Wednesday, May 10, 2006

STOP FUNDING & CLOSE THE NED! - What does the National Endowment for Democracy do?


Not one more penny to help undermine & destroy the hopes, dreams & work of millions of women & men creating a better life for each other & their children!

What does the National Endowment for Democracy do?

The NED was conceived by the Reagan Administration and subsequently created by an act of Congress in 1983. Despite being officially considered a "private" organization, the NED is funded by Congress using US tax dollars for at least 95% of its budget. We demand that they cut it off! As Alan Weinstein, an NED co-founder, told the Washington Post, "a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA."

Consider this track record – only a glimpse at the NED's activities:
  • In Nicaragua, in 1990, the NED spent $20 per voter in support of a rightist presidential candidate with an agenda to crush the popular movement. Part of this money was used to saturate the media with empty promises, lies, and, most notably, the threat of a continuation of the devastating US proxy Contra war, should the US candidate lose the election.
  • The NED helped to overthrow governments in Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991 and 1992, and manipulated elections in Mongolia in 1996, all of which had been democratically elected.
  • In Venezuela, the NED quadrupled its budget leading up to the coup against the elected presidency of Hugo Chavez in 2002, defeated by a popular uprising backed by soldiers loyal to the constitution. NED money was given to the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center, which only a month before the coup attempt brought together the leadership of a corrupt trade union federation (CTV) with a national alliance of business (FEDECAMERAS), two groups that played a key role in the coup. The NED also funded groups behind the crippling lock-out of oil workers later that year, and funded the recall referendum against Chavez in 2004 — which he handsomely defeated despite NED interference.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where years of war have killed five million people, the NED spends about $1.5 million a year. These wars are maintained and exacerbated by Western corporate interests hungering for the DRC's rich wealth of resources.
  • In Haiti, the International Republican Institute (IRI), one of the NED’s core groups, funded, convened, and coordinated organizations behind the overthrow of the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. These organizations included owners of sweatshop industries, right wing politicos, former members and associates of death squads and brutal ex-military officers. Since that coup, over 10,000 Haitians have died. The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center has only supported a labor organization that agitated for the ousting of Aristide, while failing to act against or condemn the massive persecution of grassroots Haitians, the majority of whom support Aristide.
  • In Iraq, 50% of the NED’s current budget is spent supporting the US occupation. In the name of "democracy building", the NED funds parties, associations and union centers which are agreeable to conditions that favor US military and corporate interests. Independent union centers, for instance, are outlawed and suppressed, in defiance of the principle of workers' free choice of representation.
  • In Cuba, both the IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) have poured millions of dollars into efforts aimed at regime change and provocations against the Cuban people. These activities have increased exponentially under the Bush administration.
  • In Peru, presidential candidate Ollanta Humala is currently under attack for alleged human rights abuses by organizations receiving funding from the NED and USAID for over a decade. Humala came in first in the initial electoral round, winning the votes of the poorest people, and is an ally of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Bolivian president Evo Morales. (Nothing was heard vs Humala until he spoke out for the poor majority.)
  • The NED has even funded right wing movements in Western Europe, such as France in the 1980's.
The model for NED interventions was developed in the 1960s and 1970s by the AFL-CIO’s foreign “institutes”. The American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) helped the US government overthrow democratically-elected governments in Guyana and Brazil in 1964, the Dominican Republic in 1965, and most infamously Chile in 1973 – leading to the overthrow and death of President Allende and the death, torture, disappearances and exile of thousands of Chileans. The African American Labor Center (AALC) supported the apartheid regime in South Africa until 1986. The Asian American Free Labor Institute (AAFLI) supported dictatorships in South Korea, The Philippines, and Indonesia. One of the NED’s first projects was to support Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the face of popular opposition – between 1983 and 1988, $5.7 million was channeled through the AAFLI to the Marcos-created Trade Union Congress, which aligned with corporate management, police and death squads against the independent trade union KMU.

The NED undermines democracy at home by working against democracy around the world. STOP THE FUNDING AND CLOSE IT DOWN!!!