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US funnelling millions to opposition groups in Cuba

MILLIONS of dollars have been spent by the US in a bid to undermine and subvert democracy in Cuba as part of its long-term aim of overthrowing the socialist government.

An extensive network of groups funded by the US government funnels cash every month to thousands of so-called democracy activists, dissidents and opposition journalists to “rescue Cuban democracy,” Freedom of Information Act data has revealed.

Last month the US State Department announced it was releasing up to $1 million (£744,000) to organisations that promote “civil, political, religious and labour rights” with many of the recipients remaining secret.

Analysts believe that the Donald Trump administration is moving quickly to ensure its clandestine activities to undermine the socialist island continue ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden in January.

According to data, organisations working inside Cuba have received a total of $16,569,889 (£12,369,504) in grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) since 2017.

While the USAID reports detail the funding for only five or six groups in any given year, about a dozen are believed still to be operating under the previous year’s grants.

Almost $70m (£52m) has been committed, but the funding has yet to be secured as it requires approval from the US Congress.

The names of 54 of the organisations in receipt of US funding, often channelled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and USAID, are publicly listed.

They include the Centre for a Free Cuba, the Cuban Human Rights Observatory and the Cuban Institute for the Freedom of Expression and Press.

Last year the Morning Star reported on the collusion between the BBC and British intelligence services to manipulate international media in both the Middle East and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

In an elaborate scheme the British government paid newswire service Reuters to set up reporting services which were funded covertly via the BBC.

The “news” was then rehashed by local media, allowing the British to exercise “political influence” in the regions.

During the cold war the CIA funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty as an explicitly anti-communist news organisation pumping propaganda into Europe’s former socialist states.

At one stage it even employed several former Nazi agents who had been involved in anti-Soviet activities under the direction of Adolf Hitler.

The US has sought to overthrow the Cuban government ever since  the 1959 revolution. A six-decade-long embargo is believed to have cost the Cuban economy some  $753.69 billion (£562.39bn).

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