A scathing congressional audit of democracy-assistance programmes found "questionable expenditure" by several groups funded by Washington in opposition to President Fidel Castro's rule on the communist Caribbean island.
The Miami-based Acción Democrática Cubana spent money on a chainsaw, Nintendo Game Boys and Sony PlayStations, mountain bikes, leather coats and Godiva chocolates, which the group says were all sent to Cuba. "These people are going hungry. They never get any chocolate there," Juan Carlos Acosta, the group's executive director, told the Miami Herald.
He also defended the purchase of a chainsaw he said he needed to cut a tree that had blocked access to his office in a hurricane, and said that the leather jackets and cashmere sweaters were bought in a sale. "They [the auditors] think it's not cold there," Mr Acosta said. "At $30 [£16] it's a bargain because cashmere is expensive. They were asking for sweaters."
The audit analysed $65m of spending by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1996 to 2005 and concluded that poor management was to blame for the waste. "There were weaknesses in agency policies and in programme office oversight, and internal control deficiencies," the report states.
None of the 36 groups that received money were identified in the report, but others admitted to the Miami Herald in advance of its publication today that they had been investigated.
"I'll defend that until I die," Mr Hernandez Trujillo said of his decision to spend part of his group's allocation on boxes of computer games. "That's part of our job, to show the people in Cuba what they could attain if they were not under that system."
Most of the items were distributed to dissidents in Cuba by US diplomats in Havana, who were sometimes unaware what was in the shipments.
David Snider, a spokesman for USAID, said he was awaiting a final copy of the report, but admitted that an investigation was under way into three cases highlighted by the audit.
The US government has previously accused the Cuban government of hijacking consignments sent to its Havana mission.
This is a classic example of Conservatism at work -- government is the problem; therefore, no oversight is needed or necessary, since the groups in question obviously are ideological soulmates.
This is why Conservatives are incapable of governing -- they cannot be bothered with the process of governing because after all, government is the problem.