Washington DC, Dec 17, 2004 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- The United States-based Latin America Solidarity Coalition sent a letter yesterday to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez signed by 139 organizations and individuals who urged Venezuela to continue to expose illegal activities by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
James Jordan, an activist based in Tucson Arizona, and a facilitator of the Latin America Solidarity Coalition’s NED Task Force, said “It’s been freely admitted that NED does overtly what the CIA used to do covertly. We don’t think US taxpayer’s money should be used to subvert other countries’ elections. That would be illegal if they did it in our elections.”
The letter to Chavez and the people of Venezuela was circulated in response to an October letter to Chavez from 31 international “leaders” including former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright. That letter and a full page ad in Venezuelan newspapers paid for by NED, called on Chavez to stop Venezuela’s courts from prosecuting organizations and individuals that had accepted NED money to work on the recall election in August. Chavez handily survived the challenge.
“We urge you, in the name of democracy and the people’s will, to hold fast in your struggle against the manipulation of Venezuela’s electoral process by foreign agencies. We urge you to continue to expose abuses by the National Endowment for Democracy,” the letter says.
“We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the international struggle for real democracy. We are persons and organizations who hunger for people’s democracy here in our own countries, particularly the United States of America. We are inspired in our struggle by the powerful victories of the Venezuelan people against all efforts to undermine representative government there.”
Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator of the Nicaragua Network, said, “The National Endowment for Democracy is a profoundly anti-democratic institution and we need to ax it from the budget. In 1990 NED led the US campaign to defeat the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. What they spent to distort that election would be the equivalent of $2.5 billion poured into a US election. Would we tolerate that from a foreign country? Hell no.”
The text of the letter, signers, and background information can be read at:
Open Letter to President Hugo Chavez, and to the People of Venezuela – http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1338