USAID budget cuts: Learn why Cuba, Russia & Bolivia won’t cry if Trump curbs cash flow
The White House budget proposal to Congress seeks to cut US foreign aid, among other things, to fund increased military spending.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) grew from the post-World War II Marshall Plan for Europe, which funded reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and ensured that Washington rather than Moscow directed the political course in the west of the continent.
Currently operating in over 100 countries, USAID’s supplies and funds are supposed to make life better for people in developing countries. Such a scale of operation means agency-branded staff can end up next to RPG-brandishing terrorists.
The agency mission, however, also stretches beyond giving food and medicine to the needy. For instance, in Cuba the agency funded a Twitter-like social media network, hoping it would help oust the government.
It also reportedly sought other ways of destabilizing Cuba, like sponsoring hip-hop singers with political messages in Havana.
USAID has a long history of funding groups that are opposed to governments Washington doesn’t like. Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, Viktor Yanukovich in Ukraine – all fell as the agency generously funded anti-government political groups and media outlets.
It may be funding political turmoil in Macedonia, a part of former Yugoslavia, according to conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, local activists and some US Senators. Of course, thare is an American lawmaker, who says the country should be partitioned.
Apart from its dubious political record, USAID is often criticized for mismanagement of funds and general inefficiency. For instance, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) failed to find a majority of clinics funded by USAID in the US-allied country, with some coordinates provided to it being outside of Afghanistan or leading to locations with no structures in sight.