Cuba budget request reflects competing interests

The House Appropriations Committee earlier this month approved a bill that would authorize the State Department to spend $20 million on democracy promotion projects in Cuba during fiscal 2022, which begins Oct. 1. Nearly half the money – $9.98 million – would go toward civil society; $4.78 million would be spent on independent media and free … Read more

State Department will continue to pressure Cuba

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today he supports democracy programs targeting Cuba and will look into why the proposed budget for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting for 2022 has been slashed from around $20 million to under $13 million. Under questioning from U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Blinken said U.S. officials are reviewing U.S. policy … Read more

U.S. offers $2 million to promote human rights in Cuba

The State Department is offering up to $2 million to organizations that will promote human rights in Cuba. An award announcement stated: “Proposals should offer a specific vision for contributing to change while acknowledging and developing contingencies for challenges to program implementation.” The announcement accuses Cuba of denying its citizens “many of the human rights … Read more

USAID shells out $2.6 million for Cuba projects

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 … Read more

The rise and fall of ZunZuneo

Trying to create a social network in Cuba is tricky business, especially if you want to hide from users the fact that the U.S. government is paying for it. But ZunZuneo grew rapidly, attracting 55,000 mobile phone users in Cuba by 2012. The U.S. Agency for International Development hired a private company, Creative Associates International, … Read more