How US Taxpayers Finance Progressivism Abroad

NGOs Hide behind Veneer of Democracy Promotion

USAID has no business working with organizations that violate the basic precepts of democracy. (Wikimedia)

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The US State Department (DOS) positions itself as a key promoter of democratic development abroad, but the packaging belies the product. One of the chief agencies that DOS uses to achieve its purposes is USAID. DOS has placed great emphasis in effectuating political change in Central America in recent years, particularly in Guatemala.

Guatemala matters to the United States not only because of illegal immigration but also because Guatemala still supports US policy on Taiwan. Guatemala is the largest country in the world that still officially supports Taiwan, in terms of GDP, population, and military spending. Not even the United States can say the same, since we do not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent country.

One would think that DOS would recognize the strategic value of Guatemala as a steadfast ally in the face of communist Chinese expansion in the region, but one would be wrong.

From 2001 through 2021, USAID disbursed almost $2.8 billion in Guatemala. USAID spent as much on political matters under the category of Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DHRG) as it did on Economic Development, roughly $500 million in each.

In Guatemala, USAID is currently financing the Electoral Governance and Reforms Project (EGRP), to the tune of almost $17 million over seven years ending in 2024. The EGRP’s purported mission in Guatemala is to strengthen institutions and increase citizen voice and accountability in politics.

The EGRP prioritizes the political participation of the disabled, youth, indigenous peoples and, of course, LGBT communities, focusing on the rural interior of Guatemala. It is doubtful that the majority of that population segment even knows what the LGBT agenda even is. If they did, they would almost surely reject it.

Why are US taxpayers paying to promote a divisive agenda abroad?

USAID’s own website proclaims: “Our workforce and USAID’s culture continues to serve as a reflection of core American values.” Interfering in domestic politics abroad to promote a radical LBGT agenda, which has Marxist inclinations, does not reflect “core American values.”

USAID’s implementing partner for EGRP is the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS). CEPPS admits that it relies on the expertise of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), among other international organizations. CEPPS further admits that it operates to provide USAID and “other donors” with the capacity to deliver “complex democracy, rights, and governance (DRG) programming.”

Complex is an apt adjective to describe the work involved to impose a public policy agenda that citizens would certainly reject if they knew what was happening.

NDI claims that it is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization. However, on its “partners” page, NDI expresses special thanks to governmental agencies like USAID and the State Department for their support, as well as CEPPS, which is also funded by USAID. NDI specifically mentions CEPPS on its partners page, where it thanks its donors.

NDI also expresses gratitude for the support of various governments and government-funded multilateral institutions. They include various UN agencies and the least democratic and most corrupt of international organizations.

Not only does NDI receive US government funds directly from the State Department and USAID, so does its implementing partner CEPPS. The money trail appears to go from the US government, to NDI, to the partners of NDI, which in turn give money and assistance back to NDI. This is non-governmental?

The racket of so-called NGOs, which are joined at the hip with government, appears to be a lucrative and potent business model. It feeds off government funds to opaquely promote a radical agenda that would most assuredly be democratically rejected if subjected to the vote in most Third World countries.

NGOs need to come clean about the government-inspired agendas they have been contracted to implement.

NDI does accept funds from certain nongovernmental sources. One stand out is the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the radically progressive (woke) and antidemocratic organization that used its political power to deny children their right to a quality education during COVID-19 lockdowns, which the AFT also fervently supported.

AFT President Randi Weingarten is so beholden to the US government that she visited Ukraine to support the US proxy war there, when foreign policy has nothing to do with her field of responsibility. Under Weingarten, the woke AFT has also supported the indoctrination of minor students into radical, racially divisive, and antidemocratic ideologies—even against their parents’ consent and without their knowledge.

Any organization that purports to promote democracy cannot have Weingarten on its board.

It gets worse. On NDI’s board of directors sit the likes of Stacey Abrams, Donna Brazile, and Michael McFaul. Abrams is a known election denier. Brazile is a documented election interferer who admitted to feeding the Hillary Clinton campaign the questions prior to CNN’s Democrat Party primary debate during the 2016 presidential election. McFaul is a famed anti-Trump Russia hoaxer who gladly whitewashes factual reports documenting credible evidence of epic corruption by the Biden family.

Any organization that purports to promote democracy would also steer clear of disgraced characters such as the likes of McFaul, Abrams, and Brazile. NDI has chosen not to do so. Likewise, USAID has no business working with organizations that violate the basic precepts of democracy. As long as USAID continues to do so, it has no legitimacy to promote democracy in countries like Guatemala.

The Guatemalan authorities have an obligation to block all politically oriented USAID disbursements. They would be doing the US taxpayer a favor.

Nicholas Virzi

Nicholas Virzi is dean of the ASTRA Institute for Leadership and Governance.

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