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Congress set to re-fund the National Endowment For Democracy
Written by Venezuela Solidarity Network   
Monday, 08 May 2006

ACTION ALERT - Congress set to re-fund the NED!

No New Funding for the National Endowment For Democracy!!

Close the NED that funds coups and dictatorships!!

US Congress is about to reconsider additional funding for the NED, a supposedly-independent organization, but in reality an arm of the State Department and US foreign policy with a long history of overthrowing elected governments in the Global South and elsewhere. It does this by using the millions of tax dollars now under consideration to manipulate elections and fund coup d’états. The lies used to justify the war in Iraq have made many more people wiser and less ready to fall for any hype about ‘democracy’. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is NOT ABOUT DEMOCRACY! Right now, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO STOP EXTRA FUNDS FROM BEING ALLOCATED TO THESE CHARLATANS OF SHAMOCRACY!

The NED and its core institutes (The International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center of The AFL-CIO, and the Centers for International Private Enterprise – an arm of the Chambers of Commerce) are running out of money. Particularly, the IRI and the NDI have used up their allotments for FY 2006 by April 30th. Congress will be asked to earmark special funds for these agencies, and we need to act now to stop this from happening! Every single one of them is deeply involved in subverting elected governments and popular movements around the world. (For more information on how trade unionists and community groups are working to demand that the AFLCIO stop accepting NED money, contact the Worker to Worker Solidarity Committee at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it )

Although the Emergency Supplemental bill containing new NED funding has passed both the Senate and House, a committee is now meeting to reconcile the two bills. We want the $$ earmarked for the NED to be taken out of the final bill.

Call Congress, especially Appropriations Committee members.

Congressional switchboard: 1-800-828-0498 or 1-202-224-3121

To email your Senator, or for other contact information: www.senate.gov/contacting/index.cfm

To email your Representative, or for other contact information: www.house.gov/writerep

Sign the petition online: www.petitiononline.com/CloseNED/

Endorse this Action Alert Send endorsements to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or fax 202-544-9359

Organizational endorsement______________________________________ Contact person____________________

Individual endorsement ________________________________________

City/Country _____________________ Phone __________________________ Email__________________________

This Action Alert is issued by the Ad Hoc Committee on NED Financing of the National Venezuela Solidarity Network which is made up from the following organizations: CyberCircle, Global Women's Strike, Hands Off Venezuela, Latin American Solidarity Committee, Nicaragua Network, Oregon Bolivarian Circle, Payday, Worker to Worker Solidarity Committee.

For more information, contact National Venezuela Solidarity Network 202-544-9355 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

STOP FUNDING & CLOSE THE NED!

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!!!

 
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