Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 14, 2015

Leahy: Reported USAID HIV Ruse in Cuba ‘Worse Than Irresponsible’

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s top appropriator is not amused with a new Associated Press report about the agency’s activities in Cuba.

Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee warned of the consequences of the effort to the reputation of USAID.

“It is one thing to support nascent Cuban civil society organizations, if USAID’s role is disclosed in advance to participants and beneficiaries. It is quite another to concoct an HIV/AIDS workshop to promote a political agenda,” Leahy said in a statement. “If that is what happened here it is worse than irresponsible. It may have been good business for USAID’s contractor, but it tarnishes USAID’s long track record as a leader in global health.”

The AP reported early Monday morning that a USAID contractor “sent nearly a dozen neophytes from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to gin up opposition in Cuba” and held a workshop about preventing the spread of HIV.

USAID issued a statement from spokesperson Matt Herrick in response to the AP report, agreeing with parts of it but then adding, “the story then goes on to make sensational claims against aid workers for supporting civil society programs and striving to give voice to these democratic aspirations. This is wrong.”

“USAID remains committed to balancing the realities of working in closed — particularly in places where we do not have a USAID mission and governments are hostile to U.S. assistance — with our commitment to transparency, and we continuously balance our commitment to transparency with the need for discretion in repressive environments,” Herrick said. “In the end, USAID’s goal is to continue to support democracy, governance and human rights activities in multiple settings, while providing the maximum transparency possible given the specific circumstances.”

Regardless of the purpose, USAID’s top officials seem certain to face more questions from Leahy, who ripped USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah over the so-called “Cuban Twitter” program back in April at an agency budget hearing. That program came to light thanks to another AP report.

“Whose idea was it for this specific program? I’ve read the legislation. The legislation doesn’t say anything about setting up a cockamamie idea in Cuba with Twitter accounts and all on something that the Cubans would be so easy to discover,” Leahy said at that time. “Whose idea was this specific program to go to Cuba, who? It’s a simple question.”

Comments (73)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. rational38

    Aug. 4, 2014
    3:57 p.m.

    This nation’s obsession with Cuba is bewildering. End the sanctions, enjoy the cigars and beaches.

  2. JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Aug. 4, 2014
    6:38 p.m.

    Yeah…don’t upset commie Cuba ….commie Leahy ¡

  3. Janet Innes-Kirkwood

    Aug. 6, 2014
    5:58 p.m.

    They should be careful not to damage all of the work that our aid is supposed to do. Trying to undermine governments is tricky. Just look at all the messes that we helped cause. It is not Cuba that is caught spying on the entire world, and paying for all of these weapons that are being used to kill children and topple governments. It is not Cuba that is number one in incarcerating its citizens, and not providing health care for everybody. If American wants to promote freedom it should not be doing it by endless manipulation.

  4. Captain Dickson

    Aug. 13, 2014
    7:07 p.m.

    In a related video we find Bolshevik ideologue Louis Michael Seidman viciously attacking our sacred Constitution:

  5. Ed Ingraham

    Aug. 13, 2014
    9:58 p.m.

    In a related video we find Bolshevik ideologue Louis Michael Seidman viciously attacking our sacred Constitution:

  6. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:15 a.m.

    I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  7. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    3:51 p.m.

    Real great information can be found on blog.

  8. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:41 a.m.

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. But think about if you added some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this website could certainly be one of the greatest in its field. Excellent blog!

  9. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:37 p.m.

    I have fun with, lead to I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  10. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    3:55 a.m.

    Thank you for any other informative blog. The place else may just I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I have a venture that I’m simply now running on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  11. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:54 a.m.

    Hello there I am so excited I found your site, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the minute but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.

  12. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9:54 a.m.

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m making my way to the top as well. I certainly enjoy reading all that is posted on your website.Keep the posts coming. I loved it!

  13. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:02 a.m.

    Regards for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

  14. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    2:28 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing with us, I think this website really stands out : D.

  15. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:51 a.m.

    Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Thanks a ton!

  16. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:37 p.m.

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  17. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:38 p.m.

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  18. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    11:55 p.m.

    fantastic post.Ne’er knew this, regards for letting me know.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    3:32 p.m.

    Thanks, I have recently been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have found out till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure concerning the source?

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    11:47 a.m.

    cYwzbo I simply could not leave your website prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the usual information a person supply in your visitors? Is gonna be back incessantly in order to check up on new posts.

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:15 a.m.

    There is clearly a lot to realize about this. I suppose you made some good points in features also.

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    4:03 a.m.

    Perfectly indited articles, regards for entropy.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    6:48 p.m.

    Hey very nice blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionally?KI’m glad to seek out a lot of helpful info here in the put up, we’d like develop extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    7:35 p.m.

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    7:04 a.m.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    1:58 p.m.

    The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:18 p.m.

    obviously like your website however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the truth however I will definitely come back again.

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:33 p.m.

    Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and wonderful design and style.

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    1:40 a.m.

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    10:31 p.m.

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  31. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    8:35 p.m.

    Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    9:26 p.m.

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    4:20 a.m.

    z9a1nd Say, you got a nice blog post.Much thanks again.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:44 a.m.

    As I website possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling excellent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  35. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    1:21 a.m.

    I genuinely enjoy looking through on this website , it contains fantastic content. “It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy – from lack of character.” by Dag Hammarskjld.

  36. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    5:37 p.m.

    I really like your writing style, superb information, thanks for putting up : D.

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    6:27 p.m.

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

  38. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    9:03 a.m.

    Great – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task.,about,index.html

  39. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    11:08 a.m.

    This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?,349685763,title,Czarter-houseboat,index.html

  40. desene animate cu tom si jerry

    Sept. 9, 2015
    9:24 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  41. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    7:09 a.m.

    Thankyou for all your efforts that you have put in this. very interesting information.

  42. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    8:21 a.m.

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    4:19 a.m.

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    4:20 a.m.

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  45. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:29 a.m.

    Thanks for this grand post, I am glad I noticed this web site on yahoo.

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    8:31 a.m.

    Just wanna say that this is very useful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    3:08 p.m.

    Some truly nice and useful information on this site, as well I believe the style has excellent features.

  48. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    5:48 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I definitely love reading all that is posted on your website.Keep the posts coming. I liked it!


    Sept. 19, 2015
    6:46 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  50. federated national insurance reviews

    Sept. 19, 2015
    6:51 p.m.

    Whats amazing post here. I will turn attention on your description.

  51. hanover insurance company rating

    Sept. 19, 2015
    8:13 p.m.

    Make sure you described this totally, because I wish to get more details.

  52. homeowners insurance company

    Sept. 20, 2015
    9:53 a.m.

    We offer you huge discounts, just enter your zip code and save up to 40 percent on auto and home insurance policies. Its easy and fast to do by 5 digit zip code.

  53. state farm quotes

    Sept. 20, 2015
    11:33 a.m.

    Get quotes on State farm for auto and home policy. Save with State farm quote!

  54. state farm car insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:21 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  55. State farm car insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    4:58 p.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison. It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  56. amica life insurance

    Sept. 21, 2015
    7:46 p.m.

    Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  57. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    1:22 a.m.

  58. american mutual insurance company

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:30 a.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  59. amax insurance plano tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:22 p.m.

    Get quotes for auto and home policy. Save with us up to 40%

  60. amax arlington tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:27 p.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  61. federated insurance reviews

    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:24 a.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies

  62. federated insurance owatonna mn

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:30 a.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison.

  63. Anonymous

    Sept. 24, 2015
    12:57 a.m.

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

  64. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    5:36 p.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I?¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again

  65. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    5:46 p.m.

    This is the suitable weblog for anybody who wants to search out out about this topic. You realize so much its nearly laborious to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  66. Anonymous

    Sept. 27, 2015
    2:01 p.m.

    itw8PE Strange , this page turns up with a dark hue to it, what shade is the primary color on your webpage?

  67. home owner insurance

    Sept. 28, 2015
    11:57 a.m.

    Save $520 annually on auto insurance policy here.

  68. acuity insurance phone number

    Oct. 1, 2015
    4:35 p.m.

    Get auto and home insurance policies

  69. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    7:30 a.m.

    Un Mallorca cabildea Un agujero evangelista. Donde Mallorca inquieta El alienígena veinticuatro

  70. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    6:38 p.m.

    Este Alquiler Cuanto bolcheviza circa Este curupí sicalíptico. circa Un Alquiler adapta Aquel quinto alcalizado, El anarquista otoña El agrandamiento irrelevante

  71. omega insurance dubai

    Oct. 7, 2015
    11:31 a.m.

    Compare Omega insurance quotes on auto or car policy, save time and money here!

  72. Anonymous

    Oct. 10, 2015
    1:54 a.m.

    Tesekkurler sampiyon on numaraspam olmus sayfa

  73. Anonymous

    Oct. 11, 2015
    7:22 p.m.

    You are a very smart individual!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...