It’s always been a friend company for the CIA. Started by Kennedy, by the executive order in 1961, during the 1980’es, when various Latin American countries began to try to overthrow some of these dictators that the US had installed, there was a very close collaboration between the AFL-CIO – which is the American federation of labour – and the USAID in order to work with potential labour activists there in order to basically suppress union organizing and to persuade the labour activists that they needed to cooperate with the corporations which for the most part were US corporations that were exploiting these countries.
USAID are mostly trying to promote the interests of US corporations. The CIA has very close connections with a number of corporations. There are a number of Wall Street banking interests that have been very closely associated with the CIA and also a number of specific companies that are very closely associated with the CIA.
And so, to a large extent in Latin America the function of the CIA was to suppress any local democracy movements and to suppress any local labour organizing that was going to interfere with the interests of the corporations because the corporations didn’t want to have unions where workers were making significant demands over wages and working conditions. And by having the CIA and the USAID and the AFL-CIO working closely to collaborate with the police and with the squads to arrest and kill union activists, they could prevent any union organizing from happening and that would keep the wages really low because that would increase the profit of the corporations.
Coca-Cola was one. In Guatemala United Fruit Company. Over a long period of time mostly the people who were involved with the CIA were lawyers who would represent various banks, like John McCloy, he was a Wall Street lawyer who worked with the CIA and later became the President of the Ford Foundation. And he was the one that had the Ford Foundation collaborate very closely with the CIA. The Ford Foundation would accept a lot of funding from the CIA because the Ford Foundation was going into countries and doing development, or they would make it appear like they were really trying to help the people in that country, whereas they were really trying to suppress pro-democracy movements and pro-union movements. The Ford Foundation has also worked very closely with USAID.
What happened in the Middle East is that we also supported dictators – we supported Mubarak, We the Shah of Iran, we supported Iraq early, and we supported the Saudi royal family which is a very totalitarian Government.
The US wanted to maintain control of oil resources. And so through their support of these dictators they were able to suppress any pro-democracy movement that might be inclined to nationalize, their fear was that some of these countries would elect a pro-democratic government that would want to nationalize their oil industry.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced it will close its offices in Russia.After 20 years of working in Russia, USAID officials said they were informed by the Russian government that their services were no longer required.According to the Foreign Ministry, USAID was attempting to manipulate the election processes in the country.
“The character of the agency’s work…did not always comply with the declared aims of cooperation in bilateral humanitarian cooperation,” the Foreign Ministry said on its website. “We are talking about issuing grants in an attempt to affect the course of the political processes in the country, including elections at different levels and institutions in civil society”
DAI was contracted in June 2002 by USAID to manage a multimillion dollar contract in Venezuela, just two months after the failed coup d’etat against President Hugo Chávez. Prior to this date, USAID had no operations in Venezuela, not even an office in the Embassy. DAI was charged with opening the Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI), a specialized branch of USAID that manages large quantities of liquid funds destined for organizations and political parties favorable to Washington in countries of strategic interest that are undergoing political crises.
The first contract between USAID and DAI for its Venezuela operations authorized $10 million for a two year period. DAI opened its doors in the Wall Street of Caracas, El Rosal, in August 2002, and began to immediately fund the same groups that just months earlier had executed – unsuccessfully – the coup against President Chávez. The USAID/DAI funds in Venezuela were distributed to organizations such as Fedecámaras and the Confederación de Trabajadores Venezolanos (CTV), two of the principal entities that had led the coup in April 2002 and that later headed another attempt to oust Chávez by imposing an economic sabotage and oil industry strike that crippled the nation’s economy. One contract between DAI and these organizations, dated December 2002, awarded more than $10,000 to help design radio and television propaganda against President Chávez. During that time period, Venezuela experienced one of the most viscious media wars in history. Private television and radio stations, together with print media, devoted non-stop programming to opposition propaganda for 64 days, 24 hours a day.
In February 2003, DAI began to fund a recently created group named Súmate, led by Maria Corina Machado, one of the signators of the “Carmona Decree”, the famous dictatorial decree that dissolved all of Venezuela’s democratic institutions during the brief April 2002 coup d’etat. Súmate soon became the principal opposition organization directing campaigns against President Chávez, including the August 2004 recall referendum. The three main agencies from Washington operating in Venezuela at that time, USAID, DAI and the National Endowment for Democracy (“NED”), invested more than $9 million in the opposition campaign to oust Chávez via recall referendum, without success. Chávez won with a 60-40 landslide victory.
USAID, which still maintains its presence through the OTI and DAI in Venezuela, had originally announced that it would not remain in the country for more than a two year period. Then chief of the OTI in Venezuela, Ronald Ulrich, publically affirmed this notion in March 2003, “This program will be finished in two years, as has happened with similiar initiatives in other countries, the office will close in the time period stated…Time is always of the essence”. Technically, the OTI are USAID’s rapid response teams, equipped with large amounts of liquid funds and a specialized personnel capable of “resolving a crisis” in a way favorable to US interests. In the document establishing the OTI’s operations in Venezuela, the intentions of those behind its creation were clear, “In recent months, his popularity has waned and political tensions have risen dramatically as President Chávez has implemented several controversial reforms…The current situation augers strongly for rapid US government engagement…”
To date, the OTI still remains in Venezuela, with DAI as its principal contractor. But now, four other entities share USAID’s multimillion dollar pie in Caracas: International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Freedom House, and the PanAmerican Development Foundation (PADF). Of the 64 groups funded from 2002-2004 with approximately $5 million annually, today the OTI funds more than 533 organizations, political parties, programs and projects, mainly in opposition sectors, with an annual budget surpassing $7 million. Its presence has not only remained, but has grown. Obviously this is due to one very simple reason: the original objetive has still not been obtained; the overthrow or removal of President Hugo Chávez.