USAID’s misbegotten Cuban Twitter caper


If you needed any reminding of how archaic and clueless U.S. policy on Cuba can be — and the extent to which it so often actually aids an oppressive communist dictatorship — look no further than Thursday’s excellent Associated Press article about the “Cuban Twitter” fiasco.

Called ZunZuneo — Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s tweet — it was a covert enterprise hatched inside the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The plan: create a stealth social media network and inject it with political messages aimed, as the AP quotes government documents, “at inspiring Cubans to organize ‘smart mobs.’ 

The goal was to incite a Cuban Spring that would bring down the Castro regime.

The reality was a ham-handed debacle that looks more like the Bay of Pigs in 140 characters or less.

Tim Padgett is Americas editor for Miami Herald news partner WLRN. To read the remainder of this article, go to

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