First task for U.S. operatives in Cuba: Avoid detection

U.S. government contractors sometimes struggle to find Cubans who are willing to work with them. Cuban participants worry about the political nature of U.S. government-financed projects, according to a second batch of documents about one contractor’s work in Cuba. (See “USAID in Cuba: Code names and counter surveillance“). The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded … Read more

USAID in Cuba: Code names and counter surveillance

For decades now, the U.S. government has carried out democracy projects aimed at undermining Cuba’s socialist government. One deal that has always intrigued me was the $15.5 million, three-year contract awarded to Creative Associates International in October 2008. The fact that Creative Associates ran the program from a secret base in Costa Rica added to … Read more

The rise and fall of ZunZuneo

Trying to create a social network in Cuba is tricky business, especially if you want to hide from users the fact that the U.S. government is paying for it. But ZunZuneo grew rapidly, attracting 55,000 mobile phone users in Cuba by 2012. The U.S. Agency for International Development hired a private company, Creative Associates International, … Read more