According to an article published in the website http://cubamoneyproject.org, by journalist Tracey Eaton, who investigates how Washington spends millions of dollars of the U.S. taxpayers in illegal and covert actions against Cuba, the program’s main objective is “to increase opportunities for youth-to-youth interaction in Cuba, allowing the country’s young citizens to experience freedom of association and freedom of expression in social spaces organized outside state authority.”
In all, $6 million will be earmarked for “programs aimed at increasing free expression among youth ages 12 to 24” ; another $6 million will be used “to expand Internet use and increase access to information;” and $9 million “to support neighborhood groups, cooperatives, sports clubs, church groups and other civil society organizations.”
The article recalls that on April 1, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., held up distribution of $20 million in “democracy funds” destined for Cuba over questions about how the money was going to be spent. The Miami Herald later reported on June 10 that the extreme right-wing anti-Cuba organization Freedom House was returning $1.7 million in funds because USAID asked too many questions about where the money was going.
Phil Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute, a research organization in Arlington , Virginia , told Eaton that it is unusual for organizations to return money to the federal government.
Peters said it is “certainly understandable” that Freedom House is “extremely concerned” about protecting those people connected to its Cuba program. “But if you step back from it, the group’s decision to return the money really reinforces that it carries out political operations in Cuba ,” Peters added.