US Plans to Disseminate Propaganda in Cuba through Facebook

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Photo: Reuters
 
The United States has put together its own plans to use Facebook with the objective of disseminating propaganda and promoting clandestine dissidence in Cuba, the Miami New Times today reported.
 
Quoting existing documents on the subject, the weekly newspaper published that at the center of these plans is the Office of Transmissions to Cuba (OCB), currently headed by the former mayor of Miami Tomás Regalado, and which operates Radio Martí, TV Martí and Martí Noticias.
 
According to the media, these goals are detailed in the budget documents for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 of the Board of Governors of Broadcasting of the United States.
 
While in this country there is a great stir for an alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, the agency says there are plans to use Cuban 'native' and 'unbranded' Facebook accounts to disseminate content created by the US government without informing Cuban users of the social network.
 
Faced with the effectiveness of the authorities of the Caribbean country to block the signals of Radio and TV Martí, which the island denounces as a violation of the international norms of the use of the radio electric space, the strategy of the OCB has focused on an offensive through of social networks.
 
For this, they based themselves on metrics that place YouTube, Google and Facebook among the most visited sites in Cuba, and with the use of AVRA technology (Audio and Video for Radio), Radio Martí programs began to be transmitted through Facebook Live along with the TV Martí programming, said Miami New Times.
 
According to the source, in fiscal year 2018, the OCB is being established with teams of people on the island who create native and unbranded Facebook accounts to disseminate information.
 
'The native pages increase the chances of appearing in the news of Cuban users of Facebook. The same strategy will be replicated in other preferred social networks. '
 
According to the newspaper, the documents do not explain what the terms 'unmarked' or 'native' mean, but it is clear that they refer to pages that should resemble those of regular users of social networks to persuade Cubans to read the propaganda.
 
Miami New Times pointed out that, according to budget plans, the OCB planned to disseminate the propaganda in a way that deceived the Cubans and make them believe that the information came from other nationals, not from the office of Regalado.
 
If Facebook's propaganda plan really took off, it fits into a long history of trying to use modern technology to match propaganda to Cuba, said University of Pennsylvania professor John S. Nichols.
 
For the co-author of the book Clandestine Radio Broadcasting (1987), there are certainly warning signs in what the newspaper revealed, while adding that Congress 'does not seem to recognize that both stations are a colossal failure'.
 
It's sad because they're spending taxpayers' money. But what is really wasted is our credibility as a great nation in doing this kind of stupid and stupid things, he added. / PL

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