WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- There is a "fundamental" need to ensure Cubans have access to uncensored information about events in the international arena, a U.S. official said.
Mark Lopes, a deputy official for Caribbean affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development, was quoted by the McClatchy news service as saying the U.S. State Department was setting aside millions of dollars to fund technological aspects for democracy programs for Cuba.
"From sports scores to international headlines, the Cuban people should be able to pursue their thirst for uncensored information like any other citizen in the Americas," he said. "This is fundamental and we are committed to help however we can."
The Cuban government, McClatchy reported, considers the State Department's reform program "subversive."
In March, Amnesty International published a report saying there were close to 3,000 cases of human rights abuses documented in Cuba from January-September 2011, up dramatically from the 700 reported in 2010.
It said the policy of detaining political and human rights activists undermines the respect for basic international rights.