[News] US NED Official Meets with Venezuelan Opposition Figures

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 13 13:01:37 EDT 2015

  NED Official Meets with Venezuelan Opposition Figures

Published 12 March 2015

The official changed her appearance upon arrival in Venezuela, used a 
pseudonym, and traveled with illegal license plates.

A high-ranking official from the National Endowment for Democracy 
recently traveled to Venezuela under suspicious circumstances to meet 
with right-wing opposition politicians, the president of the Venezuelan 
National Assembly Diosdado Cabello revealed Wednesday.

During his weekly television program, Cabello said the NED's Director 
for Latin America and the Caribbean Miriam Kornblith arrived in 
Venezuela Feb. 28, and upon her arrival she opted to disguise her 
appearance, going so far as to dye her hair.

Kornblith then traveled to Bolivar City to meet with opposition 
politicians and representatives of a nongovernmental organization, 
registering at a hotel under the pseudonym Sarah Collins.

“If she is acting in good faith, why does she feel the need to change 
her name and dye her hair?” asked Cabello. The Venezuelan official also 
said that Kornblith traveled in a vehicle using license plates belonging 
to a different car.

Cabello stated that Kornblith's mission in Venezuela was to resolve an 
issue regarding the allocation of money from the NED between opposition 
parties. After returning to Caracas, she allegedly held a four-hour 
meeting with opposition leader Ramon Jose Medina at the offices of an 
opposition political party.

Cabello called Kornblith's employer, the NED, “an institution used by 
North American imperialism to finance subversive terrorist groups that 
operate as so-called NGOs.”

*In Context: Kornblith and the National Endowment for Democracy*

Although the NED claims to be a private foundation, its resources come 
from the U.S. Congress by way of the State Department. The NED has been 
widely accused of being a tool of U.S. foreign policy, funding groups 
that oppose governments that U.S. governments oppose.

According the NED website, in 2014 alone, the foundation gave US 
$2,381,824 to organizations operating in Venezuela, ostensibly for 
things such as training in the use of social media, and the monitoring 
of human rights. A cursory examination of grant recipients reveals that 
the money mostly went to groups opposing the democratically-elected 
government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Kornblith does not hide her own political views concerning Venezuela. In 
2013 she wrote in the NED's scholarly journal an article entitled, 
“Latin America’s Authoritarian Drift: Chavismo after Chavez?” In the 
article Kornblith heavily criticizes Venezuela under Chavez for 
allegedly undermining democracy in the country, citing analysis by the 
conservative Freedom House think tank.

Shealso questions the legitimacy of elections in Venezuela – which have 
been praised by prominent groups such as the Carter Center – and 
laudsthe politicalarrangementthatexistedin Venezuela beforeChavez. 
Knownas the Punto Fijo Pact, underthatsystemtwo 
traditionalpartieswouldalternatein power, deliberatelyexcludingthe 
voicesof Venezuela's poormajority.

In addition, Kornblith distorts history and misrepresents facts to make 
her argument. For example, she makes an unsourced claim that military 
officers refused an order from Chavez to use force against demonstrators 
before the 2002 coup that briefly ousted him from power.

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