[News] US NED Official Meets with Venezuelan Opposition Figures
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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