The dark and destructive side of NGOs

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By: Vicky Peláez / Source: / The Dawn News / August 2015. Since the 1980s, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) expanded throughout the world opening an important political, cultural and socio-economic space, practically in every corner of the planet. It is estimated that there are around 10 million NGOs in the planet. In India, for example, there is one NGO per 600 people.

To achieve this, globalized media emphasize day after day their role in education, fight against poverty and analphabetism, protection of the environment, promotion of civil freedoms, protection of human rights, etc, but they hide their dark side.

There are approximately 40,000 NGOs funded by North American and European governments, that were created specifically to be used as instruments for the globalizing interests of Washington and Brussels.

The idea of creating NGOs to be used by the intelligence services for the creation of social networks in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to promote US interests, was born in the late 1940s. However, the project took over a decade and was set kicked off in 1961, promoted by the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, when by an executive order the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was created. Its official goal was to strengthen US foreign policy by cooperating with countries that received support in the areas of economy, agriculture, health, politics and humanitarian aid.

In 1972, North American professor William A. Douglas elaborated a more complex prototype for the NGOs of the future in his book Developing Democracy. According to the researcher, people in Asia, Africa and Latin America are like “children” who need, for their “development”, in US terms, “tutelage, reglamentation and control of the US government”. Posteriorly, that concept included the whole planet, including the American people. For Douglas, the process of global transformation could not be done through governments, there needed to be grassroot organizations in every point of the planet under control of specialized US agencies. Those grassroots organizations took, in the 1980s, the form of Non Governmental Organizations, which were incorporated as vital instruments of the “Democracy Project” to strengthen the neoliberal globalization of the world under the tutelage of Washington.

To achieve their goal, NGOs, under the control of the department of state, had to destabilize governments that were not aligned with the US policy through a subtle work, hiding their destabilizing goals with real programs such as the fight against extreme poverty. Simultaneously, it was precisely USAID who sent the famous North American torture specialist Dan Mitrione to Brazil between 1960 and 1967, to Dominican Republic in 1965, and to Uruguay between 1969 and 1970. The USAID also took active part in every coup d’Etat and attempted coup that had place in Africa, Asia and Latin America between 1961 and present day, in strict collaboration with the CIA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), FBI, DEA, NSA, etc. For as long as the Soviet Union and the socialist field existed, the USAID, along with other NGOs, like the National Endowment for Democracy, did everything they could to contain the ideological influence of the URSS becoming ideologic and operative missionaries of the empire during the Cold War. The disclosure of the role of the CIA and its undercover organization, the USAID, in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, of Salvador Allende in Chile, and the hundreds of attempts of murdering Fidel Castro, forced the US government to create the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in 1983.

President Ronald Reagan announced then that “this program will not act behind the shadows. It will be visible and at the same time consistent with the national interests of the US”.

Its creator, Georgetown University professor Allen Weinstein, was more specific when in 1991, in an interview, he declared “the great majority of tasks we do today were done by the CIA 25 years ago”. A few years before, in 1986, the first director of the NED, Carl Gershman, admitted that his organization was a facade of the CIA.

In the Declaration of Principles —signed by its neoconservative leaders, Elliot Abrams (involved in the Iran-Contra affair), Francis Fukuyama (author of the End of History thesis), Zalmay Khalilzad (former ambassador of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan) and Win Weber (one of the republican authors of the Project for the New American Century)—, it is stated that “we must accept the responsibility of assuming the only role in the preservation and extension of an international order amicable to our safety, prosperity and principles.

To achieve this, the NED and its for organizations —the Free Trade Union Institute, the Centre for International Private Enterprise, the National Republican Institute for International Affairs, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and its subordinate NGO Freedom House, in coordination with the USAID, finally finance and canalize strength of the main organizations of civil society in almost 100 countries in the world. For that, they have a strong funding: for the 2016 fiscal year, the USAID has 22,3 million dollars and the NED has 170 million. With this amount of money, it would not be difficult to create NGOs tailored to the US interests using grassroots organizations. That explains why the indigenous miskito people ended up collaborating with the counter-revolutionary forces and the CIA during the Sandinista revolution. It also explains the recent indigenous demonstration against Rafael Correa after the President of Ecuador questioned the work of 31 NGOs in Amazonia and the fact they received 56,2 million dollars in funding from the NED, the USAID and several other foreign NGOs, especially North American ones. The indigenous peoples of the Amazonia marched for 700 kilometers to violently protest against a possible re-election of Rafael Correa.

One of the tasks of NGOs that are aligned with globalizing interests is to form thousands of dissidents in the countries that don’t follow the North American path and influence presidential, legislative, and municipal elections in those nations. According to the estimates of the Department of State, in each country that is not aligned with North American policy, there is at least a 10% of the population that supports the US and that could form a fifth column to destabilize the government. This includes countries like Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Armenia, Bielorrusia, Tayikistán, Azerbaiyán, Kazajistán, Kirguistán, Uzbekistan or Egypt.

Then, it is a matter of organizing and financing the potentially unhappy, and brainwash them through media. That is what happened in Poland in 1989, when the NED, in cooperation with the Vatican, gave the Solidarity movement 2,5 million dollars with the condition of promoting the candidacy of their pro-North American leader Lech Walesa to the presidency.

Afterwards, the NED and the USAID financed organizations such as OTPOR, in Serbia, KHMARA in Georgia, PORA in Ukraine, KELKER in Kyrgyzstan, and ZUBR in Belarus. Then, they promoted revolutions with marketable names such as the “rose revolution” in Georgia, the “tulip revolution” in Kyrgyzstan, the “orange revolution” and then “Maidan” in Ukraine; they unsuccessfully attempted a revolution in Armenia under the slogan “Electric Erevan” and also failed not long ago in Hong Kong, trying to instigate the “umbrella revolution”.

The leaders of the right-wing opposition in Latin America, such as Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo López in Venezuela, Mauricio Rodas in Ecuador, and Aecio Neves in Brazil are creations of the NED, and the local pawns in the fight against legitimately-elected progressivist leaders. Their main agenda is to destabilize these governments to return the countries to the “backyard” of North America. All of them have close relations with former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and with the Latin American far-right.

However, as times go by, the countries of the world are progressively more conscious and realize the purposes of the USAID, the NED and their subsidiary NGOs, and take the corresponding measures. Already three countries of the BRICS —Russia, China and India— passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act for NGOs that receive money from outside the country. It’s in fact the same law that the US itself has been using since 1938, but when other countries passed it, it was met with outrage and indignation in Washington, where analysts announced the end of democracy in China and Russia. What, simultaneously, the US leaders, whether neoliberal or neoconservative, don’t want to acknowledge, is that their country no longer represents democracy but an authoritarian state that is becoming more and more totalitarian.

In a recent article on this subject, North American academic Henry A. Giroux wrote that “dark times are not waiting in the future, they are already here, but this doesn’t mean that they will last forever”.

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