Chrome Becomes “Legal” in Cuba


Yesterday, the giant Google authorized the download of their well-known browser Chrome by Cuban internauts. The announcement came just two months after several of the American company’s executives visited Havana and saw for themselves the problems we suffer accessing the vast World Wide Web.

Among the topics of conversation between several members of 14ymedio and Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, were precisely these restrictions. Hence, our satisfaction on knowing that the opinions of citizens interested in the free flow of information and technology influenced the elimination of this prohibition. An obstacle that, while it was in effect, affected the Cuban population more than a Government that is among the greatest Internet predators in the world.

During their trip to Cuba the four Google directors not only suffered the inconvenience of the digital sites censored by the Cuban authorities, and the high prices to connect from public places, but also experienced the restrictions imposed by their own company on Cuban Internet users. If must have been a particularly bitter pill to swallow to try to download Google Chrome and see the screen appear saying, “This service is not available in your country.”

We Cuban user, fortunately, had not expected the American company to be allowed to access the program from a national Internet Provider. Google Chrome, along with Mozilla Firefox and the controversial Internet Explorer, have been the most used browsers in our country. It simply required someone to bring an installer, after downloading it for free on a trip abroad, for it to pass from hand to hand—or flash memory stick to flash memory stick— and to be installed on hundreds (thousands?) of computers.

What has happened now is that we have gone from being illegal users to joining the brotherhood of more than 750 million people around the world using this program in an authorized manner. Services such as Google AnalyticsGoogle Earth and the Android App Store are now awaiting a similar thaw. Hopefully we will not have to wait from another visit to Cuba by directors of Google for these limitations to be eliminated!

21 August 2014


27 thoughts on “Chrome Becomes “Legal” in Cuba

  1. So the Internet, informtion and education and eventually change and development can’t be stopped. It seems that RC is trying to manage it Chinese-style i Cuba, but it also looks like it´s too little too late. I’s hard to imagine that bad regimes with bad leadership like the Kims, Castro bros and Chavismo won’t end badly…

  2. Sandokan, thanks for the great info.

    I can confirm cases of Dengue fever right now in Cuba. None are reported in the press. No reporter from the BBC or AP dares to report them either without official approval from Castro. None of them even care, to tell the truth.

    Castro tried to blame the USA for every disease in Cuba, just like he tried to blame the USA for controlling Cuban weather or for hindering the Cuban health care system, all without a shred of evidence.

    He cried CIA so many times and his conspiracy theories were so absurd, only the most feeble-minded fascists now believe anything he says.

    It’s easier to invent a CIA conspiracy rather than to admit everything you did led to disaster.

  3. The article, “THE DENGUE EPIDEMIC IN CUBA”, provide a historic outline about the dengue, starting in 1979 and include Dr. Dessy Mendoza case, sentenced to 8 years in prison for reporting the serious outbreak of dengue fever in 1997. The article criticized the hypocritical attitude of the Castroit tyranny trying to hide the facts.

    By Humberto (Bert) Corzo
    La Nueva Cuba
    September 9, 2006

    ”The dengue virus has been eradicated in our homeland,” Castro said
    after handing out DIPLOMAS to representatives of groups recruited for
    the campaign. “Today is a day of satisfaction for all residents of the
    capital and the entire country.” Fidel Castro declared victory in his
    government’s military-style campaign against dengue fever during a
    ceremony honoring those whose efforts helped wipe out the mosquito that
    spreads the virus. HAVANA – March 2002(AP)

    Fidel Castro, in his reference to the history of dengue in Cuba in the
    television PROGRAM “Mesa Redonda”, February 1st, 2002, said “the big
    tragedy of 1981 was the apparition of dengue hemorrhagic and reiterate
    it was introduce deliberated in the country”, without making reference
    to the 1977 epidemic.

    In an interview published in the newspaper Juventud Rebelde, January 13,
    2002, doctor María Guadalupe Guzmán, chief of the virological department
    of the National Laboratory for the study of viroid diseases, part of the
    Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí (IPK), expressed that the
    investigations about the dengue carried on by IPK include the ANALYSIS
    of the epidemics of 1977, 1981 and 1997. “In the 81 epidemic, we had a
    population of children and adults who were already infected in the 77
    with the dengue one and four years later with the dengue two”, pointed
    out the doctor. Castro’s affirmation of the deliberate introduction of
    dengue in the country in 1981, it is at odds with doctor Guzmán
    statements. As the saying goes “it is easy to detect first a liar than
    one who limps”.

    The dengue fever epidemic has become endemic in Cuba. During 1979 and
    outbreak of dengue fever caused more than 100 deaths. Again in 1981
    another outbreak of dengue fever affected thousand of PEOPLE, causing
    158 deaths, of which 101 were children.In 1997 a serious outbreak of dengue
    hemorrhagic fever in Santiago de Cuba caused dozen of deaths and thousands
    required hospitalization. Dr. Dessy Mendoza, the Cuban doctor who reported the
    serious outbreak of dengue fever in eastern Cuba, was sentenced to 8 years in
    prison,accused of enemy propaganda. Nevertheless the magazine of the
    Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí, published in English in the
    year 1999, confirmed the outbreak of the dengue epidemic in Santiago de
    Cuba in 1997. This happened in spice of the declarations of Castro’s
    tyranny of the elimination of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, vector of
    dengue, years before.

    From November 2000 to December 2001, the independent journalists have
    reported around 500 cases of dengue hemorrhagic and close to 50 deaths.
    The official press did not give number of cases or the number of deaths.
    details of the outbreak public.

    By December 2002, after the eradication of the dengue virus according to
    the regimen official propaganda, the number of cases of dengue
    hemorrhagic fever was around 1000 with a death toll close to 50. Of
    course the mosquitoes were unaware that they have been eradicated.
    In August 2005, several persons in Ranchuelo were diagnostic with
    dengue, and in January 2006 the dengue epidemic had spread to most of
    the oriental provinces, with three deaths confirmed in Santiago de Cuba
    in May. Numerous cases of dengue have been confirmed in several
    municipalities of Havana by July. At the end of August the dengue
    hemorrhagic epidemic had cause over 25 deaths in Havana and other 40 in
    Santiago de Cuba, according to reports of the independent journalists.
    This type of epidemic only occurs nowadays in third world countries.

    Obviously this shall not happen in the “medical power” category assigned
    to Cuba by the propaganda of Castro’s tyranny agents. The deterioration of
    the infrastructure (SEWER SYSTEMS, aqueducts, dams, garbage disposal, etc.),
    had caused a huge declined in the hygiene standards and the proliferation of
    infectious diseases like dengue, meningoencephalitis, conjunctivitis, leptospirosis
    and others.Castro’s tyranny has always tried to hide the facts, instead of asking
    the international community for help to eradicate the epidemic. None of
    the epidemics which have flagellated the Island, have been as pernicious
    as the epidemic represented by Castro’s regime.

    During Cuba Republican era before 1959, the battle against the Aedes
    aegypti mosquito, vector of the yellow fever, allowed to eradicate the
    thread of a returned of this disease to the Island, and the vaccination
    against small-pox, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, typhus and others
    infectious diseases, turned the Republic as one of the healthy country
    in the world.

    Cuba was one of six countries at world level exempt of quarantine measures


    COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS (CPJ) :Radio station suspended in Venezuela

    Bogotá, August 20, 2014–Venezuelan telecommunications regulator CONATEL shut down a critical radio station on Tuesday after refusing to renew the station’s expired transmission license, according to news reports. The move follows CONATEL’s suspension on Friday of a critical radio program on another station.

    Officials from CONATEL arrived at the studio of Sensacional 94.7 FM, a popular radio station in Barinas, accompanied by National Guard troops, Althis Torrealba, owner of the station, told CPJ. The officials ordered the station to shut down immediately and cited the station’s expired license. Torrealba said the officials would not allow her to enter the studio.

    A new station, called Radio Popular, immediately began transmitting music from Sensacional’s old 94.7 FM frequency, reports said.

    Torrealba told CPJ that she had applied for the renewal of the station’s license long before it expired in January 2012. But, she said, CONATEL never responded to the renewal request. She said CONATEL’s move was a “political decision” stemming from the station’s news programming, which remained independent in a region where TV, radio and newspapers rarely criticize the government. She told CPJ that scores of other radio stations are also waiting for CONATEL to renew their licenses.

    Delaying or denying the renewal of transmission licenses has been a key strategy for the Venezuelan government in its efforts to silence independent media outlets, according to CPJ research. CONATEL did not immediately comment on the shutdown and did not immediately respond to CPJ’s emails requesting comment.


  5. WORLD CRUNCH NEWS: A Chronic State Of Crisis Marks Venezuela’s Quiet Decline – by Andres Hoyos

    BOGOTA — Venezuela is in crisis — a tremendous one. Food and basic drugs are in short supply. The annual murder rate has reached 79 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world and a cold figure that covers a multitude of personal tragedies. Inflation is expected to reach a rate of over 70% by the end of this year, robbing the poor of their earnings, though they can always hope the government will allow them to ransack stores, as it has in the past.

    In any case, a television cannot replace food. Any doubts about the gravity of the situation can be dispelled by the socialist regime’s own admission that poverty is growing, despite the $1 trillion it has earned from selling oil over the last 15 years. They must be saving at least some of this petro fortune, right? Wrong.

    No, Venezuela is “unsaving” — increasingly pre-selling oil, especially to China, and swelling public debt in the process. Under pressure, the government is hastily squandering its Citgo refineries and gas stations, ludicrously depriving itself of assured outlets for its heavy crude.

    The separation of powers disappeared long ago, turning Venezuelan democracy into a hollow shell. The show trial given to political opposition leader Leopoldo López, now jailed, violated each and every one of his rights to a fair prosecution. The public purse is being ransacked while drug trafficking flourishes. It brings to mind Colombian drug lord Carlos Lehder, who used to corrupt the region from the Bahamas.



    BBC NEWS: Venezuela plans to introduce supermarket fingerprinting

    President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling.

    He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.

    But the opposition in Venezuela rejected the plan, saying the policy treated all Venezuelans as thieves.

    Critics said fingerprinting consumers of staple products was tantamount to rationing and constituted a breach of privacy.

    The opposition blames what it says are the failed left-wing policies of the past 15 years – initiated by late President Hugo Chavez – for the country’s economic crisis.

    Dissatisfaction with the shortage of many staples, as well as rampant crime and high inflation, led thousands of people in the western Venezuelan states of Tachira and Merida to take to the streets in January.

    The protests quickly spread to the rest of Venezuela, which faces similar problems.

  7. CUBA TRANSITION PROJECT – Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies at University of Miami – 2006

    Water Pollution

    According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), water pollution in Cuba is a serious concern, particularly since there is a marked lack of infrastructure to address the issue. Of the 2,160 main contaminant sources recognized by UNEP, 1,273 or 59 percent, release their pollution into the Cuban environment without any treatment whatsoever. Another 433, or roughly 20 percent, receive limited but inadequate treatment before being discharged. (2) This analysis included agricultural sources of contamination, as well as industrial and human waste.

    Despite its clear importance to the citizens of Cuba, the treatment of urban sewage in particular is extremely limited: only 17 or 18 percent receives any treatment before discharge into Cuban waterways. (3) The infrastructure of water and sanitation are beyond the breaking point and are close to catastrophic failure. Havana’s sewer system, which was built almost a hundred years ago, has been due for major repairs for almost five decades and is serving over two million citizens, well beyond its design capacity of 400,000. (4)

    The Cuban government has recognized this as a major environmental problem on the island, conceding that “pollution in our ground and marine waters has gradually aggravated…caused mainly by the deficient state of the sewerage and its incomplete nature in the majority of cases.” (5) UNEP reported an approximate total of 341,716 tons per year of organic material discharged into Cuban waters, equivalent to the pollution generated by a population of over 22.3 million people. It is worth noting that this level is twice the actual 2005 population of 11.2 million. (6)

    The effects of this system on the Cuban environment have been severe. Cuban bays are widely recognized as being among the most polluted in the world. (7) The Almendares River, which flows through Havana, carries the untreated sewage of over 42,000 people directly to Havana Harbor and coastal waters. (8) There has been evidence that in Havana, an underground aquifer that provides 36% of the city’s potable water that runs directly beneath the polluted Almendares, represents a very high risk of widespread drinking water contamination for the city. (9)

    This is a phenomenon that is being replicated throughout the country: it has been estimated that annually 863.4 billion gallons of contaminated water finds its way into Cuba’s rivers, much of it industrial. (10) A recent study of the groundwater in Moa, usually a naturally protected resource, concluded that a new water source for the population of Moa must be developed quickly, as the present source will be increasingly contaminated with heavy metals much of it from the nickel industry in the medium to long-term. (11) Tourist facilities have also exhibited insufficient treatment regimens, as many either pump waste directly into the sea at some distance from the coast, or use small oxidation pools, and release lightly treated water into the ocean. (12)


  8. YOUTUBE: Escasez de agua en Cuba. Así viven los cubanos – Water shortages in Cuba. This is how ordinary Cubans live.

  9. ***
    HI OMAR FUNDIDO–The truth isn’t complete in the Ferguson, MO. shooting incident. Lots of false information is in the news. Early reports said that the Black “Gentle Giant” was shot in the back–the autopsy report shows 6 shots from the front. 4 in his arm / shoulder, and 2 fatal shots in his head. Some eyewitness reports say he attacked the policeman in his car, stepped back, and then attacked again when the injured cop ordered him to halt. The policeman was treated in a hospital for fist injuries to his eye and face.
    It is too early to know the truth. It will come out in a fair trial. Until then–nobody–especially you!–knows if this was a racial incident. Or a legitimate case of self defense by the cop. The “Gentle Giant”–6 ft. 4 in. tall, weighing 300 lbs–is on video robbing a convenience store and choking / hitting a small clerk. He wasn’t a very “Gentle” youth in the store! The autopsy also shows that he had marijuana in his system.
    HOLA OMAR FUNDIDO–La verdad no es completo en el caso de tirar en Ferguson, MO. Mucho informacion falso es en las noticias. Reportes tempranos digan que el “Gigante Manso” fue tirado de atras–el reporte de la autopsia indica 6 tiros frontales. 4 en su brazo / hombro, y 2 tiros fatales en el frente de su cabeza. Unos testigos dicen que el ataco el policia en su auto, tomo unos pasos por atras, y attaco otra vez cuando el policia herido le ordeno a parar. El policia fue curado en el hospital por heridas causado por troncasos del puno a su ojo y cara.
    Es muy temprano saber la verdad. Va salir en un juicio honesto. Hasta que pasa eso–nadie–especialmente tu!–sabe si esta fue un incidento racial. O un caso legitima de defenso por el policia. El “Gigante Manso”–quien fue 6 pies 4 pulgadas alto, y peso 300 libras–es en video robando una tiendita y orcando / golpiando un empleado. No fue un joven muy “Manso” en la tiendita! Tambien la autopsia muestra la presencia de marijuana en su cuerpo.
    John Bibb

  10. After reading more about the subject of Yoani’s post, it appears that Google Chrome downloads were basically blocked by Castro.

    The Raul regime may now be more open about communication access than Fidel. As long as it all stays within the censored Cuban intranet.

    Raul put Alan Gross in prison for trying to provide internet access to a handful of Cubans. I assume Google was assured they won’t be going to jail.

    US Corporations only export to Cuba what Castro allows. If they try to export something without his permission or complain they aren’t allowed into Cuba, they risk future business with Castro and his allies.

    This explains the vague announcement from Google.

    A similar comedy is playing itself out with US banking.

    US civil servants quickly found 50 US banks that want to service the Cuban consul in the USA.

    Castro is refusing to do business with them. The “embargo” propaganda is a game that Castro will milk for all it’s worth.

    The lazy press will continue to repeat every one of Castro’s lies as fact.

  11. Hank,

    I will read that book.

    Under Comrade Mao, peasant women were frequently kidnapped, raped and forced into marriage by male peasants.

    The price has gone up I see.

    Still waiting for some investigative reporting from any Western reporter residing in Cuba. I think I’ll have to wait a long time.

  12. Neutral Observer,

    Thanks for the reality check.

    Dictator types like the Castros and the Kims are the embodiment of pure unadulterated evil. They are just plain bad.

    Not only because of what they do, but because of the effects they have had on people who they could not care less about and don’t even know. These dictators have destroyed the lives of millions of regular human beings.

    I’m almost done with Jang Jin-Sung’s book “Dear Leader” about his escape from North Korea.

    Here’s one anecdote from that book.

    North Korean women who escape into China are referred to as “pigs”.

    Apparently, that’s because the border between N. Korea and China is very rural and pigs are a valuable commodity in China. Some of the rural villages in China have no women at all, just men. So when these poor N. Korean women manage to escape to China, they are frequently captured, enslaved and trafficked.

    The “pigs” are graded according to their appearance and age. A grade one “pig” fetches around 200,000 won; a grade two goes for 150,000 won; and a grade three will bring in 100,000 won. See pages 164-165 of Jang Jin-Sung’s book.

    Human trafficking like this happens because oppressive dictatorships exist that do not respect human rights. There is no place for such things in the 21st Century.

    The castro nitwits support this crap. I say, out with them. Right now!

  13. For the last 55 years, under the Castroit dictatorship, the sanitation and water systems in Cuba has suffered an enormous deterioration, and no significant investments have been made to reverse it. The existing water distribution system has reached the limits of its structural integrity and useful life. Consequently the quantity of water is limited and the quality of the drinking water is unsafe

    Havana has become an unhealthy city. In some places in this city of 2.3 million people you can see the presence of sewage leaks in the streets due to broken sections of the sewer or septic tanks overflow, due to the total abandonment by the government during 55 years in which it has not expanded the sewer lines neither repaired the leaks.

  14. Mario,

    You still haven’t answered the very simple question:

    Why do you prefer vacationing in the Dominican Republic than in Cuba?

    You are a socialist anti-capitalist, aren’t you? Shouldn’t you be surfing in Cuba instead?

  15. Omar,

    So you are saying the African-American President of the USA has no power.

    It seems whatever you write about, it is always idiotic.

    Most of the racism in the world come from the likes of you.

    You are on record as opposing equal rights for Cubans. So are all the other “friends of Castro” who post here.

  16. Hank,

    Yes, AP and every other news outfit get told exactly what words to use when describing Fidel, Raul, Che or any of the other idiots and gangsters who run most of the world.

    If they don’t write “President” or “General” before Castro they are in violation of their agreements and they get kicked out of their very soft “reporter” job in Cuba.

    Back in the Batista days, some American and Cuban reporters actually could get away with calling Batista a dictator.

    He was just a gangster, not a totalitarian fanatic who believed he was God.

  17. Mario,
    The problem with the lack of power by the black community is because they are not unified as a people. The few that gain some wealth and privilege turn into White House Butlers for the establishment instead of unifying their communities. Fragmentation in the black community is why in the 21st. Century you see events like the one in Jefferson, Missouri and also the Federal government is not as aggressive at supporting equality like they were during the Martin Luther King era. There are a lot of cities and places in the U.S. were discrimination, institutionalized discrimination, is still practiced. The Land of the Free and Opportunity is as big a lie as the existence of God.

    I like to post these local events occurring in the U.S. on this site because from what I read from the bloggers and some of the commentaries, I can tell that they are completely disconnected with what Democracy and Capitalism is and is not. I believe that on purpose, they integrate sections of a society when they really need to look at the issues independently. I see a great deal of blaming social, economic and educational issues on the political camp when the reality is (in every country, mind you) that the political organization of a country is not completely responsible for what happens in the other institutions even in Centralized, One Party systems. The citizens also shape the conditions in a country. The U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba for more than 116 years has cause more pain to the Cuban People than Benefit. Minorities in the U.S. from dark skin people, Asians, Latin Americans and Cubans have experienced the inequality of the apartheid capitalistic economic system of the United States and its racism that keep them from realizing their dreams. The United States has never being a true Free Society with Liberty and Justice for All. If you don’t believe me, then please, do more internet surfing and venture into Environmental, Economics, Educational and the more than 1000 think tanks in the country that conduct analysis on every account in the U.S. budget, like I have done to understand why I write what I write about the U.S.

  18. Why does the Associated Press refer to the dictator who runs Cuba as “General Castro” or “President Castro”? He wasn’t elected. And who made him a General? Since when does killing people make you a General in Cuba?

    Why does the AP afford this guy any legitimacy at all? Is it a business decision designed to keep its Havana Office open? If that’s true, why would anyone believe what the AP reports about Cuba? What credibility does the AP have?

    Why doesn’t the AP describe the small cadre that runs Cuba as a regime, or a dictatorship? Why are those words never used in any AP report about Cuba?

  19. Omar,

    Can you hear the noise if a racial killing, Missouri style, would have happend in Cuba?

    Humberto and Neutral Observer would have to do overtime for months!

    But aren’t the blacks partly to blame for the situation? They weren’t able to create a representation similiar to the Communist Party of Cuba. They do not have a leader such as Fidel or Raul. Sorry for them.

  20. Omar,

    you say only one third of the African American population have know some form of discrimination.

    Do you know how low that is? At least one third of every group in the USA, including blue-eyed blondes, have known some discrimination.

    In Cuba, 100% of African-Cubans have known some form of discrimination.

    But more to the point, what the heck does your idiotic post have to do with Cuba, Google or anything at all?

  21. Fernando Leanme,

    As you can see, the only people who believe Castro’s lies these days are the mentally insane armchair socialists who post here.

    It’s true what you say. Although every Cuban knows he is being lied to, they wonder if there is some truth being mixed in with it. All they know is the lies they are fed.

    It’s like being told the CIA has a missile base on the moon your whole life by every newspaper and TV channel you have ever been allowed to see.

    In 55 years, not one independent view has been allowed into Cuba.

    That’s why I get such dumb questions each time I visit Cuba by people who have never left the country.

    Luckily a lot of visitors have provided some Cubans with a more realistic picture of the world.


    Venezuela’s communication minister Delcy Rodríguez has condemned racial “discrimination” in the United States.

    Responding to the police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, Rodriguez said the incident was symptomatic of a broader problem.

    “In the United States more than one third of the African American population has experienced some form of discrimination,” Rodriguez stated.

    “The death of Michael Brown was not an isolated incident,” she said.

    Rodriguez pointed to other cases of black men being gunned down, such as the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin. Former neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was acquitted of charges stemming from the fatal shooting in July 2013.

    Brown was shot by a white police officer on August 9, 2014.

    There have been nightly demonstrations since the fatal police shooting, and a wave of public outrage against the killing.

    Local residents are demanding justice for the killing and are protesting what they say is the racially biased and repressive police tactics by the local department.

    Thousands are expected to gather across the country on Thursday as part of a nationwide series of protests, in at least 37 cities.

    “The world must know the innumerable cases of abuse and killings of African American citizens in the United States,” Rodriguez stated.

    The Venezuelan minister’s statement follows criticism of Ferguson authorities’ handling of protests in the wake of Brown’s death by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

    Earlier this week, Pillay said the clashes between police and protestors in Ferguson, Missouri are reminiscent of the racial violence in her native South Africa during apartheid.

    “These scenes are familiar to me and privately I was thinking that there are many parts of the United States where apartheid is flourishing,” Pillay stated.

  23. What a surprise!

    American blogger (Cuban passport, American mind) has noticed that “Services such as Google Analytics, Google Earth and the Android App Store” are subject to US blockade.

    Keep investigating, Yoani. You will notice even more important services then a browser are being denied to cuban citizens (Paypal, Git, eBay)

  24. When I lived in Cuba we knew everything we saw was heavily censored, and a lot of it was distorted or just plain lies.

    Today we can see a version of what goes on in Cuba reading extremist left wing sites published in the USA. Some of these sites have comments so disconnected from reality the scripts must be authored in Havana by regime employees. I suppose that younger Cubans born in that surreal universe must realize, like we did back when, that most of what the government says or prints are lies.

    Back then I knew they lied a lot, and that maybe once in a while they told the truth….but then how was I supposed to establish when they said the truth? My answer was to assume they lied all the time. My mom used to have a similar approach. Plus she used to believe the fantastic tales she heard via Radio Bemba. So I wonder, is it the same today? Or do people get to travel, talk to visitors, read books brought in from abroad, and get other material so they can understand the regime lies a lot, but sometimes they let a little truth sneak out?

  25. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS INTERNET ENEMIES 2014: CUBA – Long live freedom (but not for the Internet)!

    Ministry of Informatics and Communications
    The arrival of fibre optics in the island via the ALBA-1 submarine cable from Venezuela and the unblocking of some websites have offered a glimmer of hope, but Cuba still denies most of its population free access to the Internet. The Castro government has developed its own control model based on a local Intranet, sky-high Internet access costs and an all-pervading government presence.
    “Anti-revolutionaries” censored
    The country’s censorship agency is the Revolutionary Orientation Department (DOR), which filters all news and information published by the official media, based on criteria set by the party. In other words, all content deemed “anti-revolutionary” is automatically blocked. These censorship regulations are not confined to the Internet. They are based on provisions in the criminal code that criminalize insults, slander, libel, abusive language and affronts to the authorities, institutions of the republic and heroes and martyrs of the nation, among others.
    The ministry of informatics and communications was formed in 2000 to ensure the revolutionary ideology preached by the DOR is implemented on the Internet. Little information is available on the censorship technology used by Cuban authorities. The University of Information Science and the country’s telecoms operator ETECSA, which is also the sole Internet access provider, both have censorship and monitoring departments that support the actions of the ministry. The blocking of Internet content is carried out by ETECSA.




    In Cuba, access to the internet remains under state control. It is regulated by the Law of Security of Information, which prohibits access to internet services from private homes. Therefore, the internet in Cuba has a social vocation and remains accessible at education centres, work-places and other public institutions. Internet can also be accessed in hotels but at a high cost. In October 2009, the government adopted a new law allowing the Cuban Postal Services to establish cyber-cafés in its premises and offer internet access to the public. However, home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans and only those favoured by the government are able to access the internet from their own homes

    However, many blogs are not accessible from within Cuba because the Cuban authorities have put in place filters restricting access. The blogs affected are mainly those that openly criticize the Cuban government and its restrictions on freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement. For example, Generation Y is one of the dozens of blogs that are filtered or intermittently blocked by the government and are not accessible inside Cuba.

  27. Something like 2% of Cubans have access to the internet.

    The speed is incredibly slow, even in hotels.

    More Cubans already have Chrome on their computers (gifts from the capitalist world) than will ever be able to download it under current Cuban conditions.

    Until things change, the USB key will be the main source of information and computer programs for Cubans.

    Perhaps Castro has plans to allow foreign investors to build up the Cuban internet. This can be done extremely quickly.

    Providing clean drinking water to Cubans is a much greater challenge, but why would Castro spend the money on Cubans who hate him?

    For the emperor of Cuba, it’s “let them drink Cholera”

    It’s no wonder that Mario prefers vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

    I bet his capitalist hotel provides good drinking water and high-speed internet access.

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