Tagged with "President"
Agents of Destabilization in Venezuela: The Dirty Hand of USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy Tags: NED President Maduro USAID Venezuela

By Eva Golinger, Global Research, April 26, 2014 – http://tinyurl.com/lj2cezc

 

 

golingerAnti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado- two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February – have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington. The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.

At the beginning of 2011, after being publically exposed for its grave violations of Venezuelan law and sovereignty, the OTI closed its doors inVenezuela and USAID operations were transferred to its offices in the US. The flow of money to anti-government groups didn’t stop, despite the enactment by Venezuela’s National Assembly of the Law of Political Sovereignty and NationalSelf-Determination at the end of 2010, which outright prohibits foreign funding of political groups in the country. US agencies and the Venezuelan groups that receive their money continue to violate the law with impunity. In the Obama Administration’s Foreign Operations Budgets, between $5-6 million have been included to fund opposition groups in Venezuela through USAID since 2012.

The NED, a “foundation” created by Congress in 1983 to essentially do the CIA’s work overtly, has been one of the principal financiers of destabilization in Venezuela
9781566566476_p0_v1_s260x420throughout the Chavez administration and now against President Maduro. According to NED’s 2013 annual report, the agency channeled more than $2.3 million to Venezuelan opposition groups and projects. Within that figure,  $1,787,300 went directly to anti-government groups within Venezuela, while another $590,000 was distributed to regional organizations that work with and fund the Venezuelan opposition.  More than $300,000 was directed towards efforts to develop a new generation of youth leaders to oppose Maduro’s government politically.

One of the groups funded by NED to specifically work with youth is FORMA (http://www.forma.org.ve), an organization led by Cesar Briceño and tied to Venezuelan banker Oscar Garcia Mendoza. Garcia Mendoza runs the Banco Venezolano de Credito, a Venezuelan bank that has served as the filter for the flow of dollars from NED and USAID to opposition groups in Venezuela, including Sumate, CEDICE, Sin Mordaza, Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones and FORMA, amongst others.

Another significant part of NED funds in Venezuela from 2013-2014 was given to groups and initiatives that work in media and run the campaign to discredit the government of President Maduro. Some of the more active media organizations outwardly opposed to Maduro and receiving NED funds include Espacio Publico, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), Sin Mordaza and GALI. Throughout the past year, an unprecedented media war has been waged against the Venezuelan government and President Maduro directly, which has intensified during the past few months of protests.

In direct violation of Venezuelan law, NED also funded the opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), via the US International Republican Institute (IRI), with $100,000 to “share lessons learned with [anti-government groups] in Nicaragua, Argentina and Bolivia…and allow for the adaption of the Venezuelan experience in these countries”.  Regarding this initiative, the NED 2013 annual report specifically states its aim: “To develop the ability of political and civil society actors from Nicaragua, Argentina and Bolivia to work on national, issue-based agendas for their respective countries using lessons learned and best practices from successful Venezuelan counterparts.  The Institute will facilitate an exchange of experiences between the Venezuelan Democratic Unity Roundtable and counterparts in Bolivia, Nicaragua and Argentina. IRI will bring these actors together through a series of tailored activities that will allow for the adaptation of the Venezuelan experience in these countries.”

IRI has helped to build right-wing opposition parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and has worked with the anti-government coaltion in Venezuela since before the 2002 coup d’etat against Chavez. In fact, IRI’s president at that time, George Folsom, outwardly applauded the coup and celebrated IRI’s role in a pressrelease claiming, “The Institute has served as a bridge between the nation’s political parties and all civil society groups to help Venezuelans forge a new democratic future…”

Detailed in a report published by the Spanish institute FRIDE in 2010, international agencies that fund the Venezuelan opposition violate currency control laws in order to get their dollars to the recipients. Also confirmed in the FRIDE report was the fact that the majority of international agencies, with the exception of the European Commission, are bringing in foreign money and changing it on the black market, in clear violation of Venezuelan law. In some cases, as the FRIDE analysis reports, the agencies open bank accounts abroad for the Venezuelan groups or they bring them the money in hard cash. The US Embassy in Caracas could also use the diplomatic pouch to bring large quantities of unaccounted dollars and euros into the country that are later handed over illegally to anti-government groups in Venezuela.

What is clear is that the US government continues to feed efforts to destabilize Venezuela in clear violation of law. Stronger legal measures  and enforcement may be necessary to ensure the sovereignty and defense of Venezuela’s democracy.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.

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Hassan Rohani likes walking
Category: BEYOND ILLUSION
Tags: Hassan Rohani Walking Iran Leisure Time President Parsifal Obama

Usually I do not care what a politician doing in his leisure time.

Finally, in my blogs it is not about superficialities or gossip.

From Obama we constantly get pictures as he plays golf or goes swimming in his holiday in the sea in Hawaii.

This is but a president of a country of which we would not expect such an activity.

Anyway, this is constantly persuaded in our minds...

Therefore it's worth a message.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani was seen climbing a mountain as a hiker.

Parsifal, December 8, 2013

Hassan Rohani sporty: Photos are on his website showing President Rohani for a hiking trip in the mountains near the capital Tehran. Instead of the usual garb of a mullah, he is seen dressed with sporty baseball cap and hiking sticks, Nordic Walking just.

 

According to his website, Rohani makes one or two walks a week to maintain his health.

 

In the photos is to see how he mingles with people and talking to other hikers.

Since taking office in early August, the moderate head of state strives to give The Iran a friendlier face.

Direct from Tehran it goes up into the ski area.

The ski and snowboard riders have Rohani welcomed and been pleased.

President Rohanis Music-Video
Category: BEYOND ILLUSION
Tags: Iran Music Statement Peaceful Rohani President Message Liberalization

The music-video illustrates well why the Iranian nation, the Iranian people is probably the most stable nation in the world.

The Iranian documentary filmmaker Hossein Dehbashi has produced a music video.

It consists of excerpts from President Rohanis inaugural address, which is repeated and sung by some famous singers and actors.

In addition there are excerpts from historical quotations, such as by Ayatollah Khomeini, Mohammad Mossadegh and the Persian poet Hafez, from which the name of the video comes from, 'Nosafar' or in English 'The traveler'.

Parsifal, November 27, 2013

 

'We have produced the video on own account', Dehbashi said to the New York Times, 'but Mr. Rohanis office has approved it'.

It can be seen on Rohanis Youtube channel, linked on his Twitter account and is also shown on Rohanis website. (translated by google translate)

One sign of a complete change in communication through the use of modern means.

Rohani called in his speech for a compassionate Islam, a rational Iran and a kindly establishment.

The video makes the demands now voices and faces and suggests that Rohani as president does not legitimize his actions by the opinions of the religious scholars of the Islamic Republic, but from the Iranian traditions and the population.

video

The creator of the video, Hossein Dehbashi, spent two months in the Supermax prison in Baltimore, USA.

He was interrogated by the FBI for his residence permit, although he himself says, there were political reasons.

Dehbashi has also produced the election campaign videos of President Rohani.

 

Quote from a commentator:

'This is the true face of Iran. A peace-loving nation that is against extremism and moves towards greater democracy and culture; The Presidency of Dr. Rohani is the result of the election of the Iranian nation: a step to a brighter future :)'

 

There are other signs of liberalization in The Iran.

President Rohani has kept its election promise to loosen the dress code for women.

He has the moral police (Gashte Ershad) taken away the power about how women dress like in public and to complain.

The head of the Iranian police, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam - confirmed the subject how women and men dress is not longer a matter for the law enforcers.

video description

Inspired by the "Yes We Can" video, this piece was produced by Hossein Dehbashi for the 100th day of the Government of Prudence and Hope, featuring Hassan Rouhani's first speech as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This video was an initiative taken by the artists (without the President's knowledge) to immortalize President Rouhani's emotional speech, where he expresses hope for peace, friendship and progress. Only at the later stages was the video shown to President Rouhani.

This melodic piece is the first time ever for a chorus to sing along with a formal speech by a prominent Shia cleric and high ranking Iranian politician. Featuring musical instruments on video and singing by women are prohibited by Iran's state television. The fact that President Rouhani's personal website decided to feature this video was a great and notable step to break this taboo and support Iranian artists.

To pay tribute and celebrate Iranians from all backgrounds, parts of the video are in Kurdish, Balochi, Azeri and Arabic.

image top

video @ utube

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