HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) -- Washington has allocated $20 million to fund programs in Cuba through US State Department entities, Granma daily newspaper reported on Monday.
The Cuban daily said that a letter sent by the US State Department to Congress, revealed by the Miami-based Nuevo Herald, requests the allocation of the funds to be managed this fiscal year by the Latin America and Caribbean regional office of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bureau of Democracy ,Human Rights and Labor (DRL), and the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau (WHA). The US State Department’s letter was released two days after some member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA) decided to request the expulsion of USAID bureaus from their territories, for considering them disruptive of the sovereignty and political stability in these nations.
The Communist Party newspaper said that the use of such funds is not aimed at benefiting the Cuban people, but at providing some individuals in Cuba with access to technologies in an effort to back what they call “regime-change” policy.
The initiative includes the delivery of PCs, DVD equipment, USBs, cell phones, the Nuevo Herald said, citing a US Congress employee that reportedly knows about the case.
The Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau was allocated $2.53 million to implement a “distance training program on basic IT skills,” the Democracy Human Rights and Labor Bureau got $1.05 million to provide equipment and software programs to collect information on alleged human rights violations, which are not double-checked by any other entity. Meanwhile, the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office was given $2.9 million for “humanitarian support” to “politically marginalized persons,” meaning the funding by a foreign government of individuals grouped in “opposition factions,” an action severely punished in the United States, Granma newspaper noted.
The US government has apparently resorted to a combination of traditional and new methods, since some $20 million was destined to launch programs through USAID and the State Department, both in fiscal 2009 and 2010.