— Domani Spero
The Associated Press recently produced an investigative piece on ZunZuneo, a Twitter Cubano reportedly aimed at undermining the socialist government in Cuba that was managed by USAID.
The official government response cited a GAO report from 2013 which make no mention of ZunZeneo. The report, however, provides a snapshot of how much we have spent on the Cuba Democracy project from 1996-2011. Ay mucho dinero:
In fiscal years 1996 through 2011, Congress appropriated $205 million for Cuba democracy assistance, appropriating 87 percent of these funds since 2004. Increased funding for Cuba democracy assistance was recommended by the interagency Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, which was established by President George W. Bush in 2003.13 Program funding, which peaked in 2008 with appropriations totaling $44.4 million, has ranged between $15 and $20 million per year during fiscal years 2009 through 2012. For fiscal year 2013, USAID and State reduced their combined funding request to $15 million, citing operational challenges to assistance efforts in Cuba.14
In fiscal years 1996 through 2011, $138.2 million of Cuba democracy funds were allocated to USAID and $52.3 million were allocated to State. (see GAO report pdf).
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