Cuba targets Twitter over rumours on Fidel Castro

Cuban authorities are targetting Twitter, days after the latest viral message on that social network announced the alleged death of the island’s historic leader Fidel Castro Isaac Risco reports in Monsters and Critics.

Pro-government Cuban media are saying that Twitter is working on behalf of the United States to destabilize Cuban authority. The network, reports on the communist island say, is being ‘forced’ to comply with court orders that support US policies against Havana.

The latest rumour on the elderly Castro’s death emerged on January 2 and quickly became a Twitter trending topic under the hashtag #FidelCastro, as had happened in late August with a similar message.

The event was later blamed on a computer virus, but Cuban government supporters mockingly accused Twitter of joining historic failed attempts to kill Castro. The man who actively led Cuba 1959-2006 has over the decades been the object of more than 600 attempts on his life, or plans to that effect.

Others pointed an accusing finger at the Twitter users who first posted the rumour, with accounts created in the Italian version of the network. The pro-government website Cubadebate, in turn, directly blamed Cuban exiles in Miami, whom it accuses of being funded from Washington.

‘This is not the first time that Twitter skates ahead of US government policies towards Cuba,’ Cubadebate said Saturday.

The editorial noted that Cuba ‘has become a thorny issue for the social network.’

Cubadebate referred to cases like the temporary suspension of tweeting from Cuban cellphones in October 2010, which affected mostly dissidents like award-winning blogger Yoani Sanchez.

The suspension was initially blamed on censorship by Cuban authorities, although Twitter eventually admitted, when it restored service, that it had disabled tweets from Cuban cellphones.

Cubadebate argued that the network ‘perhaps’ feared being fined for violating the decades-old US embargo on Cuba, so it suspended its services on the island, but then got from Washington instructions to restore service.

A Twitter spokesperson told US media in the wake of the latest rumour on Fidel Castro that the network does not interfere with contents.

The leading role that social networks are playing in movements of opposition to authoritarian regimes around the world has been the subject of constant debate since the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, and it has hardly gone unnoticed in Havana.

Cuban authorities have in recent months called upon their supporters to ‘occupy the web’ with their own views, a cyberstrategy to stand up for the government currently led by Cuban President Raul Castro.

Cuban dissidents, in turn, have repeatedly accused the government of restricting access to the internet on the island for fear of the consequences of freedom of expression.

For the original report go to http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/americas/news/article_1684730.php/Cuba-targets-Twitter-over-rumours-on-Fidel-Castro

3 thoughts on “Cuba targets Twitter over rumours on Fidel Castro

  1. GIVE THE CUBAN PEOPLE THEIR FREE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND LET FIDEL DIE A NATURAL DEATH! THE CUBAN PEOPLE ALREADY HAD THEIR REVOLUTION ALL THEY NEED TO DO IS TO COLLECT THEIR BENEFITS, ESPECIALLY THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION THAT WANT TO STAY IN CUBA!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s