As of Feb. 18, 2019, Trump still allows Obama appointee Kevin Whitaker to remain US Ambassador to Colombia per US State Dept. website.
scandalously holds out for Joseph MacManus for crucial US Ambassador to
Colombia post despite Republican objections that MacManus refuses
oversight and has no loyalty for what is believed to be Trump’s agenda:
9/15/2017, “Conservatives Urge Trump Not to Name Former Top Clinton Aide Ambassador to Colombia,” “Trump leaning toward nominating Joseph MacManus,”Washington Free Beacon, Susan Crabtree
“With Colombia’s ability to maintain the peace deal growing shakier each day, one conservative foreign-policy activist said putting a career politician with no loyalty to Trump and his agenda in such a critical foreign policy post is counterproductive.
“That someone thinks this is a good idea is quite disturbing,” one conservative foreign-policy activist told the Free Beacon.... "MacManus is not the right fit.”
The State Department referred questions about a MacManus appointment to the White House, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.”…
Added: Nov. 2017: Trump’s scandalous nomination of Joseph MacManus for Ambassador to Colombia:
11/29/2017, “Trump picks top Clinton aide for key ambassador slot. Why?“ Powerline, Paul Mirengoff
“President Trump has nominated Joseph McManus to be the U.S. ambassador to Colombia….
Even if McManus had played no role in Benghazi and the email
scandal, it’s not clear why one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides should be
our ambassador to Colombia. Her foreign policy is certainly not [what
we believed was] President Trump’s foreign policy. Nor does McManus’s bio indicate a strong background in Latin American affairs.
Thus, I agree with Sen. Mike Lee who says:
“At a time when we should be cleaning up the State Department and realigning our foreign-policy priorities to reflect those of the current administration, an Obama-era diplomat is not the right person to head our embassy in Colombia, a critical U.S. ally in the region.”
When one factors in McManus’ involvement in Benghazi and the email scandal, the case against him becomes even stronger, it seems to me.
And there is one more element to that case. Susan Crabtree of the Washington Free Beacon reports that McManus recently rebuffed Sen. Lee, Sen. Ted Cruz, and four other conservative GOP senators who asked for an investigation into whether the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] were using taxpayer dollars to support liberal causes funded by George Soros. The senators cited several Soros-funded projects, including one in Colombia in which USAID funds support a Soros-owned media portal that has criticized Trump, capitalism, and “patriarchal society.”
According to Crabtree, MacManus’ response to the senators defended USAID’s work without addressing the their concerns. If this reporting is accurate — if McManus blew off the issue of USAID funds being used to advance Soros’s left-wing agenda — then his nomination is not just misguided, but scandalous.
How did it come about? Apparently, McManus was the choice of Thomas Shannon, another career State Department man who was the acting Secretary of State until Rex Tillerson took over.
A source told the Free Beacon that the McManus nomination “shows the State Department bureaucrats are running roughshod over the White House political team who frankly ought to be embarrassed for allowing the nomination to be made.”
This seems like a fair assessment. Perhaps it’s not too late to derail this nomination.”
Added: July 2018–Trump won’t bend, it’s the Soros guy in Colombia or nothing-keep the Obama holdover. As of Feb. 18, 2019, Trump still allows an Obama appointee to remain US Ambassador to Colombia:
July 3, 2018, “Senator [Mike Lee-R] blocks Trump’s choice for Colombia ambassador,” AP, Joshua Goodman, Bogota, Columbia
“A Republican senator has been blocking
President Donald Trump’s choice to become the next ambassador to
Colombia, citing concerns that one of the State Department’s most senior
career diplomats mishandled the aftermath of the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, led a small chorus of conservatives who raised doubts about Joseph Macmanus’ nomination almost as soon as it was announced last November and has used a procedural rule known as a “hold” to prevent any vote from taking place.
If he doesn’t lift it, Trump could be forced to either select a new person or wait until a new Congress begins in January to nominate Macmanus again.
A spokesperson for Lee’s office said the senator has no plans to remove the hold but declined further comment.
Macmanus is the longest delayed of 20 ambassadorial nominees awaiting confirmation, according to the American Foreign Service Association. Another 41 top ambassadorial posts are vacant….
Macmanus was chosen to replace Ambassador Kevin Whitaker at a crucial time in relations with Washington’s staunchest ally in the region.…
Several Republicans expressed reservations about Macmanus when
he was nominated. Lee, in December, called him “the wrong man for
Colombia,” saying he doesn’t share [what we believed was] Trump’s
“America First” foreign policy….
Some of Macmanus’ backers were hopeful Lee’s objections had eased after Pompeo didn’t put forward another candidate upon being sworn in as secretary of state, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May backed his nomination, sending it to the Senate floor for a vote.
But Lee’s hold has so far prevented a vote from ever taking place.”
“Associated Press writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.”
Added: Soros has a long history of destabilizing Colombia and supporting terrorists there:
Jan. 13, 2017, “AFTER DECADES OF COVERT SUPPORT FOR TERRORISTS, SOROS REVEALS HIMSELF IN COLOMBIA,” periodisimosinfronteras.org, Lia Fowler
“Under the guise of promoting Human Rights, in 1978 Soros co-founded Human Rights Watch (originally Helsinki Watch). Corporacion Nuevo Arcoiris lists Open Society as one of its benefactors. Created by amnestied ELN terrorist Leon Valencia, the “think tank” produces propaganda for the Santos-FARC deal. Could it be that Colombia’s 2018 election is shaping up to be a repeat of 2010 — a win-win contest between two Soros-groomed candidates?
January 9 , Colombian daily El Espectador, published a column by
New York hedge fund manager George Soros titled “The Abnormal Times of
Trump” (Los Tiempos Anormales de Trump), in which the Hungarian-American billionaire opened with, “I must tell you who I am and what I believe in.”
It would seem through this piece, written “especially for El
Espectador”, that the founder of the Open Society Foundations was attempting to introduce himself to Colombians.
He’s a few decades too late.
fact, Soros has been a key player in shaping both U.S. policy toward
Colombia and the country’s internal politics since at least the 1990s.
Through his own network of NGOs and those he sponsors, Soros has waged a
decades-long assault on the country’s institutions designed to legitimize Colombia’s narco-terrorist groups – a goal he is very close to achieving. (1)
Last December , the Colombian Congress ratified a
“peace deal” between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and
the narco-terrorist group known as the FARC– despite the deal having
been rejected by a national plebiscite on October 2. As such, the world’s leading drug-trafficking Cartel has guaranteed unelected seats in Congress, Santos has rule-by-decree powers, and Colombia is quickly devolving into a narco-failed State. The road to this end was paved and funded by George Soros, and achieved through a three-pronged approach: weakening of the State and its institutions, blocking drug eradication efforts, and promoting drug legalization and decriminalization.
Under the guise of promoting Human Rights, in 1978 Soros co-founded Human Rights Watch (originally Helsinki Watch). Not
only did he pour hundreds of millions of dollars into it, through the
Open Society Foundation (3), he also sits on its Advisory Council for the Americas. In the 1990s, HRW,
along with Amnesty International (4), the Washington Office on Latin
America (WOLA) (5), and the International Peace Brigades (6)– all sponsored by Open Society — began characterizing the Colombian military as a systematic violator of human rights.
Indeed, during the presidency of Ernesto Samper (1994-98), accused by
the U.S. of financing his presidential campaign with drug Cartel money,
and Andres Pastrana (1998-2002) the combined efforts of
Soros-sponsored NGOs managed to defund the Army, hinder its operations,
and remove its top leaders through fabricated human rights abuse
In the mid and late 90s, there was a battle within the U.S.
government between the State Department and the Pentagon regarding the
nature of the terrorist groups FARC and ELN. Myles Frechette, former U.S. Ambassador to Colombia,
insisted that there was no evidence of any link between these terrorist
organizations and drug trafficking – a claim repeated by the FARC in
various communications, including a 1998 “Open Letter to the American
People.”(7) Frechette currently serves with Soros on the HRW Advisory Council.
U.S. Drug Policy Adviser Gen. Barry McCaffrey stated in 1996 that the FARC and ELN were a narco-guerrilla force.” The Pentagon’s view proved true, as the FARC is now recognized as the world’s leading cocaine Cartel.
HRW and other Soros-funded NGOs, led a relentless campaign against the Colombian Armed Forces
and its members. In a 1996 report titled “Colombia’s Assassin Networks:
the military-paramilitary alliance and the United States,” (8) HRW
wrote “With the objective of declaring a war on drugs, the United
States has armed, trained and advised the Colombian Armed Forces,
despite their disastrous record on human rights issues.” The
report went on to accuse retired General Farouk Yanine Diaz and General
Harold Bedoya, among others, of colluding with paramilitary groups to
commit or cover up atrocities.
These constant allegations were amplified by Soros-linked U.S. media outlets. Chief among them was the Washington Post.
It is no surprise that Len Downie, Washington Post Executive Editor
between 1991-2008, and current Vice-President, is also a member of the
board at The Center for Investigative Reporting, which has received more
than $1 million from Soros’ Open Society.
In a 1997 Washington Post article titled “As its civil war intensifies, Colombia emerges as the Bosnia of South America”
by Ana Carrigan and Robert O. Weiner, the authors called the alleged
collusion between the military and drug-traffickers a “dirty war” and compared it to Bosnia’s ethnic cleansing. “The paramilitaries massacre [civilians],
fulfilling the military’s desire for high body counts and enabling
their sponsors to consolidate and expand their land holdings,” they
added, providing no basis for these statements.
Ana Carrigan, who co-authored the 1997 article, is a writer with OpenDemocracy, an organization funded primarily by Open Society and the Open Society Initiative for Europe. (9) Soros himself is a columnist at OpenDemocracy. Her ongoing coverage of the Colombian conflict has remained pro-terrorist through the years. She is also the author of “The Palace of Justice: A Colombian Tragedy,” in which she falsely claimed that it was the military, and not M-19 terrorists, who murdered most
of the victims during the M-19 terrorist attack of the Palace of
Justice in 1985. A critique of her book by Rex A. Hudson, pointed out
the many fallacies of her work, including her reliance on anonymous
sources and disregarding the testimony of credible survivors. The book
remains one of the few accounts of the M-19 massacre in the English
a May 1998 column in the Washington Post, Bernard Aronson, a former
Secretary of State official, promoted HRW’s false military-paramilitary
narrative, writing that by aiding the Colombian
military, the U.S. risked “allying ourselves with paramilitary forces
that recently massacred 21 civilians, including a 4-year-old child, in a remote village in guerrilla-controlled territory.” Aronson proposed instead that the FARC and ELN could help eradicate coca fields in return for U.S. Aid and a share of power in Colombia. (11)
Aronson was and still is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue, which is indirectly funded by Soros, via the Avina Foundation.
The latter is listed by the Dialogue’s as one of its top donors and it
is funded by Open Society. Furthermore, Dialogue Director Michael
Schifter serves on the HRW Advisory Council with Soros. With the recent ratification of the Santos-FARC deal, Aronson not only saw his 1998 proposal realized, he helped craft it, as President Obama’s U.S. Envoy to the Santos-FARC peace talks since 2015.
1998, Soros’ strong influence in the State Department was complete,
with the appointment of Harold Koh as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In a glaring conflict of interest, Koh was also a member of the HRW board of directors.(12)
“The principal mechanism for the defamation
campaign against the Colombian military is the Human Rights Report that
the State Department presents to the U.S. Congress every year,”
wrote Miguel Posada, founder of the Center for Analytical Studies and
Verdad Colombia – and my father – in a March 2000 article for the
Inter-American Economic Press Association. (13) For many years, the State Department report was almost an exact copy of Soros’ HRW report.
Soros’ achievements through his influence in the State Department included the following: The dismantling of the 20th Intelligence Brigade (14) in 1998 (accused by the State Department – according to the Washington Post – “of promoting death squad activities”); the blocking of millions of dollars in U.S. assistance, as described in HRW reports for all the pertinent years; and the dismissal of hundreds of officers. (15)
The result of the Soros-funded U.S. policy toward Colombia was disastrous for Colombia. According to statistics from the Nueva Granada Military University, between 1990 and 2000, the number of FARC
terrorists rose from some 8,000 to more than 20,000; ELN terrorists rose
from 2,000 to 4,500 terrorists, and paramilitaries quintupled in force, from 1,800 terrorists to more than 10,000. In that time, about 7,000 child soldiers were recruited into these terrorist groups.
Among the officers removed due to HRW and State Department pressure was Gen. Bedoya, Commander of the Armed Forces, who was forced to retire in 1997. A 1998 HRW report, titled “All-Out War: Colombia and International Humanitarian Law”
(Guerra Sin Cuartel: Colombia y el derecho internacional humanitario)
(16) states: “In 1997, the government of Colombia forced the retirement
of General Harold Bedoya, whose hostility toward human rights and whose
association throughout his entire career with the dramatic increase in
joint operations between the Army and the paramilitaries are
In fact, there was never any credible evidence that Gen. Bedoya had any links to paramilitaries at all. As
a great majority of the information alleged by HRW and spread through
its media partners, the accusations were unsubstantiated.
According to NGO Monitor, HRW’s publications “reflect the absence of
professional standards, research methodologies, and military and legal
So where did they get this information? While HRW reports do not identify the organizations
that provide the information in their acknowledgements, claiming
security reasons, a review of the content of their reports suggests who they might be,
among them: the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ), The
Inter-Eclesial Commission on Justice and Peace (CIJP), Center of Popular
Investigation and Education (CINEP), and Corporacion Colectivo de
Abogados Jose Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR).
Interestingly, these are all NGOs supported by International Peace
Brigades, which receives funding directly from Soros’ Open Society.
After Gen. Bedoya’s forced retirement, he launched a presidential campaign for the 1998 elections. His platforms consisted of opposing the appeasement policies of the Samper government, and combating narco-terrorism directly. In the months leading up to the election, three of Bedoya’s campaign offices were bombed, and in May, Bedoya’s campaign advisor, former minister Fernando Landazabal, was murdered. Despite being defeated in the election, Gen. Bedoya continued his efforts to combat Soros-sponsored pro-FARC propaganda in the U.S., including speaking engagements at the Schiller Institute, and the National Press Club.
He was met, at every turn, with intense defamation campaigns both in the U.S. and in Colombia.
In the U.S., pro-FARC groups pounced on his use of the word “patria” in
Spanish, which they translated as “fatherland” (instead of the more
appropriate “country”) in order to make comparisons to Hitler. From there, U.S. outlets and NGOs began to refer to Gen. Bedoya as a fascist. In 1999, for example, an email from the Colombian Labor Monitor, an NGO whose funding is not known, stated, “Colombian fascist General Bedoya will be speaking at the National Press Club.” (18) The Equipo Nizcor and Derechos Human Rights, members of Soros-funded GILC, (19) included
Gen. Bedoya in a list of “Notorious Colombian Graduates of the School
of the Americas,” and accused him of organizing death squads, (20) allegations lifted directly from HRW reports and FARC communiqués. (21)
The allegations were echoed in Colombia. Referring
to Gen. Bedoya in a February 1998 article in El Tiempo, Ivan Duque, now a
Senator for the Democratic Center (CD) party, wrote: “It is lacking in
seriousness and disagreeable to hear that fascist narrative at the end
of the 20th century.” It isn’t surprising. In an April 2010
column in Portafolio titled “Soros’ Lessons,” Duque wrote about Soros’
“intellectual richness” and promoted his ideas. (22) Whether through ignorance or by design, Duque did not make any mention to the role Soros had played in Colombia’s politics in the previous 15 years.
Let’s skip to the present. The “peace deal” ratified last
year , was initiated by Santos – whose links to Soros are well-documented – and helped along by an intense Soros-sponsored propaganda campaign at home and abroad.
the lobbying for Santos in the United States was primarily done through
the Inter-American Dialogue, whose ties to Soros are detailed above, and the Atlantic Council, which includes Open Society in its list of contributors. (23) The negotiations were thoroughly endorsed by the Obama Administration, which brought back the Soros-linked key players from the 1990s era to help cement the deal: Harold Koh, one-time member of the HRW board of directors, was appointed Legal Adviser of the Department of State in 2009;
and Bernard Aronson was tapped to be the Special Envoy to the
negotiations in 2015. Aronson’s dubious role in the negotiations was the
subject of my April 2016 column: “Bernard Aronson: The Conflicting
Interests of ‘Our Man in Havana’. (24)
coverage of the peace negotiations in the U.S. was predominantly
pro-Santos-FARC, which implicitly meant pro-Cuba, as the FARC has long been sponsored and trained by Cuba, and Cuba was a sponsor and the host of the deal. Leading the U.S. coverage was, again, the Soros-linked Washington Post, through the many columns by reporter Nick Miroff. (25) His bias was encapsulated in an appalling Jan. 6  tweet. In response to photographs of U.N Peace verifiers dancing with FARC girls – whose very presence among the FARC ranks constitutes a War Crime
– he wrote: “For the sake of peace in Colombia, someone should prob
take away all the cellphone cameras in El Conejo.” The problem, for
Miroff, was not that UN obsevers were dancing with victims of Child Soldiering, but rather that they got caught.
The fact is, Miroff is not unbiased at all. Miroff’s wife is
Camila Pineiro, the daughter of the notorious Cuban intelligence officer
Manuel Pineiro. Pineiro served as the Castro regime’s head of the DGLN,
in charge of organizing and supporting guerrillas in the Americas, among them, the FARC. Camila Pineiro works for the Cuban State-sponsored Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy at the University of Havana.
In Colombia, many of the NGOs that promoted and helped orchestrate the Santos-FARC deal – and those that led defamation campaigns against its opponents — were funded by Open Society. Among them: Corporacion Nuevo Arcoiris (26) lists Open Society
as one of its benefactors. Created by amnestied ELN terrorist Leon
Valencia, the “think tank” produces propaganda for the Santos-FARC deal.
Additionally, Soros is linked to Valencia and promotes him through
diverse projects. In 2015, for example, Alerta Democratica – an
organization founded by Open Society Foundation, the Soros-sponsored
Avina Foundation and the Ford Foundation – held a an
eight-month exercise to “Map the Future of Democracy in Latin America.”
The representative from Colombia was Leon Valencia, listed as the
Executive Director of his other NGO, La Fundacion Paz y Reconciliacion.
Funded by Open Society Foundations, DeJusticia is headed by Rodrigo Uprimny. (28) Uprimny has been a key player in crafting the peace deal and silencing any opposition within the government. As one of the “architects” of the Santos-FARC deal’s Transitional Justice System, Uprimny helped design the system that will offer no jail time for FARC terrorists. He was also the sponsor of a complaint before a high court that challenged then-Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez’ post. Ordoñez headed the only government agency that opposed the Santos-FARC deal.
As a result of Uprimny’s suit, Ordoñez was deposed. (29)
Uprimny also has a running blog in another Soros-sponsored organization, La Silla Vacia, a so-called “independent” web news portal created by Open Society Foundation Fellow Juanita Leon. (30) Dejusticia’s Catalina Botero has been a speaker at Open Society-sponsored events.
DeJusticia also lobbies for the decriminalization and
legalization of drugs, which is a key Soros initiative, carried out by
many Soros-funded NGOs, including The Drug Policy Alliance,
where Soros himself serves on the Board of Directors. In April 2016,
State-funded El Tiempo published an article titled “Various NGO’s
announce support for the Government’s position on drugs.” The groups argue drugs should be addressed as a public health problem, rather than a criminal matter. Some entities listed were Dejusticia, and Cesed, both funded by Soros, and the Open Society Foundation itself.
the narrative of the narco-terrorist history in Colombia, now referred
to by all the above organizations and others as “the conflict,” is the
Open Society project Verdad Abierta. The editor-in-chief of
this web-based news magazine is Maria Teresa Ronderos, Director of the
Open Society Foundation’s Program on Independent Journalism. Prior to
that, she worked at Semana magazine, a Colombian state-funded magazine
that promotes the Santos-FARC agenda and is a partner in the Verdad
Abierta venture. (31)
to ensure that opposition to the peace deal is silenced, Open Society
also funded Colombia Check, a web-based portal that purports to expose “fake news.”(32)
The site attempts to “debunk” negative news about the Santos
administration and the peace deal and often attacks its opponents,
including ex-President Alvaro Uribe, deposed Inspector General Alejandro
Ordoñez, and even – full disclosure – this writer, specifically an
article I authored in 2016 titled “Peace for Oil?” (33)
Soros-sponsored U.S. and Colombian think tanks, news organizations, and
NGOs, and with U.S. State Department officials all aligned with the
Santos-FARC peace peddlers, it seemed a miracle that the underfunded promoters of the vote against the deal achieved a victory on Oct. 2. Not
that it mattered. The plebiscite result was set aside without a word
from Soros’ “democracy-building” organizations and affiliates.
The most visible entity promoting the No vote, was ex-President Uribe’s Center Democratic Party (CD). As such, it is troubling that Ivan Duque, who in 1998 helped promote the defamation campaign against Gen. Bedoya, and a believer in Soros’ philosophy, should be one of the front-runners for the CD’s presidential nomination for 2018.
Certainly, Sen. Duque has some ties to Soros and his philosophy.
According to his biography, he was, at some point, the recipient of a
scholarship from the National Democratic Institute (NDI), a Soros-funded organization.
As a member of the Inter-American Development Bank, he drafted, along
with Felipe Buitrago, a document called “The Orange Economy.” In 2013,
Buitrago promoted the “Orange Economy” in the Salzburg Global Seminar,
an organization sponsored by Open Society. (34) (35)
It is possible, of course, that the Senator’s views have changed. I
wrote to the Senator and to the head of the CD, giving Duque an
opportunity to clarify the context of his 1998 and 2010 articles and
describe the nature of the NDI scholarship. I also requested a copy of
his University thesis, which he explained in an interview (36) with the
Sergio Arboleda University was on the subject of “human rights.” Given
the timing of when he might have written his thesis, it would be
interesting for the public to know how much of his information relied on
Soros-funded organizations and whether he echoed their propaganda. But
the Senator never responded. In fact, Duque himself has not responded directly to any of the recent criticism of his positions and any possible links to Soros, other than to complain about a “dirty war” being waged against him.
His supporters, however, have not remained quiet, publishing numerous columns on the matter. Curiously, aside from his campaign organizers, the most fervent defense
has not come from his fellow party members, but from the above named
Leon Valencia, Rodrigo Uprimny, La Silla Vacia, and Semana magazine – all of Soros’ main propagandists in Colombia.
It is important that Senator Duque address these concerns. Soros’ self-promoting piece in El Espectador suggests that all his chips are in place, and he is ready to come out of the shadows – from which he has caused so much damage to Colombia for more than 20 years. Such a bold move suggests he is confident that the 2018 presidential election results will be favorable to his agenda.
With the CD winning the latest popular vote – the plebiscite – and with
about 80 percent of the population opposed to the main points of the
deal with the FARC, one wonders how he can be so certain. Could it be
that Colombia’s 2018 election is shaping up to be a repeat of 2010 — a win-win contest between two Soros-groomed candidates?”
“*Lia Fowler is an American journalist and former FBI Special Agent.”