Judicial Watch: Documents Show State Department Links to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation – Romania
OCTOBER 30, 2018
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch released 49 pages of new State Department documents showing top Soros representatives in Romania collaborating with the State Department in a program jointly funded by, among others, Soros’s Open Society Foundations – Romania and USAID, called the “Open Government Partnership.”
The documents were obtained thanks to a March 2018 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of State and USAID after it failed to substantively respond to an October 2017 request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:18-cv-00667)). The lawsuit seeks:
- 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.
On September 16, 2016, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Senior Program Designer Jennryn Wetzler sent an email announcing that the featured speaker in a State Department-sponsored “Open Government Partnership” conference call would be longtime Soros foundations official in Romania, Ovidiu Voicu. Voicu is the Executive Director of a Romanian non-government organization (NGO) called the Center for Public Innovation, which describes itself as a “spin-off” of Soros’ Open Society Foundation Romania.
From: Wetzler, Jennryn M
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 2:36 PM
To: Wetzler, Jennryn M
Cc: ‘Jan GondoI’; ‘Nicole Allen’; ‘Ovidiu Voicu’; ECACollaboratory .
Subject: Invitation to the monthly OGP and open education network call: 9/28 at 14:00 UTC/ 10:00 EDT
Please join us for a conversation with Ovidiu Voicu, Executive Director of Romania’s Center for Public Innovation. Ovidiu will share updates from Romania, including recent OGP commitments to OER and open data & transparency in education! We encourage everyone to share thoughts and questions, as well as their own country updates.
Speaker Bio: Ovidiu Voicu leads the Center Public Innovation, a spin-off of the Open Society Foundation Romania. He joined the Foundation in 2000 to coordinate its social research programs, and in April 2012, he. took the leadership of the newly created public policy unit. In 2015, with the Foundation phasing-out its activities in Romania, Ovidiu and his team created the Center for Public Innovation, to continue the open , society legacy and work on the ground.
On April 19, 2016, Wetzler emails Romanian chancellery official and Open Government Partnership participant Radu Puchiu regarding a meeting with an “Open Society Romania colleague” regarding the possibility of Romania committing to open educational resources (OER) programs.
On October 13, 2016, State Department official Richard Silver circulated summaries of Romanian news stories. In an analytical comment concerning a summary of a newspaper article discussing a proposal by Romanian politicians to ban George Soros-backed NGO members from holding public office, he defended Soros’ Open Society Foundation’s involvement in Romania:
Since 1990, the Soros ‘s Foundation for Open Society was one of the main donors in Romania and other former communist countries, financing sociological research, education, social inclusion, good governance, civic culture and integrated community intervention. The most influential Romanian NGOs as well as politicians, researchers and other players who had scholarships abroad benefitted by its financing. Over the past 26 years, a series of political parties, mainly PSD and its political allies, have blamed NGOs, intellectuals, cultural personalities of eroding Romania’s economy, territorial autonomy, public order or the health of the population. Independent analysts warned about the danger of such messaging which creates social shifts and turns Romania back to communist practices.
Also on October 13, 2016, Silver circulated the same news summaries, but the analysis contained additional material that was redacted as classified.
“These government documents detail a close working relationship between the State Department and the Soros foundations’ operations in Romania and Europe,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The State Department shouldn’t be using tax dollars to either fund or advocate for Mr. Soros’s far-left agenda. George Soros needs zero financial assistance from taxpayers.”
Judicial Watch is currently pursuing three FOIA lawsuits relating to the Obama administration’s funding for Soros’ operations. Judicial Watch is pursuing information about Soros’ activities in Macedonia and Colombia as well.
In April 2018, Judicial Watch published an in-depth study of Soros’ Open Society Foundation activities in Guatemala.
In July 2018, a Colombian human rights group funded by the U.S. government and Soros attacked Judicial Watch for exposing its ties to FARC, the country’s famously violent Marxist guerrillas.
In February 2017, Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. government had quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia.
In a March 2017, letter to former 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.