Since over 2 500 files from the Open Society Foundations were hacked on Summer 2016, George Soros gets a special treatment from several French alternative news websites. But if he feeds widely some websites in the United States, France remains quite backward.

However, the « exploits » of Soros deserve an analysis. The mainstream media are quite timid regarding this topic, or they elogize him. We must say that the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) fosters for instance a partnership with the « Africa » section of the daily newspaper Le Monde, section founded by Serge Michel.[1] In 2005, Michel cofounded[2] the Bondy Blog, which was granted 49 467 $ from the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE), a program from Soros’ NGO, for its « Pas de quartier pour les clichés ! » (i. e. « No mercy for clichés ! ») campaign, in 2014.[3]

On its part, Le Monde Afrique echoed on many occasions some NGOs’ reports, critical against several French companies, like OXFAM against Areva in Niger[4] or Global Witness and a supposed illegal wood trade between France and DRC.[5] However, OXFAM is one of the Open Society’s regular partner (alongside, inter alia, Transparency International and ActionAid), and we can see several crossings of people from one of these NGOs to another (cf. Neville Gabriel’s biography for instance[6]), adding to this the « lifetime donor » status of the Open Society Foundation towards OXFAM America, with an amount from 500 000 to 999 999 $ of annual grant until 2015.[7] In 2016, Soros’ NGO went further, giving now from 1 to 4,99 millions $ to OXFAM’s American chapter.[8] Concerning Global Witness, Soros is its most generous sponsor (cf. our table below), a generosity assisted by the Alexander Soros Foundation and another Soros organization, the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI – today the NRGI, Natural Resource Governance Institute).

global-witness-anglais
Global Witness, a powerful NGO of the Soros network.

During the US presidential elections, the media, forgetful about the principles written in their French Ethical charter from 2011, especially that « a journalist worthy of the name […] does not mistake his role with the role of the policeman or the judge »[9], did not criticize the tens of million dollars spent by George Soros for the benefit of Hillary Clinton, particularly through some NGOs that he sponsors, like MoveOn.org. The media remained as silent about the attempt of « Purple Revolution », launched by some false « spontaneous protests », where Soros and MoveOn.org play a key role.

However used and abused, the « technique of a coup d’Etat » (rebranded « colored revolution »), inspired by Gene Sharp (but also by Frank Kitson) never raises concerns if it is a fight between the Good against governments (rebranded « system » by the storytelling – in French, « régime ») considered arbitrary or opposed to the media-friendly conception of the democracy. Soros funded Otpor (today CANVAS) in Serbia, Kmara in Georgia, worked alongside the intelligence service, and he even claimed its major role  – through his NGOs – in the 2014 Ukrainian colored revolution (more than 10,000 dead and 20,000 wounded).[10] We faced the same silence regarding his links with Petro Prochenko, the corrupt oligarch president of Ukraine.[11] Some other countries « gained » from the « Soros democracy » and faced the same coups d’Etat (« Arab springs », Kirghizistan, Brazil) or at least some attempts (Macedonia, Armenia[12], Poland, etc.).

***

The way the oligarch acts is wider than the geopolitical spin. For instance, we find him as the conductor of the migrants crisis. The fact that he works hand in hand with the intelligence service and some of the CIA’s NGOs (National Endowment for Democracy or USAID) is an open secret. The Open Society’s office in Washington is located just a few steps from the White House. « George the Palindrome » has another face, older – but still ongoing – than his « philanthropy » : the financial speculation. Since the 1960’s, he strenghtens his activities and network, through his Soros Fund Management and until recently the Quantum Fund and their various subsidiaries (Soros Economic Development Fund, Soros Capital, Soros Strategic Partners, etc. ; Quasar Fund, Quota Fund, Quantum Emerging Growth Fund, etc.[13]).

open-society-maison-blanche

We can furthermore add to his name the destabilizing of national currencies : Soros remains the one who almost « broke » the Bank of England on September, 16th, 1992, during the « Black Wednesday » (that he renamed « White Wednesday »), leading this country outside of the European Monetary System (EMS). The Swedish krona suffered the aftermath by extension in 1993[14], the year when Soros speculated against the French franc, preventing the Prime Minister of that time, Edouard Balladur, to apply his policy of the strong French franc.[15] Soros speculated successfully against the Deutsche mark. In 1997-1998, the Quantum Fund speculated against the Thai baht and the Malaysian ringgit (the Malaysian Prime Minister charged him namely for that).[16] The impact reached Russia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and China. Besides, on January, 2016, the billionaire tried to speculate against the Middle Kingdom.[17]

fortune-soros-anglais
A fortune which grew of 16 billion dollars under the Obama presidency.

In the 2016 Forbes’ ranking, Soros was the 23rd world wealthiest man, weighing almost 25 billion $.[18] A research through the Forbes’ ranking of the last years shows that since 2004, Soros earned almost 18 billion $, with a real take-off starting with Obama (his former boy) in the White House. Two years were particularly outstanding for the trader : from 2011 to 2012, and from 2013 to 2014, he won each time over 5 billion dollars. His investments are numerous, and mainly in the technology, the consumer sector (discretionary and staples), health and finance. But he also holds shares in minerals, energy, industry and telecommunications.

In this connection, Africa constitutes a bargain for the billionaire. This continent is booming, there are many opportunities, and Soros have funds to invest and to finance some NGOs at the same time. Indeed, the double hat « investor / philanthropist » is in fact one, and only one, activity. The NGOs derived from the Open Society, sponsored or partners follow a common goal, i. e. the setting up of « Soros-friendly » governance rules : « opened », « transparent », respectful of the « human rights » (in the meaning promoted by Soros). In other words, it relates to interfere, in a way the media could respect, in the life of sovereign nations : force a « regime change », first « softly », by influencing the standards, by leading some lobbying and advocacy operations, and if possible, by guiding the political, economical and societal decisions in the way Soros wants to. In other words again, the Open Society applies a multi-level social engineering, in order to impact an entire chosen society. The advocacy for the « open society » is just a business helper with a humanism veneer. The media are caring with the NGOs, far from the reality and the motives behind their actions, and Soros takes profit from this.[19]

In Africa, his influence sometimes reaches the top. The interested reader will look at « George Soros tisse sa toile en Afrique » (i. e. « George Soros spins his web in Africa », published by the French review Africa Mining Intelligence.[20] But for now, let’s just underline his friendship with the presidents Alpha Condé (Guinea) and Alassane Ouattara (Ivory Coast). Moreover, let’s mention Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Liberia since November, 2005. Awarded with a Peace Nobel Prize, she had to face the wrath of her co-recipient Leymah Gbowee, who in 2012 charged Sirleaf with corruption and nepotism.[21] In addition, the president supported actively Charles Taylor in the past, who is a warlord jailed for crimes against humanity. Consequently, the Liberian reconciliation commission recommended, in a 2009 report, to ban Sirleaf from « holding public office for thirty years » (cf. screenshot below).[22]

sirleaf

In 2007, Sirleaf awarded Soros the price of the highest honor to thank him for his philanthropy. These two people know each other very well : Sirleaf is the former Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) director, the Open Society’s branch operating in West Africa. It seems logical that, thereby, Soros features a privileged access for the deals and the mineral resources of the Liberia, and raises his winnings as a result.

***

Just for kidding, we could pretend that Soros (through the Open Society) is everywhere. In Africa too, he supports several movements aiming to achieve some colored revolutions, like Y’en a marre ! in Senegal, Balai Citoyen in Burkina Faso, Front Citoyen in DRC, etc. In terms of resources, Tony Blair launched, thanks to Soros impetus, the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) in 2002, implemented in 2003. This organization requires from the countries to publish the benefits of their national firms, in order to check the « good governance », the « transparency » and the « compliance » of the management ruling these activities. Basically, an Anglo-American agency tells governments – supposed to be sovereign – how they have to handle their own resources. But Soros does not care about sovereignty : « The principles of an open society find expression in a democratic form of government and a market economy. But in trying to apply these principles on a global scale we run into a seemingly insuperable difficulty : the sovereignty of states. Sovereignty is an anachronic concept. […] It may be anachronistic, but the concept of sovereignty remains the foundation of international relations. It has to be accepted as the starting point in creating a global open society. States may cede part of their sovereignty by international treaty. »[23]

One of the coalitions who launched the EITI is « Publish What You Pay » (PWYP), whose 4 of the 6 core NGOs belong to the Soros network : Open Society, OXFAM, Global Witness and Transparency International (whom the Open Society sponsors for a long time, the OSF was even its biggest sponsor in 1999, cf. our screenshot below – in Deutsche marks at that time).[24] In conjunction with the EITI, we could also mention the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW), created by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

transparency-international-1999

transparency-international-anglais
Transparency International, an « independent » NGO generously funded by George Soros’ Open Society.

***

Prima facie, this is too little, quantitatively, to assert that Soros and the Open Society are everywhere in Africa. Our allegation would be, of course, a « conspiracy theory » or, like they say now, « fake news ». What about the facts ? In Africa, the Open Society has established 4 sections : Open Society Foundations for South Africa (OSF SA), dedicated to the South Africa, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), and Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA). To know the grants – past or present – that each section gives, we just have to read the relevant database.[25] For instance, OSIWA gave all in all 247 grants.[26] This is however incomplete : OSIWA sometimes holds somes conferences commonly with other organizations, or forge partnerships, although it does not imply some grants.

Here, we focused on a research and crosschecking through the Twitter accounts – typically a « hot » media – followed by OSIWA, OSISA and OSIEA, because partnerships and building ties do not necessarily mean money, even if it is often the case. We let willingly the OSF SA apart, because it is dedicated to a specific country. Our purpose is to show to the reader, through a mindmap, the scale of the networking built by Soros and the Open Society in Africa. Yet, if our mindmaps look fed (OSIEA is however less developed), the reader will keep in mind that the 105 NGOs on the OSIWA cartography only represent 2/5th of the grants of this section (even if some grants could be given several times to the same NGO). We let apart the NGOs funded by the « traditional » Open Society (Foundations), like for the Graça Machel Trust (where we find a former OSISA executive director, Sisonke Msimang[27]), the Wayamo Foundation (a member is Abdul Tejan-Cole, OSIWA executive director[28]), and others alike (Vanguard Africa, Goxi, Africa Gathering, Africa Freedom of Information Centre, Africa Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, etc.).

Most of the time of course, the Open Society is not the only one to fund the NGOs. The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition funded by OSIWA until 2015, gets grants from the USAID. The APDHCI (Actions for the Protection of the Human Rights in Ivory Coast) is also funded by the NED. In Kenya, the National Commission on Human Rights gets funds from the Ford Foundation. And so on. The interested reader could make his own research, the core of Soros Connection being George Soros and the Open Society.

As a supplement, we have added in an Excel file (downloadable here) the NGOs you will find in our Cmaps, and have noticed the full name when we had no space enough but for the acronym, and we have specified the sector and the country where the NGO is working. Thus the reader could notice the diversity of the sectors influenced by Soros’ Open Society, from media to resource governance, from various lobbying activities to election monitoring, from health to education, from Human Rights to environmental law.

Thibault Kerlirzin

osiea-anglais-cmap
OSIEA’s (Open Society Initative for Eastern Africa) network. Click to enlarge.
osisa-anglais-cmap
OSISA’s (Open Society Initative for Eastern Africa) network. Click to enlarge.
osiwa-anglais-cmap
OSIWA’s (Open Society Initiative for West Africa) network. Click to enlarge.
Notes

[1] http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2015/01/20/le-monde-lance-le-monde-afrique_4559592_3212.html

[2] http://www.lemonde.fr/journaliste/serge-michel/

[3] http://bit.ly/2h595su

[4] http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2013/11/22/l-ong-oxfam-denonce-un-partenariat-desequilibre-entre-areva-et-le-niger_3518474_3212.html

[5] http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2015/06/03/la-rdc-paradis-du-commerce-illegal-du-bois_4646050_3244.html

[6] https://www.one.org/us/person/neville-gabriel/

[7] https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Oxfam_America-Annual_Report_2015.pdf

[8] https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/Oxfam_America-Annual_Report_2016.pdf

[9] http://www.snj.fr/sites/default/files/documents/Charte2011-SNJ.pdf

[10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPGMPlEHLTA. See also a very enlightening leaked memo : http://45eq7vmb9bj1ratu11zv1p19.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Ukraine-Working-Group-2014-gs-ukraine-visitmarch-2014notes.pdf

[11] http://www.politis.fr/blogs/2015/06/leaks-comment-le-milliardaire-georges-soros-tire-les-ficelles-us-en-ukraine-31346/

[12] Cf. this outstanding paper by Joaquin Flores : http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2015/07/01/electric-yerevan-and-lessons-on-the-color-spring-tactic-by-joaquin-flores/

[13] Slater (Robert), Soros, the World’s Most Influential Investor, McGraw Hill, 2009.

[14]http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finanskrisen_i_Sverige_1990%E2%80%931994#F.C3.B6rsvaret_av_fast_v.C3.A4xelkurs_1992

[15] Rocco (Anne-Marie), L’incroyable histoire de George Soros, milliardaire, spéculateur et mécène, éditions Assouline, 1999.

[16] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-16/soros-like-attack-on-malaysian-ringgit-revives-memories-of-98

[17] http://www.lepoint.fr/economie/george-soros-nouvel-ennemi-numero-un-a-pekin-28-01-2016-2013513_28.php

[18] http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/#version:static

[19] On this topic, cf. the many papers written by the expert website Knowckers.org and Harbulot (Christian), Fabricants d’intox. La guerre mondialisée des propagandes, Lemieux éditeur, 2016.

[20] https://www.africaintelligence.fr/AMF/dossier/george_soros_tisse_sa_toile_en_afrique

[21] http://www.slateafrique.com/52395/ellen-johnson-sirleaf-Liberia-nobel

[22] http://www.usip.org/publications/truth-commission-liberia

[23] http://www.forum.mn/pdf/works_thinker/globalization_soros_eng.pdf

[24]http://www.transparency.org/whoweare/accountability/audited_financial_reports_with_independent_auditors_report/2/

[25] The reader could also look to the documents leaked by DC Leaks : http://dcleaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/soros/strategies/osisa-revised-2014-2017-strategy.pdf & http://dcleaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/soros/strategies/osiwa-revised-2014-2017-strategy.pdf

[26] In French : http://www.osiwa.org/fr/base-de-donnees/ ; in English : http://www.osiwa.org/grants-database/

[27] http://gracamacheltrust.org/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=137

[28] http://www.wayamo.com/africa-group-for-justice-and-accountability/members/