Those who encourage hate against the Cuban people

Influencer or U.S. political agent?
On Friday July 30,2021, President Joe Biden held a meeting to discuss how his government would continue to “support the Cuban people.”

Author: Daily Pérez Guillén |
september 20, 2021 15:09:54

Yotuel, obviously at the service of those who encourage hate against the Cuban people. Our people always love and create. MEME FROM THE FACEBOOK PAGE OF CIBERCLARIA
On Friday July 30,2021, President Joe Biden held a meeting to discuss how his government would continue to “support the Cuban people.” The website of the White House has reported on the meeting. One of the questions about whether the sanctions would continue or would stop after the ones announced the day of the meeting, asked to the president by one of the attendees, is included in the report. According to the news reports, the attendees were Cuban-Americans whose profiles were politicians, businesspeople and a rapper.

Biden, who called those summoned “experts on the matter,” carefully handpicked his guests to attain the expected results. A few days ago, President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez denounced in his twitter account that to please a reactionary and extortionist minority, Washington is able to multiply the damage to 11 million human beings, ignoring the will of most Cubans, U.S. citizens and the international community.

In line with the event, the corporate media called attention to the attendance of one of the authors of the song that is assumed to be directly linked to the protests on July 11, 2021 in Cuba. Previously, Yotuel had gone live on his social media with the director of National Security for the Western Hemisphere and advisor to Biden in Latin American topics, Juan González. With his physique and demeanor, the rapper confidently embodies the “followed one” in communities of young black Cubans, vulnerable given their underprivileged social condition and who the government of the United States have identified as targets in its regime change operations on the island.

Shortly after the meeting, and through a show on social media, the rapper became a “spokesperson” and answered questions asked by the most notorious influencer of Trump’s policies and the Florida-based Cuban hard line rightwing. Otaola, who has spread the idea of a dead stop in the island and publicly demands the U.S. government to condition the granting of visas to Cuban artists to their political leanings, was very interested in the sanctions Biden could issue in the future.

Yotuel’s inclusion in White House guestlist is part of the communication strategy conceived to bring the Cuban people closer to Washington’s discourse, especially the younger generations. This strategy is not new neither it is used for the first time in Cuba, it has been successfully rehearsed in other scenarios, including Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, and it is still used a year and half into his presidential mandate.

An article originally run in The New York Times explains how the communication team of the Democrat campaign took a turn to widen its reach in social media when Trump seemed to occupy most of the space. For that purpose, Biden shook hands with influential personalities who endorsed his strategy on those platforms. Scholars, minority leaders, social causes activists, influencers and YouTubers shared content in favor of Biden. “Our goal was really to meet people where they were,” said Christian Tom, the head of then Democrat candidate’s digital partnerships team. Following this horizon, they defined their target with precision as well as the contents that may be of their interest.

Newspapers report of the partnership in the last few months of the White House with people influential in social media to present policies and proposals of President Biden. From the American Rescue Plan to the campaigns to encourage vaccination among young people, they have influencers as pawns to reach the audiences within the new communication strategy of digital communication, beyond those who visit the government official websites online.

Related to these experiences, a Spanish-language website of the Massachusets Technological Institute published a study by an assistant researcher of the Stanford Internet Observatory, that states there is a higher probability young people believe and share a content identified as misinformation if they share the feeling that they identify with the person who posted it initially. According to the study, credibility in social media is based on identity rather than community. And when trust is based on identity, the authority is transferred to influencers. Due to the fact that influencers sound and look like their followers, they become the trusted messengers of some topics they may not have enough knowledge about. As the young people engage in more political debates online, it can be expected that those who have successfully cultivated credibility based on identity become the de facto community leaders, attract people with similar ideas and lead the conversation. In other part of the study, it is stated that people united by identity are vulnerable to deceitful narratives directly aimed to what brings them together.

After reflecting on this information, it would be delusional to think that the inclusion of the rapper and the later meeting with President Biden, as well as the retelling of the meeting online, are just the result of a cordial invitation or a simple interview in an audiovisual show.

In the last two decades, the true experts of the White House have closely followed the advance of the computerization of the Cuban society. Since the administration of the Republican George W. Bush, the funds allocated to the subversion in Cuba for programs for regime change benefitted projects with an action platform built on the digital scenario. Barack Obama continued to allocate millionaire sums to that strategy, and with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the State Department announced in January 2018 the call to create Cuba Internet Task Force to promote the free flow of information in the country; phrases that sound too similar to the ones later voiced by the incumbent U.S. president after July 11.

In the middle of this context, the Cuban government sped up the computerization of the society in a pledge to widen the access to knowledge and to income sources. The activation in early December 2018 of the data mobile service is, perhaps, the most convincing evidence.

Systematized statistics of digital analysis websites such as We Are Social and Hootsuite show why the U.S. government has moved the dispute to the digital scenario. The most recent reports of these agencies, published in February 2021, state that seven million Cubans use internet and 6.6 million users have profiles in social media. Other studies reveal that the most searched terms in the island are the names of musicians that cultivate the so-called urban music. It is not necessary to conduct a survey to know that young people are the main generators of these data.

For that reason, when we listened to a rapper echoed the matrix of content generated from Washington and that resounds endlessly in the so-called independent press and in the big corporate media, no one can doubt that he has been added to the army of influencers at the service of the president of the United States. Yotuel confirmed in his interview that to fulfill the goal delayed for 62 years, they need to try different ways. Just like Trump chose his pawns, Biden moves now the pieces on the board, some of them placed there by his predecessor.