Cuban Regime uses Twitter to amplify its propaganda

Cuban Regime uses Twitter to amplify its propaganda

Published on 08 Aug 2023

Cuba 2022 Annual Report

In 2021 we included in our monitoring the analysis of the socio-political conversation in the trends positioned on Twitter in Cuba, due to the possible manipulation of the conversation by the State and its possible impact on the public agenda.

Throughout 2022 we recorded 731 trends with around 48,120,745 tweets in the Cuban digital conversation; however, 650 belong directly to Cuba, while another 67 come from Venezuela, 9 from Nicaragua and 5 from different countries.

Analyzing the conversation in detail, we find that:

  • Diaz-Canel’s Regime promoted the highest number of trends with 597 and around 15.5 million messages.
  • It is followed by Cuban social protest with 53 and just over one million tweets.
  • In third place is Venezuela’s Ministry of People’s Power for Communication and Information (MIPPCI), which also managed to position 53 tags on Cuba with more than 27 million tweets.

Despite the fact that the Cuban regime promoted the largest number of Twitter trends in the country, one Venezuelan actor (the MIPPCI) grouped the largest number of messages, representing 56.2% of the total tweets of Cuba’s socio-political conversation in 2022.

Although the trends promoted by Venezuelan officialdom play a leading role in Cuba’s digital communications, by directly studying the positioning of hashtags of internal actors, the regime prevails in this conversation, especially talking about ephemeris and the “Cuban Revolution”; surpassing by far the digital protest of citizens, which also developed digitally in 2022 on at least 14 topics, being the demand for freedom of political prisoners and power failures, the main reasons.

What did Cuban citizens talk about?

Although the Cuban regime pollutes and manipulates online information that they directly cannot control, civil society managed in 2022 to filter some trends on Twitter. However, the regime won the battle after the communicational and well-orchestrated superiority of influence operations.

The 53 trends that Cuba’s civil society positioned in 2022 represented just 6.1% of the tweets, totaling around 1,001,711 tweets. August was the month with the highest number of citizen protest tags with 13 in total; while in March we recorded the highest number of messages promoted by citizens with around 282,376 tweets.

From ProBox we identified at least 14 different topics in digital social protest driven by Cuban citizens and activists. There are 5 reasons that stand out above the rest by accumulating the most tags and messages:

  • Political prisoners: 15 protest trends demanded the freedom of political prisoners in the country and denounced irregularities in the judicial processes; these accumulated 358,733 tweets approximately.
  • Power failures and outages: 14 tags refer to power outages on the island, especially at times of demonstrations, totaling around 236,262 tweets.
  • Street calls: 4 trends invite to street protests by citizens against the regime, accumulating 157,290 tweets approximately.
  • Protests of 11J: 3 trends refer to the historic protests of July 11, 2021, totaling at least 123,900 tweets.
  • Matanzas fire: 3 talk about the regime’s mismanagement of the Matanzas explosion and how the fire was spreading across the island, disrupting even basic services. These accumulated 40,897 tweets approximately.

Despite the existing censorship on the island, Cuban civil society shows a valuable organization to protest through social networks. The determination of citizens to make their voices heard has given rise to a global solidarity, where messages of support, information and calls for freedom are shared, generating a network of resistance that transcends the barriers imposed by the regime.

Remember that you can follow us on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok as @ProBoxVE, to find more information on these issues.

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