Despite the Republic of Macedonia breaking free from the shackles of the Yugoslavian socialist regime back in 1991, subversive external influences continue to plague the nation’s civil sector.
In today’s world, this intrusion does not come from their territorial neighbours to the north but from a stateless meddler calling itself the ‘Open Society Foundation’ — an intrusion that Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki rejects as “unacceptable” and which constitute a “destabilisation of the country”.
Founded by George Soros, the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia (FOSM) has pumped millions of dollars into promoting cultural leftist programmes and initiatives. These include the Platform for Citizens Oriented Politics, Journalists for Human Rights, and an LGBT Support Centre — all funded under the illusion of impartiality. Activists in these organizations have even been pictured wearing T-shirts with the slogan ‘Soros Army.’ Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (2006 – 2016), the current leader of the largest party in the Parliament, has called for a “de-soros-ization” of Macedonia.
Journalist Cvetin Chilimanov co-founded Stop Operation Soros as a grassroots initiative to bring greater international attention to what is happening in Macedonia. Chilimanov told the DHI: “Left wing activists have already demolished an office of the President of Macedonia and attacked numerous public institutions such as the Justice Ministry and have repeatedly clashed with police leading to dozens of officers being wounded. These protests were called for by groups that are jointly funded by Open Society Macedonia and USAID.”
“Furthermore, USAID supported creating clone organisations of left wing American groups (Macedonian versions of the US Media Matters and Politifact which fact-check and criticise only conservative news outlets) and they supported Macedonian student groups that mimic Black Lives Matter tactics, occupying universities while chanting “No Justice No Peace”. There is also an organisation that supports liberalising abortion laws and organises debates to this effect, listing the US Embassy as its partner organisation, as well as being a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.”
While many have come to expect this dead hand of cultural imperialism from George Soros, what is alarming in Macedonia’s case is the appropriation of US aid, via their Embassy in Skopje, to subsidise politically partisan projects. This would be in direct contravention of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Under the Obama administration, the US Embassy and State aid were politicised to the point where overseas funding was no longer seen primarily as a humanitarian tool to provide poverty relief, but a weaponised form of cultural indoctrination, with aid going to political groupings with the ‘correct’ ideologies — i.e. anyone who opposed the incumbent, democratically elected Macedonian government.
At the time the US State Department was stubbornly reticent in clarifying the amount of American taxpayers’ money sunk into Soros projects in Macedonia and to what purpose this fell within the mandate of USAID, the agency in question. However, the beginning of the 115th US congress has seen the issue re-examined. Seven US Congressmen, led by Chris Smith (R-NJ), have now requested an investigation and audit from the US Government Accountability Office, and six US senators led by Mike Lee (R-Utah) have called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to immediately investigate the matter.
Senator Lee had earlier said: “I have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the US Mission to Macedonia has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favouring groups of one political persuasion over another.”
A fledging nation-state with conservative traditions and a bourgeoning free-market economy, Macedonia has long drawn the ire of leftist groups, who would prefer to see its nascent sovereignty smothered once again by a larger political structure. Macedonia’s free market reforms, for which they openly draw inspiration from Ronald Reagan, have led to its economy doubling in the past ten years, the slashing of unemployment, and an increase in Macedonia’s place on the Index for Economic Freedom to 33rd place. Macedonia’s supply-side economic reforms include a flat tax of ten percent, the elimination of unnecessary regulatory burdens, encouraging enterprise with incentives for entrepreneurs and a huge overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure.
As well as being economically conservative, the people of Macedonia are not afraid to display their social conservatism. Their pro-life measures include a compulsory ultrasound regulated by law, a compulsory three day waiting period, counselling with a doctor, psychologist and sociologist, a print from the ultrasound picture of the baby, and the option of adoption. The nation’s resolute faith in its Christian heritage was enshrined in a 200 foot crucifix — the Skopje Millennium Cross — the largest in Europe.
With a new US administration in the White House, the DHI will be closely monitoring the situation in Skopje and hopes that the unwelcome interference from former U.S. Ambassador Jess Baily into the domestic affairs of the Republic of Macedonia is quickly put to an end.
With accusations now coming to light of similar interference in other countries such as Hungary and Albania, the American taxpayer increasingly needs to know just how their millions of dollars which ended up in the coffers of Soros-driven projects was actually spent.