(text on poster)
Ali: I want to become a doctor and treat illness
(text at bottom)
In support of your (plural) aspirations
Some critics say that the US government gives aid to reward political and military partners rather than to advance genuine social or humanitarian causes abroad. William Blum has said that in the 1960s and early 1970s USAID has maintained "a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under USAID cover." The 1960s-era Office of Public Safety, a now-disbanded division of USAID, has been mentioned as an example of this, having served as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods (including torture techniques).
Folha de São Paulo, Brazil's largest newspaper, accused USAID of trying to influence political reform in Brazil in a way that would have purposely benefited right-wing parties. USAID spent $95,000 US in 2005 on a seminar in the Brazilian Congress to promote a reform aimed at pushing for legislation punishing party infidelity. According to USAID papers acquired by Folha under the Freedom of Information Act, the seminar was planned so as to coincide with the eve of talks in that country's Congress on a broad political reform. The papers read that although the "pattern of weak party discipline is found across the political spectrum, it is somewhat less true of parties on the liberal left, such as the [ruling] Worker's Party." The papers also expressed a concern about the "'indigenization' of the conference so that it is not viewed as providing a U.S. perspective." The event's main sponsor was the International Republican Institute.
In December 2009, Alan Gross, a contractor for USAID, was arrested in Cuba. He and US government officials claim Gross was helping to deliver internet access to the Jewish community on the island, however the head of the Jewish community in Cuba, Adela Dworin, denies any knowledge of Gross and says that recognized international Jewish organizations have provided them with legal Internet connections. Cuban officials have said that Gross remains under investigation on suspicion of espionage and importing prohibited satellite communications equipment (known as a BGAN) to Cuban dissidents. Gross was convicted by Cuban courts and sentenced to fifteen years in prison for bringing communications equipment onto the island nation.
In the summer of 2012, ALBA countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, San Vicente y Las Granadinas, Dominica, Antigua y Barbuda) called on its members to expel USAID from their countries.
Influence on the United Nations
Several studies suggest, that foreign aid is used as a political weapon for the U.S. to elicit desired actions from other nations. A state's membership of the UN Security Council can give a considerable raise of U.S. assistance.
In 1990 when the Yemeni Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal, voted against a resolution for a U.S.-led coalition to use force against Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering walked to the seat of the Yemeni Ambassador and retorted: "That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast".
Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen.