Georgia in turmoil, is Hungary next?

Georgia in turmoil, is Hungary next?

Some Georgians fear that the introduction of such a law would undermine the country’s chances of joining the EU. The opposition has vowed to continue protesting until the government formalizes the repeal of the law and releases all arrested protesters, but has later called for parliament to resign.

Interestingly, the Foreign Agent Law (also known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act or FARA) is a US law first passed in 1938. It requires individuals and organizations working on behalf of foreign governments, political parties or lobbying organizations to register with the US Department of Justice and disclose their activities, their finances and relations with foreign communities.

The law was originally enacted to counter Nazi propaganda efforts in the United States prior to World War II. The law has attracted new attention in recent years because of concerns about foreign interference in US elections and political affairs, especially from Russia.

Other countries such as Canada, Australia and Israel have passed similar laws. The exact requirements and penalties vary from country to country, but in general individuals and organizations must register with government agencies and disclose their activities, and failure to do so can result in fines, imprisonment or deportation.

In the United States, failure to register as a FARA foreign agent can result in both civil and criminal penalties, including heavy fines and up to five years in prison. The US government has increasingly used FARA to investigate and prosecute individuals and organizations for activities related to foreign influence, including lobbying and political activity.

Individuals who violate FARA may also face additional charges, such as conspiracy or making false statements to federal investigators. In 2018, the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of multiple charges related to his failure to register as a foreign agent under FARA. Manafort had worked as a political consultant for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and was found to have received millions of dollars in payments that he did not disclose.

In 2019, Flynn Intel Group, a consulting firm owned by Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was found to have violated FARA by failing to register as a foreign agent of the Turkish government. The firm was fined $536,000 and one of its partners pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal investigators.

The Foreign Agents Act is actually about transparency. Although organizations are obliged to declare funds received from abroad, their activities are not necessarily restricted. Penalties are imposed for failure to declare financing.

At the same time, the US has given billions of dollars in funding to non-governmental organizations, “think tanks” and other organizations and institutions in other countries with the aim of influencing the country’s politics to be more pro-US and to drive or punish governments with opinions. independent of US foreign policy. Other semi-state or private organizations, such as the Soros Foundation, have also actively funded opposition groups in various countries, such as Hungary, where Soros is considered persona non grata. Viktor Orbán government.

While protests continue in Georgia, Samantha PowerThe visit to Hungary has raised eyebrows and concerns about US interference in Hungary’s democratic process. The former National Security Council member, now USAID administrator, has pledged to support “locally driven initiatives” and “strengthen democratic institutions,” but many Hungarians are wary of what that means. In 2021 alone, USAID awarded approximately $2.3 billion in foreign aid funding to programs related to “democracy, human rights, and governance,” primarily to non-governmental organizations that oppose governments unfriendly to the United States.

According to a statement from the US Embassy, ​​the purpose of Power’s visit is to support democracy in Hungary, which is a democratic country and a member of the European Union and NATO. However, the current government, which won re-election in 2022, has taken an independent stance on several issues, including the Russia-Ukraine war, immigration, same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. This has not sat well with the US government and the deep state, which demands total obedience from allies and punishes disobedience by others with sanctions and military force.

Many believe Power’s visit is an attempt to destabilize the current government, which Washington and Brussels dislike. The idea that the US government must use taxpayer dollars to support opposition newspapers in Hungary, a democratic NATO ally, is offensive and manipulative to some. If the situation were reversed and China devoted tens of millions of dollars to promoting its own ideological interests in the United States, it would be considered unacceptable interference. In fact, the US government has used the same FARA law to force Russian and Chinese news agencies to register as foreign agents, but not the British state-owned BBC or other allied state-owned agencies.

The idea that US support for democracy in Hungary is a cover for advancing US strategic and ideological interests is not new. The language of “rule of law,” “independent journalism,” and “strengthening democracy” is often used as a cover to advance certain ideological goals that benefit globalist elites. Many in Hungary are skeptical of Power’s promise to “support independent media” because they believe the media is already diverse and critical of the government.

Additionally, many are concerned about USAID’s focus on promoting revival as part of its strategy under its 2022 Joint Strategic Plan. The idea of ​​liberal elites bringing a revival of revolution to Central Europe is troubling to many.

Ultimately, the concern is that Power’s visit is part of a broader strategy to promote a color revolution in Hungary, which could have disastrous consequences, as has been seen in other countries. It remains to be seen what the actual impact of Power’s visit will be, but many in Hungary are wary of what it could mean for their country’s democratic process.

Hungary does not have an exact counterpart to the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), but it does have a similar law that requires foreign-funded organizations to register with the government and report on their activities.

In Hungary, the law is called the “Law on Transparency of Organizations Receiving Foreign Funding” and was enacted in 2017. According to the law, NGOs that receive more than 24,000 euros in funding from foreign sources each year are required to register and report on their activities, including financial transactions and expenditures.

As for Georgia, the events seem to concern the Maidan riots in Kyiv in 2014 and the previous color revolution in Georgia that led to regime change and the installation of US lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili as Georgia’s leader.

Saakashvili was the president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. Known for his pro-Western stance and efforts, he pursued a policy of closer integration with the European Union and NATO, which met with opposition from Russia. After leaving office, Saakashvili became involved in Ukrainian politics, was granted Ukrainian citizenship and was appointed governor of Odessa in 2015–2016, but was later denied Ukrainian citizenship and expelled from Ukraine.

The current government of Georgia, led by the Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili was democratically elected in 2012 in internationally monitored elections. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) sent a large observer team to Georgia to monitor the election process. The operation was led by a special coordinator and involved around 300 observers from 39 countries, including the United States, the European Union and the Council of Europe.


Source: The Nordic Page

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