by WorldTribune Staff, March 28, 2018
A watchdog group has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records relating to U.S. government funds that were reportedly used by George Soros-backed groups to support left-wing political activities in Romania and Colombia.
Judicial Watch filed the suit against the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), seeking records of funding distributed to Soros’s Open Society Foundations in the two countries.
“It is time for Americans to be allowed to see State Department documentation regarding the public funding of Open Society Foundations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The billionaire George Soros needs zero assistance from taxpayers to promote his far-left agenda abroad.”
Judicial Watch noted that the Romanian Center for Independent Journalism, which is supported by the Soros-founded Open Society Institute in New York, recently received $17,000 from the State Department.
In February 2017, Laura Silber of Open Society Foundations reportedly condemned “illiberal governments” in the Balkans, such as Macedonia, Albania and Romania, for working against Soros NGOs. In Romania, in March 2017, the leader of the governing party reportedly charged that the Soros foundations “that he has funded since 1990 have financed evil.”
Judicial Watch noted that Soros’s NGOs in Colombia are reportedly receiving millions from USAID.
“Verdad Abierta, a web-based portal created by Teresa Ronderos, director of the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, boasts on its website that it receives support from USAID,” Judicial Watch said in a March 28 press release. “Abierta has helped rewrite Colombia’s history, elevating terrorists to the same level as the legitimate police and military forces, and rebranding decades of massacres, kidnappings, child soldiering, and drug trafficking by a criminal syndicate as simply ’50 years of armed conflict.’ ”
Additionally, Fundacion Ideas para la Paz, once led by peace negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, now a member of the oversight “junta,” is funded by the Open Society Foundations and has received more than $200,000 in U.S. tax dollars.
The left-wing news portal La Silla Vacia, another Open Society initiative, also boasts of being a USAID grantee. Its columnist, Rodrigo Uprimny, whose NGO DeJusticia also partners with USAID and Open Society, is considered one of the architects of the peace deal.
Former National Liberation Army terrorist Leon Valencia – Open Society collaborator and grantee – has received at least $1 million in USAID funding through his NGOs Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris and Paz y Reconciliacion, and left-wing news portal Las Dos Orillas, which he co-founded, Judicial Watch said.
“In 2016, Soros’ Open Society Foundations gave more than $3.3 million to organizations operating in Colombia. Several of those organizations have also been financially supported by the United States government, having received more than $5 million from the Department of State, USAID, and the Inter-American Foundation (a federal agency) in recent years,” Judicial Watch said. “One of the Soros-funded entities, an LGBT advocacy organization, was also selected by the Inter-American Foundation as a partner organization in its Colombia peace project initiative.”
Judicial Watch is also pursuing information about Soros’ activities in Macedonia and Albania.
In February 2017, Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government “has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia in collusion with George Soros.”