The International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) is a Cold War «non-governmental organization» remnant that continues its mission of certifying elections as fair and free only when U.S.-backed candidates win. Conversely, when U.S.-backed candidates and political parties lose, IFES is part of the international coalition of NGOs, many of which are financially backed by hedge fund tycoon George Soros, which organizes massive protests and calls for sanctions. The latter scenario is now playing out in Venezuela…
IFES, which receives its funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), primarily through the State Department’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) – all virtual laundromats for the «washing» of CIA money – is yet another bevvy of neo-conservative operatives. IFES’s board includes such problematic individuals as former Republican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who helped throw Ohio’s electoral votes and the 2004 presidential election from Democrat John Kerry to Republican incumbent George W. Bush; Sean Cleary, a former member of the South African Defense Staff during apartheid rule; former House of Representatives Speaker Robert Livingston, the head of the influential lobbying firm, the Livingston Group; and three members whose connections to the Zionist cause make their involvement in Arab elections extremely problematic: Jeffrey Glassman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of American Jewish University; Lesley Israel, member of the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League; Congressman Steny Hoyer, whose sister, Bernice Manocherian, served as the Executive Director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
IFES, along with NED, USAID, and groups financed by Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI), used boilerplate tactics to 1) interfere with the outcome of an election in which the United States has a clear favorite in order to assist the pro-U.S. candidate in winning and 2) if the U.S.-backed candidate loses, organize a protest of the election results with future mass street action as a contingency.
Non-recognition of elections that fail to go the way Washington wants them to is squarely out of the «themed revolution» playbook of the eminence grise of CIA agitation, Gene Sharp of the Einstein Institution. His playbook has been used to «elect» U.S. puppet regimes in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. Pre-election street action was conducted by U.S.-trained operatives under the aegis of OTPOR! And CANVAS, two NGOs specializing in provocation. Venezuela has, for many years, been at the forefront of U.S. destabilization efforts. A leaked U.S. embassy Caracas cable from November 2006 cites the many NGOs funded by the U.S. in Venezuela that served the interests of the United States against the Chavez government. The cable put the number of NGOs at «over 300.»
The cable also cites the USAID contractor, Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), which has been linked to CIA destabilization efforts in Cuba, Pakistan, Haiti, Bolivia, Indonesia, as well as Venezuela, as a key component of political agitation funded by the neo-conservative Freedom House, which is based in New York. A DAI contractor, Alan Gross, is serving a jail sentence in Cuba after being convicted of espionage. Gross was apparently trying to stir up Cuba’s small Jewish community against the Cuban government. DAI was also once the employer in Indonesia of Stanley Ann Dunham, President Obama’s mother whose official biography ignores her CIA clandestine work under DAI, USAID, Ford Foundation, and World Bank cover in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.
In the aftermath of Venezuela’s close election, in which the acting incumbent Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor, scored a narrow victory over the Soros and IFES/USAID/NED-backed Henrique Capriles Radonski, there were calls for the non-recognition of the election results by the Capriles forces.
Many of the tactics employed by the forces of Western election interference value the importance of a single election media center to focus the propaganda for and against a candidate and political party favored by the West.
IFES is quite ecstatic that election media centers created with assistance from IFES and other U.S.-intelligence, as well as Soros-affiliated NGOs, were able to base their election monitoring and reporting operations in two conference centers originally built by socialist-based governments deposed by the United States and its NATO and Gulf state Salafist allies, the Palais de Congress in Tunis, built by Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba in 1967 and used by his successor Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and the Tripoli International Congress Center, built by Muammar Qaddafi and used for a number of international conferences that brought together anti-imperialist delegates from around the world. Here is what IFES said about the use of the two venues: [The Palais de Congress] had, for decades, been placed off limits to public use by the former Tunisian dictator Bin Ali [sic] who allowed its use for his own benefit… The selection [as the election media center] proved a success with the use of the place as a communications hub for the first democratic election in the country… this point was particularly underscored by the use of the former dictator’s private offices at the venue as the office’s for the [election] commission members». (The many international trade shows held during the Ben Ali regime calls into question IFES’s claim).
IFES praised the use of the Tripoli center for its propaganda work because it «played a key par in rebranding the location away from the negative association of the pre-revolution period and in the context of a liberated Libya.» In other words, IFES was bragging more about seizing highly-prized property for its CIA work than in demonstrating the fairness of elections imposed by outsiders like the United States and its cavalcade of dubiously-funded NGOs.
IFES also makes no secret of its close association with security agencies that provide protection for its manipulation of foreign elections. IFES cites one case where «security forces» dealt with an incident at an «IFES-supported media center.» IFES states: «Security forces had to stop a group of armed men from gaining forced entry into the center; allowing visitors to flow into the center while a massive demonstration was going on outside; and arresting individuals attempting to smuggle in tear gas canisters into the center.» However, IFES has no problem in supporting pro-U.S. allied groups in Venezuela that, in the aftermath of the April 14 election, burned down regional offices of the governing party and tried to disrupt the vote counting.
In the case of the Venezuelan election, which the Western forces of interference and disruption were not able to penetrate via an official election media center, the reactionary forces resorted to violence, including arson attacks on the regional offices of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in Tachira, Anzoátegui, and Barinas and a physical attack by Capriles supporters on the Integral Diagnostic Center (CDI) of Piedra Azul, in Chacao , a health clinic staffed with Cuban doctors, as well as an associated dormitory housing the Cuban medical personnel.
Capriles told his supporters to ignore the official vote count of the National Electoral Council (CNE) that showed Maduro winning the election with over 50 percent of the vote. In the absence of a CIA-influenced election media center, the opposition relied on such outlets as the Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, and Miami Herald, all taking their orders from Langley and the Soros NGO personnel, to condemn the election results as fraudulent. Capriles supporters also staged a disruptive protest at the Caracas broadcast headquarters of the Telesur network.
Reuters, the reliable house organ for Rothschild banking interests, weighed in by falsely claiming Capriles won the election by 300,000 votes.
The Obama administration joined Capriles in refusing to recognize Maduro’s victory even though it was recognized by all 12 members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Organization of American States. America’s backing for violence against the Venezuelan government resulted in Caracas charging that the Obama administration was trying to foment a coup in Venezuela. In April 2002, the CIA and the Bush administration attempted to oust Chavez in a coup. The putsch failed and Chavez was quickly restored to power. In 2013, Obama dusted off the Bush/CIA coup plan from 2002 and is trying to re-apply it again to Venezuela. Post-election violence with at least seven deaths is the result of Mr. Obama’s crass policy toward Venezuela. But the perfidy of Washington, Obama, and the CIA is now well-known to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean as they have shown every intention of resisting the Obama-led neo-imperialists.