USAID’s Cuban tweets

 

The April 6 article, USAID’s misbegotten Cuban Twitter caper, begs the question that applies, as it does to the officials who put Alan Gross in harm’s way: Where was the adult supervision?

The proposition of helping Cubans get Internet access is nothing to be ashamed of, but how did a program which supposedly wasn’t intended to promote regime change wind up wanting to spark flash mobs, which could have gotten Cubans killed?

Were our ambassadors in places like Spain and Costa Rica, which just lodged a complaint, asked about the wisdom of operating from there and the consequences of exposure? Were State Department lawyers consulted about whether the program violated the laws of friendly nations, particularly with respect to gathering personal data?

Finally, did anyone consider the consequences of going dark with this program on USAID’s international reputation, far more important than getting Twitter to 40,000 Cubans. The worst aspect, for which Democrats and Republicans share responsibility is this affair makes us look incompetent.

Frank McNeil, Boca Raton

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