Tuesday, June 12, 2007

USAID funding trouble (corrected)

I have not yet seen legislative language, but the word from Capitol Hill is that the House Appropriations Committee approved $5 million for USAID Cuba programs next year. The Administration had requested $40 million. Here’s the program’s website, which is two years out of date. [Correction: $47 million was requested and $9 million was provided.]

The program provides resources to Cuban dissidents, aid for families of political prisoners, and funds for information projects, conferences and organizations in Europe, and third-country solidarity activities. It was the subject of a 2006 GAO report that found a series of management problems: lack of competitive bidding, lack of communication and coordination with other government agencies, and expenditures on items such as Nintendos, cashmere sweaters, and canned crabmeat that were shipped to dissidents in Cuba.


1 comment:

leftside said...

This is the best piece of news regarding Cuba I have heard in a while. Reducing the millions sloshing around the cottage anti-Castro industry will force real projects to rise to the top and (cited) corrupt political programs to die off. It will also allow the Cubans to see that the Democrats are interested in a new way forward with Cuba - one not involving forced regime change. Dissidents on the island can breathe a bit easier as one of the major rationales against them (that they are mercenaries of the US) will have been largely removed. This all pre-supposes the money was not just moved to a more covert CIA program.