US Taxpayers’ Dollars for Cuba Policy Failures

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 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


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.

  • I would understand the USA using taxpayers money to promote disruption and unrest in countries which could conceivably be a threat.
    Cuba is no threat to the USA.
    On the other hand the USA is most definitely a threat to Cuba.
    History tells us that the USA will swim in the moral gutter in order to assert its will beyond its borders.
    The USA’s tactics have not worked so far in Cuba.
    All this has achieved is to showcase how slimy the USA’s foreign policies can be.

  • Any members of organizations or individual dissidents in Cuba who receive money from the US government deserve to be harassed or detained. They are only asking for trouble when they are supported by a government hostile to Cuba. Most of the prominent dissidents have much more money than the average Cuban.

  • What in the name of God is Robert trying to say?? He may or my not have serious intentations, but who knows?

  • Laboratory Experimentations when inventing a Pesticide for the Rodent Control, That is the Cuban Communist Corrupt Regime Smothering all of Cuba by Forced infected of the Cuban Population. Yes The investment has to & will Continue at all Cost form a joint Funded of all Free Nations, Eradication of a Communist Bacteria or The Cuban Fungus is being Burnt OUT with World Funded Donations. Every Canadian Carries this Responsibility the World Over To End Communist Slavery Started in Cuba when you Opened your Country to us Canadians. Now Very Fragile Not To Harm the Little Growth Cuba has been Left with to Survive when there Communist Slavery Dictated Life has Been Turned OFF. OUR investment :We Turn Off Communist Corrupt Controls: has Shown Very Large Returns That are Providing Only the Cuban People & Will Not Be Feeding the Communist Corrupt Regime. YES our investment Dollars Has Shown Great Returns For the Cuban People Future Not SO Far When Communist are Turned OFF & Turned OUT.

  • Given the impact of the pandemic on the US economy and, more importantly, on the priorities of US politics, the “Cuba” problem is very low on the to-do list. This may end up as a positive to the anti-Castro movement. They will likely be able to conduct their politics of disruption under the radar and with little press attention. Meanwhile, even if the Biden administration does nothing different than the status quo in Cuba, the die has been cast. The Cuba economy is on a death spiral. Oil imports are continuing to fall. Foreign capital infusion, likewise, races toward the bottom. The outlook in Cuba continues to worsen.

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