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

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Taxpayers foot the bill, but are Cubans watching?

The U.S. Agency for Global Media on Wednesday reported that its weekly audience rose to 345 million, up from 278 million in 2017, a 24 percent increase. The report gives a snapshot of the radio, television and Internet audience of the agency’s five media outlets: Voice of America Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Cuba Broadcasting, including … Read more

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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

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USAID contractor: Plan for the unexpected when working in Cuba

The Pan American Development Foundation and its partners trained 19 Cuban leaders and helped organize more than 3,000 events in less than four years, the organization reported. In a post on Sunday, I griped about the group’s lack of transparency and dozens of redacted pages that the U.S. government sent me after I filed a … Read more

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$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

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