By Gary Marx. Tribune foreign correspondent. Published March 29, 2005.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Far from the White House and Havana, in strip malls and nondescript buildings along South Florida's sunlit streets, a multimillion-dollar infusion from the U.S. government has rejuvenated Cuban-American non-profit groups providing assistance to Cuba's tiny opposition movement.
The groups' ultimate goal, supported by the Bush administration, is to bring political change to Cuba and end the presidency of Fidel Castro, who has remained in power despite numerous assassination attempts and a four-decade U.S. trade embargo.
Some of what the groups send to the island doesn't reach the dissidents they hope to help, and some of the groups' leaders acknowledge that the extra $14 million the administration is sending their way this year--on top of the nearly $9 million that was appropriated--is unlikely to bring down the Cuban government.
But that hasn't dimmed their enthusiasm for aiding what they describe as courageous opposition figures, whom they view as Castro's Achilles' heel...