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Dave Ross

Tweeting Cuba into submission

Having been to Cuba, I can tell you - yes they're poor, and there is no free speech - but there is also no burning desire for revolt. (AP Photo/File)

The White House has confirmed an Associated Press investigation which found that the United State financed a Twitter service for Cuban cell phones between 2009 and 2012 – for the purpose of eventually giving young Cubans a way to communicate freely and maybe even form flash mobs to start an anti-Communist Cuban Spring.

The AP indicated it was done covertly but spokesman Jay Carney said absolutely not.

“These appropriations are public. In implementing programs in non-permissive environments, of course the government has taken steps to be discreet,” said Carney.

It was discreet, not covert, and was nothing to be ashamed of.

“The program referred to by the Associated Press was a development program,” explained Carney.

According to the AP, U.S. officials got a hold of half a million stolen Cuban cell phone numbers, and then contracted with private tech companies to create a Twitter-type service beyond the Cuban government’s control, where the participants’ personal data would be used to find out who might be receptive to the idea of … spreading democracy.

See, if Putin had just done that in Ukraine, we’d have had no problem with it.

Anyway, in the end ,the service fell apart before it got to the point of organizing any Flash Mobs to rise up against the Castro Brothers.

And having been to Cuba, I can tell you – yes they’re poor, and there is no free speech – but there is also no burning desire for revolt.

However, let me say in defense of my own government: at least we didn’t try the exploding cigar again.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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