by Eva Golinger
Postcards from the Revolution
Sept. 9, 2010
In 2002, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) arrived in Venezuela with a mission: Remove Hugo Chavez from power
A report commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and published in May 2010 by the Spanish Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue (FRIDE) revealed that this year alone, international agencies are investing between $40-50 million in anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela. A large part of those funds have been channeled to the opposition coalition, Democratic Unity (MUD), and its campaign for the upcoming legislative elections on September 26.
A majority of funding comes from US agencies, particularly USAID, which has maintained a presence in Venezuela since 2002 with the sole intention of aiding in President Chavez’s removal from power. For the past eight years, USAID has channeled millions into political parties, organizations and private media entities linked to the opposition, helping them to grow and unify, and providing strategic advice, support and resources for their political campaigns.
Unlike in other nations, USAID has no formal agreement or authorization from the Venezuelan government to operate in the country. As an oil-wealthy nation, Venezuela does not qualify for economic aid from the United States. Nonetheless, USAID has been operating in Venezuela unauthorized through its political office during eight years, funding and helping to design and plan anti-Chavez campaigns and feeding an internal conflict with millions of US taxpayer dollars.