Congresswoman Lee Denounces Alleged USAID Undercover Democracy Promotion Operation in Cuba
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Lee, a member of the Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, released the following statement in response to reports that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) engaged in undercover operations to encourage political change in Cuba:
“I am appalled by recent reports that the U.S. government orchestrated and funded clandestine democracy promotion efforts under the guise of public health and civic programs. More than fifty years into the U.S. embargo, it is clear that our policies toward Cuba have failed and wasted taxpayer dollars.
“As co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, I am particularly concerned by the revelation that HIV-prevention programs were used as a cover. This blatant deception undermines U.S. credibility abroad and endangers U.S. government supported public health programs which have saved millions of lives in recent years around the world.
“These most recent reports are particularly disturbing in light of USAID’s ZunZuneo fiasco first reported a few months ago. Such misguided and counterproductive programs have no place at USAID and stand to put more U.S. citizen lives at risk. Instead of this covert approach to democracy promotion; it’s long past time for American and Cuban officials to make a serious commitment to enter into open negotiations without preconditions.”