|NED: US is Grim Reaper|
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela...
Image above from TheTechnocraticTyranny.com, 2/27/16, "State Department’s Mission: Coup d’etat," Vicky
"The end of the Cold War left a vacuum and the Department of State needed to define a new mission and a new organizing principle for the Department of State."...
"The NED (National Endowment for Democracy) was created by the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983, operates as a foundation that provides grants for “democracy promotion.” The foundation is structured as an umbrella with an almost corporatist flavor."
March 2015, "How the US Funds Dissent against Latin American Governments," telesurtv.net (Venezuela)
NED (National Endowment for Democracy, created in 1983, funded by US taxpayers via Congress) and USAID, also a US taxpayer funded group which nevertheless functions outside of US government and has a board of directors:
"Only recently has there been wider acknowledgement about the role that U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations — particularly via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — plays in furthering U.S. foreign policy.
For example, in 2012 governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) collectively signed a resolution to expel USAID from each of the member countries.
Those countries include Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominica, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
The NED was created by the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983, operates as a foundation that provides grants for “democracy promotion.” The foundation is structured as an umbrella with an almost corporatist flavor.
It houses four other organizations reflecting U.S. sectoral and party interest: the U.S. labor-affiliated American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS); the Chamber of Commerce-linked Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); and the other two, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), reflect Democrat and Republican affiliations respectively.
In many ways the NED resembles previous CIA efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s to provide mostly public money for secret operations aimed to bolster pro-U.S. governments and movements abroad. In South America for example, between 1975 and 1978 the U.S. helped with the creation and implementation of Operation Condor. The U.S. provided right-wing dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador with technical and military support for the goal of hunting down and killing political opponents. Some estimate that Operation Condor killed between 60,000 and 80,000 people.
In 1986, the then president of the NED, Carl Gershman, explained to the New York Times, “We should not have to do this kind of work covertly…It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60s, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created.”
U.S. citizens fund the NED with public money, for the most part without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. government allocates part the budget of the U.S. Department of State to USAID, which in turn provides most of the NED’s funding. Although it receives practically all of its funding from the U.S. government, the NED is technically a nongovernmental organization, headed by a board of directors. The current board includes:
- Francis Fukuyama, a political economist, author and free-market universalist;
- Elliott Abrams, former deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser on Middle East policy in the administration of George W. Bush;
- Moises Naim, Venezuelan Minister of Trade and Industry during the turbulent early 1990s and former executive director of the World Bank;
- Robert B. Zoellick, former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush and Vice Chairmanship at Goldman Sachs Group.
At its inception in the early 1980s, the NED’s funding allocation was set at US$18 million and reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Allocations for 2014 and 2015 have been approved for US$103.5 million, while over US$7 million was directed primarily to opposition organizations in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba in 2013.
Within the U.S. Department of State’s “Justification of Request” documents, which outline the reasons for funding requests, it is clear that funding priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean reflect the NED’s modern strategy of overtly carrying out old covert objectives.
Michel Chossudovsky, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa in Canada, sees this funding as an element in “manufacturing dissent” against governments that the U.S. government dislikes. However, these funders do not work alone.
“The NED (and USAID) are entities linked with the U.S. state department, but they operate in tandem with a whole of other organizations,” said Chossudovsky.
In May 2010 the Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue released their report “Assessing Democracy Assistance in Venezuela,” which revealed that in addition to NED and USAID funding, a broad range of private and European-based foundations funded opposition-aligned nongovernmental organizations in the country with some US$40-50 million annually....
The United States Agency for International Development
Created in 1961 as a foreign assistance program under President John F. Kennedy, USAID commands a much larger budget and broader scope than the NED. While U.S. diplomats continue to stress that USAID funding does not have a political basis, USAID documents nonetheless acknowledge its role in “furthering America's interests” while carrying out “U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States.” But critics are skeptical of USAID’s missionary work, noting how its strategy has changed over time.
USAID’s mandate is “to provide development aid and historically it has provided development aid, tied into debt negotiations and so on. Subsequently with the evolution of the development aid program it has redirected its endeavours on funding NGOs,” said Chossudovsky....
The extent of U.S. political ambitions recently came into the international spotlight with the revelation that USAID had secretly spent US$1.6 million to fund a social messaging network in Cuba called ZunZuneo, with the stated purpose to "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society." The project was headed up by Joe McSpedon of the USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).
Other USAID officials accused of active political meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries include regional head Mark Feierstein. According to Venezuelan investigative journalist Eva Golinger, in 2013 Feierstein met Venezuelan opposition figures including right-wing politicians Maria Corina Machado, Julio Borges and Ramon Guillermo Avelado, as well as political strategist Juan Jose Rendon, to devise a plan to undermine the Venezuelan government.
At the State Department budgetary hearing, Feierstein also confirmed “a long-standing program in place to support those who are advocating and fighting on behalf of democracy and human rights in Venezuela…and we are prepared to continue those under any scenario.”
State Department cables revealed by WikiLeaks also brought to light previous activities by USAID/OTI in Venezuela, including the development of a five-point, anti-government strategy for U.S. embassy activities, as well as the confirmation that grantees had been active in promoting street demonstrations in 2009....
In Bolivia, local rural workers’ groups and the government expelled the U.S.-based Chemonics International Inc. after their US$2.7 million USAID-funded "Strengthening Democracy" program was accused of financing destabilization attempts against the government. Chemonics operates in approximately 150 countries, offering various technical services and “consulting.”
The Bolivian government publicly outlined what they argued was proof of USAID-funded programs to mobilize the indigenous population against the government, in particular an indigenous march protesting the construction of a highway. USAID-funded programs were active in these areas, and had funded some of the leading organizations, such as the Eastern Bolivia Indigenous Peoples and Communities Confederation (CIDOB).
“USAID refused to reveal who it was funding and the Bolivian government had strong reasons to believe that it had ties and coordination with opposition groups in the country which at the time was involved in violence and destructive activities aimed at toppling the Morales government,” said Beeton. “Now we know through WikiLeaks that that’s what really was going on.”
President Evo Morales also revealed transcripts of phone calls between the anti-highway march organizers and U.S. embassy officials. The U.S. embassy confirmed the calls, but explained that they were merely trying to familiarize themselves with the country’s political and social situation.
Officials also denounced the lack of accountability to the Bolivian government or to the recipient constituencies of USAID funds. The head of the CIDOB, Lazaro Taco, confirmed that they had received “external support for our workshops," but would not identify the source.
These and other USAID activities led Bolivian President Evo Morales to claim that the agency was conspiring against his government. The government expelled USAID from the country in May 2013, while USAID denied any wrongdoing."...
4/7/2014, "5 Insidious Ways the US Has Tried Pulling Off Coups Through 'Democracy Promotion'," AlterNet, Alex Kane
"Cuba is the latest country to be targeted by U.S.-funded groups trying to destabilize unfriendly governments."