TRACEY EATON | MAY 10, 2021
Original Article: USAID in Cuba
For decades now, the U.S. government has carried out
democracy projects aimed at undermining Cuba’s socialist government. One deal
that has always intrigued me was the $15.5 million, three-year contract awarded
to Creative Associates International in October 2008. The fact that Creative
Associates ran the program from a secret
base in Costa Rica added to the allure.
In 2014, the Associated Press scooped everyone with revelations that Creative Associates had set up a secret Cuban Twitter. USAID protested the story. Still, the AP report triggered a flurry of interest and an Office of Inspector General investigation soon followed.
But ZunZuneo was only the tip of the iceberg, making up $1.7 million of the $5.3 million in projects that Creative Associates funded. A review of 22 Creative Associates reports from 2008 to 2012 provides fresh insight into the NGO’s sprawling program and illustrates its dogged efforts to recruit young people and members of Cuba’s counterculture.
“Travelers” and “consultants” from at least 10 different countries in the Americas and Europe took part in the program. Projects and people were identified by code. USAID sent in supplies using via diplomatic mail service, coordinating closely with the embassy staff.
Download the Creative Associates documents here. Some of the details I found interesting are below: