Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Friday, March 12, 2004  

Well, is this surprising?

"Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that, in 2002, America paid more than a million dollars to those political groups in what it claims is an ongoing effort to build democracy and 'strengthen political parties'. Mr Chavez has seized on the information, telling Washington to 'get its hands off Venezuela'."
More disturbing is who's doing it. It's not the CIA, it's the Orwellian-named National Endowment for Democracy:
The funding has been made by the National Endowment For Democracy (NED) a non-profit agency financed entirely by Congress. (Note that, although it's financed by Congress, its website calls it a private organisation) It distributes $40m (?22m) a year to various groups in what it says is an effort to strengthen democracy.

But critics of the NED say the organisation routinely meddles in other countries' affairs to support groups that believe in free enterprise, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any form. In recent years, the NED has channelled funds to the political opponents of the recently ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide at the same time that Washington was blocking loans to his government.
The NED has some seriously unsavory people on the Board of Directors: Julie Finley, Vin Weber, Bill Frist, and Francis Fukuyama.

Many of these people are members of PNAC, the evil organisation that came up with the brilliant idea of going to war with everybody all the time. You know, Cheney, Wolfowitz, that Gang of Idiots.

The most disturbing members of NED, however, are Evan Bayh and Wes Clark, both of whom are purportedly being considered for the Democratic VP slot. I think Democrats are entitled to answers from these gentlemen, and quickly, about their involvement with this group, and this group's involvement in Venezuela and Haiti.

Update: It's been brought to my attention that Vin Weber, mentioned above as being on the Board of NED, is also a lobbyist for ChoicePoint, the folks Jeb Bush hired to scrub the voter registration rolls in Florida.

Just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? A couple of weeks ago, John Kerry criticised Bush for not funding the NED enough.

"O, Canada, our home and native land....."

posted by lazarus | 21:22 | |
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