The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the Digital News Association $410,710 to promote human rights in Cuba, records show.
The CEO and executive director of the Digital News Association is Gelet Martinez Fragela, founder of ADN Cuba.
ADN operates as a for-profit company called Ulloo Media Inc. and lists the address, 5550 Glades Road, Unit 500, Boca Raton, Florida.
The Digital News Association is a nonprofit company, Florida corporate records show. Other officers include Alvaro Alba, of Miami; Maris E. Quiros, of Miami; and Samuel Landrian, Tampa.
ADN’s website lists Alba as a journalist and historian who is now executive producer of program specials for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees Radio & TV Martí.
The Digital News Association was incorporated on May 11, 2020. USAID awarded the grant on Sept. 29, according to usaspending.gov. It covers the period from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2022.
On July 23, 2019, ADN published a story saying that the Cuban government was blocking it on the island following publication of a resolution aimed at guaranteeing “informatics security.”
On Oct. 8, a YouTube channel called Fake News Vs. Cuba broadcast a video saying ADN receives USAID funding and said Martinez Fragela supports Donald Trump, a claim I have not corroborated.
ADN is the Spanish abbreviation for DNA. The website states:
Our goal is to provide what people in the communities we serve cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate, so that it can help readers understand the Cuban reality and build their own judgment.
ADN Cuba aims to maintain a clear and distinct line between information and opinion. We welcome all leanings, with the exception of those that promote dictatorial forms of government and defend violence as a means to an end. We reject opinions that contain insults, homophobia, slander, xenophobia, racism, or any other that damages personal dignity, honor, image or privacy.
Cuban is a way of being, of feeling, of speaking and of walking. A way to move your hands and eyes. A way of interpreting music and dance, sounds and silence. Because that is in our DNA. Those mysterious and until recently practically unknown cells that tell us where we come from, what our heritage is and, of course, could also predict where we are going.
The site describes itself as “an independent, social and participatory audiovisual magazine. A Cuban news portal that more than a nationality test is a place of coexistence and meeting; a way to exchange questions and views. A place to find the points that unite us and not the dead cells that separate us. From all corners of Cuba, our stories are immersive, scathing, innovative, and often bizarre.”