WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — George Soros has been a major funder of Human Rights Watch (HRW) for many years and has never hesitated to use his influence in it and many other non-governmental organizations to advance his economic, political and cultural agendas, US analysts told Sputnik.
"Any non-profit organization that takes donations could be influenced by their donors. Human Rights Watch is no different than any other non-profit," Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland said in an interview.
However, Soros’s close identification with Human Rights Watch was also a potential liability for him in some of the countries he wanted to operate in, Eland cautioned.
"Soros could make political hay out of some of Human Rights Watch's findings, but in doing business in certain countries, it could also be a drawback for him that he has given money to Human Rights Watch, which has criticized that country's government's human right practices," Eland pointed out.
Executive Intelligence Review Editor Jeff Steinberg emphasized that the ties between Soros and Human Rights Watch were deep and went back a long time.
"Soros has been the number one funder of Human Rights Watch from its inception," Steinberg said. "Remember that Soros was a teenage Nazi collaborator in Hungary during the Nazi occupation, an experience he places great importance on in his learning how to profit ‘off of tough times’."
"Soros’ support for drug legalization is part of his twisted notion of ‘open society’ and he uses his vast network of NGOs [non-governmental organizations] to destabilize regimes that he sees as opposing Western liberal ‘open society,’’ Steinberg said. "For Soros, the open society is the permissive society, in which a kind of hedonistic calculus prevails."
But Soros was also adamant about keeping the sources of his wealth outside the control of the US and British governments, Steinberg observed.
"He carefully keeps his hedge funds offshore, and does not allow for American investors, so as to keep out of reach of the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] and other American regulatory agencies," he explained.
However, Steinberg also noted that in recent months, the Hungarian-born financier seemed to be retreating from his previous position of adamant hostility toward Russia and President Vladimir Putin.
"Soros is backing off from his staunch anti-Putin stances of recent years, as the European elites conclude that they need Russian help to turn back the hordes of refugees, something that requires ending the Syrian war and beginning an actual reconstruction," he pointed out.
At this year’s World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, Soros even supported an international Marshall Plan to rebuild the Middle East that was carried out in partnership with Russia, Steinberg noted.
However, Steinberg urged governments around the world to retain their caution and distrust in dealing with Soros, whose worth is now estimated at $24 billion.
"Soros is… not to be trusted. His philanthropy is all about color revolutions, regime change and drug culture," he added.
Since 2010, Soros is believed to have approved at least $100 million in direct funding for Human Rights Watch.