Caracas, March 22, 2010 (Telesur) – The National Endowment for Democracy this month awarded the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow research prize to Venezuelan Andres Cañizález, the promoter of a media campaign against President Hugo Chávez.
Cañizález won the award for developing a project called: The Chavez Era: The political history and democratic challenges of Venezuelan journalism.
The award gave Cañizález residency at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the NED in Washington for four months, a working scholarship and funding for the research and publication of a book.
According to the NED, Cañizález’ stay in the U.S. capital will help him to "develop contacts and exchange ideas with his counterparts in Washington."
Since 2002, the Venezuelan has carried out a smear campaign against the Bolivarian Revolution led by President Hugo Chávez via the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS), which in turn is funded by the NED and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Investigations by lawyer Eva Golinger indicate that “millions of dollars from the NED have been channelled to groups like IPYS in Venezuela to finance coups, sabotage, psychological operations, electoral campaigns and actions to destabilize the government of Hugo Chávez.”
On March 16, Emilia Diaz from IPYS, based on information from right-wing media, said the right of citizens to communicate and be informed is at risk in Venezuela.
Diaz's statement came after the Venezuelan government was accused by the opposition of wanting to control internet use in the nation. However, what happened was that President Chavez condemned the broadcasting false information via the internet about the nonexistent murder of a member of the Cabinet and a current affairs show host of the Venezolana de Television (VTV).
After the incident, the Venezuelan Parliament decided to investigate the Noticiero Digital (ND) website for disseminating false news and denied that the government wants to exercise control over the use of the internet.
"IPYS has played a major role in the dissemination of manipulated information and distorted the policies of the Venezuelan government in an attempt to discredit it internationally and justify 'regime change'," Golinger said in a recent article.
The Reagan-Fascell award is named after former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the late congressman Dante Fascell.
According to Canadian journalist Jean-Guy Allard, Fascell was known as the “active representative of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) within the U.S. Congress.”
Fascell was responsible for "concrete plans and for taking care of the specific interests of the U.S. intelligence community."
According to the article by Golinger, "the Reagan-Fascell award from the NED ensures that its recipients form part of a 'global network' of 'democracy promoters' linked to Washington's agenda.”
Translated by Kiraz Janicke for Venezuelanalysis.com