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8984: Origins of the Convergence Part 1 (fwd)
From: kevin pina <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I think it is relevent for all of us to take a closer look at the recent
history of US foreign policy in Haiti, especially with regards to
intervention in her internal political affairs. This is a good summary of
the "democracy enhancement" program which ultimately spawned the formation
of the "Democratic Convergence".
The full text of this article can be found at:
DEMOCRACY INTERVENTION IN HAITI
Democracy Enhancement refers to collaborative, systematic efforts by an
U.S. government agencies to further U.S. political and economic interests in
countries -- regardless of grossly negative impact on the poor majorities in
those countries -- under the banner of building democracy. Democracy
"enhancement" is more properly termed democracy intervention.
The primary agencies openly involved in democracy intervention are the
Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Agency for International Development
U.S. Information Agency (USIA), working in concert with the National
Council, the State Department, the CIA, and a complex network of
clustered around NED.
Promotional materials describe NED as "a private nonprofit organization
in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through
nongovernmental efforts." NED is not a nongovernmental organization: it was
established by USIA and receives 99% of its funding from the U.S.
Its "private" facade, however, means it is not subject to Congressional
oversight. NED might be termed "the group that took the 'C' out of covert
interference in foreign elections" .... its first president stated, "A lot
what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." (The CIA's
covert operation was interference in Italy's elections in the late 1940s.)
AID is commonly perceived as a nonpolitical, benevolent, international
agency which provides foreign aid to poor countries and helps them learn
United States' superior economic, technological and agricultural power.
perception is inaccurate. First, "foreign aid" money goes largely into
pockets, funding American-owned businesses and U.S. agencies rather than
benefitting poor people in foreign countries. Second, AID is anything but
nonpolitical: its own mission statement defines it as a foreign affairs
the U.S. government committed to "continued American economic and moral
leadership." Third, many foreign "nongovernmental organizations" (NGOs)
receive AID and NED funding are not nongovernmental at all: they are founded
sometimes openly, sometimes covertly -- and controlled by U.S. government
Finally, the key U.S. "private voluntary organizations" (PVOs) involved in
democracy enhancement clearly have conservative and right-wing political
not charitable or development agendas, behind their bipartisan masks. Many
have histories of active involvement in covert political activities in
El Salvador and elsewhere.
The complex flow of funds among AID, NED and USIA defies analysis. It is
clear, however, that these monies are U.S. taxpayer dollars serving to
genuine democracy in poor countries. The kind of "democracy" sought is not
which reflects self-determination, popular participation, or the interests
poor majorities in Third World countries.
The Democracy Enhancement Project in Haiti In May 1991, AID received
Congressional authorization to spend $24.4 million on a four-year Democracy
Enhancement Project in Haiti. The following month, AID invited ten U.S.
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to apply for AID funding to carry out
certain functions of the project. Washington Office on Haiti first
the AID Invitation for Application and its several attachments in July 1991.
While various amendments have been made since then, the original documents
the purposes and structures of current "democracy" activities in Haiti.
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