Information and communication technology (ICT) has been the subject of a game of cat and mouse over the past few decades in Cuba. Cubans have taken extraordinary measures to participate in the global ICT revolution. Many Cubans have smart phones and pay for informal Internet in order to maintain contact with loved ones abroad and share their lives with the rest of the connected world. According to Ted Henken of Baruch College, Cubans have innovated incredible work-a-rounds to the laws governing ICT. Their tech solutions mimic global applications but maintain a uniquely Cuban flavor. Though some of these “innovations” are neither legal nor illegal, many are tolerated by the Cuban government and mass-produced. In this section, we will explore some of these innovations, applaud their creators for their entrepreneurship and expose those that have posed as Cuban innovation and potentially reversed the trend toward loosening restrictions by the Cuban government.

Speak-to-Tweet Platforms
Twitter is available to some of the Cuban populations, but those who cannot access Twitter directly have begun using "speak-to-tweet" systems, which allows Cubans to anonymously call a U.S. number and dictate a message that will be turned into a tweet and, subsequently, posted to the greater "Twittersphere" as well as other social media outlets. According to Freedom House, a not-for-profit organization that champions democracy via freedom of expression, this system is prohibitively expensive, about $1.20 per tweet, and only accessible if Cubans have access to mobile phones. These platforms are used by bloggers and activists that hope to reach a wider audience in their advocacy work and increasingly more common citizens.

In recent years, the government, in response to what was deemed as illegal expression, has tracked phone numbers using these systems, shut down the platforms and punished participants. One of the most common examples associated with such government repression, "Háblalo Sin Miedo" (Speak without Fear), allowed Cubans to call a phone number in the U.S. to report government repression and human rights abuses. The platform converted voice recordings to typed messages that were shared on Twitter and YouTube, therefore functioning as an unsanctioned accountability mechanism.

ZunZuneo
ZunZuneo was a Twitter-like social media campaign created by USAID to facilitate greater conversation among Cubans. ZunZuneo, a slang term that refers to the sound of a hummingbird, was intended to create a large social network that would send out text messages en masse to enable Cubans to communicate among themselves free of charge beyond state-sanctioned platforms, according to Jack Gillum of the Asssociated Press, where this story was first unearthed. According to leaked, classified communication between team members at USAID, the goal was to leverage the massive network ZunZuneo reached to “renegotiate the balance of power between state and society”. Before this secret counter-revolutionary project was exposed in 2014, the project had exhausted its funding in 2012, forcing messaging frequency to peter out. However, at its peak, ZunZuneo was said to have more that 40,000 Cuban subscribers.