US NGO EXPENDITURES AIMED AT INFLUENCING CUBA’S INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Tracey Eaton | June 4, 2021
For Tracey Eaton’s site, see http://cubamoneyproject.com/data/
organizations spend a ton of money trying to influence internal affairs in
Cuba. In January 2000, I published tax documents that gave some insight into
spending trends. See “NGOs sink millions of dollars into Cuba fight.”
I have reviewed a sampling of tax and audit documents filed since that time and
am sharing excerpts of those below.
Tax documents are useful because give specific figures for an NGO’s revenue and
expenses. Trying to find the same information on government spending websites
is sometimes difficult and confusing.
These documents show that some NGOs rely on several sources of government
funding, share money with each other and sometimes pass along grants to unnamed
“sub-recepients.” Tax records also make clear that hundreds of Cuban activists
receive money from U.S. government-financed NGOs every year as part of an
extensive democracy-promotion campaign.
Democrático Cubano, Inc.
A February 2021 audit of the Directorio Democrático Cubano shows
that the Miami-based NGO spent $1,050,270 on radio programming, humanitarian
aid, civic activities and other programs in 2019. The audit, which found no problems or
irregularities, shows that the Directorio received:
- $644,936 from the National
Endowment for Democracy, via the State Department
- $111,637 from the
International Republican Institute, via the U.S. Agency for International
- $188,323 from the Grupo de
Apoyo a la Democracia, via USAID
- $104,343 in donations
funds included $514,458 that went toward the Directorio’s Radio
Republica operation, which touts itself as the “Voice of the Cuban
The Directorio is located at 730 NW 107th Ave. in Miami. The group’s
national secretariat is Orlando Gutierrez, who received a salary of $77,116 in
2018. Finance director Eddy Cento received $66,774, according to a 2019 Form 990 tax document.
how the audit described the group:
Directorio Democratico Cubano, Inc. (“DDC”) is a not-for-profit organization
incorporated on November 14, 1995 and was granted tax-exempt status under
Section 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code on December 3, 1996.
DDC was established:
- To rescue the Cuban national
culture by fostering the identification of the new generations of Cubans
and Cuban-Americans with the Cuban nation.
- To promote freedom and
democracy for Cuba in the face of the current dictatorship.
- To get the Cuban youth, both
inside and outside Cuba, actively involved in the process to promote the
respect for human rights and democracy in Cuba.
is being accomplished by promotion of democracy through various venues. The
promotion of democracy is built on the principles of free flow of information
to the Cuban people, humanitarian aid to provide support to the political
prisoners and their families, and international activities.
- Radio Republica
transmissions are essential in providing the Cuban people with information
and also provide an avenue whereby Cubans on the island can speak and be
heard by their fellow civic-minded brothers and help promote democracy in
Cuba. Radio Republica helps build a solid base in democratic principles by
providing information to people who desperately need it.
- Humanitarian aid helps the
civil society with basic necessities and helps strengthen the non-violent
struggle for democracy. The assistance to the political prisoners and
their families, as well as to activists, in many areas, is essential to
secure their survival.
- International activities
around the world to expose the lack of freedoms that exist in Cuba help
build an international solidarity movement to assist the civic leaders in
Cuba and speak out and denounce when the Cuban government unjustly imprisons
or tortures these civic leaders.
The Directorio reported that it paid 1,930 people a total of $48,628 for “civic activities,” the Form 990 document shows. That averages out to $25.20 per person. The group also gave humanitarian aid in the form of cash grants to 236 people. Six people received a total of $1,002 in equipment, and 125 people received $21,769 in food and medicine.
The Form 990 reports paying $83,442 to two employees for radio programming, and $20,205 to 744 radio reporters. The record also shows that the NGO received $3,583,161 in federal funds from 2014 through 2018.