In late September, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded $2,677,639 to six nonprofit groups for democracy promotion in Cuba.
The recipients and grant amounts are below:
- Grupo de Apoyo a la Democracia: $750,000.
- International Republican Institute: $686,209.
- Outreach Aid to the Americas Inc.: $500,000.
- International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights: $325,000.
- Asociación Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos: $250,000.
- Libertatis: $166,430.
Grupo de Apoyo a la Democracia, at 1000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, No. 30, in Miami, and International Republican Institute, at 1225 I St. NW, Suite 700, in Washington, D.C., are key players in the Cuba democracy business.
They received $77,486,125 for democracy projects in Cuba from 1990 through 2018, records show. See “Big bucks for battle of ideas.” Those figures are adjusted for inflation.
Outreach Aid to the Americas, at 9455 Collins Ave., Unit 808, in Miami Beach, has received more than $3 million over the past decade.
The organization was incorporated as EchoCuba in 1994. In November 2018, I wrote that EchoCuba had taken in at least $2,302,464 in U.S. government-financed Cuba grants from 2009 to 2017. See “God, USAID and Cuba” and 2018 tax records.
Records show the total is now about $3,156,167.
International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights lists its address as 3314 Mount Pleasant Street NW in Washington, D.C. The Park Terrace Condominium is located there.
From at least 2015 to 2017, the group’s address was listed as 1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW, No. 450, in Washington, D.C. Its principal officer was listed as Carlos Quesada. See tax records for 2015 and 2017.
The group’s website states:
We work with Afro-descendant and LGBTI organizations in Cuba, as well as with a wide range of organizations in Latin America fighting racial discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to official data, Afro-Cubans – blacks, mulatos, and mestizos – represent 30% of the national population. Afro-Cubans experience structural racial discrimination and social exclusion that is reflected in high rates of unemployment, as well as a lack of access to housing and quality education. Independent activists and Afro-descendant human rights defenders suffer the same repression that is visited upon those who oppose the island’s regime. Their situation is worsened by a lack of access to foreign currency and opportunities in emerging sectors of the economy such as tourism and self-employment. The official position of the Cuban government is that one of the achievements of the Revolution was the elimination of racial discrimination; therefore there is an official denial of the existence of racial discrimination.
The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights works in Cuba to strengthen the capacity of our counterparts to monitor and document human rights violations committed against Afro-descendants and members of the LGBTI community, while simultaneously increasing access to information on human rights, including information about the Inter-American Human Rights System as well as the Universal System.
The Institute also works to strengthen independent LGBTI organizations through the provision of training workshops on what is being done internationally to promote and protect the rights of the LGBTI population.
The Institute strengthens the capacity of our counterparts and the leaders of the various countries in which we work, so that they may actively participate in the OAS General Assembly, the Summit of the Americas Process, the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System, as well as the United Nations committee that monitors the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the committee that monitors the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), through the provision of training, technical assistance, and political advocacy.
Libertatis lists its address as 6633 Hillcroft St, Suite 116, in Houston. That’s the same address as Bethany Insurance.
I haven’t found any records showing that Libertatis has received USAID grants in the past. Nor do I find any tax records for the group.
Asociación Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos is located at Calle Claudio Coello 117 in Madrid. The organization was established in 2009. The group’s website says its members include democracy activists and others arrested in the 2003 crackdown known as the Black Spring.