What on many occasions appeared as clumsiness or frank inefficiency, has been nothing more than a project destined to fail.

The US Embassy in Havana, Cuba.  Photo: Jorge Luis Banos / IPS

By Alejandro Armengol (Cubaencuentro)

HAVANA TIMES – Both Democratic and Republican presidents and legislators have shown more interest in appearing to their voters to have an interest in Cuba than in contributing to a real change in the Caribbean nation.

When questioned, the alarms have generally gone off about Washington’s “right” to force a “regime change” in Cuba. A more practical question would be to ask whether being a superpower gives any government of the United States – no matter whether Democrat or Republican – unlimited power to squander its taxpayers’ money.

For decades, all or most of what has been done to promote democracy in Cuba, with US funds, has been done wrong. It is amazing how the most powerful nation in the world is so clumsy in the face of a small country.

That is unless the suspicion is entertained that ineptitude has not been a sin but a goal. It is true that then conspiracy theories come into play. However, there is too much data to right it off simply to chance and circumstance.

From the plans of the CIA to exterminate Fidel Castro, time and again in this country a similar scheme repeats. One that is difficult to understand outside the United States. The use of vast resources and many millions of funds with the aim of achieving nothing.

What on many occasions has been interpreted as clumsiness or outright inefficiency has been nothing more than the appearance of a project destined for failure.

Only a nation with such a big budget, can assign so many millions simply to waste. Only a powerful country and at the same time a victim of its own arrogance can carry out such a task.

In the case of Cuba, Washington has done it successfully for decades.

The consequence is that an “anti-Castroism” emerged that is more of an economic endeavor than a political ideal, fueled largely by US taxpayer funds.

When at the end of the last century the transformation of this model approached a tipping point, in which the narrowness of the political objective of the exile group that supported it cast doubt on its future possibilities, the coming to power of George W. Bush extended its survival. He applied an ideologically charged policy —precisely in accord with the main beneficiaries of the “anti-Castro model.” Such had not been known for decades.

The politics of extremes became the national strategy and not a Miami curse. In this sense — though not in others — the Obama administration did nothing more than prolong an inherited situation.

Since Donald Trump became president of the United States, the State Department has channeled at least $13,954,253 into projects related to “bringing democracy to Cuba,” through the National Endowment for Democracy, documents show. Likewise, during the Trump era, USAID also spent about $40 million related to Cuba.

The top five beneficiaries of these funds through 2019 (according to records found at explorer.usaid.gov) are:

1. The Cuban Democratic Directorate (Directorio Democrático Cubano), $3,900,000

2. People in Need (Czech Republic), $1,433,616

3. El Grupo para la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en Cuba, $1,380,000

4. CubaNet, $1,350,796

5. Asociación Diario de Cuba, $1,320,000

(Source: http://cubamoneyproject.com/2020/10/13/ned-23-million-in-cuba-grants-under-trump/)

Of course, as always, the Cuban regime continues to persist in its formidable ability to prolong the disaster. Nothing can be expected from Havana. Any gamble seeking a correspondence of gestures hits the wall of immobility. Moreover, if all the schemes, originated and financed from abroad, to promote democracy in Cuba have to date failed, why such a clumsy effort to spend US taxpayers’ money?

If the Island has been an example of anything, it is in being a laboratory that turns into failure what succeeds elsewhere. From the distant days of the Bay of Pigs expedition, it is about time the lesson is learned. Unfortunately, that has not been the case, and there is little hope that the Biden administration will do anything to remedy the mess.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

6 thoughts on “US Taxpayers’ Dollars for Cuba Policy Failures

  • Moses Patterson is spot on. The Castro government may continue to blame the U.S. for its failures. But a country without manufacturing capacity, and unable to feed its people, (despite vast agricultural potential), is destined to failure. It is simply a matter of time.

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