Political messages penned for Cuba Twitter program

WASHINGTON — Draft messages produced for a Twitter-like social media network that the U.S. government secretly built in Cuba were overtly political and some taunted the Castro family.

The Associated Press obtained the messages in internal documents from the program. The new disclosures came as the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development told Congress on Tuesday that the program was never intended to stir unrest within Cuba’s government.

At a hearing, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont told USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah that the social media program was “cockamamie.”

An AP investigation last week found the program evaded Cuba’s Internet restrictions by creating a text-messaging service that could be used to organize political demonstrations. It drew tens of thousands of subscribers who were unaware it was backed by the Obama administration.

More in Local News

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

John Miller, congressman, author activist, has died

He was known for his dedication to the marine industry, energy and human rights.

Church takes a quiet, contemplative approach to worship

Alternative services at First Congregational Church of Maltby offer “a good deal of silence.”

Funds up for council vote would aid conservation district

District stands to receive an extra $1 million each year, if the County Council gives its approval.

Snohomish County hosts its annual Focus on Farming conference

The event features a trade show as well as talks on agriculture, jam-making and more.

Supportive housing for man accused in attacking his mother

Mental state impaired man’s ability to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions, judge rules.

Lynnwood mayor challenged by councilman in general election

Three City Council members also are facing challengers on the Nov. 7 ballot.

‘Horrific’ child-porn case: Former Arlington man sentenced

Raymond Devore, arrested in 2015, had a cache of disturbing photos and video on his cellphone.

500 tires go up in flames at a store south of Everett

There were no injuries. And it was nowhere near as bad as that months-long tire fire in 1984.

Most Read