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News > Latin America

USAID Secretly Attempting to Overthrow Cuban Government

  • The director general of USAID, Rajiv Shah. (Photo: EFE)

    The director general of USAID, Rajiv Shah. (Photo: EFE) | Photo: EFE

Published 5 August 2014

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been allegedly using some of its programs to try and subvert social order in Cuba.

USAID was sending youth to Cuba behind the facade of humanitarian aid to try and created political change on the Caribbean island, according to a report published on various news websites.

The program began in late 2009 and sent Costa Rican, Peruvian and Venezuelan youths to Cuba under the guise as tourists and visited college campuses to present health workshops.

According to the report, one of the undercover operatives called a HIV-prevention workshop, run by USAID as the “perfect excuse” to recruit activists to aid in overturning the Cuban government.

This comes only months after the discovery of a Cuban Twitter account, ZunZuneo which was being used by the US government for similar purposes.  

The USAID youth operatives communicated using coded language such as "I have a headache" which meant that they were being watched by the Cuban authorities or "your sister is ill" was an order to leave the country quickly. 

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki said that the HIV workshops “enabled support for Cuban civil society, while providing a secondary benefit of addressing the desires Cubans express for information and training about HIV prevention," hinting at the dual purpose of the program.

USAID released a statement also on Monday saying that what it was doing in Cuba "is not secret, it is not covert, nor is it undercover."

Cuba isn't the only place that USAID has been trying to enforce government change. Bolivia kicked out the agency in May 2013, after accusations of meddling. President Evo Morales said at the time that, "Never again, never again USAID, who manipulate and use our leaders, our colleagues with hand-outs.”  

Also, earlier this year USAID announced they would leave Ecuador after President Rafael Correa said that the organization was no longer welcome.

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