On Thursday, the Biden administration began its virtual “Summit for Democracy,” an event mocked around the world as an exercise in utter hypocrisy. Eighty world leaders attended a video conference to discuss so-called democratic backsliding, a “democracy recession,” and threats to democracy from “authoritarian powers.” The whole conference is nothing more than a tool to attack on ideological grounds the governments of countries that refuse to follow the dictates of Washington, and mask U.S. aggression as concern for democracy.
In reality, the United States allies itself with some of the most repressive countries in the world. Israel, an attendee at the Summit for Democracy, is committing genocide against the Palestinian people and enforces a brutal system of apartheid rule. Colombia, another attendee, is infamous for the murder of social movement leaders by right-wing paramilitary death squads with ties to the police forces and the military. The United States’ yardstick for democracy is how far any country will go to placate their masters in Washington. The United States’ record of spreading war, destruction, erosion of basic freedoms, and regime change single it out as the most anti-democratic force in the world today.
Inside of the United States, democracy is a farce. The ultra-rich control politicians through campaign donations and lobbying and fundamental rights are imperiled by grossly undemocratic institutions like the Senate and the Supreme Court. Voter suppression laws have been passed in many states in recent years, especially in parts of the country with the longest history of disenfranchising Black citizens. Grotesque violations of human rights are regularly carried out by the notoriously racist police and prison system, and Border Patrol/ICE.
The dichotomy between “democratic” and “authoritarian” countries obscures the unconscionable human rights atrocities of the U.S. government and its allies. It was recently revealed that the U.S. Air Force bombed 64 Syrian women and children and covered up the massacre. The U.S. imposes a genocidal blockade on the people of Cuba in a vain attempt to suffocate their revolution. An August drone strike killed an entire family of civilians in Afghanistan. These are not the acts of a country who has any right to claim to be the arbiter of human rights.
Events were held in several countries in response to Biden’s summit. The People’s World Congress for Peace was organized in Venezuela. At the event, the country’s Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia argued that the U.S. government “shows its arrogance by deciding that in a world of such diverse realities and thoughts, it can become the only State that can determine what is and what is not a democracy.” Similarly, in Cuba social organizations convened the Anti-imperialist Forum in Defense of the Peoples on Thursday, and last Saturday, China hosted its own “International Democracy Forum.”
More funding for programs to subvert democracy
One of the concrete proposals to come out of the summit was that Biden proposed the creation of several initiatives under the purview of USAID. Under the ridiculous title “Initiative for Democratic Renewal,” over $424 million will be nominally used to bolster “independent media,” fight corruption, create an “open internet” and more. The ultimate aim of all of these initiatives, however, is not to promote democracy, but to strangle countries the United States has targeted for regime change.
The imperialist “civil society” front groups that will receive this money advance the interests of the United States using underhanded, anti-democratic means. Many of the virtuous-sounding initiatives laid out in the Biden administration’s proposal can be weaponized against targeted governments. To take one example, the most popular politician in Brazil, left-wing former president Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva, was barred from participating in the country’s last election based on false allegations of corruption — which resulted in fascist Jair Bolsonaro’s ascension to the presidency. This infamous episode of electoral manipulation took place with the blessings of the United States, who wanted to see Lula’s Workers Party removed from power.
USAID is a notorious CIA cut out and tool of regime change, used to propagandize and destabilize countries that are enemies of the U.S. government. This includes recruiting and training agents to be used as puppets in future regime change operations. Examples include the fake president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó and the heroic Raul Capote, who infiltrated these networks and exposed them.
The U.S. government practices the most absurd hypocrisy when it calls a “democracy summit” for the purpose of strengthening its ability to perform anti-democratic coups.