US AGENCY for International Development (USAid) administrator Rajiv Shah announced today that he will step down from his post in February.
Mr Shah, who has led the agency since 2010, said that he had “mixed emotions,” claiming to be more confident than ever in the lasting effect of our work.”
However, the agency that purports to fight poverty and promote democracy has spurred outrage in recent months after it was exposed as having established a secret Twitter-like service in Cuba aimed at undermining the government and infiltrated its hip-hop scene in efforts to recruit dissidents there.
Legendary Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, who was a foremost exponent of the “nuevo trova” music movement on the island, slammed the agency on his Segunda Cita blog this week, telling it to “go to hell.”
He revealed how USAid had inveigled his son Silvio Liam Rodriguez and other Cuba-based rappers without their knowledge into a scheme aimed at sparking a youth uprising against the government.
He defended his son and rap duo Los Aldeanos partner Aldo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez senior said on his blog that he and his son don’t always agree, but he called the young musicians “rebel spirits.”
He wrote: “They know that in many areas, I don’t think like them, even though I insist on defending their right to think and say what they choose.
“As a father, and as an artist, I hope they learn from what has happened to them, that they take advantage of it … and may USaid go to hell.”