Over at the Cuba Money Project, investigative reporter Tracey Eaton posted a heavily redacted USAID Cuba program summary for the coming year. If the Obama Administration has done anything right on Cuba, this would be one of them – not releasing all the details of USAID efforts on the island. The substance? That’s for another post, but overall it has wasted several years and has allowed the regime valuable political breathing room that it should not have done.
The level of political voyeurism for U.S.-Cuba programs has damaged U.S. policy efforts on the island to help promote a peaceful transition to freedom and democracy. With regards to USAID Cuba programs, and maybe programs for other countries, these program summaries should never be released to the public. Not even redacted. Rather, they should be classified at an accurate security level and only accessible to Congressional oversight Committees as well as federal agency officials with a need to know.
Next time a report comes due, Congress and the Executive should seriously consider not making these reports public, not even through the FOIA process. I have no interest in knowing the details of these efforts – and they just put a bullseye on the opposition on the island. That is what I elect my Member of Congress to do, sort through the details and do the right thing. If people want to influence the process, they can always right a letter, an editorial; basically, do what every other taxpayer does when he or she has an issue with something that their federal government is doing.
While I support transparency and open government, there are limits when U.S. security and foreign policy goals are concerned. The Cuban regime trolls the web for any sliver of information it can use against the Cuban opposition and dissident movement. Let’s hope CMP and all other groups that report on these matter are judicious on how they discuss about these matters. You can read more about the Cuba Money Project here.