How much democracy aid reaches Cuba?

The U.S. government spends millions of dollars trying to promote democracy in Cuba, but most of the money never reaches Cuban activists on the ground. Take the case of the Directorio Democrático Cubano. The Miami group reported spending $842,851 in 2016, according to tax records filed in May 2017. That included $686,811 in government grants. … Read more

USAID shines, State Department slips

The U.S. Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that “examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently.” In 2015 and 2016, the GAO found dozens of problems with the way that the State Department and … Read more

Internet task force findings due Dec. 6

The State Department plans a public meeting of the Cuba Internet Task Force on Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C. Officials created the task force in January as part of U.S. efforts to “cancel” what President Trump described as “the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba.” The meeting is set for 3:30 p.m. to 5 … 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

A failure to communicate

The State Department did a poor job getting out the word of complaints that more than 20 U.S. embassy personnel and their family members in Havana had suffered “medical injuries similar to mild traumatic brain injury or concussion,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported. More effective communication is important, the GAO said, because it can … Read more