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More than once, spokespersons and officials of the current U.S. administration have declared that Cuba is not a high priority issue for their government, yet nearly six months in office have passed without a single one of the 243 punitive measures imposed by the previous tenant of the White House having been repealed.
Rather, unintelligible steps have been taken that reinforce the basis for the irrational actions of Trump and his clique. This is attested to by the State Department's certification on May 25 that Cuba is not fully cooperating with U.S. anti-terrorism efforts.
It would seem that there are forces within the administration that have held back the announced review of policies towards Cuba, betting that the harsh economic and health situation the country is going through will create a favorable scenario for "regime change" in Cuba.
That is why it is a priority for the U.S. government to guarantee another year the multimillion dollar amount that has been destined towards subversive plans against Cuba for decades.
According to the Cuba Money Project of journalist Tracey Eaton, the Biden administration is requesting $58.5 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for 2022, a 10% increase over this year's budget. The proposed budget includes $20 million for "democracy programs" aimed at Cuba, the same level of funding as 2021.
At the same time, the White House has requested $810.396 million for the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees the Cuban Broadcasting Office, parent of the infamous Radio and TV Martí.
The Cuba Broadcasting Office, which manages Radio and TV Marti, has 117 employees and an annual budget of about $28 million.
The budget document cites "the historic transition of power underway in Cuba in language that reveals intentions." It states:
"With the requested funding, USAGM will target programming in key markets such as China, Russia, and Iran; countries in the Middle East and Africa facing violent extremism; and countries where climate change, public health crises, and economic uncertainty threaten democratic values and embolden authoritarian regimes. USAGM will continue to cover emerging political and humanitarian challenges in countries such as Myanmar, Belarus, Hong Kong, and Venezuela, as well as the historic transition of power underway in Cuba."
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, former director of the Office of Cuban Broadcasting, or OCB, urged the Biden administration to provide $30 million for Radio & TV Martí.
"As Cuba's economy continues to crumble and its political infrastructure weakens, it is even more necessary for the U.S. government to have a conduit to the Cuban people," he wrote in an op-ed published in the Miami Herald.
"... If Biden wants to show his support for the Cuban people rather than the regime, he will empower Radio Television Marti by restoring its budget and preserving its editorial independence in Miami amid the Cuban diaspora, where it belongs."
The Biden administration's budget request also includes $94.043 million for USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives or OTI. The funds will "address opportunities and challenges in countries in crisis and assist in their transition to sustainable development, peace, good governance, and democracy."
OTI was involved in USAID's secret base in Costa Rica, from where anti-Cuban operations such as "Zunzuneo" were directed.