Cuba 2021

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

Strengthening Independent Civil Society Organizations’ Capacity


To enhance the ability of Cuban independent civil society (ICSOs) and other relevant actors to build informed advocacy agendas and refine communication strategies based on the voluntary and independent opinions, needs, and perceptions of Cubans on the island, the Institute proposes to support public opinion polling through the implementation of nine large-scale research panels. In coordination with the Institute, CubaData will utilize the polling data to analyze Cubans’ needs, perceptions, and beliefs about topics of public interest. The Institute will train on-island ICSOs and other actors such as self-employed (cuentapropistas), women, artists, and religious groups in strategic scenario planning, interpretation of CubaData survey results, and tactics for strategic advocacy and communication initiatives. The Institute will also support the development of an alliance of regional civil society organizations, with a demonstrated commitment to advancing rights and freedoms in Cuba, to serve as an advisory group that will help guide the panels and disseminate the results of the surveys at the regional level.


Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

Opening Democratic Spaces with Entrepreneurial Activity


To develop objective economic analysis and reform ideas by independent, pro-democracy think tanks; and to expand openings in civic spaces for market-oriented organizations to support a growing private sector. The Center will support two think tanks to add to the growing body of independent economic analysis of the Cuban economy and society and to form consensus on reform ideas that can create space for democratic shifts. Additionally, the Center will assist partners in creating and strengthening spaces for economic and civic openings following significant changes in the structure of the economy and openings for market-oriented, private sector entrepreneurs.


Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos

Strengthening the Capacity of Civil Society in Democratic Political Processes


To strengthen the capacity of Cuban civil society activists to promote democratic elections on the island and to raise awareness among Latin American electoral experts about the undemocratic nature of the Cuban electoral system. Cuban activists will be trained on democratic processes and how to develop and disseminate electoral reforms through virtual courses and workshops with electoral experts from throughout the region.


Instituto Prensa y Sociedad

Strengthening Independent Journalism in Cuba


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 through an intensive online course and in the second year of funding, place them with a professional media outlet in Peru for an on-the-job experience. The grantee will foster interaction between Cuban and Latin American journalists through collaborative investigative pieces and incorporate Cuban journalists to the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Latin American Conference on Investigative Journalism.


Center for a Free Cuba

Supporting Human Rights Defenders in Cuba


To strengthen resilience among civil society activists, political prisoners and their families, and victims of repression in Cuba through the provision of humanitarian assistance. 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, it will also assist human rights defenders in documenting life in Cuba and in conveying information to outside organizations and actors.


Arlenica, Arte, Lenguaje e Investigación para el Cambio Social

Strengthening Tools to Measure Governability and Social Conflict in Cuba


To strengthen analysis about governance in Cuba through the development of an index and to raise awareness about citizen discontent and demands through the creation of a social conflict observatory. The organization will develop these two tools to compare Cuba’s political system with other countries in the world, analyze its performance in areas such as the rule of law, political participation, effectiveness, political stability, transparency, and economic freedom, and raise awareness about citizen discontent and demands.



Documenting and Reporting Human Rights Violations in Cuba


To monitor, document, and report human rights violations in Cuba using international human rights mechanisms. This program will track violations to identify patterns of repression and provide legal assistance to victims. It will train Cuban activists in understanding international human rights mechanisms and how to protect themselves through online courses and disseminating information on social media. Cubalex will analyze the Cuban legal system against international standards and prepare reports for the UN and Inter-American Commission.


Christian Solidarity International

Promoting and Protecting Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) in Cuba


To strengthen the capacity of civil society and members of religious communities to document and report on freedom of religion and belief (FoRB) violations in Cuba. The organization will support a core group of documenters to build their capacity on FoRB and standardize their documentation. Using the information gathered, the organization will generate international awareness on FoRB in Cuba by submitting emblematic cases to the office of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on FoRB, and conduct an advocacy visit to Mexico.


Asociación Diario de Cuba

Promoting Freedom of Expression Through the Production and Dissemination of Independent News


To promote freedom of information in Cuba through the production and dissemination of independent news and analysis in its digital news outlet,, which will feature content on the most salient social, political and economic developments on the island. Within the next two years, the organization will emphasize its news coverage on the impact of covid-19 on Cuban society and developments in Latin America and their relation to Cuba. The grantee will mentor its team in Cuba so that they produce content more independently and professionally and will coach new collaborators on journalism skills.


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

Strengthening the Capacity of Independent Media Professionals


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


Campaña Global por la Libertad de Expresión A19 A.C.

Promoting Freedom of Expression and Information in Cuba


To promote greater understanding and documentation of freedom of expression violations in Cuba and to strengthen regional networks of collaboration and solidarity among Cuban independent journalists and their regional peers. The organization will train independent journalists on holistic protection mechanisms and aggression documentation. It will also systematize data on FoE violations for advocacy purposes before international human rights mechanisms. In a third regional gathering of local partner organizations, it will strengthen a network of journalists to follow-up on possible collaborations and build solidarity.


Universidad Sergio Arboleda

Fostering Dialogue and Exchange between Cuban Democrats and Colombian Intellectuals


To promote greater dialogue between Cuban democrats and Colombian intellectuals and raise regional awareness about the political, social, and economic situation in Cuba. By publishing rigorous academic research and presenting the program s research at regional conferences, the grantee will provide independently gathered information and analysis regarding the situation on the island to a Latin American audience. It will also provide a platform to a plurality of Cuban democrats so they can educate their regional peers on contemporary issues in Cuba.


Accountability and Transparency

Promoting Local Accountability and Citizen Oversight


To promote greater accountability and interaction between citizen activists and community members as they seek solutions to their problems. The project will support a group that will collect information, document issues affecting communities, and bring these issues before local authorities to demand accountability. It will also gather information to produce a newsletter to raise awareness of these problems and to connect citizens with its initiatives and activists.


Yucabyte Corp.

Technology and Civic Participation in Cuba


To foster awareness and debate on the state of information and communication technologies and how they impact citizen participation on the island. The organization will write and publish news articles and investigative pieces on the impact of ICTs on social activism, human rights and more broadly, citizen participation . This project will also seek to develop the institutional base of the media outlet by bringing on additional staff to support its operations, including an editor and an accountant.


Democratic Norms, Ideas and Values

Promoting Tolerance and Pluralism in Cuba


To promote greater tolerance and awareness among Cubans about the importance of critical and independent voices to advance democratic values and ideas. Through a series of artistic and cultural events and the publication of audiovisual materials and articles, the organization will foster debate about historical and contemporary artists and political figures who have challenged the status quo. The events will convene participants from different generations and walks of life who normally do not interact with each other, such as pro-democracy activists, artists, and musicians.


Freedom of Information

Strengthening Critical Thinking and Democratic Values


To promote the free flow of information and democratic values. The organization will consolidate the reach and impact of its digital publications. It will publish historic materials on Cuban and Latin American art and culture. It will disseminate this information and its publications both regionally and internationally and will strengthen its own institutional capacity.


Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR)

Fostering Collaboration Among Independent Media


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


Transparencia Electoral

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


To raise awareness of authoritarian influence in Latin America and consolidate a network of civil society organizations, political parties, academics, journalists, and other interested parties committed to strengthening democracy in the region. The project will produce research materials that will be disseminated via virtual events convening regional experts, civil society organizations, journalists, and activists. Additionally, it will provide activists with training on monitoring legislative processes and conducting advocacy.


Gobierno y Análisis Político AC

Investigating Cuba’s Sharp Power in Latin America


To promote greater regional awareness of Cuba’s power projection and the need for a greater presence of Cuban civil society in Latin America. The organization will monitor Cuba’s efforts to influence academic, intellectual, and civil society spaces. It will produce various research publications and disseminate the results. The organization will participate in regional academic forums and collaborate with Latin American civil society organizations.


International Platform for Human Rights in Cuba

Advocating for a Human Rights Framework in EU-Cuba Relations


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.


International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights

Strengthening the Capacity of Human Rights Defenders to Promote and Protect their Human Rights


To enhance the knowledge and advocacy skills of Cuban human rights defenders. The organization will build the capacity of human rights activists in using the Universal Human Rights System to protect and defend their rights. In addition, the organization will continue to offer legal support in presenting cases of rights abuses before the Universal and Inter-American Systems. It will also engage in direct advocacy before the European Parliament and European Council and provide human rights activists with psychosocial assistance.


PEN American Center Inc.

Defending Artistic Expression in Cuba


To mobilize the international artistic and literary community to advocate for artistic freedom and defend artists at risk of repression. The project will build a coalition of prominent international artists who support artists at risk of repression via action campaigns and promotional videos. It will also organize a series of convenings that will give artists experiencing repression a platform to raise awareness of the challenges they face.


Rights of Marginalized Populations

Generating Awareness of the Human Rights Situation of Marginalized Populations in Cuba


To strengthen respect for the rights of marginalized populations through cultural education and advocacy, documentation of human rights violations, and monitoring of local policymaking processes. This project will document and produce reports on human rights abuses against marginalized populations while conducting trainings and educational and advocacy workshops to insert these themes in critical discussions. It will also strengthen an initiative to monitor local government policy processes relating to diversity and inclusion.



Defending and Promoting the Rights of the Elderly in Cuba


To create an observatory that utilizes a rights-based approach to monitor processes, actors, and policies related to aging populations while providing guidance to organizations who render services to the elderly. The project will equip academics to conduct research that offers information on elderly care in Cuba and Latin America by publishing books, articles, blogs, and audiovisual materials for public and expert consumption. It will also facilitate dialogues between academics and civil society organizations seeking to deliver care to the elderly.


Instituto de Comunicación y Desarrollo

A Regional Strategy for Visibility and Advocacy Regarding Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Cuba


To generate informative reports, cultivate spaces of exchange and reflection, and conduct international and regional advocacy to raise awareness of the lack of access to public information and challenges to freedom of expression. The project will analyze trends and practices of internet censorship to produce two reports that will focus on these issues in Latin America. The organization will convene activists and experts to explain the reports’ findings and raise awareness of threats against freedom of expression on the island.


Fundación Espacio Público

Training New Generations of Journalists to Strengthen the Alternative Media Ecosystem in Cuba


To train young journalists to support their professional development, strengthen their investigative skills, and cultivate links with other journalists in the region. In addition to providing training in investigative journalism techniques, the project will establish transnational teams to exchange best practices and develop solidarity networks. After receiving training, project participants will work together to publish investigative pieces in their own media outlets as well as different regional publications.


Arbol Invertido

Promoting Independent Thinking and Women’s Rights in Cuba


To promote greater freedom of information and independent writing about cultural issues and gender rights. The group will produce its online independent magazine, which stimulates debate around cultural and social issues. Journalists, columnists, writers, poets, and photographers who are unable to print their work in official media will have the opportunity to publish their opinion pieces in the magazine. This year, the organization will add a second online publication that will focus on gender issues to foster debate and monitor the situation of women’s rights.


Freedom of Information

Promoting Democratic Ideas and Values through Independent Reporting and Analysis


To produce news and analysis related to issues of public interest and to strengthen the institutional capacity of the organization. The group will expand its production capacity to maintain a timely coverage and analysis of events that dominate the public discussion in Cuba. It will use different types of media, including video, podcasts, photography, illustrations, comics, and live streams to reach a wider audience.


Promoting Pluralism

Promoting Pluralistic Dialogue on the Rule of Law


To generate ideas and political analysis that facilitate a wide-ranging dialogue within civil society in favor of human rights, sociopolitical inclusion, and the rule of law. The organization will produce publications examining where public institutions are falling short of their human rights commitments and make recommendations for improvements. Other scholars will have the opportunity to respond with alternative perspectives and civil society will be continually consulted for feedback. Research results will be disseminated through meetings, online conversations, and launch events.


Freedom of Information

Promoting Access to Independent News and Analysis


To provide readers with greater access to high quality independent news, opinion, and analysis about Cuba. The organization will produce uncensored information on political, social, and economic developments in Cuba, including outside of Havana and more remote areas of the country. It will use multimedia formats such as podcasts and video interviews to bring information to its audiences.


Editorial Hypermedia Inc.

Fostering Independent Thinking and Writing among Artists and Intellectuals


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 encourage independent writing among its target audience by conducting two calls for writing submissions and organize thematic dossiers and online events with authors to foment greater discussion on socio-cultural and political topics.


Asociación Civil Cronos

Investigating and Raising Awareness about Inequality


To strengthen the capacity of Cuban journalists to carry out investigative journalism and reinforce transnational ties between independent Cuban journalists and their peers in Latin America. The project will group Cuban journalists together with regional counterparts to investigate inequality on the island and in Latin America. Through this interaction and exposure to journalistic experts, independent Cuban journalists will improve their investigative skills while also raising awareness of the repressive reality on the island.


Proyecto Inventario

Promoting a Culture of Transparency through Data-Based Journalism


To promote access to and use of public data in Cuba. The organization will collect and systematize information from multiple sources to produce databases that inform the public and other journalists’ investigations. It will also utilize its platform to educate citizens on matters of transparency and their rights to access public information and open data.


Investigación e Innovación Factual A.C.

Integrating Cuban Journalists into Regional Networks


To support and integrate young Cuban journalists into a Latin American network of digital media initiatives and to promote discussion and awareness about Cuban reality 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.


Instituto Cubano por la Libertad de Expresión y Prensa

Promoting Access to Local News through Community Reporting


To promote greater, uncensored access to information in communities throughout Cuba and to strengthen the capacity of community journalists. The organization will support independent community micro-press agencies to produce news bulletins for local residents. The organization will provide its counterparts in Cuba with the tools necessary to design and print these news bulletins.


Humanist Political Culture & Democracy, Corp.

Supporting Cuban Artists to Raise Awareness of Repression


To promote freedom of expression through art and raise international awareness, especially in artistic circles, of the repression that Cuban creatives confront on a regular basis. The project will support independent Cuban artists’ projects to advocate for greater freedom of expression while also disseminating their work to a regional audience. It will also connect artists living in exile with regional counterparts and academics to raise awareness in creative communities of the repressive reality on the island.


Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos

Supporting Cubans to Raise International Awareness of Human Rights Violations


To raise international awareness of the human rights situation in Cuba. The organization will collect data and analyze trends in human rights violations to produce informative reports that hold the government accountable for repressive behavior. It will utilize the reports to conduct evidence-based advocacy in international institutions to raise awareness of the human rights situation on the island.


Freedom of Information

Reporting Attacks Against Freedom of the Press


To document and raise awareness of aggressions against independent media and to provide support to journalists facing attacks. The group will collect information about freedom of the press violations and publish them in its monthly bulletins and reports that denounce actions taken against media professionals. The group will disseminate this information on-island and to organizations promoting and defending press freedom in the world. It will also provide legal and financial support to journalists and bloggers who face press freedom attacks.


Instituto Político para la Libertad Perú

Strengthening the Democracy and Leadership Skills of Youth Civil Society Activists


To provide youth civil society activists with greater knowledge on leadership and democratic and civic values. To build capacity, the organization will provide its beneficiaries with a four course training series on topics ranging from political analysis and human rights to digital communication techniques. The organization will also provide its beneficiaries with technical support to prepare reports which it will then use to disseminate before regional and international mechanisms. Finally, it will build the capacity of civil society initiatives to carry out community projects.


Supporting Civic Education

Promoting Civic Values and Entrepreneurship in Marginalized Communities


To promote civic values and entrepreneurial skills in marginalized communities. The organization will support community centers across the island to provide civic education and entrepreneurship classes to citizens in marginalized communities, with a focus on women. Upon completion of courses, each center will provide guidance to project participants who are looking to start their own businesses or civic initiatives. The centers will also serve as networking spaces for participants and community members to share ideas and opportunities.


Freedom of Information

Providing an Independent Platform for Cuban Cultural Creators


To strengthen civil society and promote pluralistic and democratic values by supporting contemporary independent cultural creators and facilitating the free circulation of information. The organization will utilize its online platform to publish essays from independent Cuban writers, artists, and intellectuals. It will also support independent cultural creation by sponsoring a literary contest, producing books of visual art, and dossiers of essays contemplating social and political issues in contemporary Cuba.


Freedom of Information

Raising Awareness of Political Uses of Sports Coverage


To provide independent sports news coverage. The outlet will cover sporting news, events, and stories of athletes that are not covered by other media outlets. It will produce news articles, opinion pieces, interviews, podcasts, a magazine, and other creative and audiovisual products to give updates on the latest sports news from an objective perspective.


El Estornudo Weekly, A.C.

Fostering a Pluralistic View of Cuban Reality


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, international public.


Latin American Center for Nonviolence

Fostering New Democratic Leadership


To strengthen the leadership skills and organizational capacity of emerging social leaders and entrepreneurs. The grantee will conduct a training workshop for its partners and foster the exchange of experiences with peers from Latin America and Europe. Training participants will expand the reach and membership of their organizations, produce and distribute a bulletin, carry out community events and advocate for greater freedom of association and entrepreneurship opportunities on the island.



Understanding the Use of Food Policy to Exert Political Control


To promote greater understanding of the Cuban government’s food policy as a tool for political control. The organization will create a website where it will map and publish independently gathered data, research, interviews with citizens and thematic experts, podcasts, and photographs relating to food security issues and the ways in which the Cuban regime uses it to exert political control. It will submit and publish reports analyzing this data to regional and international human rights institutions to raise awareness of the problem and protect ordinary citizens.


Cuban Democratic Directorate

Promoting Greater Access to Uncensored Information to Cubans


To promote greater access to uncensored information in Cuba and to facilitate communication among Cuban activists inside and outside the island. The organization will continue producing and broadcasting independent news on its in-house radio station, aimed at providing Cubans with an independent source of information about events taking place in Cuba and around the world. The organization will also support civic activities carried out by civil society activists in Cuba.


Grupo Internacional para la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa en Cuba, Inc.

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


To promote labor rights and strengthen the capacity of Cuba’s independent labor movement. The organization will provide independent labor activists with assistance to forge a more coordinated labor movement. 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.


Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, Inc

Promoting Citizen Empowerment and Accountability on Human Rights Violations


To fight impunity for human rights violations and strengthen citizens’ capacity to resolve conflicts peacefully. The organization will work with partners on the island to document the actions and publicly expose perpetrators of human rights violations. The grantee will document cases of social conflicts and support a network of community activists to train citizens to resolve these conflicts peacefully. To complement this, the group will produce and disseminate a weekly newsletter, special reports, and audiovisual materials to raise awareness about the human rights situation in Cuba.