Cuba projects fly under the radar

A California company called Internews Network proudly declares that it works in far-flung spots around the world, everywhere from Tajikistan and Nepal to Albania and Vanuatu. Cuba appears nowhere on the company’s where we work list. Yet the State Department gave the company at least $2 million for three Cuba projects in 2015 and 2016, … Read more

“Secret” project to spiffy up Cuban Affairs suite

A Maryland company has been awarded a $418,700 contract to refurbish a Cuban Affairs office at the State Department. Suite 3234 “is being renovated into a modernized, efficient, attractive, and professional work environment consisting of private offices, systems furniture office space, reception waiting area, data hub room, and workroom/pantry.” A project document states: This project … Read more

U.S. touts $5 million program for entrepreneurs from Cuba, other nations

The U.S. government plans a $5 million “global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance business development and leadership skills, and build a lasting and sustainable network of young business and social entrepreneurs across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.” The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program will offer … Read more

U.S. to spend $1 million-plus to train Cuban students, young professionals

The State Department has launched a $1,033,086 project to train “emerging Cuban leaders.” The goal: To develop 20 to 45 university students or young professionals who will help boost democracy in Cuba. The State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, or WHA, had been scheduled to start the three-year-long project in September. According to a … Read more

Uncle Sam buys guns, booze, live animals and space vehicles

State Department spending records show that the State Department spent $443,914,384 toward a wide variety of items. Some of the more unusual or unexpected expenses are below. See interactive graphic. $4,423,187 for chemical analysis instruments $3,463,199 for men’s outerwear $3,063,669 in newspapers and periodicals $2,025,334 in unmanned aircraft $1,811,959 in live animals not raised for … Read more