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Social Media News - US Government Agency Created Cuban Twitter To Change Regime

Social media and politics

Social media has now become a part of political disruption, disinformation and espionage. The US government spent $1.6m building a social media network in the hope that it would undermine the communist regime in Cuba. Whilst this is disturbing in a way, it proves that social media is seen as a serious weapon in the war between different philosophies. Basically it’s not just for selfies.

Cuba social media and politics
Source: time.com

There were recently documents obtained during an investigation by the Associated Press that prove that the project lasted more than two years, and generated thousands of followers. The project was created alongside secret 'shell' companies and was financed through foreign banks.

Behind the tomfoolery was the United States for International Development, and they spawned the ‘Cuban Twitter’ dubbed “ZunZuneo” which is slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet. They were responsible for the operation, but there was no involvement of any intelligence service, but the recent revelations would suggest that USAID’s clams that they do not conduct covert actions are completely fabricated.

Cuba social media and politics
Source: nbcnews.com

People who were using “ZunZuneo” were entirely oblivious of the involvement of the United States Government Agency, and to make things worse American contractors were gathering information about them in the hope that one day some of the information would be put to use in a political way.

There will be questions over clandestine government funded activity, as this project has questionable legality under US law. The project commenced in 2009 following Washington-based Creative Associates International got hold of half and million Cuban mobile phone numbers.

The documents support the questionable legitimisation of the quest, with the US Agency going to great lengths to cover its tracks and to conceal its involvement. Front companies were set up overseas, and money was routed through the Cayman Islands bank to disguise the money trail.

The reason for the establishment of the service was conceived after the Cuban government tightly controlled internet access. Mobile phone communications were also monitored closely, so the US decided to launch their own contradictory motive.

Cuba social media and politics

It seems that the battle between Capitalism and Communism has stretched to social media, which is both good and bad; bad because it shows that International relations will never improve as long as functional philosophies are still relevant in today’s politics. Also users will lose any trust that is left in politicians who use social media as a form of communication also, because the general attitude will turn into one of paranoia. If the US have been caught out for this, then what else are they doing?

The good side of this is that the powerhouses around the world recognise the influence of social media, and if it can also be used to ensure the safety of a nation’s citizens, then positives can be taken.


Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media News - US Government Agency Created Cuban Twitter To Change Regime Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, April 08, 2014 Rating: 5
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