[News] National Endowment for Destabilization? CIA Funds for Latin America in 2018
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 4 11:05:01 EDT 2019
National Endowment for Destabilization? CIA Funds for Latin America in
Published 4 April 2019
The CIA’s influence in Latin America is not a “leftist rant”, it is
ever-present and ignoring it represents a real menace for national
sovereignty and the continuity of progressive governments in the region.
In 2018, one of its offshoots, the National Endowment for Democracy
<https://www.ned.org/region/latin-america-and-caribbean/> over US$23
million to meddle in the internal affairs of key Latin American
countries, under the flagship of “human rights”, “democracy” and
The CIA’s View of Venezuela: What We Learn From Archives
*A trip through memory lane of *NED's history
After World War II, the United States assumed its self-proclaimed role
to fight communism in a new found bipolar world. The wartime Office of
Strategic Services morphed into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in
1947, and the rest is history as an interventionist policy went into
full force, especially in Latin America.
Covert operations, ousting democratically elected governments, inciting
revolts and supporting transnational companies were the run of the mill
actions, all justified as part of the fight against communist influence
in the region. This intensified as the Cuban Revolution shook the world
in 1959, inspiring new revolutions in the global south.
When it was revealed in the late 1960s that some U.S. private voluntary
organizations (PVO) were receiving covert funding from the CIA to
intervene in foreign nations, the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration
concluded that such funding should cease, recommending the establishment
of “a public-private mechanism” to fund overseas activities openly.
Congressman Dante Fascell (D, FL), a later co-founder of NED, introduced
a bill in April 1967 to create the Institute of International Affairs,
an initiative that would authorize overt funding for what the U.S.
referred to as exporting “democracy”, but it didn't go through. However,
the 1970s would force a change inside the CIA, and subsequently the world.
In 1974, former CIA specialist and whistleblower, Victor Marchetti,
published a book revealing all sorts of secrets
and clandestine operations made by the agency. In the same year, New
York Times journalist, Seymour Hersh, reported a series of stories
regarding mass internal surveillance made by the CIA. And one year
later, former agent Phillip Agee
would add to the controversy with a book dealing with his work
intervening and influencing Latin American politics.
The public outcry resulted in the Rockefeller Commission, the Pike
"Report," and the Church Committee, all investigated the CIA’s work.
“We should not have to do this kind of work covertly,” said current
NED President Carl Gershman in 1986, adding that “it would be terrible
for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the
CIA. 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
The Agency had to reform in order to continue its interventionist
agenda. So in 1982, in a major foreign policy address delivered at
Westminster Palace before the British Parliament, President Ronald
Reagan announced the creation of a U.S. entity that would foster liberal
ideology, market economy (neoliberalism), and U.S.-styled “democracy”.
With money from the Agency of International Development (USAID), a
government program recommended the establishment of a bipartisan,
non-profit corporation to be known as the National Endowment for
Democracy (NED) <https://www.ned.org/about/history/>. By 1983, the new
organization was created, and the CIA had a new way to channel funds for
countries who did not agree with U.S policy.
"A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,"
said NED cofounder Allen Weinstein in 1991.
As major party ideologies were less attractive in the 1980s, the fall of
the Soviet bloc would mark the perfect opportunity and conditions for
NED’s work. Civil society became a new political actor, through
non-government organizations (NGO), and as in wartime, these would
become “trojan horses” for the CIA by accepting money to influence
political parties, unions, dissident movements, and media in dozens of
In order to do this, NED houses four organizations that materialize the
work. The first is the U.S. labor-affiliated American Center for
International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), now Solidarity Center
<https://www.solidaritycenter.org/>, in charge of infiltrating and
influencing worker’s unions. The second, backed by the U.S Chamber of
Commerce is the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE
<https://www.cipe.org/>), in charge of asserting power over business and
Last but not least, the Democratic Party’s National Democratic Institute
for International Affairs (NDI <https://www.ndi.org/>) and the
Republican Party’s International Republican Institute (IRI
<https://www.iri.org/>), both in charge of colluding with left and right
local parties and movements, respectively. All getting their funding
from the same purse.
Infamous figures such as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paul
Wolfowitz, Madeline Albright, among others have been board directors;
and even now the main voice leading regime change in Venezuela, Elliot
Abrams is listed as an “on leave” board director.
There are countless strategies that NED uses to meddle in countries:
supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials,
gifts, conferences, oversee trips, office materials, you name it. These
are channeled directly by NED or third parties to selected political
groups, NGOs, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups,
publishers, and what they refer to “independent” media.
These programs aim to exert influence directly inside a country by
pushing a certain economic/political agenda, intervening in electoral
processes and mass media. Or indirectly by lobbying civil society into
believing that free-market ideology and neoliberalism jargon is the path
towards democracy and human rights.
And they’ve done it for the past 36 years. So 2018 NED’s grant report is
not a surprise but a chance to see who’s who in the CIA “nice list”.
In 2018, US$2.4 million were destined for Venezuela.
However, it is the only country in the region in which the recipients
are not published. The programs are described under civic education,
human rights observatories, and vague liberal keywords such as
empowerment, freedom, democracy and democratic values.
Yet journalists, Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen wrote in January 2019 an
extensive investigative piece
that explained how opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido, who has declared
himself interim president in Venezuela with the support of the U.S. and
its allies, is a product of NED’s funding.
On October 5, 2005, five Venezuelan “student leaders” arrived in Serbia
to begin training for an insurrection, courtesy of the NED-funded Center
for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (Canvas). According to
internal emails from intelligence firm Stratfor, Canvas “may have also
received CIA funding and training during the 1999/2000 anti-Milosevic
It was two years later, in 2007, when Guaido graduated from University
that he moved to Washington, DC to enroll in the Governance and
Political Management Program at George Washington University, under the
tutelage of neoliberal Venezuelan economist Luis Enrique Berrizbeitia.
The “Generation 2007” class was created, with others such as Yon
Goicoechea and David Smolansky.
The funding started pouring in.
In a 2010 report <https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5441> by the
Spanish think tank, Fride Institute, with funding from the World
Movement for Democracy (a NED project), disclosed that the Venezuelan
opposition was receiving funding of whopping US$40 to 50 million
annually, which shows that NED funding is just one of the strategies to
funnel clandestine ops.
By 2014, the same “student leaders” would create the guarimbas, a
student-led anti-government movement that has been accused of violence,
to exacerbate chaos and a few years later Guaido would become the latest
pawn in the U.S. interventionist plot in Venezuela.
The premise is very similar in Cuba. In 2018, US$4.7 million were
anti-Cuban movements and NGOs.
In the case of the island, there are mainly NGO's based in the U.S.
under the 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization statute, who have
strategically devised their plan to influence local media, international
perceptions, and labor unions.
With regards to labor union infiltration, the International Group for
Corporate Social Responsibility in Cuba is dedicated to promoting free
trade unionism in a bid to undermine the Workers Union of Cuba (CTC).
However, it is as a recurrent strategy for Latin America to have media
on their payroll, for this country: CubaNET, Diario de Cuba, HyperMedia,
Cartel Urbano, all presenting themselves as "independent" outlets are
financed by the U.S. government.
There are also institutes and think tanks such as the Foundation for
Human Rights in Cuba, the Latin American Cultural Union (LACU), Center
for a Free Cuba, Cuban Institue for Freedom of the Press and Expression,
Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos, Free Society Project, Inc., and
the Cuban Democratic Directorate <http://www.directorio.org/>. The
latter self-describes as an NGO that "supports the human rights movement
in Cuba" yet proudly displays on their website’s homepage a picture of
their Director Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat with far-right Brazilian
President Jair Bolsonaro and his son.
Another approach is funding organizations to influence international
perception. In this category stands out the international Press and
Society Institute, Slovakian People in Peril Association, Chilean Public
Space Center, International Institute for War and Peace Reporting,
Christian Solidarity International, Mexican Factual Innovation and
Investigation, Colombian ProBono Foundation, Uruguayan Development and
Communication Institute, Colombian Sergio Arboleda University,
Iberoamerican Constitutional Studies Center, Mexican Youth Association
for the United Nations, and the Peruvian Freedom Institute, which openly
states its liberal economic and political affiliation, gathers young
middle-class Peruvian and Latin Americans to indoctrinate them in a
program called "Free Citizens Academy", and later be sent
<https://www.apnews.com/7e5b68a609174330bdb5bfbbe695db07> to the island.
The list cannot be complete without the third official member of what
National Security Advisor, John Bolton, dubbed the “Troika of Tyranny”,
in order to justify interventions paralleled in Venezuela and Cuba. In
2018, Nicaragua got
US$1.3 million. However, for this country, Washington needed to engage
the funding one by one as it builds a clear network to overthrow
President Daniel Ortega.
One of the biggest recipients is the Iberian-American Foundation of
founded in 2000, and since 2006, according to their website, supporting
"democratic culture". The Foundation has received funding from NED, IRI,
NDI, and USAID; money which they use to sponsor the opposition Movement
for Nicaragua (MpN). Iberian-American Foundation of Cultures is based in
Spain but has branches across Latin America.
Since the beginning of Ortega’s administration in 2007, the MpN has
organized a multitude of protests against the government. Starting in
2018, they’ve become main actors in the nation-wide demonstrations
against Ortega's government that have rocked the country, joining others
such as Let's Do Democracy and the International Institute of Strategic
Studies and Public Policies (IEEPP).
In December 2018, in a criminal trial against Cristian Mendoza, alias
Viper, charged with organizing violent actions within the protests, the
that the current director of the IEEPP, Felix Maradiaga, and the
director of Let's Do Democracy, Luciano Garcia, were the main leaders of
the criminal groups, in which Viper was involved, which violently took
over the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua during April, May and June
of that year.
The accused added that the two alleged culprits were handing out
pamphlets titled "Strategy to save democracy in Nicaragua", which
contained guidelines on how to create situations of instability to
overthrow the government.
These nation-wide protests, started against the government’s Social
Security Reform - later withdrawn-, which aimed to distribute the
financial burden between companies and workers, thus avoiding
privatization of the service. However, since the start, the private
sector was not pleased.
The Higher Council of Private Enterprise (Cosep
rejected the measures arguing they generated "uncertainty and limited
the creation of jobs by the private sector." In regards to NED funding,
the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) had the largest
amount for Nicaragua, US$230,000.
The discontent pushed by the private sector was taken up by NGOs such as
MpN, IEEPP and Let’s Do Democracy. The protests have similar
characteristics as the guarimbas in Venezuela, which include extreme
violence, homemade weapons, social media fake news strategy, systematic
destruction of public and private property, and deployment of local
celebrities, actions that have been described by the government and
their supporters as a soft coup attempt.
Another recipient of NED funds is the Permanent Commission of Human
Rights of Nicaragua (CPDH), founded in 1977, and part of a triumvirate
of "human rights" organizations that were created under U.S auspice. The
other two, Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) from 1986 and
the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) - linked to the offshoot
Sandinista Renewal Movement -are all directly connected to the
opposition far-right bishop Juan Abelardo Mata.
In the ever-present media category, the private company Invermedia
received funding. This firm belongs to opposition journalist Carlos
Fernando Chamorro Barrios, son of former president Violeta Barrios de
Chamorro. When Chamorro was elected, George H. W. Bush removed the
embargo that Ronald Reagan had imposed during Sandinista rule and
promised economic aid to the country.
As presidential elections loom closer, Oct. 20, the Andean country
cannot be left out the list. In 2018, it received
US$908,832. Approximately 47 percent of this amount was used, without a
recipient, by the Republican Party International Republican Institute -
in charge of funding right-wing parties - and the Center for
International Private Enterprise - in charge of financing private sector
chamber of commerce and production.
The rest of the grants are divided into three categories: NGOs that
involve the justice system, media, and think tanks. In the first
category, the NGOs MicroJustice Bolivia, Build Foundation, Observatory
for Human Rights and Justice and Building Networks Bolivia can be found.
Local media, as usual, is a common grantee. Here, however, it is not
self-proclaimed "independent" outlets but the Fides News Agency,
Bolivia's oldest news agency, and also the Foundation for Journalism.
Finally, the outspoken critic think tank against Morales’
administration, Millenium Foundation is amongst the recipients.
These sort of organizations think tanks and media outlets can be found
in all countries in the NED official list. Back in 2016, teleSUR
reported on how the CIA operated in Ecuador, through NED and other
organizations. Now the same recipients are still on the list, those that
openly opposed former President Rafael Correa and others that disguise
themselves as “human rights” NGOs. Another case is the influence in the
electoral process in Haiti that can be seen in the amount of money that
was destined towards that cause in that country. The same can be said
for the rest of the list.
Now to dub all of them 'agents' would be a misconception, and more
related to a Cold War era mindset. And even though the CIA continues to
recruit moles and agents, their tactics have changed as the main goal is
to influence and create a “common sense” without being seen as
interventionists, or as XVIII-XIX century Johann von Goethe said: “the
best slave is the one who thinks he is free.”
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News