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USAID used fake Twitter to try and oust a government!: The Hummingbird Tweet: An Espionage Tale


By dlindorff - Posted on 03 April 2014

By Alfredo Lopez

For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service -- similar to Twitter -- for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.

They called it "ZunZuneo" (Cuban slang for a hummingbird's "tweet") and launched it under absolute secrecy about who was really running it. “There will be absolutely no mention of United States government involvement,” according to a 2010 memo from one of the companies supposedly running the service. “This is absolutely crucial for the long-term success of the service and to ensure the success of the mission."

The "mission" was to reach a critical mass of Cuban users by offering tweets on sports, entertainment and light news over the service and signing recipients up through word of mouth -- you call a phone number and your phone is hooked up. With that critical mass in place, the tweets would start getting more political: inspiring Cuban citizens to organize “smart mobs” — mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice to spark a kind of a "Cuban Spring" or, as one USAID document put it, “renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society.”

At one point there were 40,000 Cubans getting ZunZuneo tweets but the project was abandoned in 2012 when the initial funding ran out and the people who own the real Twitter refused to take it on.

The story, ran investigative report by the Associated Press, is probably not surprising to most people in this country. After the NSA revelations, what could possibly surprise us? And besides, it would not be the first time that USAID was found doing the nefarious work of the CIA at undermining governments...


For the rest of this article by ALFREDO LOPEZ in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/zunzuneo


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