American Embassy in Havana wants better understanding of U.S. policy

The U.S. Embassy in Havana is offering grants for projects that “highlight democratic values” and increase the free flow of ideas and information in Cuba. Here’s the announcement: The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Havana is pleased to announce funding availability through its Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. This program supports projects … Read more

State Department spent $1,263,694,937 to fuel political transitions

The State Department’s Office of Transition Initiatives, or OTI, says it has carried out “over 60 engagements in conflict-prone countries by promoting reconciliation, jumpstarting local economies, supporting emerging independent media, and fostering peace and democracy through innovative programming.” Dig through OTI’s budget and you’ll see such intriguing items as “develop an internal and external communication … Read more

Documents will be available in the year 2073

The State Department says it has found 194,000 records that may relate to the unexplained acoustic incidents in Havana, but cannot process the documents any faster than 300 pages per month. At that rate, it will take nearly 54 years to release all the records. New Yorker magazine and the James Madison Project, a Washington, … Read more

“Vino Vixen” and her boss run into trouble

State Department bosses harassed and berated employees who were thought to be disloyal to Donald Trump, an Inspector General’s report said. Assistant Secretary Kevin Moley, who heads the department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and Mari Stull, former senior advisor to Moley, were hostile and disrespectful toward career employees “based on their perceived political views,” … Read more

This tape will self-destruct in five seconds

The State Department is paying a contractor more than $1 million to train 25 to 40 “emerging Cuban leaders.” The contractor isn’t allowed to travel to Cuba to recruit participants. And U.S. officials discourage the contractor from hiring “third-country nationals” to carry out the task. Instead, the contractor should work with “a partner organization,” the … Read more