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

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

$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

Hastening the transition to fabulous wealth

In Jan. 26, 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development suspended the non-profit company that ran a Cuba program called “Hastening the Transition to Democracy.” International Relief & Development, or IRD, had received at least $3.5 million for Cuba projects from September 2011 to September 2014. USAID accused IRD of reckless spending and mismanaging contracts, … Read more

Not quite as secret

The U.S. government spends so much money that it’s difficult to comprehend. I create interactive graphics to make it easier to follow the money. My sense is that U.S. agencies that manage Cuba projects are more transparent than they were in around 2009 when I first started looking at these projects. Agencies still shield some … Read more