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What is USAID up to with its ‘Democracy Promotion’ programs in Cuba?

The idea of “democracy promotion” is noble, but Washington’s efforts in Cuba – emphasizing clandestine and covert operations to drive regime change – have wasted a couple hundred million dollars, cost the United States valuable prestige on the island, and hurt relations with Costa Rica and other countries.

UPDATE: Human rights group founder says AP misrepresented work in Cuba for USAID

A Costa Rican human rights organization founder accused The Associated Press of “misrepresenting” his group’s humanitarian work in Cuba for the United States Agency for International Development and claimed that an AP reporter “extorted” interviews from his staff and broke his agreement with a source, in a statement Monday.

USAID sent young Costa Ricans undercover to Cuba in anti-government scheme, AP reports

The Associated Press revealed more details Monday morning about Costa Rican involvement in United States Agency for International Development’s covert anti-Cuba operations, including the use of HIV-prevention workshops as fronts for recruiting pro-democracy activists.

Controversial US micro-blog targeting Cuban regime operated clandestinely out of Costa Rica, angering officials

The daily La Nación reported on Tuesday that the U.S. Embassy in San José operated the covert program ZunZuneo behind the Costa Rican government’s back, neglecting to inform the Foreign Ministry and other government officials of the program's true intentions. U.S. Embassy officials say Costa Rica was informed.

Gross, US contractor held in Cuba, goes on hunger strike

Alan Gross, the U.S. government contractor who has been imprisoned in Cuba for more than four years, began a hunger strike last week to protest his treatment by both the Cuban and U.S. governments, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Cuban regime change starts with embargo’s death

The United States needs a smarter way to achieve regime change in Cuba. It might start by exporting its best weapon — capitalism — instead of engaging in more half-baked covert operations.

USAID’s ‘Cuban Twitter’ draws criticism, derision

On Thursday, the United States Agency for International Development confirmed the broad outlines of an Associated Press report exposing the clandestine creation of a phony "Cuban Twitter" network that was meant to undermine the Castro government.

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