Posts Tagged ‘National Endowment for Democracy’

 The Cold War and the Origins of US Democracy Promotion

Robert Pee

U.S. Studies Online   Forum for New Writing

May 8, 2014

Soft power is the power to influence foreign governments, foreign publics, and world public opinion through the non-forcible projection of culture, ideology and political value systems. Soft power, in short, as its foremost scholar Joseph Nye explains, is “attractive power”. It has been a key facet of US foreign policy since the outbreak of the Cold War and its significance has continued to grow through the expansion of global communication networks and the ideological conflicts of the post-9/11 era.

This Featured Blog Series interrogates US soft power in terms of its historical and contemporary deployment, investigating the strategies, organisational frameworks and tactics which have shaped the US deployment of soft power, how this deployment has interacted with other foreign policy tools, and how overseas populations and elites have received US soft power and negotiated its meaning.

NEDDuring its time in office the Bush administration channelled over $1 billion to Arab democrats through the US Agency for International Development, the State Department and the Middle East Partnership Initiative,[1] with much of this funding going to democratic groups in previously-favoured dictatorships, such as Egypt. The Bush administration argued that the shift was necessary to safeguard US security by containing Islamist movements.[2] This equation between support for democratic groups overseas and US national security was not new, however; instead, the idea originated during the final stages of the Cold War, when a loose network of American intellectuals persuaded the Reagan administration to support the foundation of the National Endowment for Democracy. According to this network, strengthening pro-US parties and civil society groups in the Third World could be used to shore up the Washington’s geopolitical position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union by blocking Marxist movements from seizing power in allied dictatorships.

Democracy promotion was conceptualised by actors outside the national security bureaucracy from 1972 onwards to resolve the strategic and organisational tensions which had marked US attempts to export democracy as a tool of national power in the Cold War. Strategically, policy-makers had disagreed over whether to support authoritarian regimes in the Third World or democratising economic and social reforms. Those who advocated support for right-wing dictatorships argued that attempts to create democratic governments would destabilise friendly states and possibly result in Communist takeovers; supporters of the democratic option claimed that it was the repression and inequality which characterised dictatorships that drove Third World populations to support Communist movements.[3] This division in the foreign policy elite led to an incoherent and disjointed strategic approach, in which democratising reforms were supported in some cases but not in others, and were often soft-pedalled or abandoned if they began to threaten existing US interests. Organisationally, the state had struggled to direct a covertly-funded state-private network of US civil society groups, deployed to co-opt key foreign demographic groups to the US cause, in a way that both preserved the credibility of US groups as private actors and was effective in achieving national security goals.[4]

Democracy promotion was proposed after these modes of intervention had declined. The exposure of the state-private network’s covert state funding in 1967[5] destroyed the credibility of the groups involved as private actors, and thus their operational effectiveness, while the Nixon administration implemented an overall strategy of supporting authoritarian regimes to contain Communist/radical movements. The basic blueprint for democracy promotion was outlined shortly after by William Douglas, a development theorist.

The new democratisation strategy outlined by Douglas strove to avoid the strategic dilemma which had led the state apparatus to implement inconsistent policies, and the credibility issues caused by the exposure of covert funding of private groups. Strategically, Douglas called for a democracy campaign embracing the whole Third World arguing that the creation of democratic states would produce governments less vulnerable to Communist subversion and prevent the West from being cut off from important raw materials.[6] To achieve this, socioeconomic reforms and the projection of democratic ideology should be replaced by direct aid to democratic parties overseas delivered by a non-state League for Democracy composed of Western and Third World democratic parties. This organisational arrangement would ease disagreements over whether the US should support dictatorships or democratic reform as the best guarantee of stability in the Third World, as the US government could maintain its support for dictatorships in the short-term while handing over diplomatically sensitive reform programs to a non-state actor, meaning that both strategies could be pursued simultaneously. The credibility problems caused by the exposure of the state-private network’s covert funding in 1967 could be solved by making government contributions to the League overt and transparent, or by turning to foundation grants or private donations as sources of funding. However, neither the Executive nor US civil society were interested in the idea initially. The Nixon administration believed efforts to democratise friendly dictatorships to be destabilising, while many US liberals linked democratisation and modernisation to the failure of US policy in Vietnam.

This changed in the second half of the 1970s as the US faced a growing wave of Third World revolutions,[7] re-opening the question of how political intervention could best be implemented to block the emergence of radical governments. The Carter administration attempted to steer a middle course between support for authoritarianism or democratisation by pressuring existing dictatorships to liberalise in order to defuse popular anger while leaving the structures of the regimes essentially unchanged – the essence of Carter’s Human Rights policy in the Third World.[8]However, the administration proved unable to implement the competing policies of preserving relations with allied authoritarian regimes and fostering reform through the US national security bureaucracy. Pressure for reform was often blunted or blocked by bureaucratic struggles between the Bureau of Human Rights and other agencies such as the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, the State Department’s Bureau for Security Assistance, and the Department’s regional bureaux, which sought to preserve relations with friendly authoritarian regimes such as the Philippines and Pakistan.[9]

Politicians in the Democratic Party offered a solution to this problem by founding a non-state organisation which could act as a channel for such initiatives outside the state apparatus – the American Political Foundation – in 1979. The APF was inspired by the West German Party Foundations: political training institutes, each linked to a West German political party, which implemented political assistance programs overseas with West German government funds.[10] The APF was established by George Agree, a former Congressional aide to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to follow this example by forging transnational party links to defend and extend democracy.[11] However, the organisation was small and lacked a clear strategy, adequate funding from business or foundations[12] and support from the Carter White House.

The decisive shift which opened up the possibility of convergence between non-state democracy promoters and the national security bureaucracy was the failure of Carter’s policies to prevent revolution in Nicaragua. The administration had failed to manage the competing imperatives of pressuring the Somoza dictatorship to liberalise so as to draw popular support away from the Marxist FSLN insurgency, while maintaining a regime strong enough to combat the insurgents militarily. The administration’s last-ditch attempt to remove Somoza in favour of a government of pro-US democrats to ward off the final FSLN victory failed because its chosen proxies within Nicaragua lacked the political skills and organisational strength to block a revolutionary takeover.[13]

A solution to this problem was conceived by Michael Samuels of the CSIS, who contacted the APF in early 1980. Samuels proposed that political aid programs to strengthen democrats in friendly authoritarian states threatened with revolution should be begun before these revolutions materialised. These programs would create strong pro-US political movements which could take power after the breakdown of a dictatorship and block revolutionary takeovers, preserving the target country’s geopolitical alliance with the US. They would be carried out through the “American Political Development Foundation”, a semi-private organisation receiving US government money overtly[14] — a further development of Douglas’ League for Democracy and Agree’s APF, but one which was wholly American rather than transnational, and tied to a current and specific US foreign policy problem, which made it more likely to gain the support of policy-makers.

Samuels’ proposal led to the coalescence of a loose network of non-state democracy promoters, including Douglas and the APF, which successfully lobbied the Reagan administration to support the initiative.[15] This led to the foundation of the legally private but government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, headed by Carl Gershman, a neoconservative and former Reagan administration official, in 1983 to channel funding to democratic groups overseas.[16] Under Reagan and George H.W. Bush the organisation aided the democratic forces which succeeded pro-US dictatorships in the Philippines and Chile, and those which replaced Marxist governments in Nicaragua and Poland,[17] thus safeguarding US national security interests in the final phase of the Cold War. The NED’s programs were also precursors of the later governmental initiatives in USAID and the State Department deployed by George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the Middle East. The NED itself is still active and counts among its board members former George W. Bush administration figures, such as previous NSC official Elliott Abrams, responsible for policy towards the Near East and Global Democracy Strategy, and Zalmay Khalilzad, former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq.[18]

The origins of US democracy promotion were bound up with the search for an effective method of preventing the emergence of revolutionary governments in the Third World, which could damage Washington’s geopolitical position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. The democracy promoters’ solution to the strategic dilemma of whether to support dictatorships to achieve short-term stability or democratic reform to create long-term stability was to lodge democracy programs in a non-state organisation. This would make democracy programs credible to Third World democrats and plausibly deniable to dictatorships, allowing the US to support dictatorships and strengthen democratic successor movements simultaneously. The strategic considerations which originally drove Cold War democracy promotion reappeared in US foreign policy towards the Middle East after the 9/11 attacks,  with the growth of democracy being expected to contain a disparate collection of Islamist groups, rather than Marxist rebels supposedly acting at the behest of Moscow.

However, previous strategic tensions re-emerged as the George W. Bush and Obama administrations both soft-pedalled democracy promotion in friendly Middle Eastern states such as Egypt when it clashed with immediate geopolitical objectives,[19] and were able to do so because the US government funds the NED and now implements the bulk of US democracy promotion programs.[20] Due to this back-tracking the fall of the authoritarian Mubarak regime was followed by a power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military rather than a pro-US democratic successor elite. Thus, the tension between the pursuit of democracy and short-term US national security interests, which democracy promotion was originally generated to resolve, continues to operate as a basic feature of US foreign policy.


[1] Eric Patterson, “Obama and Sustainable Democracy Promotion”, International Studies Perspectives, 13 (2012): 29.

[2] Bush argued in 2003 that “As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export.” George W. Bush, “Remarks at the 20thanniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy,” 6th November 2003, available from http://www.ned.org/george-w-bush/remarks-by-president-george-w-bush-at-the-20th-anniversary, accessed 2nd May 2014.

[3] Compare the assertion of George Humphrey, Eisenhower’s Treasury Secretary that “whenever a dictator was replaced, communists gained” with Kennedy’s argument that “Dictatorships are the seedbed from which communism ultimately springs up.” Quoted from Tony Smith, America’s Mission: The United States and the Worldwide Struggle for Democracy in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1993), 192 and David F. Schmitz, The United States and Right-wing Dictatorships, 1965-1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 261.

[4] For further details on the state-private network see Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2008).

[5] Tity de Vries, “The 1967 Central Intelligence Agency Scandal: Catalyst in a Transforming Relationship between State and People,” Journal of American History 98, no. 4 (2012).

[6]William A. Douglas, Developing Democracy (Washington DC: Heldref Publications, 1972).

[7] Richard Saull, The Cold War and After: Capitalism, Revolution and Superpower Politics (London: Pluto Press, 2007), 139.

[8] James Earl Carter, Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President (Fayetteville, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press, 1982), 143; and also Anonymous, “Presidential Review Memorandum 28: Human Rights”, Jimmy Carter Library, 8th July 1977, accessed 20th March 2009, http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org/documents/pddirectives4.

[9] Victor Kaufman, “The Bureau of Human Rights during the Carter Administration,” The Historian 61, no. 1 (1998).

[10] Donald M. Fraser, “A Proposal that the Democratic National Committee employ at least one staff member assigned to follow and work with political movements abroad”, 1977, Folder 6: Reports and Proposals, Box 1, George E. Agree Papers, Library of Congress, hereafter LOC.

[11] George Agree, “Proposal for a pilot study of international cooperation between democratic political parties,” 9thMay 1977, Box 1, Folder 6: Reports and Proposals, Box 1, George E. Agree Papers, LOC.

[12] Difficulties with securing funding were mentioned in the minutes of organisation’s annual board meetings in 1980 and 1981. See APF, “Minutes of 1980 Annual Meeting, Board of Directors of American Political Foundation”, 19thMarch 1980 and “APF, Minutes of 1981 Annual Meeting, Board of Directors of American Political Foundation”, 7th July 1981, Folder 3: APF Minutes, Box 1, George E. Agree Papers, LOC.

[13] See Robert A. Pastor, Not Condemned to Repetition: the United States and Nicaragua, (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 2002), 82-99 and Morris H. Morley, Washington, Somoza and the Sandinistas: State and Regime in US Policy towards Nicaragua 1969-1981 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994), 174-181.

[14] Michael A Samuels, Project Proposal: A Comprehensive Policy Response to Expanding U.S. Interests in the Third World, 1980, 1, attached to George Agree, Letter to Mr Michael A. Samuels, 15th February 1980, Folder 1: APF Correspondence, Box 1, George E. Agree Papers, LOC.

[15] See General Accounting Office, Events Leading to the Establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy, 6th July 1984, accessed 27th December 2006, http://www.gao.gov/products/NSIAD-84-121, 1, for meetings between democracy promoters and officials and Alexander Haig, memo to the President, 8th March 1982, DDRS, accessed 11thDecember 2006, for the proposal of a semiprivate democracy institute to Reagan in the wake of these meetings.

[16] Nicholas Guilhot, The Democracy Makers: Human Rights and International Order (New York, Chichester: Columbia University Press, 2005), 90.

[17]William I. Robinson, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention and Hegemony (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 129-137, 175-193 and 221-239; Thomas Carothers, In the Name of Democracy: US Policy Toward Latin America in the Reagan Years (Berkeley & Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1991), 94-95 and 158-160; and Gregory Domber “Supporting the Revolution: America, Democracy and the End of the Cold War in Poland, 1981-1989” (PhD thesis, George Washington University, 2008),  accessed 15th July 2013, http://transatlantic.sais-jhu.edu/ACES/ACES_Working_Papers/Gregory_Domber

_Supporting_the_Revolution.pdf, 209-216, 335-350 and 410-411

[18] See http://ned.org/about/board, accessed 3rd May 2014.

[19] Fawaz Gerges, Obama and the Middle East: The End of America’s Moment (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 162-164.

[20] The Obama administration cut US government funding for democracy promotion in Egypt and restored the Egyptian government’s ability to veto the transfer of US funds to Egyptian groups, thus limiting the freedom of USAID and of NDI and IRI, NED’s Republican and Democratic Party Institutes, which provide aid to foreign democratic political parties. Richard S. Williamson, “Turning a Blind Eye to Egypt”, September 30th 2010, available from http://www.iri.org/news-events-press-center/news/iri-board-member-richard-williamson-urges-support-egypts-democratic-ac, accessed 26th April 2014

blog snapshotRobert Pee has recently graduated the University of Birmingham with a PhD. His thesis, titled “Democracy Promotion, National Security and Strategy under the Reagan Administration: 1981-1986”, examines the relationship of democracy promotion to national security in US strategy, with a particular focus on the origins of the National Endowment for Democracy and on democracy promotion during the Reagan administration. His research interests include US Democracy Promotion during the Cold War and the War on Terror, national security strategy, the role of non-state actors in the formation and execution of US foreign policy, and US policy towards the Arab Spring

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The NED in Action: US Democracy Promotion in Chile and Nicaragua, 1988 – 1989

Mara Sankey

U.S. Studies Online   Forum for New Writing

July 7, 2014

Throughout the Cold War, the United States regularly intervened directly and covertly in Latin American politics. However, from the late 1970s US foreign policy rhetoric began to focus on promoting democracy abroad, and the National Endowment for Democracy was established by Congress in 1983 as an autonomous organisation with the aim of “[creating] new opportunities for democratic assistance”.[1] Although its funding came in the form of a block grant from Congress, the NED board was made up of private citizens with no formal connection to the US government. Before 1988, the Congress did not dictate how the grant was spent, it was to be used in whatever way the NED board saw fit according to their personal and organisational priorities and without reference to short term US-foreign policy. However, in 1988 and 1989 Congress granted the NED two special appropriations specifically to assist democratic movements in Chile’s 1988 plebiscite[2] and in Nicaragua before the 1990 elections.[3] Under the guise of promoting democracy, these appropriations furthered US policy and influence within the two countries.

Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24014501

General Pinochet’s controversial period of rule (1973-90) Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24014501

Since 1973, Chile had been ruled by a military junta led by General Pinochet. The 1988 plebiscite was part of the junta’s timetable for transition; if the regime lost, elections would be held the following year. The plebiscite provoked an international response, with foreign governments, including the Reagan Administration, calling for democratic transition and financial and technical aid pouring into Chile from international NGOs and political foundations.[4]However, NED support of Chilean democratic opposition groups had begun before the $1 million Congressional appropriation was granted in 1988. In 1986, the Endowment began providing support to the Central Democrática de Trabajadores (CDT), a small union affiliated with Chile’s Christian Democratic Party, whose strong anti-communist line made it a more favourable candidate for funding than the more influential but militant Comando Nacional de Trabajadores (CNT).[5] Although the American Institute for Free Labour Development, which administered this NED grant, stated that through funding the CDT it sought to “contribute to the restoration of the democratic political structure of Chile[6]”, the funding of this less influential organisation suggests that the NED’s key priorities were countering militancy and building US influence within the centre-right of the opposition movement.

The 1988 appropriation for Chile, although part of a concentrated effort by the US government to distance itself from the Pinochet regime, was the first time Congress had dictated how the NED spent its budget. This caused suspicion amongst NED beneficiaries in Latin America and worry within the grantee organisations through which it channelled funds. The Chairmen of one grantee suggested that the appropriation called the NED’s status as an independent private sector group into question.[7] Similarly, the NED’s president worried that the appropriation would cause controversy in beneficiary nations.[8] Their worries were not unfounded as the sudden involvement of Congress gave the impression of, if not a loss of independence, then at least a strengthening of the relationship between the NED and the US government. In Chile, this made beneficiaries reluctant to accept funding from NED grantees.[9] A member of the Christian Democrat Party suggested that NED funding contained “moral dilemmas” and, while this attitude did not stop opposition organisations from accepting NED aid, it did make it difficult for the NED to find new beneficiaries.[10]

The funding programme was designed to counteract restrictions placed on the opposition including restrictions on assembly rights, harassment and, perhaps most importantly, restricted access to television slots.[11] While NED funding assisted the No Campaign in reaching a wider cross-section of Chilean society and in strengthening the infrastructures of many of the moderate opposition organisations, it also opened the opposition up to criticism from the Pinochet government and anti-US groups (particularly on the left).

 Source: http://www.julioetchart.com/portfolio_chile.html

‘While NED funding assisted the No Campaign…it also opened the opposition up to criticism from the Pinochet government and anti-US groups.’ Image source: http://www.julioetchart.com/portfolio_chile.html

In June 1988, El Mercurio, La Tercera and La Nacióncriticised the NED’s programmes.[12] El Mercurioaccused the NED of interfering in Chilean domestic politics, stating that the assistance was “not a neutral and impartial option to promote democracy”.[13] In addition, the Chilean Ambassador to the US wrote a letter to the House of Representatives which questioned why the NED was attempting to promote democratic values in Chile when that was the purpose of the plebiscite.[14] Thus, the NED’s perceived closeness to the US government allowed the Pinochet regime to paint its beneficiaries as co-opted by foreign aid. Moreover, the close relationship the NED was attempting to build with moderate opposition groups led many Chileans to question its bipartisan commitments.

While the impact of NED funding on the outcome of the plebiscite is difficult to assess, it did alter the power and influence structures within the democratic opposition. Although the funding programme was designed to tip the balance of the plebiscite towards the No Campaign, the NED acted to support broader US foreign policy concerns by helping Washington develop stronger relationships with moderate centre and centre-right Chilean opposition groups before the transition. Democratic transition in Chile was of interest only as far as the outcome benefitted the US and, as a result, the NED channelled money into organisations which were US-friendly over organisations which may have been more effective at promoting transition.

In 1989 Nicaragua, unlike Chile, was undergoing a democratic experiment. The leftist Sandinista government, which had taken power after the 1979 revolution, had held and won international validated elections in 1984; however, it controlled the Council of State, a national council made up of representatives of different political and functional groups, and had a strong influence over Nicaraguan civil society.[15] Since 1982, as part of its anti-communist crusade, the Reagan administration had sought to destabilise the Sandinista regime by funding an armed coalition of Nicaraguan opposition forces, the Contras, to wage an extensive guerrilla war in Nicaragua. Although the US withdrew most of the aid in 1988 after a scandal concerning the illegal methods by which the administration secured funds for the Contras and repeated accusations of human rights abuses, the administration continued to voice support for the Contras and to attempt to discredit the Sandinista government.

Image source http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id327.htm

Part of the Reagan administration’s ‘anti-communist crusade’. Image source http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id327.htm

Given the interventionist and aggressive nature of US policy towards Nicaragua in the 1980s, the 1989 NED appropriation appeared to be an abrupt shift; however, it did not mark a policy change but rather a new method of implementing this policy.

Although the 1989 appropriation was modelled broadly on that given for Chile, it differed in several key ways. First, the NED had received $1 million to provide aid in Chile whereas it was given $5 million to provide the same type of programme in Nicaragua, reflecting differences in US priorities in the region. Opponents of the appropriation suggested that this quantity of aid would distort the election process. Unlike in Chile, where political parties had received no direct aid, Nicaragua’s opposition coalition, the UNO, received a large proportion of the appropriation directly. This proved controversial since the NED was forbidden from funding parties or political candidates. To work around this, it never gave the UNO unrestricted cash grants. Instead, it organised education programmes for leaders of the coalition parties, provided assistance to improve communication between parties[16] and funds for vehicle maintenance, salaries and office equipment.[17] These grants were justified with the claim that they were not funding the campaign but rather helping to “[build] party infrastructure”.[18]

Congressional opponents of the appropriation did not believe that the US had a responsibility to assist the opposition further because they believed that by damaging Nicaragua’s economy through prolonging the Contra war, blocking international bank lending and placing a trade embargo on the country, the US had already tipped the balance of the election.[19] Moreover, accusations of NED partisanship were corroborated by the organisation’s long-standing relationship with the UNO presidential candidate, Violeta Chamorro and the NED and the antagonistic relationship between the US government, the NED and the Sandinistas throughout the 1980s. The US had refused to recognise Nicaragua’s 1984 election and, in the mid-1980s, PRODEMCA, an organisation through which the NED channelled funds was found to have openly advocated funding the Contras, while the Sandinistas had repeatedly accused the NED of being a CIA front and of trying to provoke civil unrest to justify US action against Nicaragua.[20]

The primary aim of the NED’s Nicaraguan programme for Nicaragua was to remove the Sandinistas rather than to support free and fair elections. The US focus on Nicaragua during the 1980s resulted in a significantly larger appropriation than that given for Chile and, instead of funding civic education or technical programmes as in Chile, the NED-funded programmes in Nicaragua provided direct aid to the UNO. This direct funding of the UNO coalition, combined with the NED’s close relationships with opposition leaders, suggests that it was operating primarily in the interests of US national security to remove the Sandinista government.


Interventions in domestic politics were ‘under the pretence of democracy promotion’. Image source: http://www.american.com/archive/2009/march-2009/slouching-to-populism/

The NED’s involvement in these transitions is an example of the US using non-state electoral aid as a foreign policy tool. Both programmes attempted to generate outcomes favourable to US interests by intervening in domestic politics under the pretence of democracy promotion. The partisan approach to aid distribution and the NED’s apparent loss of independence through the appropriations led to distrust of the organisation and contributed to confrontations with local governments. Furthermore, in many cases accepting NED funds hindered beneficiaries by enabling their opponents to paint them as dependent on foreign aid and co-opted by the US. Although, legally, autonomous from the US government, in both Chile and Nicaragua the NED’s programmes constituted a key aspect of US foreign policy. Through special appropriations, the US was able to channel money to friendly organisations and exert subtle influence over the two countries without risking an international incident.


[1] Library of Congress, US Congress House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Authorising appropriations for fiscal years 1984 and 1985 for the Department of State, the United States Information Agency, the Board for International Broadcasting, the Inter-American Foundation and the Asia Foundation, to establish the National Endowment for Democracy and for other purposes, Bill(98) H.R. 2915 (1983), p 87

[2] National Endowment for Democracy, Annual Report 1988, Library of Congress, JC421.N37a (1988)

[3] Library of Congress, National Endowment for Democracy Records, Series 2, Box 2, Folder 35, Summary of Programs for Nicaragua Funded by the Special Appropriation (1989)

[4] For information on the involvement of European groups in the plebiscite, see Grugel, Jean “Supporting Democratisation: A European View: European Political Parties and Latin America” in European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, No. 60, (June 1996)

[5] Library of Congress, National Endowment for Democracy, Annual Report 1985, JC421.N37a, p 14

[6] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 3.1, Box 7, Folder 33, AIFLD-NED Quarterly Report (July – September 1986)

[7] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 3.1, Box 7, Folder 27, Letter from Edward Donley to William Brock III (Apr 29 1988)

[8] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 2, Box 1, Folder 4, Memo from Gershman to NED Board of Directors (May 29, 1990)

[9] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 3.1, Box 7, Folder 27, Letter from Edward Donley to William Brock III (Apr 29 1988)

[10] For full lists of organisations funded by the NED year on year see the NED Annual Reports.

[11] For further information on the restrictions context of the plebiscite see Chile: Human Rights and the PlebisciteAn Americas Watch Report (New York: The Americas Watch Committee, 1988)

[12] US State Department, Santiago Embassy to the State Department, El Mercurio Editorialises on NED Funding, Heavy Press Coverage Continues, <http://foia.state.gov/searchapp/DOCUMENTS%5CStateChile3%5C00007A3A.pdf&gt; (7th June 1988) 

[13] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 3.1, Box 8, Folder 22, Translation of El Mercurio Editorial: NED Assistance (5 June 1988)

[14] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 3.1, Box 8, Folder 22, Letter from Hernán to Norman Shumway (15 June 1988)

[15] For further information on the Council of State and the structure of the Nicaraguan political system at this time see Vanden, H. E. and Prevost, G., Democracy and Socialism in Sandinista Nicaragua (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1993), pp 49 – 71

[16] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 2, Box 7, Folder 35, Summary of Programs for Nicaragua Funded by the Special Appropriation (1989)

[17] Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus, Updated Alert: Aid to the Nicaraguan Opposition <http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com/nsa/documents/NI/03201/all.pdf&gt; (Oct 1989) p 2

[18] Ibid, p 3

[19] Ibid, p 4

[20] Library of Congress, NED Records, Series 2, Box 1, Folder 3, Cables concerning the Sandinista attack on the NED (1985)

Mara Sankey

s200_mara_sankeyMara Sankey is a final year PhD student at University College London. Herthesis, provisionally entitled “Promoting Democracy? The Role of Non-State Actors in inter-American Relations 1980 – 1993”, will focus on the involvement of three US-based non-state actors in US policy towards Latin America under the governments of Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Her research interests include, the role of NGOs, political foundations and other non-state actors in US inter-American policy, authoritarian government and democratic transition in Latin America and the role of social movements and civil society in US and Latin American politics.

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