Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Washington NGO: $20 million for "regime change" in Cuba is "wasteful"

The Center for Democracy in the Americas in Washington lashed out Tuesday at the Obama administration's request for $20 million for pro-democracy and other work in Cuba.
The group's executive director, Sarah Stephens, said in a statement:
Unless it’s okay for the United States government to waste money on foreign aid programs that don’t work, the Obama administration should remove the $20 million in spending it has proposed on ‘regime change’ on Cuba.

Many activities funded by this program are illegal in Cuba, would certainly be illegal if Cuba conducted them in our country, and they have long histories of wasteful spending in the U.S. and hurting the intended beneficiaries in Cuba. Activities funded by this program recently landed a U.S. contractor in a Cuban prison. If you ever wanted to find a wasteful and counter-productive foreign aid program, this is it.

The paradox is this: not one of these wasteful programs can hold a candle to the one policy change that would pour American information and ideas into Cuba, and bring both countries together – namely, ending the travel ban that stops all Americans from visiting the island and engaging the Cuban people, a ‘program’ which would cost the taxpayers nothing.

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