Friday, April 4, 2014

Report: USAID Launched Fake Twitter Platform to Undermine Cuban Gov’t

From Democracy Now for Friday, April 4th, 2014

Report: USAID Launched Fake Twitter Platform to Undermine Cuban Gov’t

A new report reveals the United States oversaw the creation of a fake social media network in Cuba in a bid to undermine the Cuban government. The Associated Press reports the so-called Cuban Twitter project was built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks. Called ZunZuneo, Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s tweet, the network masqueraded as a Twitter-like platform. But it was actually created by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and its users were unaware their private data was being gathered by U.S. contractors for potential political use. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied the program was secret.

Jay Carney: "Suggestions that this was a covert program are wrong. Congress funds democracy programming for Cuba to help empower Cubans to access more information and to strengthen civil society. These appropriations are public, unlike covert action. The money invested has been debated in Congress. In addition, GAO
 [Government Accountability Office] reviewed this program in detail in 2013 and found that it was conducted in accordance with U.S. law and under appropriate oversight controls."

Despite Carney’s claims, top congressional Democrats have said they knew nothing about the program. We’ll have more on the story later in the broadcast.

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