More than 10 bands were hired in 2011 to produce music promoting “freedom of expression” in Venezuela.
$ 22,970 plan was to culminate in a mega-concert and was approved by the interventionist National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The grant application, which has entire paragraphs crossed out, was shared on Twitter by Tim Gill, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, following a request from the Freedom of Information Act.
Have to share this.
Going through documents I FOIA’d from the government.
In 2011, the U.S. through the National Endowment for Democracy funded “rock groups” in Venezuela to write songs about freedom of expression. It paid a producer, recorded the songs, and distributed them. pic.twitter.com/UZJJNCDPia
— Tim Gill (@timgill924) May 27, 2020
One of the objectives of this project was “to promote greater reflection among Venezuelan youth about freedom of expression, its connection to democracy and the state of democracy in the country,” which Gill called revelations “unorthodox but not surprising. ”
Although the George W. Bush administration organized a military coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002, in 2011 the Obama administration was apparently exploring “soft” measures to undermine Hugo Chávez leadership in the year of his convalescence due to a cancer that ended his life.
“The NED supported many causes to promote democracy, not all of them dire,” said Gill, “but the point is that it has the ability to fund some voices rather than others.” A political spokesman who was active in the opposition shared some images that give ideas.
Octubre The NGO “A world without a gag”, led by the fugitive Gustavo Tovar Arroyo, organized a concert in Plaza Sadel in the exclusive area of Las Mercedes in October 2016. Tovar is accused of financing “Mexican party” that trained participating guarimberos of “La Salida” in 2014.
Tovar is recognized as “ideological mentor” of Yon Goicochea, Daniel Ceballos, Freddy Guevara and Rodrigo Diamanti(Anti-Chavistas politicians). Other NGOs openly linked to anti-Chavism such as Foro Penal and Provea have co-organized these concerts and criminally defend Guarimberos.
According to La Tabla, the Tovar NGO, chaired by Rodrigo Diamanti, accused of possessing explosives, is promoting a campaign to activate DirecTV’s “free signal” for Venezuela, even though his cessation is the product of the economic sanctions requested by anti-chavism.
It is not the only time that the US has tried to undermine popularity through culture in Latin American countries that it does not dominate. In 2014, it was revealed that USAID had been secretly trying to infiltrate Cuba’s underground hip-hop scene.
The program, along with others from USAID in Cuba, was inspired by Serbian student protests that helped overthrow President Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 and was advised by music promoter Rajko Bozic. “Los Aldeanos” Aldo Rodriguez and El B. participated.
In a report that discusses various propaganda tactics of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the newspaper El País analyzes its alleged links with the song Wind of change (Wind of change, 1990), symbol of the end of the Soviet Union.
None of the plots seems to have given many tangible results, much less clear why Venezuela’s plan focused on rock music in a country whose waves are dominated by salsa, merengue and reggaeton.