Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Directorio pays thousands of Cubans

Orlando Gutierrez Boronat spars with Cuban intelligence chief
Directorio Democrático Cubano was founded 25 years ago in Miami Beach. Back then it was called the International Congress of Cuban Youth for a Free Cuba. Members changed the name to Directorio in 2002.
Now based in Hialeah, Fla., the organization gives direct aid to Cuban dissidents and carries out radio broadcasts to the island. Its co-founder and national secretary is Orlando Gutierrez Boronat, who made headlines in April after getting into a fistfight in Panama City where the Summit of the Americas took place. His foe that day was Alexis Frutos Weeden, identified as a Cuban intelligence chief.
Gutierrez' wife, Janisset Rivero-Gutierrez, is adjunct national secretary of Directorio Democrático. Board member Lorenzo L. de Toro is her brother-in-law. The executive director and co-founder is Javier de Céspedes.
U.S. taxpayers provide most of the funding for the Directorio, which received $6,272,110 in government grants from 2009 to 2013, tax records show.

The organization's mission is to try to bring about democracy in Cuba through a "civic, nonviolent struggle" that includes support for dissidents, "exchange of information with the Cuban people," and "international solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in Cuba," Directorio's website says.
Directorio's projects include Radio República, offering news, debate and entertainment, and La República newspaper.
In 2008, the Directorio issued a statement defending how it spends its money after the Cuban American National Foundation issued a report criticizing the organization.
According to an IRS form 990 filed on Nov. 24, 2014, the group spent $951,862 in 2013. That included $382,305 in salaries and other compensation and $569,557 in other expenses.
Wire transfers to Cuba, which the IRS oddly lists as being in the Central American region
Salaries include:

  • Janisset Rivero-Gutierrez, 40 hours per week: $53,538.
  • Eddy R. Cento, finance director, 40 hours per week: $52,154.
  • Orlando Gutierrez Boronat, 20 hours per week: $26,154.
  • Javier de Céspedes, two hours per week: $0.
  • Juan J. Fernandez de Castro, five hours per week: $0.
  • Lorenzo L. de Toro, one hour per week: $0.
  • Calixto Navarro, two hours per week: $0.

There was no breakdown for the remaining salaries.
Other expenditures listed in the report included:

  • Other employee benefits: $15,509
  • Payroll taxes: $28,634
  • Accounting: $18,500
  • Other fees for services: $15,017
  • Office expenses: $2,298
  • Office rent: $77,827
  • Travel: $50,687
  • Conferences, conventions and meetings: $6,033
  • Depreciation, depletion and amortization: $30,326
  • Insurance: $3,487
  • Humanitarian aid: $3,189
  • Bank charges: $1,343
  • Finance charges: $424
  • Auto expenses: $72
  • Late payment fees: $154
  • Network administration: $219
  • Other tax filing fees: $70
  • Payroll service bureau: $2,390
  • Postage and shipping: $1,618
  • Radio programming: $104,517
  • Support for civic activities: $59,860
  • Telephone: $75,429
  • Video production/copying: $330
  • "Loss on impairment of radio tower": $115,767 (No explanation is given for this expense. Was this a radio tower that was seized or disabled by Cuban authorities? Or ruined by a hurricane?).

Payments to individuals outside the U.S. included:

  • $3,189 in humanitarian aid for 32 people.
  • $59,860 in support for civic activities for 4,400 people.
  • $15,500 listed as "island reporters" for 1,500 people (The term "island reporters" isn't explained. My guess is that these are Cubans who are reporting human rights violations and complaints about Cuban authorities).

No comments: