State Department issues stinging report on Cuba

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken today released the department’s annual report on human rights around the world. I expect Cuba will strenuously object to the State Department’s findings, shown below. Cuba is an authoritarian state with former president Raul Castro serving as the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, the highest political entity … Read more

Inspector General: Radio & TV Martí failed to communicate

In 2018, Radio and TV Martí broadcast a video raising conspiracy theories about Jewish philanthropist George Soros and calling him a “non-practicing Jew of flexible morals.” Lawmakers and others criticized the network, asking why U.S. taxpayers were funding anti-Semitic broadcasts. Eight staffers were eventually fired, the Miami Herald reported in 2019. The episode triggered investigations … Read more

U.S.: FOIA requests about acoustic incidents “not mission critical”

New Yorker magazine and a watchdog group sued the State Department in February 2019 for documents related to unexplained acoustic incidents that injured U.S. diplomats in Havana. (See “Documents will be available in the year 2073“). But the State Department says it has made very little headway in processing FOIA documents over the past nine … Read more

The democracy business in Cuba is bustling

A sprawling network of U.S. government-financed groups sends cash to thousands of Cuban democracy activists, journalists and dissidents each year. At any given moment, dozens of organizations manage democracy programs on the island. Public records reveal only fleeting glimpses of the mosaic. Some programs are so secret that the recipients of funds are never disclosed. … Read more

USAID targets Cuban tourism

The U.S. Agency for International Development has given a Florida nonprofit $97,321 for a program called, “Truth about Exploitation in Cuban Tourism.” USAID awarded the grant to the Directorio Democrático Cubano, or Cuban Democratic Directorate, on Nov. 5. The directorio was founded in Miami in 1990. It touts itself as an organization that promotes democracy … Read more