Here’s an opportunity for President Trump and Secretary Tillerson to pay some serious attention, writes Victor Gaetan in the American Spectator, in his detailed report on the abuse of development grants by the US Embassy in Macedonia and the USAID Mission. The article titled “Macedonia to George Soros and USAID: Go Away” quotes Macedonian and American conservative commentators and officials who explain the extent to which the Obama administration has abused its soft power tools to promote left wing policies in Macedonia. “Small but mighty Macedonia is the mouse that roared this year, declaring war on George Soros, 86, and his U.S. Government handmaidens, who, incredibly, have financed a left-wing agenda to divide the nation and bring a socialist-Muslim coalition to power. It was the kind of Obama Administration manipulation that was so routine that it passed unnoticed in 2012, when USAID/Skopje selected Soros’ Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) to manage $2.5 million in taxpayer dollars earmarked for oxymoronic “democracy building,” an amount increased to $4.8 million two years later. As we speak, and yes, I mean currently, Macedonia’s Open Society Foundation is a USAID partner recruiting candidates for “Youth Engagement Support (YES) grants” — concept papers were due five days after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. It’s some part of a $9.5 million, five-year “civic engagement” boondoggle kicked off last year, which surely would be squelched if the Tillerson State Department were running on all cylinders.”, Gaetan writes in his report which you can read in full here – https://spectator.org/macedonia-to-george-soros-and-usaid-go-away/
The American Spectator quotes Macedonia based US journalist Chris Deliso saying that “active U.S. diplomacy has not only failed to resolve Macedonia’s political crisis, but it has in fact prolonged it, with every initiative (both covert and overt) having backfired in some way.”
“Deliso says the political funding he has witnessed “just alienated one side of the country — the majority — and emboldened the other side to become more irresponsible. I’ve talked to people who work at USAID and always argued, either give equal funding to both sides or give no funding at all. Obviously, they haven’t listened.”, he adds.
Jason Miko, a long time commentator in Macedonia, says that urgent attention is needed from the new Trump administration to correct the mistakes of the past, considering that left over diplomats still try to steer things their way. “Low-level State Department bureaucrats are calling the shots because the President hasn’t been able to fill key jobs on the seventh floor. There is no oversight. They are telling the U.S. Ambassador to pressure Ivanov to give the mandate to Zaev.”, Miko tells the American Spectator.