Chavez Code

Eva Golinger's book about Venezuela and the National Endowment for Democracy

by Jeron Donalds

Marin Interfaith Task Force on the Americas - Report, Fall 2005


Eva Golinger's "Chavez Code" - how the U.S. Government has used the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to penetrate the civil institutions of foreign countries for the purpose of subverting or replacing governments whose policies it opposes.

Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan-American attorney specializing in international human rights and immigration law. In 2004, she obtained classified documents from the CIA, the State Department, and other government entities, declassified under the Freedom of Information Act, demonstrating the Bush Government's prior knowledge and complicity in the April 2002 coup d'etat against President Hugo Chavez. She has also brought to light the more than $20 million given by the U.S. Government to finance 'anti-Chavez' groups in Venezuela

In a front page article in the New York Times on March 31, 1997. journalist John M. Broder declared: "The National Endowment for Democracy, created 15 years ago to do in the open what the CIA has done surreptitiously for decades, spends $30 million a year to support things like political parties, labor unions, dissident movements and the news media in dozens of countries".

Allen Weinstein, NED's first president in 1983, The man who helped pass the legislation that established the organization's goals was surprisingly frank when he stated in 1991: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED."

In 1983 the NED was established and funded by congressional legislation to 'promote democracy' in foreign countries. 'Core grantees' were formed to act as funnels for congressional funds to reach political parties and partisan groups in other nations: Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), American Center for Labor Solidarity (ACILS), National Democratic Institute (NDI), and International Republican Institute (IRI). The NDI and IRI are affiliates of our two national political parties and are currently overseen by Madeleine Aibright and John McCain. Carl Gershman has been president of the NED since 1984 and is linked to the old school hawks network Known as a 'neocon', Gershman worked in the early 1970's with Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, and Paul Wolfowitz.

The Reagan Administration was determined to replace the Sandanista Government in Nicaragua and NED funds were provided to finance the opposition electoral campaign directly. In 1990, Violetta Chamorro was declared the winner of the presidential election and the Sandanistas were removed from power.

As the world's fifth largest supplier of petroleum, Venezuela is a national security interest for the United States. With President Hugo Chavez' election in 1998 with a 60% majority, Venezuela is no longer a submissive player to U.S. policy.

In 2001, the IRI received a $340,000 grant (up from $50,000) from NED for its work in Venezuela to "train national and/or local branches of existing and/or newly created political parties on such topics as party strategy, management and organization, internal and external party communications, and coalition building".

In the 2001-2004 period, NED issued grants of $4.5 million to Venezuelan organizations to destabilize the Chavez' Government: on April 11, 2002, a failed coup attempt; December 2, 2002, a 64-day shut down of oil production with a $10 billion hit to the economy; August 15, 2004, an unsuccessful presidential recall election.

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