Public Comment

Covert USAID Program Aimed at Cuba

By Jagjit Singh
Friday April 11, 2014 - 10:58:00 AM

Disturbing covert operations of USAID have recently come to light. According to Associated Press reports, the communications network, "ZunZuneo" — slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet, created a fake “Cuban Twitter” with secret shell companies financed through foreign banks. The younger population was inundated with Tweets encouraging them to rebel and undermine the government. The United States planned to use the platform to spread political upheaval that might trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document stated, "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society”.  

According to Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, the USAID program was a classic covert operation – well outside its stated mandate of promoting democracy. It has reportedly squandered $20 million on this botched program that has created a great deal of mistrust and hostility. The money could have been used for educational purposes or humanitarian programs to foster better relations between our two countries. Senator Patrick Leahy deserves credit for lambasting the covert program. AP released memos from Mobile Accord which exposed the covert nature of the whole operation and its deliberate attempt to deceive the American public. The sad irony is that Cuba is dismantling its burdensome Communist ideology and is embracing a more Capitalist model. We can help this welcome trend by normalizing relations with Cuba and removing from it from the clutches of Venezuela which is engaged in an oil for doctors’ pact.