Cuba calls US funding of “democracy promotion” programs illegal

Cuba has criticized US funding of “democracy promotion” programs as interventionist and illegal, aimed at overthrowing the government amid the current worst economic crisis.

The programs – which over several decades have spent more than $200 million on Cuba-related projects – are actually leveraging foreign funding to foment unrest on the island, the deputy minister of state affairs told Reuters on Friday. Foreign affairs of the country in Havana.

“In any country, it’s illegal,” he said, noting that the United States has legislation against people who act as agents of foreign governments.

“That is precisely what the United States is trying to promote in Cuba today,” he added.

In July, the Biden administration announced a call for applications to award up to $6.25 million to nongovernmental organizations and individuals under a program authorized by U.S. law to “promote positive change.” peaceful and non-violent democracy in Cuba”.

“They are lowering the standard of living of the people and at the same time pouring millions of US taxpayer dollars into inciting people to act against the (Cuban) government,” De Cossio said.

The island nation, which is currently facing its worst economic crisis in decades amid US sanctions, announced blackouts this month.

Along with soaring food, fuel and medicine prices due to shortages, people are seeing long queues for basic necessities.

The US trade embargo, in place against Cuba since 1962, was tightened under former President Donald Trump. Trump’s successor has chosen to follow the same path.

President Joe Biden, who initially distanced himself from his Republican predecessor, not only retained Trump’s maximum pressure campaign on Cuba, but increased sanctions.

Several prominent US congressional lawmakers, particularly Republicans, have also advocated direct intervention in Cuba, to the point of suggesting bombings.