Kerry Suspends US Democracy Assistance to Cuba

U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo by: cliff1066™ / http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/ / CC BY 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/CC BY 2.0

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has temporarily put on hold all U.S. democracy assistance programs to Cuba, Laura Rozen writes in her foreign policy blog on politico.com. Aides to Kerry, Rozen said, explained that the programs will remain on hold while his committee and the State Department review their effectiveness.

“Sen. Kerry does have a temporary hold on these programs while Secretary Clinton and the State Department undertake a review of these programs and while the committee investigates whether they’re effectively accomplishing our shared goal,” Rozen quoted Senate Foreign Relations Committee spokesman Fred Jones as saying.

The news comes four months after a U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor was arrested by Cuban authorities for distributing telecommunications equipment, Rozen noted.

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  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.