Yeah, ok, so you could argue that the US shouldn’t fund civil society groups abroad at all – and there’s something to that argument, for sure. The National Endowment for Democracy has a long and strange history of snafus and a well-documented knack for shooting itself on the foot.
Still, it’s very silly to pass off news that NED funded several Venezuelan NGOs as some kind of smoking gun for US involvement in the April, 2002 coup. First of all, THIS IS NOT NEWS. You didn’t need to put in some fancy Freedom of Information Act request to find out: you just needed to pick up a phone, call Sumate, and ask them. It’s been a matter of public record for years.
And christ! If you could topple Chavez with $53,400, Gustavo Cisneros would have toppled him several times over already!