Cuba 2020

Advocating for a Human Rights Framework in EU-Cuba Relations

International Platform for Human Rights in Cuba


To advocate for inclusion of human rights and the perspectives of Cuban civil society as part of EU engagement with the Cuban government. The grantee will monitor the implementation of the EU-Cuba bilateral treaty and engage relevant actors in the EU to present them the views and needs of Cuban civil society.  The group will also promote greater understanding of Cuban activists of the opportunities offered by the new framework of EU-Cuba relations to advance human rights in Cuba.

Documenting and Reporting Human Rights Violations in Cuba



To document and report human rights violations in Cuba. The organization will work with civil society groups on the island to document human rights violations according to international standards. Using this information, it will provide legal assistance to victims on the island, report on Cuba’s human rights record to international organizations and governments, and advocate for greater respect for human rights and protection to victims in Cuba.

Empowering Cuban Hip Hop Artists as Leaders in Society

Fundacion Cartel Urbano


To empower Cuban artists to promote citizen participation and social change. The group will carry out workshops, cultural exchanges and artistic events during its Hip Hop Summit in Colombia. It will promote South-to-South collaboration and invite artists from around the world to share their experiences of social transformation. The organization will mentor artists and provide technical capacity to strengthen their work. The group will also raise awareness about the role hip-hop artists have in strengthening democracy in the region.

Empowering Cuban Women to Reduce Gender Based Violence

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To increase Cuban women’s knowledge of gender rights and issues, enable men to become partners in these efforts and strengthen the ability of Cuban activists to promote and advocate for new laws and public policies that address and reduce violence against women, the Institute will facilitate a gender observatory to support the monitoring and gathering of statistical data around gender and political violence, as well gender clinics and laboratories to support participants to identify and press for solutions to the problem of gender violence in Cuba.

Fostering a Plural Information Space in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote freedom of expression and a plural and independent information space in Cuba. The organization will cover stories of Cuban reality on the island and of the Cuban diaspora. It will focus on making information available to broad audience in Cuba and will develop alliances with media abroad to reach a larger public.

Fostering Independent Thinking and Writing in Cuba

Editorial Hypermedia Inc.


To promote greater freedom of expression and independent writing among Cuban intellectuals. The organization will compile and distribute censored books produced by Cuban exiled writers to intellectuals on the island. The organization will conduct two essay contests to encourage independent writing among its target audience, and produce and distribute a bi-annual print magazine in Cuba. Finally, the organization will publish the winning pieces from its essay contests and present it at book fairs and other relevant spaces.

Fostering New Democratic Leadership in Cuba

Latin American Center for Nonviolence


To strengthen the leadership skills and organizational capacity of the Coalition of Cuban Self-Employed Workers (C3). With LACENV support, C3 will produce and distribute an organizational bulletin, carry out a fair for self-employed workers, and organize a workshop for women entrepreneurs. LACENV will also help C3 organize virtual and in-person trainings for self-employed workers, and include other sectors of the population in C3.

Freedom of Expression in Cuba and Inclusion in Latin America’s Regional Agenda

Instituto de Comunicacion y Desarrollo


To promote awareness and discussion of freedom of expression (FOE) violations in Cuba. The organization will engage with Cuban partners to incorporate Cuba into its regional reports on FOE and Access to Public Information. It will also work with Cuban civil society to prepare a comprehensive report that will be shared before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The organization will also conduct formal and informal advocacy meetings with its Cuban partners while in Geneva.

Generating Awareness on Cuba’s Role in the Region and Assessing Challenges to Democratic Consolidation 

Transparencia Electoral


To promote increased awareness of Cuba’s impact on democracy in the region, and to assess the most pressing challenges to democracy in Latin America. The organization will carry out three conferences in Latin America to discuss Cuba in a regional context and assess the state of democracy in the region. The organization will also produce and disseminate a final publication on the findings of the conferences, and strengthen a nascent regional network to defend democratic values.

Integrating Cuba into Regional Media Networks

Investigacion e Innovacion Factual A.C.


To support and integrate young Cuban journalists into a regional network of digital media initiatives throughout Latin America and to highlight the stories of Cubans as part of the emerging leaders in Latin America. The organization will select, train, and mentor Cuban journalists on how to conduct investigative reporting, collaborate with regional peers, and publish stories for digital media outlets. The group will also include Cuban panelists at its annual digital media conference and profile Cuban emerging leaders in its publications.

Monitoring and Raising Awareness about the State of Human Rights in Cuba

Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos


To monitor and raise international awareness about the situation of human rights in Cuba, including the effects of COVID-19. The grantee will submit urgent requests for the protection of victims to UN agencies, and produce monthly reports, statements, and press releases to report violations to domestic and international actors. The grantee will expand its international advocacy efforts with relevant international stakeholders.

Promoting Access to Independent Sports Coverage in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote freedom of information in Cuba by providing public access to independent sports news and analysis. The organization will produce and disseminate journalism through its platforms that uses sport as a vehicle to narrate the political, social, and cultural realities of Cuban society. To attract a broader audience, it will place a special focus on creative reporting modalities to depict the daily challenges faced by Cuba’s athletes.

Promoting Access to Information in Cuba

Agora Cuba Inc.


To enhance access to information in Cuba. The organization will expand upon an existing online platform, which enables access to uncensored web-based information through email. The platform, which already provides online education, independent media, and social news services, will expand to include other new services and partners as identified and improve to become more user friendly.

Promoting Access to Uncensored Information in Cuba

Asociacion Diario de Cuba


To promote greater access to independent news and analysis about Cuba. Working with a wide range of independent journalists and analysts, the grantee will publish continuously on its digital platform. Collaborators will receive mentoring so that they produce content more independently and professionally. News coverage will focus on civil society actions, the impact of government policies, and developments in Latin America.

Promoting Access to Uncensored Information in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote greater access to independent news and analysis about Cuba. The organization will produce uncensored information ofn political, social, and economic developments in Cuba, including outside of Havana and more remote areas of the country. It will use innovative formats and multimedia content to bring stories to its audiences.

Promoting Accountability on Human Rights Violations and Social Conflicts

Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Inc.


To fight impunity against human rights violations and to raise awareness about social conflicts in Cuba. The organization will work with partners on the island to document the actions and publicly expose perpetrators of human rights violations. The grantee will also support citizens to document and peacefully resolve cases of social conflicts in their communities.

Promoting Community Reporting in Cuba

Instituto Cubano por la Libertad de Expresion y Prensa


To promote greater, uncensored access to information in communities throughout Cuba and to strengthen the capacity of community journalists. Based in Miami, the grantee will support six independent, community media outlets across the island to produce news bulletins for local residents. The grantee will provide its counterparts in Cuba with the equipment and technical assistance necessary to design and print these news bulletins.

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Independent Media in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote freedom of expression and a plural and independent information space in Cuba. The organization will increase its content production, focusing on social participation, democratic values, and civil society empowerment while covering issues of public interest in Cuba. The organization will use multiple types of media, including video and photography, to reach a larger audience.

Promoting Freedom of Expression in Cuba through the Arts

Cultura Democratica


To promote greater freedom of expression in Cuba. The organization will work with a collective of independent artists in Cuba to help them consolidate artistic projects on themes related to democracy, human rights, and historical memory. The organization will bring Cuban artists to Argentina for a series of public and private events with Argentine artists and intellectuals to increase awareness about the Cuban reality.

Promoting Freedom of the Press in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To raise awareness of freedom of the press violations in Cuba and strengthen its relationship with independent media and journalists. The group will collect information from independent media about freedom of the press violations that it will publish in its monthly bulletins and report attacks against journalists and bloggers. The group will disseminate this information on-island and to organizations promoting press freedom in the world. It will also will provide legal and financial support to journalists and bloggers who face press freedom attacks.

Promoting Greater Access to Uncensored Information to Cubans

Cuban Democratic Directorate


To promote greater access to uncensored information to Cuban citizens and pro-democracy activists and facilitate greater communication among them. The organization will produce radio programs with news and analysis, prioritizing topics such as the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy, human rights issues, and the conditions of healthcare workers in third country missions. The radio programs and information about civil society initiatives will be distributed on social media. The group will also support civic activities carried out by civil society activists in Cuba.

Promoting Inclusion of Marginalized Populations in Cuba

Democratic Ideas and Values


To promote the inclusion of marginalized populations in Cuban society and to strengthen a network of on-island partners. The project will provide a space for these sectors of the population to interact, share ideas, and participate in dialogues about problems facing their communities. It will also carry out workshops for leaders on citizen participation, gender equality, human rights, and advocacy efforts.

Promoting Independent Thinking in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote greater freedom of expression and independent writing among Cuban intellectuals. The group will produce its online independent magazine that promotes debate around cultural and social issues in Cuba. Journalists, columnists, writers, and photographers who are unable to print their work in official media will have the opportunity to publish their opinion pieces in the magazine. 

Promoting Local Accountability and Citizen Oversight

Accountability and Governance


To promote local-level accountability and interaction between activists and community members as they seek solutions to their local problems. The project will collect information, document issues affecting communities and demand for solutions before local-level entities. The project will also produce a newsletter to raise awareness of these problems and to connect citizens with initiatives and activists.  

Promoting the Use of Data in Journalism in Cuba

Freedom of Information

Novation $91,319

To promote access to and use of public data from Cuba. The organization will aggregate publicly available data from Cuba and develop datasets to produce analysis on the reality of the island. The organization will collaborate with the press to help Cuban audiences have better access to information through data-based journalism.

Sharp Power and the Evolution of Politics under a New Constitution in Cuba

Gobierno y Analisis Politico AC

Novation $115,000

To promote greater international awareness of Cuba’s power projection and presence in Latin America and to foster critical understanding of the implications and implementation of the new constitution in Cuba. The organization will conduct research on Cuban international influence, and the implementation of the transformed institutional framework of the state that the new Cuban constitution established. 

Situated Journalism: Innovative Perspectives on Cuba

Asociacion Civil Cronos


To enhance the capacity of Cuban independent journalism to cover different angles of violence and crisis in the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, and to foster stronger ties between Cuban independent journalists and their counterparts in the rest of Latin America. The organization will develop a comprehensive series of online trainings on journalism that are relevant for a context of crisis. The program will bring together participants from Cuba and other Latin American countries to foster collaboration, using different styles and innovative media.

Strengthening Access to Information and Enhancing Critical Thinking in Central Cuba

Freedom of Information


To strengthen access to information and enhance critical thinking in  Cuba. On a weekly basis, articles and audiovisual materials will be produced to strengthen access to information. Further, social media sites and other messaging apps will be used to increase on-island circulation of uncensored information on local and national social, cultural, economic, and political developments.

Strengthening Civil Society Capacity in Democratic Political Processes

Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos


To strengthen the capacity of Cuban civil society activists to promote democratic elections on the island. Cuban participants will join election observation missions in Latin America and attend workshops on election observation and human rights topics. The project will facilitate a discussion between its Cuban partners and Latin American electoral experts to raise their awareness about the undemocratic nature of Cuba’s electoral system.

Strengthening Critical Thinking and Democratic Values in Cuba

Freedom of Information


To promote critical thinking, the free flow of information, and democratic values in Cuba. The organization will consolidate the reach and impact of its digital publications. It will also work on publishing historic documents and materials on Cuban and Latin American history. It will disseminate this information and its publications in Cuba and the rest of Latin America.

Strengthening Democratic Dialogue on Cuban-Led Reform Ideas II

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To strengthen the capacity of independent pro-democracy think tanks in Cuba to develop objective economic analysis and reform ideas and to expand openings in civic spaces for market-oriented organizations to support a growing private sector. The center will provide support for two emerging Cuban pro-democracy think tanks to attend program management workshops off the island, provide assistance for on-island activities, and organize an international conference with other partner think tanks working in similar conditions or in a similar field of work.

Strengthening Independent Journalism in Cuba

Instituto Prensa y Sociedad


To strengthen the reporting and investigative skills of Cuban independent journalists and to promote greater interaction between them and their Latin American counterparts. The organization will train journalists on fundamental concepts of journalism, and place them with a professional media outlet in Peru for an on-the-job experience. The organization will also foster interaction between Cuban and Latin American journalists through collaborative investigative pieces.

Strengthening Independent Media and Accountability in Cuba

Fundacion Espacio Publico


To strengthen Cuban journalists’ capacity to promote greater government accountability in Cuba and to promote interactions and links among Cuban and Latin American independent journalists. The organization will carry out a training program on how to conduct investigative journalism. The Cuban participants will engage in exchanges with journalists from other countries, and will receive advice and feedback on their work from an editorial board composed of Latin American journalists. The organization will provide constant remote mentorship to the participants.

Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Civic Initiatives in Cuba

People in Need Slovakia (PIPA)


To strengthen the capacity of independent civic centers and initiatives in Cuba to promote democratic ideas and values. Based in Bratislava, the organization will work with groups of independent journalists, students, and civil society activists to strengthen their institutional capacity and ability to carry out activities more effectively. In addition, the grantee will organize a study visit for its beneficiaries in Slovakia.

Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Media Professionals in Cuba

Clovek v tisni, o.p.s. (People in Need)


To strengthen the capacity of independent media professionals in Cuba. The grantee will provide Cuban beneficiaries with training and technical assistance to produce uncensored content on social, political, economic, and cultural developments in Cuba. The grantee will also build the technical capacity of independent organizations throughout Cuba to carry out initiatives aimed at increasing the free flow of information.

Strengthening the Democracy and Leadership Skills of Cuban Youth Activists

Instituto Politico para la Libertad Peru


To strengthen the leadership capacity of Cuban pro-democracy youth activists and to promote interaction between citizens in Cuba and individuals from Latin American democratic societies. The organization will offer online and in-person trainings on youth rights, youth participation in politics, digital communications, and international standards of freedom of expression and democracy. The group will also bring Cuban youth activists to other Latin American countries to interact with their pro-democracy counterparts from democratic countries.

Strengthening Tools to Measure Governability and Social Conflict in Cuba

Arlenica, Arte, Lenguaje e Investigación para el Cambio Social

Supplement $11,940

To strengthen analysis about governance in Cuba. The organization will develop a governability index to measure and compare Cuba’s political system with other countries in the world. It will analyze the Cuban government’s structure and performance in areas such as the rule of law, political participation, effectiveness, political stability, transparency and economic freedom. It will also assess the public’s satisfaction with its government and track citizens’ actions to promote policies that are more democratic through the creation of a social conflict observatory.

Supporting Human Rights Defenders in Cuba

Center for a Free Cuba


To provide humanitarian assistance to political prisoners, their families, and human rights activists in Cuba. The organization will work with its partners to distribute humanitarian assistance to political prisoners, their family members, and other members of Cuban civil society. To increase access to uncensored information, the organization will also provide human rights defenders with technical equipment to document life in Cuba and convey information to outside organizations and actors.

Supporting Independent Journalism in Cuba

Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)


To strengthen collaboration among Cuban independent journalists to promote freedom of expression. The grantee will work with several independent journalists and media organizations to promote mutual understanding and solidarity among them, and to strengthen their skills on the use of social media. The organization will also encourage and support collaborative efforts among journalists affiliated to different media outlets. 

Supporting Independent Unions, Self-Employed Workers, and Labor Rights

Grupo Internacional para la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en Cuba


To promote labor rights and strengthen the capacity of Cuba’s independent labor movement. The organization will provide independent labor activists in Cuba with assistance to forge a more coordinated labor movement on the island. In addition, the organization will work with a nascent association of self-employed workers to promote labor rights in the informal sector. It will also conduct an international information dissemination and awareness campaign on the situation regarding labor rights in Cuba.

Supporting Independent Writers and Artists in Cuba

Vista Larga Foundation Corp


To support Cuba’s independent writers and artists to produce and disseminate their work freely. The organization will help writers strengthen the quality of their work and publish pieces inside and outside of the island. It will feature their work in its quarterly literary magazine, Puente a La Vista, on social media and through videos on YouTube. The organization will also raise awareness about repression targeting independent writers, artists and musicians through online campaigns.

Times of Change and a New Role for Different Sectors in Cuba

Democratic Ideas and Values


To enhance civil society’s understanding and capacity to propose political alternatives. Activities will include research on the role of different state institutions in transitions to democracy as well as discussion of this subject among Cuban civil society representatives, with an emphasis on the experiences of other countries in the region.