MIAMI (AP) _ A presidential commission's report on U.S. plans to promote democracy in Cuba has earned applause from Cuban exiles, particularly for an $80 million commitment to bolster civil society and independent media. But while many expressed broad support for the commission's message, some were wary of how, and if, the promised funds will be spent.

The recommendations, released this week by the Presidential Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, would target money to help nongovernmental groups create change in Cuba. It was issued as Fidel Castro's government tries to maintain status quo.

``It would be very harmful if they said that money will come and then people didn't get it,'' said Orlando Gutierrez, the National Secretary of the Miami-based Cuban Democratic Directorate, which seeks to provide humanitarian aid to the pro-democracy movement on the island.

Some dissidents on the island have expressed concern that the money will only bolster the Cuban government's allegations that the opposition is on the U.S. government's payrolls. Communist officials accused 75 opponents captured in 2003 of being on U.S. payrolls, an allegation dissidents and Washington deny.

Ninoska Perez Castellon, of the conservative Liberty Council, said concerns about U.S. influence were unwarranted.

``Nobody questioned it when Europe was under communism, and it was the United States and Margaret Thatcher that provided the help,'' she said.

The report also recommends Interpol receive the names of Cuban officers who in 1996 shot down two private planes flying over international waters in search of Cuban rafters.

During a discussion with students at Florida International University on Wednesday, Jose Basulto, the lone survivor of the 1996 attack and a member of the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, recalled how CIA agents selected and trained him and others for the failed attack, and how at the last minute President Kennedy chose not to send in air support.

Basulto said he didn't want to see the history of false promises repeated. He also expressed concern that the $80 million could be used by the U.S. government to cultivate leaders inside and outside the island who might not represent the interests of the majority.

``I don't want to see Cuba polluted from without,'' he told the students.

The report follows up on recommendations the commission first made in 2004, including strengthening of U.S. trade, financial and travel restrictions on the island.

A growing number of Cubans in the U.S. have criticized the government's decision not to relax restrictions that allow Cubans to visit the island only once every three years. They argue that contact with family members outside the country brings valuable perspective and will help erode the regime from within.

Activist Ramon Saul Sanchez, head of the Democracy Movement, made a rare public acknowledgment of pressure on the exile community to present a unified front as he spoke Wednesday of the travel restrictions and the U.S. financial embargo Cuba has been under since 1961, two years after the Castro came to power.

Cubans in the U.S have to applaud the restrictions ``or shut up because we are betraying our own countrymen,'' he said, adding, ``If we have done something for 50 years, and it hasn't worked, logic tells you we should revisit it.''