USAID/CIA supporting dictators and stifling democracy - exclusive interview
USAID has been expelled from the Russian Federation because in the Government’s opinion they attempted to influence the internal political processes in the country. What can you tell our listeners about USAID and similar things they’ve done in other countries?
One thing you need to understand is that it is not acceptable in the US in the political process to give foreign aid. Basically ever since Ronald Reagan was the President, President or Congress people who advocated for doing foreign aid came under a lot of criticism politically. And generally the idea is that it is only really acceptable to give foreign aid if there is some kind of military or economic advantage in giving aid to that country. But you can’t really tell this from walking at the USAID website. Clearly their main focus is not to give foreign aid to a country, it is basically to advance the US economic interests. On their website they divide the periods of influence into 1990-2000, 2000 and forward.
They state very clearly like between 1980 and 1990 the primary focus of the USAID was to promote free market, that kind of a cold word is to say – to promote neoliberalism which is a very specific US economics that promotes very limited Government, only in a form of police force or military force. They feel education should be privatized, medical care should be privatized, social services should be privatized. So, basically this is an attitude that the Government has really no role except to police the population and to expand military influence. And the USAID says this very clearly on their website. None of this is secret, we are not talking about the classified information. It is freely available information that you can read about on the USAID website, you can read in Foreign Relation Council documents and State Department documents.
Noam Chomsky who is a famous American dissident has done a lot of research into something that he calls “US grand area planning” as this been going on since the late 1930’es. And the notion is that there are certain regions of the world that really are expected to be subordinated to the needs of American planning, this is both economically and militarily. And since the WW II these areas have included the western hemisphere, the Far East and the former British Empire. And there’s been a very consistent policy by the US that we support totalitarian dictatorships in those regions. Latin America, they have a long history of direct military interventions where we just sent the marines down if, say, a country lacks a democratic leader, we invade, like we did in Grenada or like we did in Panama.
What can you tell us about the CIA using the USAID as a friend company?
It’s always been a friend company for the CIA. Started by Kenndy, by the executive order in 1961, during the 1980’es, when various Latin American countries began to try to overthrow some of these dictators that the US had installed, there was a very close collaboration between the AFL-CIO – which is the American federation of labour – and the USAID in order to work with potential labour activists there in order to basically suppress union organizing and to persuade the labour activists that they needed to cooperate with the corporations which for the most part were US corporations that were exploiting these countries.
What other types of organizations could USAID use and how could they be manipulated to bring about US advantage or US plans in a region?
They are mostly trying to promote the interests of US corporations. The CIA has very close connections with a number of corporations. There are a number of Wall Street banking interests that have been very closely associated with the CIA and also a number of specific companies that are very closely associated with the CIA.
And so, to a large extent in Latin America the function of the CIA was to suppress any local democracy movements and to suppress any local labour organizing that was going to interfere with the interests of the corporations because the corporations didn’t want to have unions where workers were making significant demands over wages and working conditions. And by having the CIA and the USAID and the AFL-CIO working closely to collaborate with the police and with the squads to arrest and kill union activists, they could prevent any union organizing from happening and that would keep the wages really low because that would increase the profit of the corporations.
Can you name any of these corporations and banks?
Coca-Cola was one. In Guatemala United Fruit Company. Over a long period of time mostly the people who were involved with the CIA were lawyers who would represent various banks, like John McCloy, he was a Wall Street lawyer who worked with the CIA and later became the President of the Ford Foundation. And he was the one that had the Ford Foundation collaborate very closely with the CIA. The Ford Foundation would accept a lot of funding from the CIA because the Ford Foundation was going into countries and doing development, or they would make it appear like they were really trying to help the people in that country, whereas they were really trying to suppress pro-democracy movements and pro-union movements. The Ford Foundation has also worked very closely with USAID.
So, you are saying it is in the US interests to suppress democracy?
What happened in the ME is that we also supported dictators – we supported Mubarak, we supported the Saudi royal family which is a very totalitarian Government, we supported the King of Jordan…
Yes, and here it wasn’t because we wanted to get cheap labour, here it was because the US wanted to maintain control of oil resources. And so through their support of these dictators they were able to suppress any pro-democracy movement that might be inclined to nationalize, their fear was that some of these countries would elect a pro-democratic government that would want to nationalize their oil industry.
Alright, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. You were listening to an interview with Stuart Bramhall. Thanks for listening.