USAID pledges $750,000 for political prisoners in Cuba

The U.S. Agency for International Development will provide $750,000 to political prisoners in Cuba, the agency’s chief said Friday. “This will help facilitate information and help document ongoing human rights’ abuses,” USAID Administrator Mark Green said. Before joining USAID in August 2017, Green was president of the International Republic Institute in Washington, D.C. The IRI … Read more

Ex-official: Alan Gross gave hardliners a pretext for hostility

U.S. officials let an American development worker languish in a Cuban prison rather than quickly negotiate his release because they were under pressure from hardline Florida lawmakers eager to highlight Cuba as an “evil empire,” a former U.S. official said in an interview. Cuban authorities arrested Gross in 2009 for setting up illegal Wi-Fi hotspots. … Read more

USAID: “Spies do exist”

A woman approaches a U.S. government employee who is on business in Moscow. They talk, they drink vodka. The American tells the woman: “I suppose it’s quite obvious that this representative of a ‘decadent Western society’ would like to make love to you.” His proposition was quickly, perhaps too quickly, accepted. The American did not … Read more

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