US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman (R) and Samantha Power, head of USAID, meeting with young Hungarians in Budapest
Recently, Samantha Power, the head of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), and a key figure in the Biden administration, visited Hungary. Incidentally, some are accusing her of attempted interference Hungarian affairs.
During her visit to Hungary, Samantha Power met with a number of known figures of the anti-government camp. She sat down with representatives of NGOs such as the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Amnesty International Hungary. She also reached out to the younger generation, meeting a number of students during her stay in Hungary.
Mike Gonzalez, a fellow at the conservative Washington think tank the Heritage Foundation, had a sharp and critical take on the visit. On his Twitter page he wrote that the Biden administration is trying to destabilize a NATO ally, Hungary. He added that this is the same US administration that is embracing Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Colombian President Gustavo Petro, two communists who, according to him, despise America.
Gonzalez made his comments in response to Samantha Power’s posting of a video from Budapest, where she wrote:
USAID had just relaunched new, locally-driven initiatives to help independent media thrive and reach new audiences, take on corruption and increase civic engagement.”
Apparently, Power is very worried about the state of the media and media freedom in Hungary. She has therefore met with ‘independent’ journalists in Budapest, who reportedly told her about “the barriers to true media freedom”.
Just how much the United States is worried about the media in Hungary is shown by the fact that last October, it was reported that the US government will join the Open Society Foundations and the Rockefeller Foundation among other mega-donors to build a new media organization called Internews in Hungary. They claim that the project will be “focused on championing a strong independent media sector.”
Power has been the head of USAID since 2021. The government agency was founded in 1961 to help avert disaster aftermath, to catch up with underdeveloped and hard-hit regions, and to build US bilateral relations. However, as Magyar Nemzet points out, USAID is also an instrument of power for the US administration of the day, and it cooperates with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
USAID operated in Hungary after the fall of the communist regime in 1989, but the program ended in 1999. Last year, however, it was announced that a new ‘Central Europe Program’ would be launched, including Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovenia. Washington is reportedly earmarking some $20 million for the program in Hungary, and they aim to “strengthen democratic institutions, civil society, and independent media.”
Featured photo via Twitter/Samantha Power