chiquita was able to use
the interception of internal voice mail as their legal basis for
killing the story.
     The records included more than 2,000 copies of taped voice
mail messages -- many of which were highly detailed -- provided
by a high-level source who was one of several Chiquita executives
with authority over the company's voice mail system.
     The source also provided copies of the same tapes to the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has launched its
own investigation into Chiquita.
     The government of Honduras, where Chiquita has been a power
for decades, has also said it is reviewing some of the charges
raised by the series, ranging from bribery of foreign officials
to the use of dangerous pesticides at some of the company's
agricultural sites.


Read the Case Against Chiquita

     While the company may have been able to use a legal
technicality to avert some of the bad publicity spurred by the
stories, they cannot refute the facts.
     "Sunset Freedom" is thus joining in the call for a complete
boycott of all Chiquita Brands International products (also under
names like COBIGUA, Compania Bananera Atlantica Ltda. {COBAL},
United Fruit, and United Brands) as well as Linden's other
interest -- the American Financial Corp.
     We urge you to send messages to Chiquita letting them know
that you disagree with their use of extortion, pesticides, and
violence to maintain their banana republic, and that you will not
buy any of their products until they clean up their act and allow
independent audits of the conditions at their compounds to prove
it.
     We also urge you to contact President Clinton and Newt
Gingrich, both major recipients of Linden donations, to let them
know that you support the continued SEC investigations into the
company as well as an end to sweatshops the world over.
     Inform your friends and neighbors of Chiquita's horrendous
business practices, and ask your local grocer to at least provide
alternatives brands if not to boycott Chiquita altogether.


References:
     The Edison West Website (http://amaterasu.besler.org/) was
actually the first source we found for information on the
Chiquita scandal.  It contains links to several good sources
(http://amaterasu.besler.org/Political/bananas.html).
     The Campaign for Labor Rights
(http://www.compugraph.com/clr/alerts/chiquita_part1.html) also
has condensed versions of the stories, and much of the text
quoted here is from their excellent work.
     http://www.coha.org/ = Council on Hemispheric Affairs
     http://www2.thecia.net/users/rnewman/chiquita = Focus on
Chiquita
     The Globalization and the MAI Information Centre
(http://www.islandnet.com/~ncfs/maisite/chiquita.htm) has the
complete text of the Enquirer story

     <cont'd>

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