The program targets an "information blockade" by sneaking computers and more to the island.
The detention of a U.S. government contractor in Cuba has put the spotlight on a secretive U.S. pro-democracy program that ballooned during the Bush administration but has faced persistent questions about its management and effectiveness.
The Cuba program seeks to evade the communist government's "information blockade" by sneaking computers, cell phones, DVD players, and other communications equipment onto the island.
Its budget rose from about $3.5 million in 2000 to $45 million in 2008 under President George W. Bush, who made democracy promotion a priority.
The jailing of the U.S. contractor - who has not been publicly identified - has highlighted the risk of trying to slip communications technology into police states.
It has also revived a debate over whether the U.S. democracy program for Cuba, like a similar one in Iran, can backfire by exposing dissidents to allegations that they are U.S. puppets.