The Obama administration used the U.S. Agency for International Development as a front to send young Latin Americans undercover into Cuba to foment political unrest, according to an Associated Press report released Monday.
Begun in 2009, the program secretly recruited and deployed young people from Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Peru to the cloistered island. In one instance, the young agents staged an HIV-prevention workshop to network with disaffected locals — an event that a memo obtained by the AP called "the perfect excuse" for the group to pursue its secret goals. What's more, the spies worked for as little as $5.41 per hour.
More from the AP:
[T]heir efforts were fraught with incompetence and risk, an Associated Press investigation found: Cuban authorities questioned who was bankrolling the travelers. The young workers nearly blew their mission to "identify potential social-change actors." One said he got a paltry, 30-minute seminar on how to evade Cuban intelligence, and there appeared to be no safety net for the inexperienced workers if they were caught. [Associated Press]
The revelation comes four months after the AP reported that the Obama administration, also via USAID, tried to create a Cuban Twitter network to destabilize the country. At least USAID did not, as far as we know, take a cue from the CIA and try to topple Cuba with a Castro demon doll.