(AllHipHop News) The United States government’s relationship with the Cuban government has been hostile ever since the 1959 revolution took place on the Caribbean island. Since that time successive American presidents have used tactics like invasion attempts and economic sanctions to cripple the communist nation, but according to a new report by the Associated Press, the U.S. used Hip Hop artists to try to alter the political direction of Cuba as well.
For more than two years, a U.S. agency secretly infiltrated Cuba’s underground hip-hop movement, recruiting unwitting rappers to spark a youth movement against the government, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The idea was to use Cuban musicians “to break the information blockade” and build a network of young people seeking “social change,” documents show. But the operation was amateurish and profoundly unsuccessful.
The A.P. investigation discovered that on at least six occasions Cuban officials detained or interrogated artists. Some of the people did not even know they were a part of the program.
Contractors for the Washington DC-based Creative Associates International were tasked with recruiting Cuban musicians for projects disguised as cultural initiatives. The performers were really being used to spark a movement of fans to challenge the government. A “Cuban Twitter” social media network was even created to recruit activists.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s operation actually ended up weakening anti-Castro forces. A lot of Cuba’s brightest rap stars promoted by USAID – many of which were the loudest voices against the regime – reportedly had to leave the country or stop performing because of pressure from the Cuban government.
“Any assertions that our work is secret or covert are simply false,” said USAID in a statement.