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The imperialism of USAID according to its statutes


Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

It’s no secret that USAID functions as one of the counter-revolutionary mechanisms of the United States. The proofs against it are abundant, but, despite reiterated complaints, it has not been easy to expel it from the countries affected. One gets the impression that the agency works like a virus that is already circulating in the blood stream of the said countries, making it hard for it to be eliminated. There have been cases such as that of Bolivia, whose government has tried to throw out the agency but has run into resistance from the sectors benefited by the “assistance” of USAID. ¿Is this a symptom that the mentioned agency has been unjustly accused of interventionism, or, simply, that it has bought off some  leaders among the social areas in which it has embedded itself?

To analyze this aspect, one needs first to understand that perceptions of reality are hugely influenced by the commercial media, which makes every effort to discredit the position of the governments that seek to expel USAID in lawful defense of national sovereignty. For that purpose, the defenders of looting rest on the “good” reputation of the U.S. agency as an organization created during the Democratic Administration of former president John F. Kennedy, fulfilling the moral obligation of a rich country to a world of poor nations. ¿Who could harbor doubts about so much love? Let’s look, then, at the official goals of the said agency.

The functional statement of USAID at chapter 101.2, Primary Responsibilities, states as follows:

a. The Administrator (A/AID) formulates and executes U.S. foreign economic and development assistance policies and programs, subject to the foreign policy guidance of the President, the Secretary of State, and the National Security Council. Under the direct authority and foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State, the Administrator serves as a principal advisor to the President and the Secretary of State regarding international development matters. He/she administers appropriations made available under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

Accordingly, the strict subjection of USAID to “the foreign policy guidance of the President, the Secretary of State, and the National Security Council” is not just real but mandatory. But there is more, for if the funds for those programs are issued under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, perhaps we should analyze the purposes of that law.

Its own official presentation offers the following Summary:

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 serves as the cornerstone for the United States’ foreign assistance policies and programs. Written, passed, and signed into law at what some consider the height of the Cold War, the Act is seen by some today as anachronistic…. President Kennedy urged the Congress to enact foreign aid legislation that would exemplify and advance the national interests and security strategies of the United States post-World War II.

It’s clear, therefore, that the ballyhooed social assistance was always the excuse for interventionism, whose plain objective was the geopolitical control of the area of influence of the United States during the historical period of the Cold War. That control was manifested throughout Latin America in the overthrow of every “communist” government, now called “populist” in reference to all leftist governments that decided to be loyal to the interests of their peoples rather than to the interests of looting.

Another reason for USAID’s survival for so long despite its huge capacity for destruction, comparable only to that of the CIA, is its policy of manipulating its puppets from a distance, acting behind the scenes. In Cuba, for example, USAID did not appear openly in connection to the activities of the opposition figure Oswaldo Paya, until the investigation of the car accident in which he died revealed both the participation of USAID in the destabilization activities and its operative mechanism. In the first place,  Angel Carromero Barrios, the driver of the car in the accident, denied the claims that a vehicle had struck them from behind at the time of the accident, and asked of world public opinion that it not use the event for political aims.

But it is revealing that Carromero, Vice Secretary General of New Generations, the youth sector of Spain’s Popular Party, is close to Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, and to Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Community of Madrid, both of them affiliated with anti-Cuban politics. That must be understood in the context that the Popular Party of Spain (PPE) is the heir of the Franquist tradition, and that Aznar, after leaving his post as Prime Minister, created a foundation that, in cooperation with the Mexican PAN and other right-wing parties, is dedicated to fighting against the progressive governments of Latin America.

It is equally revealing that all of those implicated followed a complex plan to damage the reputation of the Cuban government and achieve its repudiation worldwide. It became known as well that the goals were also to take money to the contras, and to found in Cuba a youth front related to the political party of a second passenger in the same car.

That other passenger was Jens Aron Modig, a leader of the Swedish Christian Democratic Party, with a political line similar to that of the ultra-conservative Tea Party in the United States. He is the president of its Youth League, and prior to going to Cuba met with the International Republican Institute, one of the groups that receive money from the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), and also from USAID. In that way, the United States would remain invisible in all of this, for on the island everything is done through dissidents like the Damas de Blanco.

It seems, therefore, that USAID has morphed into two basic kinds of operative methods. The first and best known, applicable to nations with a still-porous security like Bolivia and Ecuador, is to enter physically into its territories, make use of its philanthropic reputation as an innocent, and create a relationship of dependency with vulnerable sectors in those countries until embedding itself in the blood stream of the nations.  Subsequently, it facilitates the entry of agencies with worse reputations, like NED, CIA, and NSA to cooperate with the ONGs that provide them cover, in order to destabilize the governments that resist the policies of Washington.

In the second method, used for countries that are better protected, as is the case with Cuba, USAID does not need to establish a physical presence in the territory, because from a distance it finances destabilization through other organizations that cooperate with the local opposition groups.

Based on all that has been said above, the expulsion of USAID from Latin America is a matter of extreme urgency, but. in order to achieve that goal, the governments that truly want to do it must replace the U.S. “aid” programs with national development programs with dignity and sovereignty. They must denounce the hidden imperialism of USAID, pass laws for its expulsion, enforce compliance with the new rules, and help the sectors affected to take back their representation from the hands of leaders who have been corrupted. It’s not easy to do, but it must be undertaken with extreme urgency.

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About Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti