DURING his speech to Cuban civil society in Havana’s Grand Theater, President Barack Obama stated:
“I’ve made it clear that the United States has neither the capacity, nor the intention to impose change on Cuba. What changes come will depend upon the Cuban people. We will not impose our political or economic system on you. We recognize that every country, every people, must chart its own course and shape its own model.”
He also said:
“There’s already an evolution taking place inside of Cuba, a generational change. Many suggested that I come here and ask the people of Cuba to tear something down -- but I’m appealing to the young people of Cuba who will lift something up, build something new. El futuro de Cuba tiene que estar en las manos del pueblo Cubano (Cuba's future must rest in the hands of the Cuban people).”
It appears that this “evolution” and Obama’s “appealing” are not enough, and in order to “lift something up”, the Cuban youth require money and instructions from the same country where police kill on average three people a day, mostly youth. U.S. journalist Tracey Eaton published the following information on her blog “Along the Malecón”: “Just three days after Barack Obama left Cuba, the State Department today announced a $753,989 community internship program targeting ‘young emerging leaders from Cuban civil society.’”
According to the funding opportunity announcement, non-profit organizations and educational institutions are invited to submit proposals. The deadline is May 20 and the first awards are expected in late July or early August.
The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs will manage the program, which aims to “include specialized training and an internship with a nonprofit organization in the United States, which will fuel the participants’ development of action plans for nongovernmental community activities in Cuba” over a period of two to four months.
The announcement states:
“Cuban civil society is not formed into well-established organizations that would typically be found in a society with a strong democratic tradition. Through participation in the program, participants will develop a set of leadership tools and skills to manage and grow civil society organizations that will actively support democratic principles in Cuba.”
More information available at “Along the Malecón” blog.
(La pupila insomne)