Some accuse the CIA of being behind many of the recent uprisings by training and funding young leaders. It’s well known that the CIA manipulated regime change around the world; perhaps the best known is the Pinochet coup in Chile[i] and recent USAID efforts to destabilize Cuba with a Twitter-like program. The most recent accusation is that the CIA was involved in an attempted coup against Venezuelan socialist President Madero in 2015. Author Frances Stonor Saunders charged in Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Lectures that the CIA funded the non-communist left since the late 60 through pass-through organizations: the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the US Institute of Peace, the Ford Foundation, The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, CANVAS (Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). WikkiLeaks showed that CANVAS was working for Stratfor to destabilize Venezuela.
Charges were made that anti-communist Gene Sharp’s widely used materials on non-violent overthrow are partly funded by the US government, a charge he denies. His Albert Einstein Institute states on the website, “From Dictatorship to Democracy was first published in Burma in 1993. It has since been translated into at least 34 other languages and was used by the campaigns of Serbia’s Otpor, Georgia’s Kmara, Ukraine’s Pora, Kyrgyzstan’s KelKel and Belarus’ Zubr.” Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian governments also used his writings during the breakup of the USSR. Lithuanian Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius was quoted on the website; “I would rather have this book [Civilian Based Defense] than the nuclear bomb. The Albert Einstein Institution is housed in Sharp’s Boston home, with a small annual budget, and only one assistant– evidence given by those who dismiss changes of working for the CIA.[ii] However, his board of directors has links to the US military or pass-through foundations and he has received funding from CIA-linked foundations and the Defense Department, according to Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, author of a free ebook 21st Century Revolution.[iii] She next traced CIA involvement in the Arab Spring, pointing to evidence in L’Arabesque Americaine by Ahmed Bensaada, 2011.[iv]
[i] Peeter Kornbluh, “CIA Acknowleddges Ties to Pinochet’s Repression,” The National Security Archive, September 19, 2000.
[ii] Stephen Zunes, “Attacks on Gene Sharp and Albert Einstein Institute Unwarranted,” Huff Post Politics, February 21, 2015.
[iii] Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, “Why the CIA Funds Nonviolence Training,” Dissent Voice, March 13, 2012.
[iv] Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, “The CIA Role in the Arab Spring,” blog, January 18, 2014.