US funds po­lit­i­cal groups in Venezuela de­spite ban

The Covington News - - WORLD -

to shoot down a Ukrainian trans­port plane,” he said.

On Fri­day, Rus­sia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency also quoted Kon­stantin Sivkov, di­rec­tor of the Academy of Geopo­lit­i­cal Prob­lems, as say­ing Buk mis­siles “should be pro­vided with ex­ter­nal sys­tems of tar­get iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, that is, ra­dio-lo­ca­tion sys­tems. It’s an en­tire sys­tem. And the in­sur­gents cer­tainly don’t have ra­dio-lo­ca­tion.”

CARA­CAS, Venezuela (AP) — Al­most four years af­ter Venezuela en­acted a law to bar the U.S. from fund­ing groups fre­quently crit­i­cal of the so­cial­ist govern­ment, mil­lions of the Amer­i­can dol­lars the ad­min­is­tra­tion tried to ban still flow to these or­ga­ni­za­tions, an anal­y­sis by The As­so­ci­ated Press shows. Much more U.S. sup­port is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

The State Depart­ment and the Na­tional En­dow­ment for Democ­racy, a govern­ment-funded non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, to­gether bud­geted about $7.6 mil­lion to sup­port Venezue­lan groups last year alone, ac­cord­ing to pub­lic documents re­viewed by AP.

That was 15 per­cent more than they col­lec­tively au­tho­rized in 2009, the year be­fore then-Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez pushed Venezuela’s Congress to ban such fund­ing in the name of pro­tect­ing the coun­try’s sovereignty from groups it views as the op­po­si­tion.

In Wash­ing­ton, the Se­nate is con­sid­er­ing a bill to boost State Depart­ment aid to pro-democ­racy groups in Venezuela from about $5 mil­lion to $15 mil­lion amid calls for a tougher line against Venezuela af­ter cur­rent Pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Maduro cracked down on anti-govern­ment protests.

(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

In this Tues­day, Aug. 27, 2013 file photo, a Rus­sian air de­fense mis­sile sys­tem SA-11 launcher is on dis­play at the open­ing of the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky out­side Moscow. If Ukrainian rebels shot down the Malaysian jet­liner, killing 298 people, it may have been be­cause they didn’t have the right sys­tems in place to dis­tin­guish be­tween mil­i­tary and civil­ian air­craft, ex­perts said Satur­day, July 19, 2014.

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