In an attempt to provoke political change in Cuba, the U.S. Agency for International Development infiltrated the country's underground hip-hop movement. The goal was to spark a youth revolution against the government through popular entertainers.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the program was inspired by student protest concerts against Slobodan Milosevic in 2000, which helped remove him from power. Musicians were recruited, like the rap duo Los Aldeanos, whose performances were restricted by the government. They received political training when an operative invited them to perform at a festival in Serbia, but never knew there was a connection with the United States.
The authorities eventually became suspicious of these festivals and concerts, and detained people involved in the program at least six times. Many were carrying classified information on their computers and flash drives, which could have put the rappers who didn’t know about the program in jeopardy. Finally, a USAID contractor told his handler that the Cubans were back in charge of one of the festivals that had been set up, and then the program was finished.