Saturday, August 18, 2012

National Endowment for Democracy: should be "for Dollars" or "versus Democracy"

"A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." —Allen Weinstein, first acting president of the NED (from a 1991 Washington Post interview)

Anyone writing honestly about the National Endowment for Democracy, aka the NED, has to invoke Orwell, because the NED has promoted democracy by funding coups against democratically-elected governments around the world. They've been denounced by conservatives—see Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy by Barbara Conry at the Cato Institute and Ron Paul's National Endowment for Democracy: Paying to Make Enemies of America—and leftists who note the NED and one of its associated agencies, USAID:

  • Funded and sponsored Venezuelan NGOs that participated in the 2002 attempted Coup d'état against Venezuela's democratically elected President Hugo Chavez;
  • Funded, convened, and founded the organizations behind the coup against the democratically-elected government of Aristide in Haiti;
  • Funded political parties, acted to buy elections and financed the over-throw of democratically-elected governments in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Bulgaria, and numerous other countries around the world;
  • In 2004, the NED doubled its operating budget to finance projects aimed at maintaining the occupation of Iraq.

From SourceWatch:
According to the New York Times: "The National Endowment for Democracy is a quasi-governmental foundation created by the Reagan Administration in 1983 to channel millions of Federal dollars into anti-Communist 'private diplomacy.'" ... While NED remains accountable to the U.S. Congress and has to publish its disbursements, this doesn't apply to the organizations that it in turn finances.
From Right Web | Profile | National Endowment for Democracy:
Although the Democracy Program included business and USIA officials, its key movers were neoconservatives: Eugenia Kemble (sister of Penn Kemble), George Weigel (later with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a signatory of PNAC's founding statement), Raymond Gastil of Freedom House, and Weinstein (member of neocon-led 1970s group the Coalition for a Democratic Majority and later president of the NED-funded Center for Democracy).
From Human Rights Watch and elections in Venezuela:
The US funded SUMATE ‘NGO’, for example, centralized the collection of signatures to unseat Chavez in 2004, and its leader, Corina Machado, endorsed the 2002 coup. The publicly acknowledged funding of such so-called NGOs comes from US sources like the infamous National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity and the Centre for International Private Enterprise.
From Plan Mexico in the Caribbean: Payday for Haiti Coup Co-conspirators:
In February 2004, Haitian paramilitaries left their bases in the Dominican Republic and marched towards Haiti with the goal of ousting democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide for the second time. When they arrived in Haiti, many were wearing Dominican Republic National Police uniforms.

The paramilitary forces were well prepared. For two years prior to the 2004 coup, about 200 US Special Forces members had trained them in the Dominican Republic with funds from the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Republican Institute.
From U.S. covers its tracks in Bolivia:
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is doing in Bolivia what it was doing in Venezuela ... aiding the opposition,” said independent researcher and writer Jeremy Bigwood. FOIA request he filed revealed that the quasi-governmental National Endowment for Democracy had funded programs that brought 13 young “emerging leaders” from Bolivia to Washington between 2002 and 2004 to strengthen their right-wing political parties.
What's the cost of the US's war on democracy in Venezuela? From Foreign Intervention Won The Venezuelan Elections |
It's not just the 4.7 million dollars invested in the opposition's campaign for the regional elections in 2008 by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and their affiliated agencies, but also the 50 million dollars, along with expert political consultation, donated by the US and used since 2000 to construct a solid base of the Venezuelan opposition, who, beginning in 2004, began to set their sights on infiltrating communities supportive of Chavez as well as students.
From Socialism seems to be working in Venezuela | | Asheville Citizen-Times
...despite the corporate media and continuing US taxpayer financial support to anti-Chavez opposition institutions from USAID and National Endowment for Democracy ($20 million annually), two-thirds of the people in Venezuela continue to support him and the United Socialist Party.
From The Democratic Party turns draconian:
G17 was one of the "pro-democracy" organisations supported by the US's National Endowment for Democracy in its push to topple Slobodan Milosevic's regime in the 1990s. That yesterday's "democratic" opposition is now acting like an authoritarian group is an irony not lost on Serbs. 
“In the 1990s I wrote many articles attacking Milosevic and the government," says Dragan Milosavljevic, a journalist. “It is much harder to criticise the democratic government today."
For more about NED:

Exposing the National Endowment for Democracy ::: Articles by the International Endowment for Democracy.

The War On Democracy: US vs Latin America | Global Research TV

Co-opting Intellectual Aggressors: The "Progressive" Face of the CIA, by Michael Barker

McCain's eyeroll

At the time, McCain was the chairman of the IRI, whose official take on Colombia is that they're working for democracy--which includes supporting the killing of inconvenient labor leaders. The NED-funded Human Rights Watch neglects to note that the IRI has a history of funding people who commit atrocities in South and Central America.

Obama promised to "significantly increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy" rather than shut it down. Which undoubtedly explains his tacit support for the Honduras coup.