(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records relating to their funding of the political activities of the Soros Open Society Foundations of Romania (Judicial Watch v. U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:18-cv-00667)) and the Soros Open Society Foundations of Colombia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00668)).
The Soros Open Society Foundations of Romania lawsuit was filed after State and USAID failed to substantively respond to an October 16, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:
• All records relating to any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its personnel and/or any OSFR subsidiary or affiliate.
• All assessments, evaluations, reports or similar records relating to the work of Open Society Foundation – Romania and/or its subsidiaries or affiliated organizations.
The Soros Open Society Foundations of Colombia lawsuit was filed after State failed to respond to an October 23, 2017, FOIA request seeking among other records:
• All records regarding any contracts, grants or other allocations/disbursements of funds by the State Department to the Open Society Foundation – Colombia and/or any OSF subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or OSF personnel operating in Colombia, as well as the following entities: Fundacion Ideas para la Paz; La Silla Vacia; DeJusticia; Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris; Paz y Reconciliacion; Global Drug Policy Program; and news portal Las Dos Orillas.
• All records of communication, whether by e-mails, text messages, or instant chats, between any officials, employees or representatives of the State Department in Colombia, including Ambassador Kevin Whitaker and any officials, employees or representatives of the Open Society Foundation, its subsidiaries/affiliates, and/or those entities identified in the first bullet.
As in other parts of the world, a number of Soros-funded entities and projects in Romania are also funded by the United States Government. The Romanian Center for Independent Journalism, which is supported by the Open Society Institute in New York, recently received $17,000 from the State Department.
In February 2017, Laura Silber of Open Society Foundations reportedly condemned “illiberal governments” in the Balkans, such as Macedonia, Albania and Romania, for working against the Soros NGOs. In Romania, in March 2017, the leader of the governing party reportedly charged that the Soros foundations “that he has funded since 1990 have financed evil.”
Soros’ NGOs in Colombia are reportedly receiving millions from USAID:
Verdad Abierta, a web-based portal created by Teresa Ronderos, director of the Open Society Program on Independent Journalism, boasts on its website that it receives support from USAID. Abierta has helped rewrite Colombia’s history, elevating terrorists to the same level as the legitimate police and military forces, and rebranding decades of massacres, kidnappings, child soldiering, and drug trafficking by a criminal syndicate as simply “50 years of armed conflict.”
Fundacion Ideas para la Paz, once led by peace negotiator Sergio Jaramillo, now a member of the oversight “junta,” is funded by the Open Society Foundations and has received more than $200,000 in U.S. tax dollars.
The left-wing news portal La Silla Vacia, another Open Society initiative, also boasts of being a USAID grantee. Its columnist, Rodrigo Uprimny, whose NGO DeJusticia also partners with USAID and Open Society, is considered one of the architects of the peace deal.
Former National Liberation Army terrorist Leon Valencia—Open Society collaborator and grantee—has received at least $1,000,000 in USAID funding through his NGOs Corporacion Nuevo Arco Iris and Paz y Reconciliacion, and left-wing news portal Las Dos Orillas, which he co-founded.
In 2016, Soros’ Open Society Foundations gave more than $3.3 million to organizations operating in Colombia. Several of those organizations have also been financially supported by the United States government, having received more than $5 million from the Department of State, USAID, and the Inter-American Foundation (a federal agency) in recent years. One of the Soros-funded entities, an LGBT advocacy organization, was also selected by the Inter-American Foundation as a partner organization in its Colombia peace project initiative.
“It is time for Americans to be allowed to see State Department documentation regarding the public funding of Soros’ Open Society Foundations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The billionaire George Soros needs zero assistance from taxpayers to promote his far-left agenda abroad.”
Judicial Watch now has four FOIA lawsuits relating to the Obama administration’s funding for Soros’ operations. Judicial Watch is pursuing information about Soros’ activities in Macedonia and Albania, as well. The former Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski reportedly called for a “de-Sorosization” of society. In February 2017, Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia in collusion with George Soros.
In a March 2017, letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, six U.S. Senators (Sens. Lee (R-UT), Inhofe (R-OK), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Perdue (R-GA) and Cassidy (R-LA)) called on the secretary to investigate the relations between USAID and the Soros Foundations and how U.S. tax dollars are being used by the State Department and the USAID to support left-of-center political groups who seek to impose left-leaning policies in countries such as Macedonia and Albania.