Anti-Blockade Minister William Castillo: NGOs Are Being Used to Promote Destabilization in Venezuela

Orinoco Tribune, January 14, 2024 —

Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Anti-Blockade Policies William Castillo stated that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been used on several occasions as a base to promote destabilization attempts against Venezuela.

He made the statements on Friday, January 12, during the public consultation of the Law on Control, Regularization, Operations and Financing of Non-Governmental and Related Organisations in Venezuela, which is being held in the National Assembly.

“The main channel that has been used to promote coup attempts is this network, or part of this network of civil organizations,” he said.

According to Castillo, these NGOs operate under two models: one is aimed at businesses and foreign interference, and the other at the fundamental idea of civil society.

During the debate in the National Assembly, Deputy Minister Castillo highlighted that the new law will be constantly attacked by foreign countries, so he urged that its position and wording be as clear as possible.

“We have to go out and debate with a lot of clarity, and not get defensive,” he stressed. “These NGO networks are used to overthrow governments… This is a law that the country needs to debate with clarity and determination, because to regulate NGOs is not to eliminate them. The State has the right to control NGOs. Let us move forward with this extremely important law.”

He also highlighted the importance of clearly discussing the issue of NGO financing in this bill, because “that is the hidden the power of these networks that many times end up in coups d’état.”

He emphasized that in Venezuela, NGOs do not provide accounts to the country about the money they receive for their maintenance.

This debate is being attended by the representatives of several NGOs as well as of public bodies including the Ombudsperson’s Office, the Public Defense, the Attorney General’s Office, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice, and various organizations connected to the consultation.

The purpose of the bill, approved in first discussion by the National Assembly in January 2023, is to promote and regulate the activities of non-governmental and related organizations in Venezuela under a legal framework.

The initial proposal proposes fines for NGOs that do not register, or that do not declare the origin of their donations or the identity of their donors.

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