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IRI: International Republican Institute (“IRI”): A U.S. based non-governmental entity founded upon suggestion by former President Ronald Reagan, the IRI is a major recipient of NED funds for various projects around the world. In March 2002, just one month before the April 2002 coup d’etat, IRI received an impressive $300,000 grant from the NED for “Strengthening Political Parties” in Venezuela. IRI received an additional $116,000 in February 2003, at the culmination of the 64-day opposition imposed lockout that devastated the Venezuelan economy. One of the main political parties participating in both the coup and the lockout, Primero Justicia, is a major benefactor of IRI funds. IRI’s massive financing for its Venezuelan projects has almost exclusively been funneled into developing and strengthening political parties to oppose the Chávez Administration. IRI also maintains close contact with the U.S. Embassy, which has also been a backer of the opposition’s undemocratic tactics.
Súmate The NED awarded a significant $53,400 grant to the Venezuelan group, Súmate, in September 2003, for the sole purpose of promoting a campaign for a recall referendum on President Chávez’s mandate. Súmate was established solely with the objective of removing President Chávez from office prematurely through a recall referendum, and has no credentials or history to evidence its accomplishments or democratic ideals. Nevertheless, the NED willingly handed Súmate the $53,400 needed to fund the entire referendum campaign and to develop propaganda encourage Venezuelans to vote against Chávez.
LA Times Article
CARACAS, Venezuela - As this bitterly divided nation approaches a vote Sunday on whether to recall populist President Hugo Chavez, he and his supporters are accusing Washington of interfering in Venezuela's affairs by providing about $2 million to opposition groups.
Grants from the National Endowment for Democracy to more than a dozen organizations over two years account for only a fraction of opposition funding. But because some members of the U.S.-supported groups have ties to the opponents who briefly deposed Chavez in April 2002, the former paratrooper contends that the funding backs another effort to oust him.
"Washington has been financing the opposition with millions, including for this referendum," Chavez said during a news conference Thursday at the presidential palace.
Originally posted by Corinthas
Yes the card was kinda good, huh?
What a comment that was!