Saturday, October 6, 2012

Group sends 18 tons of food and medicine to Cuba

Grupo de Apoyo does not disclose recipients of its funds, a tax form shows.
In September, the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded the Grupo de Apoyo a la Democracia $3 million for a three-year Cuba program.
The non-profit organization sent 36,000 pounds of food and over-the-counter medical supplies to the families of political prisoners and civic activists, according to its 2011 IRS Form 990 (download 30-page document).

Grupo de Apoyo does not disclose the names of groups or individuals that it supports in Cuba, according to the tax form.
Grupo de Apoyo drew criticism in 2006 after a government audit showed that some USAID grant recipients were sending Godiva chocolates, cashmere sweaters and Nintendo Game Boys to Cuba. (See "Grupo de Apoyo: Post Game-Boy Analysis").
USAID froze funding to Grupo de Apoyo and other grantees until the controversy subsided.
The organization is located at 1000 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables, Fla. Its executive director is Frank Hernández Trujillo. He reported a salary of $36,000 in 2011.
Other officers included Germán Rivas, León Rozio, Juan Martínez and Eduardo Pérez. None of them reported a salary for their work with the organization.
Grupo de Apoyo had $534,940 in program expenses and $17,176 in management and general expenses in 2011, according to the organization's
The total came to $552,116. Here is a breakdown:
  • Grants and assistance to organizations and individuals outside the U.S. - $430,976.
  • Compensation of current officers - $36,000.
  • Payroll taxes - $2,754.
  • Management - $36,000.
  • Accounting - $12,788.
  • Office expenses - $1,142.
  • Information technology - $2,422.
  • Occupancy (office space) - $12,600.
  • Conferences, conventions and meetings - $2,922.
  • Depreciation, depletion, amortization - $692.
  • Telephones - $11,439.
  • Auto mileage - $1,100.
  • Bank charges - $31.
  • Licenses and permits - $978.
  • All other expenses - $272.
Page 22 of the form shows Central America as the region where the group's activities occur. I believe that's because the IRS includes Cuba in its region labeled Central America. I don't think it's because the group is carrying out its activities in Central America or funneling money through Central America.

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