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US created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to fuel anti-Castro dissidence: AP


The US government covertly created a Twitter-like text messaging service aimed at fueling political unrest in Cuba and evading the communist nations strict internet filters, according to an investigative report published today by the Associated Press. The ZunZuneo program — named after the slang term for the song of a Cuban hummingbird — was financed and operated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is charged with delivering humanitarian aid money to poor nations. Using a list of phone numbers obtained from a worker at Cubacel, Cubas state-owned telecommunications company, USAID and its team of contractors began by blasting out texts about non-controversial content like soccer and music. Once ZunZuneos network reached a critical mass, they would begin sending out more politically-charged texts, in the hopes that they would spark demonstrations against the regime of Raul Castro and renegotiate the balance of power between state and society, as one USAID document reads.

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