The Cuba Money Project’s five goals for 2011 were to:
- Publish: Post stories and interviews that give dissidents, bloggers, Cuban government supporters, exiles and others the opportunity to voice their opinion on U.S. government-financed programs in Cuba.
- Investigate: Use the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, to pursue documents that shed light on U.S. government programs in Cuba.
- Explore: Travel to Washington, Miami and Havana to interview key sources.
- Enlighten: Tell stories not just with words, but pictures and video.
- Network: Connect with people who work for the U.S. and Cuban governments, government contractors, non-profit organizations, universities and other groups. Seek information and feedback. Tap in to the wisdom of the crowd.
I plan much of the same in 2012. I am not satisfied with the quantity or quality of hard data I’ve found since launching the Cuba Money Project in December 2010. But I appreciate the encouragement I’ve gotten from others who would like to see greater transparency and accountability at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
Among my goals for 2012 are to:
- Continue to interview people who have diverse points of view on both sides of the Florida Straits.
- Look for ways to expand the Cuba Money Project.
- Seek additional funding for the project, which received travel grants from the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and 2011.
- Establish a board of advisers.
- Increase interaction with readers and others.
- Update and add to charts and tables showing amounts spent on Cuba projects.
- Improve analysis of existing data.
- File additional FOIA requests with USAID and the State Department.
- Appeal FOIA denials if it appears the government may be violating the law.