By Caribbean News Now contributor
WASHINGTON, USA -- A new report by the Associated Press (AP), published on Sunday, has exposed a second covert anti-Cuba programme hatched under the Obama administration and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), this one consisting of sending Latin American youngsters to the Caribbean island to encourage political subversion.
In April, AP revealed the existence of another programme called ZunZuneo – a Twitter-like anti-Cuba social media platform – launched and funded by USAID in 2009 and whose aim was to become popular among Cuban youth and then to "push them into dissidence." The USAID inspector general is investigating the programme, which was ended in September 2012.
Taking advantage of the so-called assistance for health programmes, the second anti-Cuba initiative was launched in early October 2009 by USAID. Youths from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru were sent to Cuba, hopefully to encourage a rebellion. They worked undercover as if they were tourists in an effort to identify people that could become political activists, according to AP.
With this aim in mind, the agents set up an HIV-AIDS prevention workshop, which was thought to be the perfect cover, but they were plagued by incompetence and risk. Nearly a dozen young Latin Americans were used in the programme, which paid them $5.41 per hour.
The Associated Press said that USAID and its contractor, Creative Associates International, continued with the subversive programmes against Cuba although US officials had said that they were considering the suspension of trips to Cuba following the arrest of USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who is now serving a prison sentence in Cuba after being convicted of introducing illegal technology at the behest of the US administration.