Eva Golinger is not a salaried advocate of Venezuela's Chavez
By Aleksander Boyd
London 26 June 2004 - It certainly pleases me to learn that Eva Golinger finds the time to read Vcrisis. In relation to an article I wrote today in Spanish, concerning the millionaire expenditure of the Venezuelan government in Washington, she sent a message requesting me to retract my statement of her being "salaried by the Venezuelan government" which I have already done. Since I have come to realise that my exchanges with her make for good pass time to some of the readers of this site I will reproduce her email and my response, with the intention that she will indeed answer my simple questions and help me clear my obnubilated impression of her.
Subject: Your latest lie
Once again, you have printed false claims about me. You have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to claim that I am "salaried" by the Venezuelan government. Why do you continue to make this claim when you know it is false? Being "salaried" applies receiving a salary. You have no proof that I receive a salary from the Venezuelan government, which I absolutely do not. In fact, I don't receive a salary from anyone - I am self-employed. You have the FARA documents from the VIO which evidence the little work I did for them in the past. That certainly does not make me "salaried" by the Venezuelan government.
I will also point out that your figures are off about the NED funding groups in Venezuela. You state only $1 million has been granted to Venezuelan groups, but in fact that figure, documented by the NED itself, is $4 million over the past 4 years. Combined with the $5+ million per year given to these same organizations from USAID, the amount spent by the US government in Venezuela far exceeds that spent by the Venezuelan government on lobby efforts in Washington. The other main difference that you don't seem to understand is that Washington's efforts in Venezuela are not via lobbying, but rather strengthening groups that oppose the current Venezuelan government. Venezuela's efforts in Washington are pure lobby, and are not efforts to oppose the US government, and are in synch with almost every other government and corporation in the world that wishes to have a relationship with the US government. You may not know that because you are unfamiliar with the system in the US, but most nations and companies spend outrageous sums of money on lobbying the US Congress. Venezuela is by no means an isolated case.
I also just want to clarify two points for you. One - FARA applies only to those who are directed by a foreign government to engage in political and public relations activities. The individual must be acting under the control of and on behalf of the foreign government. The VIO personnel obviously fall into this category because their office is funded and directed by the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington - this never was a hidden fact. Those of us who act on our own beliefs and will, and not under the orders and control of a foreign entity, are not subject in any way to FARA. You have misinterpreted that law. If your definition were accurate, practically every NGO that works for solidarity and on issues pertaining to foreign nations would fall under FARA. This is not the way the act is applied. The second issue I just wanted to point out to you is that FOIA applies only to those agencies and organizations funded and controled by the US Government.
Please retract your statement on my being "salaried" by the Venezuelan government, since it is not true. Thank you. Eva Golinger
"sí, me he enterado de los nombres de empleados, salarios devengados, actividades y personas contactadas por la Oficina de Información de Venezuela (siglas en ingles VIO) en EEUU, encontrándome con sorpresas tales como que la abogada Eva Golinger, quien en colaboración con el periodista Jeremy Bigwood ‘descubrio’ el financiamiento que el NED le hiciera a Súmate, es una de las asalariadas del régimen en el norte. "
Subject: Re: Your latest lie
Dear Ms Golinger,
Many thanks for your message. You are absolutely right in clarifying the issue of being "salaried" and I will make the necessary amendments to my article. Having said that, could you please explain to me once and for all, how come you charged monies to the VIO for legal services when you were not a qualified lawyer back then? Is it not true that you received said monies before passing your Bar exam? Why don't you write your own factual account about the whole thing to clear your credibility for good? If you do so I will be most pleased to post that information without any editions in my site to help you clear your name.
In regards to the differences between lobby activities of the VIO and NED funding in Venezuela let me just point out that there are some other issues that seem to escape your concept and understanding of democracy. Your line of argument "but rather strengthening groups that oppose the current Venezuelan government" is absolutely irrelevant. I will only say in that respect that opposing a legitimately elected president is a right existent in all democracies of the planet. Ergo what Sumate has being doing is not a crime, however wild your legal interpretation of our legislation may be. Under no circumstances can their actions vis-a-vis the organization of the recall be deemed as illegal. I know your camp resents the sheer efficiency of Sumate in comparison to the pathetic performance of Comando Ayacucho and Maisanta and for that reason Chavez is seeking to imprison them, in the stupid and naive belief that doing so will save him from being revoked.
It could be that I am getting a bit confused here, perhaps you could clarify some other aspects of your message. When you say "...Venezuela's efforts in Washington are pure lobby, and are not efforts to oppose the US government, and are in synch with almost every other government and corporation in the world that wishes to have a relationship with the US government." Judging by the presidential discourse Venezuela is not keen in having a relationship with the US government; as a matter of fact president Chavez has repeated in countless ocassions that the US is a devil that needs be destroyed. Moreover Venezuela's government openly opposes the US in everything from the FTAA to Plan Colombia, which is entirely within its rights I must add. Thus don't paint me an image of victim for I for once haven't heard the president of any of "...those nations and companies that spend outrageous sums of money on lobbying the US Congress" being so vitriolic and outright antagonistic with the administration they are seeking to have a good relationship with. Don't you see the conflict of interests? Such seems to be the stance of our president with respect to the US. Why the lobby then? For instance, I would not waste even a few quid in inviting you for a cup of tea for I have no interest whatsoever in gaining your friendship.
"The VIO personnel obviously fall into this category because their office is funded and directed by the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington - this never was a hidden fact." I don't recall reading any of that in the 'impartial' reports penned by Nathan Converse, nor did I remember you or Wilpert or Weisbrot stating "this article has been writen at the request of the VIO."
I must thank you for your clarification concerning how the FARA is applied. Although you could argue that you do not act under the control of a foreign entity it is quite clear to me that your acts are most definitely on behalf of Hugo Chavez' regime. It is truly a shame that the FOIA does not apply to your VSC, Weisbrot's CEPR and other 'independents.' It would certainly be entertaining to see the source of the funding...
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