The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Costa Rica ‘s government said it is still waiting for the USA and President Barack Obama to explain why it launched the secret network “Cuban Twitter” from the inside of the borders of the Central American nation despite warnings in 2009 that this plan could put bilateral diplomatic ties in danger.
In an interview with The Associated Press, the Costa Rican Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo, said any action to affect other countries should not be done from the interior of Costa Rica.
He announced that his government has not received a response to their question, which was filed a day after the AP report on April 3, if the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded a secret program to cause political turmoil in Cuba, a country with a communist regime.
Castillo considered inappropriate use of an embassy in Costa Rica for this type of operation that harms a third country.
The chancellor noted that Costa Rica has not filed a complaint. The accredited embassies in Costa Rica do not have to submit their plans for approval or the Costa Rican government programs, he added.
The State Department spokesman, Jen Psaki, said on Wednesday that Costa Rica presented a diplomatic note to the U.S. Embassy in San José requesting an explanation after the news content of AP was published.
“In the following days, the embassy staff has talked many times about the issue with their counterparts MRE (Foreign Ministry) and confirmed that a dialogue is ongoing.”
Hundreds of documents, obtained by the AP, show that hired contractors to undertake the social network, known as ZunZuneo, were resorted to extreme lengths to hide their ties with the U.S., like the use of foreign companies and servers paid via bank account in the Cayman Islands. The plan will be undertaken after the contractors get more than 400,000 cell phone numbers in Cuba.
USAID has refused that that the program was secret or that it has any political agenda. At the request of a supervisory committee in the U.S. Congress, the State Department undertook an inspection of texts sent by thousands of cell phone users in Cuba to see if they had any political content.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica said in June 2009 at the U.S. Embassy that the plan to develop the social network could bring up political difficulties to the Central American country.
Costa Rica refused to grant diplomatic status to two contractors of the U.S. government involved in the program, according to a report released on Tuesday in an article of La Nacion, the largest newspaper in Costa Rica.
According to an internal memo of the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, Javier Sancho Bonilla, Director of Protocol of the ministry, said the project “could create a situation that would be politically inconvenient since an interpretation that would violate the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries would be possible. ”
The note was sent to the Deputy Foreign Minister, Elaine White, on June 2, 2009.
Sancho’s memo also suggested that Costa Rica retired from the cooperation agreement signed with the United States, which as an initiative of President John F. Kennedy created to prevent the emergence of other revolutions as the Cuban in Central America.
The Foreign Ministry told the U.S. embassy that the plan of ZunZuneo would exceed the agreed limits of binational cooperation.
“You now, the Cuban government has not complained to us about this,” Castillo said on Tuesday. “It may be that there has been illegal things in the operation of this program but it is only the responsibility of the U.S. government.”
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica