The long-standing stalemate between the United States and Cuba is anything but that. Although we hardly hear any of the anti-Cuba rhetoric, the tug of war is still pretty much on.
These days it seems that information exchange through social media networking is the way to go for governments wanting to help underdogs in repressive countries like Cuba, where access to the internet is limited or completely non-existent.
I read an article on the Huffington Post today about a U.S. agency’s covert involvement in Cuban affairs. It’s called the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Not that I am an expert on U.S. agencies and their functions, but don’t we already have capable agencies on Cuba’s butt?
The article stated that the purpose of the project touted as the “Cuban Twitter,” which in actuality is called “ZunZuneo,” was to create a platform where Cubans could amass and share notices which could lead to sudden gatherings by the users at any moment. The hope was that the desire to revolt would be facilitated by increased interconnections, therefore facilitating an effective resistance movement.
Well, this is not what happened.
Essentially, the plan was so shortsighted that this agency soon found it impossible to maintain the program alive because of the obvious need to conceal the U.S.’s involvement, and the logistics and funding required to manage such a program.
Ultimately, the USAID simply abandoned the program altogether. The potential revolutionaries in Cuba left scratching their heads open to the suspicions of an already panicky government bent on restricting the people’s access to technology in any form. What will the effects of this botched program have on future efforts to increase communications between Cuban islanders? It seems to me that the Cuban government is adept at smelling a trap. Isn’t that why they have been in power so long? They certainly know what ZunZuneo turned out to be.
This only ensures that Cubans remain in the dark who knows for how longer. (The plan was so bad the revolutionaries didn’t even know that they had such a tool at their disposal!) This strengthens the Cuban government’s rhetoric that the US is at its heels, discrediting our government in potential dissident’s eyes, who will think twice before getting behind a plan probably hatched at the last moment over lunch. And the worst thing about it all is that now I am suspicious of my Facebook page. It may just be a Cuban commie super-secret plan to gather information on us and brainwash us into Manchurian Candidate-like zombies turned against our better judgment by getting us addicted to Candy Crush.