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One program calls for creating video games that will encourage critical thinking and get young people more engaged in the fight for changes in society.
Here is a breakdown of the $4.2 million:
- Human rights: $1,050,000. Improve capacity of human rights investigators and monitors, especially those outside Havana.
- Social media: $750,000. Equip activists and citizens with the tools to denounce and detect human rights abuses and corruption. They would work with investigative journalists who would develop stories about trends and cases.
- Youth and technology: $700,000. Engage youth especially on the issue of Cuba’s future through the innovative usage of technology, including social media. Use video games to promote civic engagement.
- Free markets: $700,000. Hold discussions on economic issues to boost demands for democratic reforms.
- Freedom of expression: $1,000,000. Increase freedom of thought and expression, especially among artists, poets, musicians and writers.
The State Department announced the grants in June and accepted applications up until July 13 (download 15-page announcement).
Officials prefer that those carrying out the democracy programs be native Spanish speakers with on-island experience. They say the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents traveling to Cuba should be "limited or excluded."
The State Department says it may require grant recipients to reveal who in Cuba receives money or resources.