National Endowment for Democracy

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Group.png National Endowment for Democracy   Facebook MilitaristMonitor Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png 5
MottoSupporting freedom around the world.
Founder• Robert Pickus
• George Weigel
InterestsUS Sponsored Regime-change efforts since 1945
Sponsor ofPoynter Institute, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, Advocates for Community Alternatives, African Civic Leadership Program, Agora Cuba, Ashika Turks Community, Andrei Sakharov Foundation, Asia Catalyst, Bank Information Center, Boat People SOS, Center for a Free Cuba, Center for Justice and International Law, Center for Victims of Torture, China Aid Association, China Labor Watch, China Strategic Analysis Center, China Rights in Action, Chinese Feminist Collective, Civic Space Institute, Coda Media, Democratic China Incorporated, Eritrean Global Solidarity, EurasiaNet, Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Free Russia Foundation, Free Society Project, Freedom House, Friends of Angola, Institute for Asian Democracy, Institute of Modern Russia, International Center for Journalists, International Institute for Vietnam, International Tibet Network, Project on Middle East Democracy, Atlantic Council, Tides Center, Tibet Justice Center, Uighur Human Rights Project, World Affairs Institute, Index on Censorship, n-ost, Reporters Without Borders, TESEV, Friends of the Democratic Center in Central America, Detector Media, Foreign Policy Centre, Internews, Open Democracy, Center for European Policy Analysis, Albert Einstein Institution, Rappler, Forbidden Stories, Bellingcat, Article 19, Media Legal Defence Initiative, Forum on Information & Democracy, Anti-Slavery International, World Movement for Democracy, Global Disinformation Index
SubpageNational Endowment for Democracy/Board
The "traditional intermediary of the CIA", promoting the US "national interest" abroad by financing groups and individuals.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has been termed the "traditional intermediary of the CIA".[1][2]

Official narrative

The National Endowment for Democracy is a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organization in the United States founded in 1983 to advance democracy worldwide, by promoting political and economic institutions, such as political groups, trade unions, free markets, and business groups. The NED was created as a bipartisan, private grant-making foundation, funded primarily by an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress.[3][4]


Wikipedia terms it a "soft-power organization". The NED's president Carl Gershman explained, "It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60’s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created."[5]

New York Times reporter John Broder wrote in 1997 that NED was created:

“to do in the open what the Central Intelligence Agency has done surreptitiously for decades,”
John Broder (March 31, 1997)  [6]

Allen Weinstein, who worked in the same framework of NGO activity, commented about the general situation in an interview by the Washington Post in 1991:

“A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA,”
Allen Weinstein (September 22, 1991)  [7]

And CIA whistleblower Philip Agee described the NED as:

“Nowadays, instead of having the CIA going around behind the scenes and trying to manipulate the process by inserting money here and giving instructions secretly and so forth, they have now a sidekick, which is this National Endowment for Democracy, NED”
Philip Agee [8]

Frances Stonor Saunders, who researched covert CIA funding of cultural organizations during the Cold War, described it as:

“The NED is the umbilical cord of gold that leads directly back to Washington...And by this I’m not only referring to official U.S. government programmes, but to the vast network of clandestine players that plan and enact its information warfare operations. The cultural Cold War has never gone away, it’s just shifted from target to target.”
Frances Stonor Saunders (January 2022)  [9]


When the NED was founded, some in Congress thought it was important to wall the NED off from any association with the CIA, so a provision was included to bar the participation of any current or former CIA official. A Congressional aide who helped write the legislation told Robert Parry that "one night late in the 1983 session, as the bill was about to go to the House floor, the CIA’s congressional liaison came pounding at the door to the office of Rep. Dante Fascell, a senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a chief sponsor of the bill. The frantic CIA official conveyed a single message from CIA Director Casey: the language barring the participation of CIA personnel must be struck from the bill, the aide recalled, noting that Fascell consented to the demand, not fully recognizing its significance.[10]


In July 2015, Vladimir Putin banned the NED from Russia as the first "undesirable NGO".[11]

In 1993, Barbara Conry, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute an article on the group entitled "Loose Cannon: The National Endowment for Democracy".[12]

Steven Gowens has written that "The Dalai Lama is hardly a democrat, yet he has received Washington’s lucre for decades, including from the CIA and later the NED... old Tibet, then, was hardly a society of peace and tranquility ruled over by a benign ruler. It was a class society torn by conflict and predicated on brutal, naked, exploitation. Despite this, a February 16, 2010 NED press release describes the former Tibetan feudal overlord "not only as a moral and religious leader respected throughout the world but as a fellow democrat who shares America’s deepest values...The NED does, however, care deeply about the interests of US corporations, banks and investors which, after all, play the dominant role in shaping US policy and whose representatives staff the key positions of the US state.""[13]


Full article: National Endowment for Democracy/board


The NED distributes most of its money through four core channels. The National Democratic Institute seems to be the most active of them.

Full article: National Democratic Institute
Full article: Solidarity Center
Full article: International Republican Institute
Full article: Center for International Private Enterprise


The NED is funded by the US Congress. The very incomplete list of sponsored organiations is from their 990-tax form for 2017[14][15][16][17].


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Document:The Making of Juan Guaidó: How the US Regime Change Laboratory Created Venezuela’s Coup LeaderArticle29 January 2019Dan Cohen
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5star.png 17 January 2020 Terje 
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