Barcardí pushing for Cuba Libre with U.S. help

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the Barcardí Family Foundation $1,553,494 for democracy-promotion work in Cuba. Contract records do not give details about the foundation’s plans. The non-profit organization’s “flagship program” for 2017 and 2018 is Cuba Decide, a citizen initiative aimed at organizing “a vote that changes the oppressive communist party-ruled system … Read more

U.S. touts $5 million program for entrepreneurs from Cuba, other nations

The U.S. government plans a $5 million “global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance business development and leadership skills, and build a lasting and sustainable network of young business and social entrepreneurs across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.” The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program will offer … Read more

U.S. to spend $1 million-plus to train Cuban students, young professionals

The State Department has launched a $1,033,086 project to train “emerging Cuban leaders.” The goal: To develop 20 to 45 university students or young professionals who will help boost democracy in Cuba. The State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, or WHA, had been scheduled to start the three-year-long project in September. According to a … Read more

NED details $3.8 million in Cuba grants

The National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C., reported spending $3,814,328 on Cuba projects in 2017.

The NED is more transparent than most organizations that finance Cuba projects, and routinely posts its Cuba spending on its website.

The organization reported $180,882,305 in annual revenue in 2015, according to a tax return filed in August 2017. The federal government provided most of the money, $179,694,372.

In 2016, the NED awarded 1,711 grants to people in 90 countries, including Cuba.

According to NED’s most recent annual report:

El Sexto

Cuba modestly loosened some economic restrictions following Fidel Castro’s death but did not adopt similar measures in the political realm. In the months leading up and following to Castro’s death, the Cuban regime
cracked down on democracy activists, launching a campaign of harassment, assaults, and short-term arbitrary
detentions. Noted Cuban artist ‘El Sexto,’ for example, was placed in a maximum security prison for two months, which effectively prevented him from participating in Art Basel in Miami, where he had planned exhibitions and performances. But in the face of this repression, NED grantees helped foster greater civil society cohesion and generated increased international awareness about the state of democracy and human rights in Cuba. As Cubans continue to struggle for individual rights and democracy, NED will continue to identify new opportunities and areas of work while maintaining support for longer-term partners.

Details on the $3.8 million in spending is below:

  • Advocating for a Human Rights Framework for Cuba
    International Platform for Human Rights in Cuba
    To advocate for inclusion of human rights and the perspectives of Cuban civil society as part of EU engagement with the Cuban government. Project activities will include monitoring the implementation of the EU-Cuba bilateral treaty, identifying opportunities to present human rights concerns of Cuban democrats, enhancing the understanding of the new framework of EU-Cuba relations of Cuban activists, and strengthening their advocacy capacity before European actors.
  • Building Democratic Citizenship in Cuba
    Asociacion Mexicana para las Naciones Unidas de Jovenes
    To foster a democratic civic culture among youth in Cuba. Activities include workshops on democratic culture and human rights as well as the practice of civic values such as tolerance and fair play through sports activities with youth.

Read moreNED details $3.8 million in Cuba grants