The Piñata and the Millions of the USAID

By Johana Tablada on October 16, 2020

What is not for sale cannot be bought, and there are millions of us. Photo: Bill Hackwell

If one day the sun rises and Cuba has been destroyed as Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, or we lost our valuable conquests and advances as Bolivia did, remember that it all began with 60 years of economic warfare and the powerful and systematic artillery of the foreign policy propaganda team of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and the favorite organizations of Cubans hired there and here to bring their mission to Cuba and the world. Millions of dollars are spent on manufacturing, reproducing and legitimizing distortions that make irrelevant what happens in Cuba and gives prestige to what is said and believed or intended to happen in Cuba.

It is worth saying that USAID’s function is supposed to promote development and not to prevent and sabotage it as it happens with Cuba.

For Cuba, every year under the Helms Burton Act, interference programs are approved that are aimed at perpetuating the exclusion of international aid projects, the persecution and reproduction of “information” and content related to the policy of aggression against Cuba. These mechanisms and programs contribute to the demonization that justifies and facilitates the conditions for a change of regime.

Despite 60 years of criminal blockade, Cuba is developing a political, economic and social project with significant results in many areas that has not been able to develop to its full capacity. It is an incomplete and perfectible collective work, but with achieved results that are still a dream for most of the world’s population.

Beyond the difficulties, the country defends the right of an entire people to build a real alternative to the system of savagery and plundering that the United States is trying to impose on Cuba and all our Latin American countries, with various deceptive instruments that violate international law.

One such mechanism is the periodic distribution of funds for illegal programs aimed at influencing specific sectors of the Cuban population. These days, a portion of the USAID piñata was distributed for the selected “projects” against Cuba.

There are almost 4 million dollars in this package aimed at artificially promoting an opposition and buying support for the overthrow of the Cuban government.

More than $300 million of US taxpayers’ money has been wasted for these kinds of purposes in 10 years. It is an illegal and failed policy that distorts and hinders our country’s efforts on a daily basis.

Imagine if we were like those other countries, friends of the United States, where activists and journalists are frequently murdered, where there are heads of state for life, women and girls live without rights, where there is torture, mutilation and other abuses that will never be committed here.

If we were like some of these countries we would have those 4 million or the 20 million approved by Congress against Cuba every year to be used in programs of another nature. Let us imagine local development programs, drinking water services, credits for sustainable development projects, art schools, language schools, etc., but we are not touched by any of that, because we are Cuba.

The agency that should be providing material support to the countries to face the COVID-19, the one that should cooperate with Cuba and its medical brigades in the Third World, has other plans for Cuba.

As published in The Cuban Money Project, blog of journalist Tracey Eaton, which specializes in investigating the origin and destination of money from USAID programs for Cuba, almost 4 million dollars were distributed for projects to overthrow a foreign government, called regime change in Cuba. All well organized and illegal.

These projects are not to improve our system, nor to help the great majority of us in Cuba who are working to have a better country in all aspects. Nor is USAID’s aid aimed at defending spaces to undertake the changes and transformations that we need, not even for those in Cuba who criticize what has been done badly but defend the Revolution and reject interference. Nor are they interested in these essential projects because they promote changes and rectifications that strengthen the socialist project.

These funds are only for those who lend themselves to defending the interests and agenda of those who are punishing us; they are to justify and defend the blockade and other advanced forms of the colonial project of domination for Cuba. They are few but unfortunately they exist, they existed and will always exist. There are also programs to convince and defeat many people through exhaustion, tiredness and by repeating the most vulgar lies as if they were bringing the great truths. All this prevents the deep look at what is really behind the apparent packaged as the “natural”, the “obvious” and even the “just”.

These are overtly illegal projects, for which anyone receiving funds if they lived in the United States or another Western country would have to answer to harsh laws. I mean, if it were $4 million approved by Cuba to intervene in US domestic policy and improve its democracy so criticized by the majority of that same population, we would have been bombed already. The United States does to other states what it would never allow to be done to them. In fact, there is nothing that offends Americans more at this time than the alleged pretense of others to interfere in their policy. But the US can do that to Cuba.

In this way, and in the midst of the economic crisis generated by the brutal tightening of the blockade and our own inadequacies and difficulties that we, and only we, Cubans have to resolve without pressure from abroad, no one should be surprised that tomorrow the opinions of a few presented as those of the great majority will appear again – with visibility distorted by the support of the US propaganda machinery, with disproportionate protagonism that does not correspond at all with real support in this land.

That is the corrupt power that money has in all that is US domestic and foreign policy.

There is not a single country where USAID’s democracy programs have reached that is better off now than it was before the “aid” and interference. And if the painful experience of Bolivia and Brazil with their coups d’état, also organized by Washington with the national oligarchies, were not enough, we have the shameful example of the interventions in countries that were forced to turn back civilization to almost tribal communities thanks to the campaign of demonization similar to that of Cuba, the subsequent foreign military intervention and the plundering, humiliation of the peoples and theft of resources that in the end is the only thing that matters to imperialism.

The way these grants work, thanks in part to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other organizations outside of Cuba, is by filtering through other NGOs, pseudo-organizations and individuals, the funds try to create a seeming distance between the U.S. government that gives them and the one that receives them in the end.

Subsequently, the U.S. government also offers other assurances including promotion, tours, events, courses, and awards that accompany the denunciation that Cuba does not recognize those favorite Cubans in the country that mistreats us so much.

USAID has awarded at least six funding packages totaling $3,828,882 to “encourage” human rights, promote democratic values and assist political prisoners and their families in Cuba:

These groups include:

Democracy Support Group, $625,000

Bacardi Foundation, $600,000

The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, $544,846

Outreach Aid to the Americas, Inc, $500,001

Digital News Association, Inc. ( ADN) $410,710

National Republican Institute, $406,895

Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights , $325,000

Cuban Human Rights Observatory Association, $250,000

Of these the so-called digital newspaper ADN stands out, which, as you can see, like Diario de Cuba, Cubanos por el Mundo or Cibercuba, is not a publication but an operation of the US government against Cuba. ADN Cuba is also a project of the US government that attacks every day the rights of all Cubans here and there.

It is difficult to identify how the well-articulated attack from these publications is masked alongside the actions of America’s favorite Cubans who happen to have little or no real support in Cuba despite all the funding they receive.

Historically, it has always been a priority for the United States to identify and favor that small group willing to represent its interests and ignore the will of the majority and the right of an entire people to make for themselves the decisions that only we Cubans have to make to perfect their socialism.

Here is the money to reward all those publications that work against Cuba for The United States government every day with slander, accusations, false news and recycling of true news that is published in Cuba in identical or new clothing. There are also funds for all those who sell themselves and the prizes goes to those who have supported the illegal and criminal sanctions against their own people.

When Trump or any other U.S. president talks about supporting and helping the Cubans, he is referring only to that small group of Cubans.

The rest of us, the majority of 11 million people, are faced with the toughest and purest blockade, the persecution of transactions and remittances, the rhetoric of hate and threat, the suspension of rights, the intimidation of patriotic emigration, the covert operations to prevent trade, banking operations and investment, the arrival of fuel, medical aid, donations, the purchase of products in the United States and the persecution of Cuba’s economic trade partners and the infamous and arbitrary lists to close the siege and eliminate income to the national budget of a country that has free health and education.

What does USAID give to those countries where activists, journalists, young people who ask for education and health are murdered daily? Why not use that fund to help millions of excluded people in the United States who don’t even care about going to the polls because they feel their vote doesn’t count in a political system that ensures democracy only for the minority?

This issue requires further analysis because it is money that is immersed in another fiction of supposed organizations, groups and individuals from the United States, located mainly in Florida, Cuba and other parts of the world.

In short, since they have not been able to get their own press to support all the lies and extermination policies of the United States against Cuba, as they did with the thousands of hours of radio time against Cuba, today they rely on a quasi-state conglomerate and a cluster of publications well paid by the US government, which exists exclusively to develop the unconventional media war that distorts and manipulates the reality of Cuba. This design works under the premise that everything that cannot be won, the United States can buy.

But what is not for sale cannot be bought, and there are millions of us.

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau