NED details $3.8 million in Cuba grants


The National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C., reported spending $3,814,328 on Cuba projects in 2017.

The NED is more transparent than most organizations that finance Cuba projects, and routinely posts its Cuba spending on its website.

The organization reported $180,882,305 in annual revenue in 2015, according to a tax return filed in August 2017. The federal government provided most of the money, $179,694,372.

In 2016, the NED awarded 1,711 grants to people in 90 countries, including Cuba.

According to NED’s most recent annual report:

El Sexto

Cuba modestly loosened some economic restrictions following Fidel Castro’s death but did not adopt similar measures in the political realm. In the months leading up and following to Castro’s death, the Cuban regime
cracked down on democracy activists, launching a campaign of harassment, assaults, and short-term arbitrary
detentions. Noted Cuban artist ‘El Sexto,’ for example, was placed in a maximum security prison for two months, which effectively prevented him from participating in Art Basel in Miami, where he had planned exhibitions and performances. But in the face of this repression, NED grantees helped foster greater civil society cohesion and generated increased international awareness about the state of democracy and human rights in Cuba. As Cubans continue to struggle for individual rights and democracy, NED will continue to identify new opportunities and areas of work while maintaining support for longer-term partners.

Details on the $3.8 million in spending is below:

  • Advocating for a Human Rights Framework for Cuba
    International Platform for Human Rights in Cuba
    To advocate for inclusion of human rights and the perspectives of Cuban civil society as part of EU engagement with the Cuban government. Project activities will include monitoring the implementation of the EU-Cuba bilateral treaty, identifying opportunities to present human rights concerns of Cuban democrats, enhancing the understanding of the new framework of EU-Cuba relations of Cuban activists, and strengthening their advocacy capacity before European actors.
  • Building Democratic Citizenship in Cuba
    Asociacion Mexicana para las Naciones Unidas de Jovenes
    To foster a democratic civic culture among youth in Cuba. Activities include workshops on democratic culture and human rights as well as the practice of civic values such as tolerance and fair play through sports activities with youth.
  • Cuba Archive: Promoting Historic Memory and Transitional Justice
    Free Society Project, Incorporated
    To strengthen the historic memory of human rights violations in Cuba and to contribute to domestic and international dialogue regarding truth, transitional justice, and reconciliation within society. The group will document and report human rights cases to expand its database. It will also expand its advocacy efforts by increasing its international visibility and fostering collaborations with its counterparts working on truth, memory, and justice.
  • Cuban Independent Artist’s Freedom of Expression
    Cuban Soul Foundation, Inc.
    To empower independent artists to produce, perform, and exhibit their work in uncensored community events. The organization will collaborate with groups of musicians to set up studio space and organize a series of events to display the work of artists participating in the program.
  • Diario de Cuba
    Asociación Diario de Cuba
    To promote freedom of expression on the island and in the international community. The organization will engage Cuban independent journalists, artists, intellectuals, and academics to promote analysis on social, political, economic and cultural developments on the island.
  • Documenting and Reporting Human Rights Violations in Cuba
    Human Rights
    To document and report human rights violations in Cuba. Working with civil society groups on the island, human rights violations will be documented according to international standards. Violations will be reported to international organizations and governments and advocacy will be carried out in support of greater respect for human rights and protection to victims in Cuba.
  • Educating Cuban Youth Activists on Democracy and Leadership Skills
    Instituto Politico para la Libertad Peru
    To strengthen the leadership capacity of Cuban pro-democracy youth activists and to promote interaction between citizens in Cuba and individuals from Latin America. The grantee will provide youth activists with training on democratic rights, youth participation, and international standards of freedom of expression.
  • Fighting Impunity Against Human Rights Violations in Cuba
    Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Inc.
    To fight impunity against human rights violations in Cuba. The grantee will identify and expose perpetrators of human rights violations. Additionally, citizens will be educated about the human rights situation in Cuba’s penitentiary system. The program will also inform Cuban citizens of consequences under international law of committing human rights violations, and will report cases to international human rights organizations and governments to seek protection to the victims.
  • Legal Aid to Cuban Civil Society
    Rule of Law
    To assist Cuban citizens and pro-democracy activists on legal matters. Research on legal matters will be produced and independent legal assistance will be provided to pro-democracy activists and the Cuban population at large.
  • Monitoring Human Rights in Cuba
    Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos
    To monitor, document, and raise international awareness about human rights violations in Cuba. Human rights defenders in Cuba will document and report human rights violations to international bodies. The information gathered will help raise international awareness about the state of human rights in Cuba.
  • Promoting Access to Information in Cuba
    Agora Cuba Inc.
    To enhance access to information in Cuba. The organization will expand upon an existing online platform, which enables access to uncensored web-based information through email. This platform also provides online education, web publishing, social news services, and job opportunities advertising.
  • Promoting Citizen Participation in Local Accountability
    Accountability and Governance
    To increase accountability of local government through citizen cooperation in seeking solutions to community problems. Activities will include documenting community challenges and presenting them to local authorities. The production and distribution of a newsletter will help raise awareness of local problems.
  • Promoting Community Reporting in Cuba
    Instituto Cubano por la Libertad de Expresión y Prensa
    To promote greater, uncensored access to information in communities throughout Cuba and to strengthen the organizational capacity of community journalism. The organization will support the publication of community-based news bulletins and their distribution to local residents.
  • Promoting Democratic Ideas and Citizen Participation
    Civic Education
    To promote public debate about a democratic transition in Cuba. Organized forums and workshops on democratic transitions with pro-democracy activists will analyze current events on the island. The production and dissemination of audiovisual materials will raise awareness about human rights violations in Cuba.
  • Promoting Democratic Ideas and Citizen Participation
    Civic Education
    Supplement: $5,055
    To promote citizen participation and freedom of expression in Cuba. Activities will include debate forums, panel discussions, and events to demand respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.
  • Promoting Freedom of the Press in Cuba
    Freedom of Information
    To raise awareness of freedom of the press violations in Cuba and to strengthen Cuban independent journalists’ abilities to respond to and report violations. Data will be collected and published in monthly bulletins and reports to denounce attacks against journalists and bloggers. Information will be disseminated on the island and to international organizations promoting and defending press freedom.
  • Promoting Independent Filmmaking in Cuba
    To strengthen the capacity of independent filmmakers in Cuba to develop materials that raise awareness about untold or censored issues affecting Cuban society. The organization will provide a group of Cuban independent producers with intensive training to produce films on topics of human rights, equality and social justice. The authors of the best-prepared material will receive support to develop and distribute their work.
  • Promoting Independent Thinking in Cuba
    Freedom of Information
    To promote greater freedom of expression and independent writing among Cuban intellectuals. Content related to cultural and social life in Cuba will be produced and disseminated via an online portal.
  • Promoting Independent Thinking in Cuba
    Editorial Hypermedia Inc.
    To promote greater freedom of expression and independent writing among Cuban intellectuals. Censored books produced by Cuban exiled writers will be compiled and distributed among intellectuals on the island. Additional activities will include encouraging independent writing among the target audience and presenting the best works at international literary events.
  • Promoting New Democratic Leadership
    Latin American Center for Nonviolence
    To strengthen the leadership and organizational skills of politically disenfranchised groups in Cuba. The grantee will identify and train emerging leaders of nascent interest groups and marginalized sectors of society to organize and advocate for their interests more effectively. With the grantee’s support, the trainees will develop and implement local advocacy campaigns.
  • Promoting Religious Freedom and Building Bridges within Civil Society
    Christian Solidarity International
    To strengthen the capacity of independent activists and religious groups to document and report freedom of religion or belief violations (FoRB). The organization will train religious groups and civil society activists to document and report FoRB violations. It will also connect its partners with Latin American religious freedom networks to learn about best practices in addressing this issue.
  • Promoting the Rule of Law through Legal Assistance and Education
    Civic Education
    To promote human rights and the rule of law by providing legal assistance and education to Cuban citizens and pro-democracy activists. Cuban citizens will learn about their rights and methods available for legal defense. Independent civil society organizations will receive training on legal rights and the rule of law in Cuba, including the international obligations of the Cuban government to protect human rights.
  • Promoting Tolerance and Pluralism in Cuba
    Democratic Ideas and Values
    To promote greater tolerance and awareness among Cubans about critical and independent voices. Events and articles will discuss the importance of allowing dissenting voices and political pluralism in Cuban society.
  • Providing Uncensored Information to Cuban Pro-Democracy Activists
    Cuban Democratic Directorate
    To promote greater access to uncensored information to Cuban pro-democracy activists and facilitate greater communication among them. Radio content will consist of news and analysis about events taking place in Cuba and around the world. Based on the programming, activists will carry out community activities in defense of human rights.
  • Regional School for Women’s Leadership
    Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir AC
    To enhance the capacity of women in leadership positions and strengthen their organizations with a gender perspective. Through trainings, women leaders will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to transform the reality of inequality and discrimination that they face within their organizations and communities.
  • Strengthening Accountability through Journalism in Cuba
    Fundacion Espacio Publico
    To strengthen Cuban journalists’ capacity to promote greater government accountability in Cuba, and to provide opportunities for interactions with Chilean journalists and experts on transparency and accountability. The grantee will carry out a training program that will include theoretical and practical learning on issues that can ultimately increase accountability on the island.
  • Strengthening Democratic Dialogue on Cuban-Led Policy Proposals
    Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
    To strengthen the capacity of independent pro-democracy think tanks in Cuba to develop independent and objective economic analysis and policy proposals, and to bring attention to the challenges faced by private sector cooperatives and small business owners. The center will conduct a think tank mentorship and exchange program for two Cuban proto-think tanks, provide strategic mentorship and technical assistance, and jointly organize a forum to discuss and raise awareness of the difficulties faced by Cuba’s beleaguered private sector.
  • Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Civic Centers
    People in Need Slovakia (PIPA)
    To strengthen the capacity of independent civic centers in Cuba and promote democratic ideas and values. The grantee will strengthen the organizational capacity of civic groups to enable them to carry out their activities more effectively. Additionally, the grantee will organize international advocacy and training seminars for its Cuban partners.
  • Strengthening the Communication Skills of Cuban Civil Society
    Asociacion Minga Peru
    To strengthen communication skills of Cuban independent civil society. The organization will support Cuban independent civil society organizations (CSOs) to improve their communication strategies and techniques to advocate more effectively for democracy and human rights in Cuba.
  • Supporting Civic Engagement of Youth
    Democratic Ideas and Values
    To promote democratic values and leadership skills of young Cuban civil society activists. Youth engagement and participation in the public sphere will be fostered, while entrepreneurial and democratic values will be strengthened.
  • Supporting Human Rights Defenders
    Human Rights
    To provide humanitarian assistance and strengthen the capacity of human rights defenders in Cuba. Activities will include raising awareness throughout the international community about human rights violations in Cuba, and the offering of assistance for pro-democracy efforts.
  • Supporting Independent Actors in Cuba
    Center for a Free Cuba
    To provide humanitarian assistance to political prisoners, their families, and human rights activists in Cuba. Technical assistance will enable democratic activists to effectively carry out their activities.
  • Supporting Independent Journalism in Cuba
    CubaNet News, Inc.
    To increase access to uncensored information in Cuba. The organization will work with independent journalists throughout the island to produce media content on social, political, economic and cultural developments in Cuba. It will publish its press coverage on its online media platform, distribution mailing lists, and social media, to ensure Cuban citizens have access to independent and truthful information.
  • Supporting Independent Journalism in Cuba
    Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)
    To strengthen collaboration among Cuban independent journalists to promote freedom of expression. The grantee will work with several independent journalists and media organizations to promote solidarity among them and strengthen their skills on digital security.
  • Supporting Independent Journalists in Cuba
    Instituto Prensa y Sociedad
    To strengthen the reporting and investigative skills of Cuban independent journalists and to promote greater interaction between them and their Latin American counterparts. The grantee will produce a report on the current state of journalism in Cuba. It will train journalists on fundamental concepts of journalism and invite a group of Cuban journalists to the 2017 edition of the Latin American Conference on Investigative Journalism.
  • Supporting Independent Unions, Civic Education, and Free Enterprise in Cuba
    Grupo Internacional para la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en Cuba
    To promote labor rights and strengthen the capacity of Cuba’s independent labor movement. The organization will provide independent labor activists in Cuba with assistance to forge a more coordinated labor movement on the island. It will also conduct a worldwide information dissemination and awareness campaign on the situation regarding labor rights in Cuba.
  • The Perils to Order and Security in Cuba’s Political Transformations
    Conflict Resolution
    To raise public awareness of the security challenges at times of political and economic transformation in Cuba. Research will demonstrate the risk factors to pubic security as a result of economic and political transformation on the island. The research will be comparative in nature, and will be published and disseminated widely.
  • Times of Change and a New Role for Different Sectors in Cuba
    Democratic Ideas and Values
    To enhance civil society’s understanding and capacity to propose political alternatives. Activities will include research on the role of different state institutions in transitions to democracy as well as discussion of this subject among Cuban civil society representatives, with an emphasis on the experiences of other countries in the region.

4 thoughts on “NED details $3.8 million in Cuba grants”

  1. A disgrace! Done by the same people who have denounced Wikileeks and are ready to go to war with Russia for doing the same to us?


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