According to internal documents obtained by the AP and interviews in six countries, USAID's young operatives posed as tourists, visited college campuses and used a ruse that could undermine USAID's credibility in critical health work around the world: An HIV-prevention workshop one called the "perfect excuse" to recruit political activists, according to a report by Murillo's group. For all the risks, some travelers were paid as little as $5.41 an hour.USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, is ostensibly the government's premier humanitarian agency dedicated to helping the poor.
"It is one thing to support nascent Cuban civil society organizations, if USAID’s role is disclosed in advance to participants and beneficiaries," said Senator Patrick Leahy today. "It is quite another to concoct an HIV/AIDS workshop to promote a political agenda. It may have been good business for USAID’s contractor, but it tarnishes USAID's long track record as a leader in global health."
As the AP notes, the CIA recently promised to no longer use vaccination programs to gather intelligence, as it did in Pakistan—resulting in mistrust toward and attacks on Pakistani health workers.