by James Jordan (Alliance for Global Justice)

The Solidarity Center office in Bogotá has received an unusually large two-year grant of $3 million for its operations in the Andean Region. The scope and dimensions of the grant are not fully known, nor the exact programs to which it will be applied. However, given the history of the Bogotá office and the Solidarity Center’s Andean representatives, observers expect the grant to have major implications for the countries of Colombia and Venezuela, where the office’s work is usually concentrated. The Andean region also covers Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. The Solidarity Center has offices both in Colombia and Peru.

The grant comes from USAID (the United States Agency for International Development). The office receives notice of this funding at the same time that three key developments are underway–in Venezuela, the coming October elections, and in Colombia, the implementation of the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, coinciding with a massive popular mobilization to demand a political solution to the armed and social conflict.  READ MORE….

Invitation to join the Honduras Human Rights Primary Elections Accompaniment Delegation – Nov. 18, 2012 LIBRE, the party of the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP), is holding primary elections for President and National Assembly on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. The FNRP is the organization uniting labor, teachers, students, campesino, Afro-Honduran, and indigenous groups, LGBT, artists, and former Liberal party members in opposition to the June 28, 2009 coup and the illegitimate government of Porfirio Lobo spawned by the coup. The FNRP created LIBRE to attempt to return democracy through the ballot box in national elections to be held in November 2013. Two LIBRE pre-candidates have already been assassinated. The FNRP has asked for international human rights accompaniment on its primary voting day of November 18, 2012 to help achieve a peaceful voting day and to document human rights abuses if they occur.

Sponsored by the Honduras Solidarity Network

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by Bruce Wilkinson, AfGJ Grassroots Coordinator

The former US Ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy, wrote a paper this week describing a range of military, financial and diplomatic measures for the US to take against the Chavez government after the Venezuelan elections on October 7th. Missing from the paper was the measure that makes the most sense. That measure is that the US should not interfere in any way with Venezuela.  READ MORE…

by James Jordan

With elections in Venezuela less than three weeks away, the Alliance for Global Justice is deeply concerned about the possibilities for US interference in the country’s electoral affairs.Our biggest concern has to do with the possibilities of an orchestrated effort to destabilize or overthrow Venezuela’s elected government in the event of a probable reelection of President Hugo Chavez. Especially troubling are the words of Patrick Duddy, former Ambassador to Venezuela under President Bush. Writing for the Council of Foreign Relations, Duddy recommended that “If the election results appear fraudulent…the United States should encourage international pressure” including such tactics as acting to “…freeze individual bank accounts of key figures…and seize assets in the United States. It could also arrange for the proceeds of Venezuelan government-owned corporate entities like CITGO to be held in escrow accounts” and could “block access to CITGO’s refining facilities….” Duddy goes on to discuss military options, stating that “…while Chavez loyalists dominate the Venezuelan high command, it is not clear to what extent they control the middle ranks.”

Duddy’s concern regarding “fraudulent” elections either is not founded in objective reality or, worse, is the kind of pre-election posturing used to justify some sort of intervention down the line.  READ MORE…

Welcome to the Respect for Democracy Campaign website.  The Respect for Democracy Campaign is an ongoing project in favor of broad based, participatory democracy, and against efforts to undermine democratic processes around the world.  When elections are manipulated, it is usually to benefit an elite few by taking power from working families and communities–from real, grassroots majorities.

A major goal of the Respect for Democracy Campaign is the closing of the misnamed National Endowment for Democracy.  The NED was created by Congress in 1983 and is more than 90% funded by US taxes.  Yet it is officially designated a private organization–thus it carries out foreign policy efforts in the name of US citizens, with US taxes, but with no meaningful public oversight.  This has lead to many abuses, such as NED funding and coordination of the groups that overthrew Haiti’s elected government in 2004, leading to the bloodiest year in Haiti’s modern history.  And this is just one example.  For instance, in Nicaragua, in 1990, the NED spent more than $20 per voter to influence the presidential elections–more than had been spent per voter by both the Mondale and Bush, Sr. campaigns in the 1998 US elections!  The NED has even supported  parties and groups in Europe with ties to the most far right wing elements, such as NED work with convicted Nazi collaborator Lazslo Pasztor.

Alan Weinstein, co-founder of the NED, boasted to the Washington Post that, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Please–take a look around out website and find out more about groups like the NED and how you can join the Respect for Democracy Campaign, help close the NED, and bring power back to the people!

To contact the Respect for Democracy Campaign:

email, respect4democracy@afgj.org; phone, 202-544-9355; address, Respect for Democracy Campaign/1247 E Street SE/Washington, DC  20003

HEAR A HALF HOUR INTERVIEW ON CHICAGO PUBLIC RADIO WITH JAMES JORDAN OF THE RESPECT FOR DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN:

Respect For Democracy

Latin American Solidarity