Center for the Dissemination of Economic Information
The Center for the Dissemination of Economic Information (or the Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento Económico, CEDICE) is a Venezuelan free-market think tank established with the assistance of the U.S.-based Atlas Economic Research Foundation in 1984.
Contrary to Atlas' emphasis on independence for its think tanks, CEDICE used U.S. funds to support the failed attempts to remove Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from office. In its Summer 2004 Investor Report, Atlas writes, "Venezuela is not California, so no matter what happens with the recall referendum …, the country will continue to face a daunting populist menace. All those involved with CEDICE … have been an invaluable and courageous voice for freedom, peace and prosperity."
CEDICE played a significant role in organizing, articulating, and disseminating the positions of the Venezuelan opposition movement. Collaborating with the Center for International Private Enterprise - a Washington-based organization that administers money from the U.S. State Department funded National Endowment for Democracy, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to internationally "promoted democratic market economies through local business associations, think tanks, and other private sector groups" - CEDICE worked "to move the debate in Venezuela from populist rhetoric to concrete reforms that will encourage participatory democracy and a better business environment," according to CIPE's 2002 Annual Report.
Having obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act official documents concerning the U.S. support of the anti-Chávez movement, the website VenezuelaFOIA.info writes, "Both CEDICE and CIPE [were] engaging in business-oriented efforts in Venezuela, working directly with FEDECAMARAS, the anti-Chávez business association that co-led the April 2002 coup and the Winter 2003 lockout (Fedecámaras President Pedro Carmona took over the presidency during the April 2002 coup and proceeded to dissolve all of Venezuela's democratic institutions before being forced from his self-imposed government). CEDICE and CIPE also collaborate extensively with the Democratic Coordinator, the opposition umbrella group that exclusively works on efforts to remove President Chávez before his democratic term is complete. CIPE also works with the Venezuelan media, also notoriously known as a key opposition outlet. More than $80,000 was allocated to CEDICE-CIPE's combined efforts by the NED right before the 2002 coup."
CEDICE's post referendum work will focus on the topic of business ethics, "specifically in the way it generates competition, efficiency, and productivity in society." In July 2004, CEDICE announced the creation of the Center for the Ethics and Corporate Citizenship. According to Atlas' website, "The Center will seek to promote ethical values that encourage businesses to be socially responsible within the community and develop initiatives that will contribute to progress and a quality of life within the framework of a free and responsible society."
Av. Andrés Eloy Blanco (Este 2)
Edif. Cámara de Comercio de Caracas
Nivel Auditorio, Los Caobos, Caracas, Venezuela
Telf.: +58 (212) 5713357
- Ken Silverstein And Carol J. Williams, "Chavez Camp Accuses U.S. of Pushing for His Recall," Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2004.