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Directorio Strikes Back
By Frances Robles

The Cuban Democratic Directorate has issued a scathing rebuttal to the Cuban

American National Foundation's report this week about U.S. aid to

dissidents.

 

The Democratic Directorate caught flak over some of its spending of U.S. Aid

funds, and did not take lightly that some people suggested money was wasted.

CANF's report, the group said, was "self-serving." Calling the CANF report a

"smear," the group also known as "Directorio" says the report has three big

lies.

 

"We are profoundly disappointed and dismayed that CANF has chosen this time

in history to attack and lie about a fellow Cuban pro-democracy

organization," Orlando Gutierrez, National Secretary of the Directorate said

in a press release. "We need to be united against the regime; not telling

lies about each other.  In the name of all Cubans, we call upon CANF to

cease this divisive smear campaign, which surely the Cuban dictatorship must

enjoy. "

 

His rebuttal to the CANF report:

 

"Lie #1:  Directorio spent funds destined by AID for on island work in Cuba

outside of the island and mostly for US-based activities.

 

The Truth:  (1) The Directorio's grant program with AID was for the

promotion of an international network of support for the pro democracy

movement in Cuba, NOT for work directly on the island. This program was

highly successful as it has generated support for the pro democracy movement

inside the island throughout the world.

 

Lie # 2: The Directorio misdirected funds destined by USAID for the pro

democratic forces in Cuba on 'salaries, employee benefits and office

overhead.'

 

The Truth:  The CANF report grossly distorts numbers and fabricates

categories that have nothing to do with the IRS reports on which it is

supposedly based. It presents funds used for Directorio international

activities as utilized for Directorio 'office overhead,' resulting in

inflated figures that do not reflect the reality of our work. As an example,

more than 70% of the $451,397 presented as Directorio 'office overhead' by

CANF are actually international activities carried out in direct support of

the pro democracy movement in Cuba.

 

Lie #3: The CANF report is an objective report aimed at improving the AID

Cuba program.

 

The Truth:  It is a self serving report designed to besmirch the name of

other Cuban exile pro democracy organizations. Most pointedly: the CANF

report singles out the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba as one of two

Cuban exile organizations deserving of praise for its work inside Cuba, yet

the report egregiously fails to disclose that the 'Foundation for Human

Rights in Cuba,' is an institution fully controlled by the Cuban American

National Foundation, which operates out of the CANF office and uses the

canf.org email.''

 

"Directorio is proud of its 18 years of struggle against the Communist

suppression of democracy in Cuba," Gutierrez said. "Directorio is a force

for democratic change in Cuba."

 

-Frances Robles

 

 

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