Friday, October 12, 2018

New Documents Show State Department and USAID Working with Soros Group to Channel Money to ‘Mercenary Army’ of Far-Left Activists in Albania

By Judicial Watch - October 12, 2018 at 04:19PM

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Judicial Watch today released 49 pages of new documents obtained from the US Department of State about US Agency for International Development (USAID) funding for George Soros’s left-wing nonprofit organizations in Albania. The documents deal primarily with the activities of Soros’ top operative in Albania, Andri Dobrushi, the director of Open Society Foundation-Albania, who was actively engaged in channeling funding to what Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban calls Soros’ “mercenary army.” The documents show US grant money flowing through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that profess to promote “civil society,” while in fact attacking traditional, pro-American groups, governments and policies.

Judicial Watch filed a May 26, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the US Department of State and USAID after they failed to respond to March 31, 2017, FOIA requests (Judicial Watch v. US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-01012)).

The records reveal that Soros operative Dobrushi was the first person on a list of invitees by then US Ambassador to Albania Donald Lu to attend an “election rollout event” held at the US Embassy on April 27, 2015. The event was intended to “launch US assistance for the June local elections,” being held in Tirana, Albania. As Judicial Watch previously reported in an April 4, 2018, press release, Ambassador Lu has been closely associated with Soros and the socialist government in Albania, which he assisted by denying US visas to conservative jurists from the conservative party in Albania. Lu has since been nominated by the Trump administration to become US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.

Additionally, a June 18, 2015, email from Ilva Cuko, a Program Specialist in the Public Affairs Office of the US Embassy in Tirana, invites several people, including Dobrushi, to a “Donors Grant Reviewing meeting” at the US Embassy, in which the participants would review applications for grants submitted by NGOs seeking US taxpayer grant money from the State Department. Cuko says she would “like to invite you in a discussion on these proposals. Your valuable input and comments will be used by the US Embassy’s Democracy Commission, which has the ultimate authority in awarding the grants.”

Cuko on August 28, 2015, also invited Dobrushi to attend another US Embassy Democracy Commission Small Grants Program “Grant Proposal Technical Review” meeting on September 3 at the US Embassy. At this meeting, Cuko said they would focus on applications dealing with “anticorruption.” Ironically, under the leadership of Soros’ close friend, socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama, who took power in 2013, corruption in Albania has soared, with cannabis trafficking in the country increasing 300 percent between 2016 and 2017.

In a February 22, 2016, email, Cuko again invites several people, including Dobrushi, to another “Donors Grant Reviewing Meeting” held at the US Embassy on February 26 where Dobrushi would be able to influence Embassy officials who have “the ultimate authority in awarding the grants."

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