The democracy business in Cuba is bustling

A sprawling network of U.S. government-financed groups sends cash to thousands of Cuban democracy activists, journalists and dissidents each year. At any given moment, dozens of organizations manage democracy programs on the island. Public records reveal only fleeting glimpses of the mosaic. Some programs are so secret that the recipients of funds are never disclosed. … Read more

$1 million up for grabs for Cuba projects

The State Department is offering up to $1 million for programs that would boost “civil, political, religious, and labor rights in Cuba.” U.S. officials contend that Cuban authorities have “taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to increase repression and harassment of independent journalists and civil society activists.” “Despite these systemic efforts by the regime to … Read more

What happens to U.S. money targeting Cuba?

On Saturday, Cuban YouTuber, blogger and broadcaster Boris Sancho invited me to his program, Hablando Claro (Speaking Clearly), to talk about democracy-promotion projects in Cuba. The U.S. Agency for International Development has spent millions of dollars to promote democracy in Cuba. Sancho asked me how much of the money actually reaches the island. I told … Read more

Cuba spending: Setting the record straight

Earlier this month, I reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development and and the National Endowment for Democracy had spent around $73 million toward Cuba projects since Donald Trump took office. On Friday, I discovered I made a mistake. I redid my calculations and now believe that USAID, the State Department and NED have … Read more

At least $24 million in COVID aid to Cuba-related enterprises

In June 2019, U.S. authorities ended people-to-people travel to Cuba. “These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared. The move also hurt South Florida travel businesses that helped arrange trips to Cuba. Less than a year later, COVID-19 hit, … Read more