Photo by Kjartan Haugen
The US government secretly masterminded the creation of a Twitter-like communications network in Cuba aimed at fueling political dissidence by sidestepping the strict Internet filtering systems in the communist nation.
The program, codenamed “ZunZuneo”—Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s song—was operated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was supported by foreign bank financing and the use of secret shell companies, the Associated Press reported Thursday. USAID, which is charged with stabilizing countries and delivering humanitarian aid to poor nations, describes its mission as working on “the same problems as our military using a different set of tools.”
According to the AP, the plan was to build up a simple “Cuban Twitter” platform run over the cellular network in order to bypass the Internet, which is tightly regulated by the Cuban Communist Party (currently led by former Prime Minister Fidel Castro’s brother, Raúl Castro).
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