The United States is in the throes of yet another scandal. This time we are being accused of creating a Cuban Twitter social network, dubbed “ZunZuneo,” to stir unrest in the Caribbean nation and undermine the Communist regime:
Yet its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes.
It is unclear whether the scheme was legal under U.S. law, which requires written authorization of covert action by the president and congressional notification. Officials at USAID would not say who had approved the program or whether the White House was aware of it. The Cuban government declined a request for comment…
The project, dubbed “ZunZuneo,” slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet, was publicly launched shortly after the 2009 arrest in Cuba of American contractor Alan Gross. He was imprisoned after traveling repeatedly to the country on a separate, clandestine USAID mission to expand Internet access using sensitive technology that only governments use
“State Department spokesperson on reports of US-funded ‘Cuban Twitter’: ‘To suggest these are covert programs is just wrong. Congress funds democracy programming for Cuba to help empower Cubans to access more information and strengthen civil society.” – via @NBCNews