USA Denies Twitter-Like Service was Designed to Topple Cuban Government
Published on: 4th Apr 2014
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
The US government has denied that a Twitter like service developed by its overseas aid office that was launched in Cuba was a covert plan to spread anti communist messages.
The service known as ZunZuneo, slang for hummingbird in Cuba, became very popular with the Cuban teenagers as it provided short snippets of news and gossip, while also allowing the sharing of 140-character text messages between users.
At its peak, it is said to have signed up around 40,000 users.
However, it was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and there have been allegations that it was a front for a pro-democracy service that would have later used the messages to spread propaganda critical of the Cuban government.
White House press secretary Jay Carney denied the allegations, stating that while in "non-permissive environments" it was necessary for USAid to be "discreet", the secret social-media initiative was "not a covert programme".
He added that the programme was always subject to US congressional oversight.
The service has since been shut-down.