Chocolates to Melt Fidel's Heart
The longer I work in the international development arena, the more jaded I become. People who are not involved in this field seldom grasp the fact that poverty alleviation is usually a peripheral objective for aid agencies. Their primary goal is to promote the foriegn policy agenda of their own country. For instance, USAID has a sizeable program that seeks to promote democracy in Cuba. Aid money is channeled through various Cuban exile groups in Florida and many of the expenditures (including chocolates and cashmere jerseys) are questionable at best. Some people even argue that this is just a ploy to win the hearts and minds of Cuban American voters.