According to the latest Freedom House Nations in Transit report, Hungary can no longer be defined as a full democracy. Instead, an “uninterrupted authoritarian streak cements Hungary’s place among hybrid regimes, in the ‘gray zone’ between democracies and autocracies.”
Only a couple of weeks after the parliamentary elections, in which 54 percent of Hungarians have voted to re-elect the government of Viktor Orbán for the fourth time in a row, with election observers declaring the vote as free and fair, this conclusion may come as a surprise to those unaware of what Freedom House represents and who funds the think thank.
Freedom House is based out of the U.S. and receives 66 percent of its funding from the U.S. government, primarily from the U.S. State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). According to the State Department website, “The Department of State and USAID use diplomatic and development tools to advance U.S. interests and deliver for all Americans.”
The Nations in Transit report, according to the Freedom House webpage, is specifically funded by USAID, which as the State Department notes, is a vital arm of official U.S. foreign policy. That fact raises serious questions about whether the report reflects official U.S. policy and, specifically, whether the U.S. government concurs with these findings.
Freedom House may receive the lion’s share of its funding from the State Department and USAID, but it also relies on corporate and private donors to replenish its multi-million dollar annual budget. Considering its surprisingly critical view of a country that is headed by a conservative government with the largest democratic mandate in Europe, one only needs to scratch the surface to find the name of the billionaire sponsor of the global radical left, George Soros, among its supporters.
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Sure enough, according to its own records, in 2020, the Open Society Foundations provided Freedom House with a $350.000 donation. Not only that, the author of the report, researcher Zsuzsanna Végh, is also a graduate of Soros’ Central European University (CEU).
The Nations in Transit report, according to the Freedom House webpage, is funded by USAID, which is an arm of official U.S. foreign policy. That fact raises serious questions about whether the report reflects official U.S. policy and, specifically, whether the U.S. government concurs with these findings.
It is worth examining what the report actually found so objectionable in Hungary that the country is now ranked below Ecuador, now known for drug-fueled “gang wars” that frequently result in “mutilated bodies” hanging from bridges, or Malta, which features a governing Socialist party directly implicated in the murder of a journalist.
The report calls the fourth consecutive victory of the Viktor Orbán government an “uninterrupted authoritarian streak,” and a clearly negative development rather than a sign of genuine trust between voters and a particular political movement. This finding comes despite the fact that the ruling conservative Fidesz and Christian Democrats (KDNP) recently won 54 percent of the vote during the April 3 elections, which gives them the strongest democratic mandate in the European Union.
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To call this victory an “authoritarian streak” reveals unempirical and biased partisanship that demonstrates the Biden Administration-controlled State Department’s desire to undermine conservative governments hostile to its globalist ideological agenda. Long before the Freedom House report even came out, Biden referred to both Poland and Hungary as “totalitarian regimes” during presidential debates in 2020, despite both countries being arguably more democratic than the two-party duopoly that defines the U.S. system.
The report also made allegations against the Hungarian government in connection with the so-called Pegasus spy software, that has allegedly been found on government-critical Hungarian journalists’ phones. These accusations have been exhaustively refuted by Hungarian authorities, and to date, the only agency conclusively found to have used the Israeli spy software was Germany’s federal police. The story perpetuated by Amnesty International and a Hungarian online media outlet called Direkt36, both incidentally beneficiaries of George Soros’ financial donations, have revealed absolutely no evidence regarding connections with the Hungarian government, or any government-controlled agencies. Nevertheless, the story is still repeated in Freedom House’s report as indisputable proof of a decline in democratic principles in Hungary.
The author of the report even brings up the bizarre story about the spyware being installed on the phones of the bodyguards of Hungary’s president, János Áder, despite such a claim even being called into question by left-wing media outlets, which have pointed at the rather obvious fact that they could not examine the president’s bodyguards phones, as they obviously could not get access to them. Even the Freedom House report admits that “forensic investigations conducted by nongovernmental organizations could not confirm who used the tool against the identified targets,” but then the report fails to explain as to why this is then important enough to mention in a report about the state of democracy in Hungary.
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In fairness, not everything is negative in the Freedom House report. It lavishes praise on the primaries organized by the Hungarian opposition, which in Freedom House’s words “gave momentum to sizable civil mobilization ahead of the elections.” Yet, the overall impression that the report leaves behind is one of a feeble attempt to discredit a democratically-elected government, using out-of-context and out-of-date fragments of information from opposition newspapers.
The fact that the entire bizarre pamphlet starts with the words “right-wing” sets the tone for an inexcusably naive and vindictive attempt at propaganda funded by money collected from unsuspecting American taxpayers. It is a revealing document demonstrating just how deeply the global liberal elite are traumatized by yet another two-thirds parliamentary majority of one of the biggest thorns in their side, the government of Viktor Orbán.