First task for U.S. operatives in Cuba: Avoid detection

U.S. government contractors sometimes struggle to find Cubans who are willing to work with them. Cuban participants worry about the political nature of U.S. government-financed projects, according to a second batch of documents about one contractor’s work in Cuba. (See “USAID in Cuba: Code names and counter surveillance“). The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded … Read more

USAID in Cuba: Code names and counter surveillance

For decades now, the U.S. government has carried out democracy projects aimed at undermining Cuba’s socialist government. One deal that has always intrigued me was the $15.5 million, three-year contract awarded to Creative Associates International in October 2008. The fact that Creative Associates ran the program from a secret base in Costa Rica added to … Read more

Should media content be labeled “foreign-agent produced?”

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken earlier this week rejected a Russian law requiring independent news organizations and some journalists to label their content as “foreign-agent produced” if they receive foreign funding. “The Secretary agreed that the Russian government’s efforts to silence independent journalism only harm the citizens it is meant to serve,” Kelu Chao, … Read more

NED failed to disclose 21% of Cuba grants

The U.S. taxpayer-financed National Endowment for Democracy in February published a list of organizations that received $5,077,788 in NED grants for work in Cuba in 2020. The project with the highest dollar amount was worth $650,000 and titled “Promoting Greater Access to Uncensored Information to Cubans.” The NED censored the names of 15 organizations or … Read more

What happens to U.S. money targeting Cuba?

On Saturday, Cuban YouTuber, blogger and broadcaster Boris Sancho invited me to his program, Hablando Claro (Speaking Clearly), to talk about democracy-promotion projects in Cuba. The U.S. Agency for International Development has spent millions of dollars to promote democracy in Cuba. Sancho asked me how much of the money actually reaches the island. I told … Read more