NED (The National Endowment for Democracy) was established in 1983 by funds allocated by the US Congress. In those days, it functioned primarily for the promotion of democratic infrastructure in communist countries. Right wing dictatorships friendly to the USA were more or less exempt from NED’s attentions during the Reagan years. Even though NED receives funds from the US government, it functions independently with not much oversight.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, NED disappeared a bit from the public eye although its funding actually went up from 15 to 18 million in the 80’s to 25 to 30 million in the 90’s. Still, failed efforts were made by the congress to kill it and it was not so important an organization to worldwide imperialist status quo in the Clinton years.
Then the Bush Administration came into power, 09/11 happened, and NED all of a sudden roared back with a more expanded mandate – Not only autocratic regimes were to be targeted but also democracies that refused to toe the West’s line of capitalist exploitation.
This culminated in recent events in three different countries. In Egypt, NED contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Anti-Morsi activists( including those who advocated violence against civilians and against mosques) as well as former members of the Mubarak dictatorship.
In Ukraine, NED was key in mobilizing forces against democratically elected Viktor Yanukovych. NED set up so-called student reform groups which are really just muscle, thugs, to riot and cause trouble. In Ukraine, many of those in those so-called student groups were Neo-Nazis, skinheads, right wing haters. A lot of NED’s activity is also geared towards the press and how they interpret an action such as a coup or a revolution. They manipulate the press with bogus data using right wing organs such as the Washington Post to name an example and interfere in elections.
In Venezuela, NED has done much the same. They very involved in the coup that temporarily displaced Hugo Chavez as president in 1992. Chavez knew they were the enemy and indentified them publicly taking steps to make sure they could not cause trouble on his watch. Unfortunately, Hugo Chavez has passed away and his predecessor is not as strong a figure so NED has once again put its operation into full swing – Riots, thuggery, press manipulation.
So what is NED’s agenda? NED isn’t so much an organization for the spread of democracy as it is an organization for the spread of capitalism. Unfortunately, that means in many countries such as the three I have mentioned true wealth ends up being in the hands of a very small group. This is what Hugo Chavez fought against, what Morsi started to fight against in Egypt. It should be noted that the NED backed winner of the 2004 Ukrainian election, the so called “Orange Revolution”, Viktor Yushchenko was a former banker who believed in “austerity” a code word for punishing poor people and rewarding even more those at the top. The IMF is often in cahoots with people like this.
In the case of Ukraine, the 2010 election winner Yanukovych had been elected on a platform of staying neutral no NATO but no Russia either. However, in 2011, he became aware of efforts by NED and other shadow groups sponsored by the West in mobilizing weapons, money, manpower against him. He predicted his fate in a speech in 2011 and started the natural shift back towards Russia and against EU membership.
NED is the vanguard of a dying, evil empire and that empire is the United States. It dominates through bullying and thuggery but those days can’t last long. The fact they can no longer keep their plans secret is a big step.
I share many people’s general disgust at Vladimir Putin (his corruption, his homophobia, his autocracy) but supports his efforts in standing up to this attempt at fascism. Imagine if Russia tried what NED (on behalf of the US government) is trying in Mexico....