Friday, April 04, 2014

White House Defends ‘Cuban Twitter’ Created To Undermine Communist Government

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Thursday defended its creation of a Twitter-like Cuban communications network to undermine the communist government, declaring the secret program was "invested and debated" by Congress and wasn't a covert operation that required White House approval.

But two senior Democrats on congressional intelligence and judiciary committees said they had known nothing about the effort, which one of them described as "dumb, dumb, dumb." A showdown with that senator's panel is expected next week, and the Republican chairman of a House oversight subcommittee said that it, too, would look into the program.

An Associated Press investigation found that the network was built with secret shell companies and financed through a foreign bank. The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform.

First, the network was to build a Cuban audience, mostly young people. Then, the plan was to push them toward dissent.

Yet its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them, in the hope that the information might be used someday for political purposes.

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AP  | by  ALBERTO ARCE and DESMOND BUTLER and JACK GILLUM
Posted: 04/03/2014 8:27 pm EDT Updated: 04/04/2014 12:59 am EDT

Y un periódico cubano, Granma, publicó hoy...

Autor: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
4 de abril de 2014

La agencia estadounidense Associated Press (AP) reveló este jueves un complejo plan del gobierno de los Estados Unidos para promover la subversión en Cuba a través de las nuevas tecnologías.

El objetivo de Zunzuneo era lanzar una red de mensajería que pudiera llegar a cientos de miles de cubanos usando “contenido no controversial”: noticias de fútbol, música, huracanes y publicidad. Cuando lograran su meta enviarían mensajes de contenido político para incitar a los cubanos a crear convocatorias en red, concentraciones masivas que pudieran desencadenar una “primavera cubana”.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Inocentes/Spain plays April Fools on Dec. 28

 

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The following piece was written by Spanish blogger Gerald Erichsen:

If you should be in a Spanish-speaking country today and play a joke on your friends and follow that up with a shout of "¡Tontos de abril!" chances are you'll get nothing but blank stares as a reaction. The minor U.S. holiday of April Fools' Day is little known in Spain and Latin America, but there is a rough equivalent, el Día de los Santos Inocentes, observed on Dec. 28.

The day, observed in Spain (especially the southern areas) and parts of Latin America, is observed in much the same way as April Fools' Day. But when the prankster is ready to reveal the joke, the saying is "¡Inocente, inocente!" or "Innocent one, innocent one!"

In its origins, the day is a sort of gallows humor. The Day of the Innocents observes the day when, according to the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible, King Herod ordered the baby boys under 2 years old in Bethlehem to be killed because he was afraid that the baby Jesus born there would become a rival. As it turned out, though, the baby Jesus had been taken away to Egypt by Mary and Joseph. So the "joke" was on Herod, and thus followed the tradition of tricking friends on that day. (This is a sad story to be sure, but according to tradition the babies murdered in Jesus' stead went to heaven as the first Christian martyrs.)

 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Guías: Una Oportunidad de Servir

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VISD Spanish Family Liaison/Harbor School teacher Sally Adam and Principal Danny Rock need four advanced (Spanish 3 or 4) students to volunteer to assist for two hours on Saturday, April 5 from 12-2 p.m. with a tour of our school being offered to Spanish speaking families and youth. Please tell me if you would be willing to help out. You will gain valuable experience using your Spanish in a community context and I will offer you some extra credit in class if you are among the first four people to commit to the tour.

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