Thursday, April 7, 2011

Full text of memo on $20 million for Cuba

03/31/11 - US Department of State - Congressional Notification - Western
Hemisphere Economic Support Funds Cuba

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE CONGRESSIONAL NOTIFICATION PROGRAM:
APPROPRIATION CATEGORY:
PROJECT TITLE:
INTENDED 2010 OBLIGATION:
Western Hemisphere Economic Support Funds Cuba
$20,000,000

The United States Department of State and US AID intend to obligate up to $20,000,000 in FY 2010 Economic Support Funds (ESF) for human rights and civil society initiatives in support of the Cuban people. This notification is being submitted pursuant to section 634(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and sections 7015(c) and (f), and section 7034(m)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act (Div. F, P.L. 111-117), 2010.

Of the $20 million in FY 2010 ESF, $2,677,024 will be used to support human rights initiatives, $15,737,976 will be used for civil society and media programs, and $1,585,000 million will be used for program support. USAID/LAC will administer $10,647,976 of these funds, USAID/OTI will administer $2 million, State/DRL will administer $6,427,024, and State/WHA will administer $925,000.

State and US AID are committed to implementing these programs with all help measure better results in ensure these funds are due oversight and appropriate mechanisms that will support of the Cuban people. State and USAID will allocated to recipients on a competitive basis and reach a broad representation of Cuban civil society; that as few funds as possible are spent outside of Cuba; and that funds support the activities of Cubans on the island who are working for the advancement of democracy and human rights. We look forward to continuing to review these programs with Congress to assess their efficacy.

Program Descriptions:

Program Area 2.1, Rule of Law and Human Rights ($2,677,024 FY 2010 ESF):

Grupo de Apoyo a la Democracies Humanitarian Assistance
Amount: $750,000 (USADD/LAC to administer)
These funds will be used to continue to provide humanitarian support, including food stuffs and over-the-counter medicines, to Cuban political prisoners and their families. Efforts by local civil society groups that promote awareness of the plight of political prisoners will also be supported.

Implementer TBD: Human Rights Documentation
Amount: $427,024 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will provide professional support and training to human rights monitors/investigators on the island in order to strengthen the protection of human rights by collecting information, identifying problems, diagnosing the cause of problems, considering potential Cuban-led solutions, and assisting in problem-solving to help redress human rights problems and prevent future violations. Subjects on which professional training for human rights monitors/investigators could be conducted include, but are not limited to: 1) methodologies for accurately monitoring and reporting on human rights abuses; 2) coalition building and advocacy among human rights groups in Cuba; 3) protection of information; and 4) documentation
techniques, including the collection and preservation of human rights testimonies from Cubans on the island.

Implementer TBD: Disability Rights
Amount: $200,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will strengthen and complement Cuban-led initiatives to create the conditions that allow meaningful civic participation by persons (particularly women, youth, and marginalized groups such as Afro-Cubans) with disabilities. The program's goal will be to enable these groups to promote change in attitudes and behaviors that stigmatize persons with disabilities. A key aim of this project is to strengthen the organizational capacity of disabled people's associations and organizations that provide services to the disabled (e.g. religious institutions) to advocate for Cuba's disabled population, with special attention to how their services and events are implemented in remote areas of Cuba.

Implementer TBD: Inclusion of LGBT Community
Amount: $300,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will strengthen grassroots organizations and complement Cuban-led initiatives to create conditions that allow meaningful and unhindered participation by members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in all aspects of Cuban society. Project activities could include, but are not limited to: 1) providing management and organizational skills training; 2) facilitating networking between LGBT associations, student groups, and other organizations; and 3) capacity building to advocate for their rights and them help host public awareness
events and produce publications on LGBT rights for public consumption.

Implementer TBD: Social Rights
Amount: $1 million (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will support greater empowerment of Cuban citizens to advocate for public policy alternatives that improve standards of living by increasing access to housing, food, education, and health care. The project will include activities focusing on community organizing, education and outreach, and accurate documentation of social rights' violations, to promote solutions to achieving greater respect for social rights. The project will also empower Cubans to identify rights that they consider important and enable them to design peaceful strategies to promote these
rights.

Program Area 2.4, Civil Society ($15,737,976 FY 2010 ESF):

Freedom House: Alternative Methods to Increase Information and Assistance
Amount: $1,699,394 (USAID/LAC to administer)
These funds will focus on increasing access to information to Cuban civil society groups through new media initiatives that include technical assistance and training. The program will also provide training to build the capacity of Cubans to effectively and professionally document human rights abuse cases on the island. Funds will be used to increase dialogue between Cubans on the island and people from other countries who have positively influenced their governments through peaceful strategies and advocacy. In addition, funds will continue to build the capacity of civic and community leaders through the development of educational information toolkits, which include software and information on current affairs, human rights treaties, and other relevant, publicly available documents.

ECHOcuba: Empowering Civil Society
Amount: $213,582 (USAID/LAC to administer)
Funds will be used to strengthen Cuban's understanding of free markets and free market systems, as well as basic business concepts. Through on-going training in these areas, the program will increase knowledge of free market principles among groups from marginalized communities. Organizational support will be provided to independent civil society groups so that they are more aware of how to advocate for their interests. Participants will also meet to discuss topics of mutual interest and needs in their communities, and determine how those needs can be addressed.

Implementer TBD: Democratic Engagement at the Community Level
Amount: $2,700,000 (USAID/LAC to administer)
The project will work at the community level to train in methodologies that identify and address local needs in a participatory manner. Once specific needs are identified, activities will be designed with the goal of facilitating meaningful engagement between citizens. The program will seek to identify and build the leadership of a future generation of Cubans who are well-equipped to advocate for community needs and to govern with accountability to citizens. This program is intended to continue elements of OTI's Outreach to New Sectors of Cuba Society program.

Implementer TBD: Empower Youth to Advance Democracy
Amount: $2,000,000 (USAID/LAC to administer)
These funds will support greater empowerment for Cuban youth to meaningfully engage in key social and civic decisions affecting their lives (e.g., freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, access to information). This program will help young Cubans to develop a range of skills important in democratic societies such as communications, decision-making, and leadership organized through a range of group activities, trainings, and seminars organized in independent social spaces. This program also aims to increase young Cubans' awareness and understanding of fundamental human rights and freedoms, and will provide strategies for advancing those rights and freedoms in peaceful, nonviolent ways.

Implementer TBD: Facilitating the Free Flow of Information
Amount: $2,000,000 (USAID/LAC to administer)
This program aims to increase the flow of uncensored information to, from, and within the island by strengthening the capacity of independent civil society groups and networks to provide information and other outreach services to the communities which they serve. Funds will promote the use of new media and social media tools and/or other appropriate technologies that allow for the free and decentralized flow of uncensored information. By encouraging a free exchange of ideas and distribution of information on a range of issues, this program will foster critical thinking skills that help inform individuals regarding events that directly impact their lives.

Creative Associates/Implementer TBD: Outreach to New Sectors of Cuba Society
Amount: $2,000,000 (USAID/DCHA/OTI or USAID/LAC to administer) These funds will support Cuba's emerging civil society by creating linkages with other civil society organizations throughout the Western hemisphere. The program focuses on connecting nascent civil society groups in Cuba with more established civil society organizations in the region, in order to provide technical assistance on community development, facilitating communication and enabling them to share experiences and lessons learned with one another. The program identifies emerging leaders and groups and creates "people-to-people" linkages between non-traditional civil society actors on the island and NGOs in the region.

Implementer TBD: Freedom of Expression - Media
Amount: $600,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will provide professional support, resources, and training to journalists in order to create stronger, unified and confident journalists' and bloggers' associations that can implement Cuban-led initiatives to advance freedom of expression on the island. The program's goal is to involve journalists and bloggers associations and unions in the media development process.

Implementer TBD: Freedom of Expression - Culture
Amount: $600,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will support greater freedom of expression on the island, especially among performing artists, visual artists, musicians, poets, and writers by increasing civic space for expressing opinions, sharing ideas, and disseminating information. Objectives are to generate increased demand not only for information per se but for freedom of expression overall.

Implementer TBD: Independent Legal Associations
Amount: $700,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will build capacity among independent lawyers and lawyer associations by providing resources, training, disseminating information about how to assist citizens in defending fundamental rights and freedoms. In addition, given the recent economic reforms in Cuba, the program will also work to enable independent Cuban lawyers to play a critical role on market-oriented economy issues, specifically those related to private property rights and freedom to contract.

Implementer TBD: Conflict Resolution
Amount: $300,000 (State/DRL to administer)
These funds will promote peaceful, nonviolent conflict resolution techniques and foster collaboration among Cuban civil society actors. The program will use conflict resolution as a tool to improve respect for human rights by helping people
work together to identify and manage their differences and by promoting a
consultative process to prevent conflict. The program will promote techniques (i.e., cooperative approaches, principle of impartiality, developing interest-based cooperative strategies, fostering dialogue, and role-play/scenario exercises) for solving a wide range of conflict situations, including community disputes, workplace grievances, and vulnerable populations' participation in society.

Transfer to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
Amount: $2 million (State/DRL will administer)
NED will use these funds to make grants to: 1) support independent, democratic civil society activists on the island, including journalists, unionists, teachers, women, youth and Afro-Cubans, and freedom of association and unionization efforts; 2) cultivate the analytical capacity of existing civil society actors, with an emphasis on fostering new academic and investigative reports; and 3) promote greater knowledge of and adherence to international norms laid out in regional and global multilateral institutions regarding political, civic and fundamental human rights,
including freedoms of association and expression. NED works with a broad, bi-partisan coalition of partner organizations located in the United States,
Western and Eastern Europe, and Latin America that provide direct technical, material and financial support to independent, democratic activists in Cuba. NED is also working to provide support directly to civil society partners inside Cuba, thus ensuring that the largest possible amount of assistance goes directly to democratic activists on the island.

Implementer(s) TBD: Increased Access to Information for Cubans
Amount: $925,000 (State/WHA to administer)
These funds will support increasing access to uncensored information on the island by providing new and social tools, basic information technology skills and educational programs to Cubans via distance learning courses administered in Cuba. Funds will also support the capacity-building of Cubans who provide and disseminate uncensored information, including independent journalists, bloggers, librarians and teachers. Additionally, funds will support the purchase of basic information technology supplies and for funding research on expanding the use of connection technology by Cubans on the island.

Program Area 6.2, Administration and Oversight ($1,585 million FY 2010
ESF): These funds will support program management and oversight to ensure program accountability and facilitate the implementation of Cuba programming. These amounts reflect necessary oversight funding proportional to the amount of program funds each office/agency will administer. For USAID/OTI and State/WHA, additional administration and oversight funding is not necessary to administer its portion of this program funding.
USAID/LAC: $1,285,000
State/DRL: $300,000
Total: $1,585,000

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