A billion here, a billion there…

Over the past three decades, the U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion for broadcasting to Cuba and for democracy programs on the island. On Oct. 31, the Congressional Research Service, or CRS reported: From FY1984 through FY2018, Congress appropriated about $882 million for broadcasting to Cuba. The Trump Administration’s FY2019 request is for … Read more

Like father, like son: The urge to rebel

Juan Juan Almeida, son of a revolutionary who fought with Fidel Castro, grew up around Cuba’s political and military elites. He studied criminal law and became a lawyer. In 2009, he wrote “Memoirs of an unknown Cuban guerrilla fighter,” a novel that satirized the ruling class. He wanted to leave the country, but authorities wouldn’t … Read more

Gitmo’s $32 million Internet connection

From 2014 to 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense paid a Texas contractor $32,751,360 to build an undersea fiber-optic cable from Dania Beach, Florida, to the Naval Station at Guantánamo, Cuba. Ronald Bechtold, former chief information officer under then-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, testified in 2013 that the Pentagon planned to eventually extend the cable … Read more

God, USAID and Cuba

For just $50, you can help a Cuban evangelist bring the word of God to “an unreached village, community, or outside province” in Cuba. God himself chooses the preachers who spread the Gospel, according to a Miami nonprofit called EchoCuba. EchoCuba has taken in at least $2,302,464 in government-financed Cuba grants from 2009 to 2017, … Read more

$1.5 million in secrets

Back in 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development sent me 123 pages of documents about a mysterious foundation’s work in Cuba. At last, the motherlode. There was just one problem: USAID had blacked out almost every trace of information that might shed light on what the Pan American Development Foundation was doing in Cuba. … Read more