A U.S. agency’s secret infiltration of Cuba’s underground hip-hop scene to spark a youth movement against the government was “reckless” and “stupid,” Sen. Patrick Leahy said Thursday after The Associated Press revealed the operation.
On at least six occasions, Cuban authorities detained or interrogated people involved in the program; they confiscated computer hardware that in some cases contained information that jeopardized Cubans who likely had no idea they were caught up in a clandestine operation.
“The conduct described suggests an alarming lack of concern for the safety of the Cubans involved, and anyone who knows Cuba could predict it would fail,” said Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who is chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. “USAID never informed Congress about this and should never have been associated with anything so incompetent and reckless. It’s just plain stupid.”