A Robinson Crusoe-like Singularity

An illustration of Robinson Crusoe.

An illustration of Robinson Crusoe.

Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 23 March 2015 — A young Panamanian told me in detail about the two weeks he spent in Havana, the new family that welcomed him here, and his surprise at a coastal city with almost no boats. His story resembled those of many who arrive on the Island for the first time, ranging from amazement to happiness, passing through tears.

However, his most astonishing conclusion was that that, thanks to the country’s disconnection, he had been able to live that long without Internet. Fifteen days without sending an email, reading a tweet, or worrying about a “like” on Facebook. On returning to his own country, he felt as if he’d been at a technology rehab clinic.

The same thing happened to Richard Quest, the well-known presenter of the Business Traveller program on CNN. This weekend we saw the British journalist hallucinating before a 1959 Cadillac, which he classified as a real “living room on wheels.” Aside from the beauty of a car like that, and its excellent state of preservation, I don’t know if Quest is aware that he was looking at a vehicle that was preserved because of its owner’s inability to acquire another, more modern one, at a dealership.

Robinson Crusoe, abandoned on his island far from the developed world, surely kept some pieces of his shipwrecked boat, but like any human being, he deserved access to modernity and progress.

I don’t know if the world is ready for our country to cease to resemble a mid-twentieth century sepia-toned postcard. Will it accept that we no longer appear as a country of “beautiful” ruins, with people sitting around on street corners because it makes no sense to work for such low wagers, and a population smiling at tourists because, among other reasons, these foreigners have access to the longed-for hard currency? Will the world allow us to find our identity if we no longer cling to this Robinson Crusoe-like singularity?

Will the world allow us to find our identity, if we no longer cling to this Robinson Crusoe-like singularity?

I address these questions to the rest of the world’s inhabitants, and not to the Cuban government, because the latter has demonstrated that a society locked in the anomaly of a forced past is much easier for the powers-that-be to control. My fears are that Latin America, the United States, Europe and the rest of the world are not prepared for a modern, competitive Cuba that looks to the future. A country with problems, like everyone, but without that patina of the fifties that is so attractive to those nostalgic for that decade.

It is possible to stop being Robinson Crusoe, but we have to ask ourselves if the world is prepared to see us return from the shipwreck.


24 thoughts on “A Robinson Crusoe-like Singularity

  1. NPR INTERVIEW: In Havana, A Journey Into The Forbidden With A Provocative Artist – by Robert Siegel
    It was still dark when Tania Bruguera hopped into a cab with us on her way to Revolution Square.”All of a sudden it looks quite subversive what we’re doing,” she said. Her voice revealed a little nervousness, but it translated into a giddy laughter.The last time Bruguera planned a trip like this,Cuban security agents hauled her out of her mother’s apartment and put her in jail. But two months later, here she was in a cab with some NPR journalists, navigating the desolate, pre-dawn streets of Havana.

    REUTERS: PetroVietnam mulls leaving Venezuela joint venture – sources By Corina Pons

    Vietnam’s state oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN) is considering selling its 40 percent stake in a joint venture with Venezuelan counterpart Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), according to two sources close to the exploration project.

    PVN’s investment in the Junin 2 venture in Venezuela’s heavy-crude Orinoco belt had been initially costed at $1.8 billion over five years, making it one of Vietnam’s biggest overseas investment projects.

    But a senior source in PDVSA said the Vietnamese company – long rumored to be unhappy over Venezuela’s high inflation and currency controls – was now considering a definitive pullout.

    Vietnam’s state oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN) is considering selling its 40 percent stake in a joint venture with Venezuelan counterpart Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), according to two sources close to the exploration project.

    PVN’s investment in the Junin 2 venture in Venezuela’s heavy-crude Orinoco belt had been initially costed at $1.8 billion over five years, making it one of Vietnam’s biggest overseas investment projects.

    But a senior source in PDVSA said the Vietnamese company – long rumored to be unhappy over Venezuela’s high inflation and currency controls – was now considering a definitive pullout.

    Another source close to the Petromacareo project confirmed that and also said a Colombian company was interested in buying PetroVietnam’s stake. That source did not name the Colombian company.

    Both sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

    In a difficult economic environment that many foreign investors complain about, OPEC member Venezuela has one of the highest inflation rates in the world, 68 percent last year, and operates a Byzantine three-tier currency control system.

    That complicates both payments in Venezuela and repatriation of profits for companies. The strongest rate for the local bolivar currency is 6.3 to the dollar, whereas the weakest is 170. Greenbacks also go for about 250 bolivars on the black market.


  3. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Venezuela – the faces of impunity: a year after the protests, victims still await justice -March 24, 2015 – A year after the pro and anti-government protests that shook Venezuela between February and July 2014, hundreds of victims of human rights abuses are still awaiting justice. More than 43 people died and a further 878 were injured during the protests. Scores were ill-treated and 3,351 were detained, 27 of whom remain in detention awaiting trial. At the time of writing, 2 March 2015, all those responsible had not been brought to justice, victims and their relatives had yet to receive reparations and those arbitrarily detained had not been released, showing a clear lack of political will on the part of the Venezuelan authorities to ensure that these grave human rights violations are not repeated.


  4. Some Democracy-Causing Theories
    The “dictator’s dilemma.” One of the more popular Internet-causing theories of democracy is the “dictator’s dilemma” (Kedzie, 1997). It is founded on the idea that globalization and globalized markets—largely facilitated and accelerated by the Internet—force
    governments to keep their countries’ communication borders open. The consequent free flow of information not only allows for the efficient passage of commercial information but also for more “democratic” information. The obvious example being that citizens
    gain the potential to expose government abuse of power, which can have a negative effect on governments in the world community if they are cast as illegitimate, violent, dishonest, or untrustworthy. The Internet’s collective characteristics (e.g., low cost,
    multidirectional capability, etc.) help make this possible. In addition to newsworthy dissent, the Internet can also enlighten citizens of less democratic nations
    of the comparatively high-income lifestyles associated with democracies and, as a result, they may begin to wish for democratic change. This is the same idea as the geographical spillover or “domino effect” from the traditional democracy literature. But, of course people in the know understand that there is no correlation between democracies and high standard of living. The high standard of living of the Western Rich countries where possible because of imperialism, colonialism and slavery. The United States today foreign policy camouflage the same old drivers of wealth (exploitation of man by man, racism, privilege, private ownership) with supporting democracy and liberty for all with a very important caveat….U.S. Hegemony over the World and control of the most important financial sources for the countries of the World.

  5. Steele and Stein (2002) argue that the Internet amplifies trends in international affairs. What this means is that the Internet acts as a politically neutral “constant,” whose main effect is to amplify political situations to new heights. For instance, the Internet in an authoritarian political environment would tend to exacerbate the brutality of the regime, while the Internet in a democratic political environment would tend to improve civil rights and political liberties. As such, we can determine how much of an effect the Internet has on democracy merely by evaluating a given political situation and multiplying by some
    Internet factor.

    Political Outcome = Political Orientation X Internet Factor.

    Looking at democracy over the last several decades, we can see that it has been on the rise since the 1970s (Freedom House, 2004a). Powerful and influential state actors such as the United States and the European Union have been advocating democratic institutions around the world for some time now. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to exposing atrocities and serving as a conscience for the world have
    proliferated around the globe. Also, there have been relatively few interstate conflicts in the past couple of decades (Correlates of War, 2005). It seems likely then that the amplification theory of the Internet and world affairs would prescribe that the Internet has
    helped buttress peaceful and democratic relations around the World.

  6. One of the main reasons of the backwardness in the island is the control of information and communication technologies. The Castroit regime is afraid of the new communication technologies. The regime view is that an informed population is a dangerous one, a threat to its rule.

    Yoani made a very important statement in a tweeter message: “If they opened the door, it’s not the time to just stay on the threshold, but to tear up the door frame and take down the bars.” Mr. Castro, “tear that wall down.”

  7. Only 30% of all the People in the World has access to the internet.
    Internet Usage Correlates With Democracy. Only the 1998-2002 Correlations Are Statistically Significant for Latin America
    (p .50 for All Points on the Graphs)
    The Internet does not necessarily engage people in
    politics. But even in the event that the poor and unrepresented
    do gain Internet access, it may be that they
    will not use it for political ends anyway. This condition
    is not necessarily specific to the poor either. For
    example, several studies have attempted to determine
    whether the Internet engages the common American
    in politics (see Scheufele & Nisbet, 2002). The results
    have not been very promising. To explain this,
    Tewksbury & Althaus (1999) suggest that because
    online news is often formatted in such a way that
    one story looks like it is equally important to every
    other story, Internet news seekers attend less to
    political stories that are traditionally covered on the
    front page of newspapers (and in television news).
    Indeed, Internet news seekers are in no way obliged
    to view political matters at all if they do not want.
    Consequentially, these people become disconnected
    with politics, and democracy suffers.
    As a corollary, the Internet might not politically
    engage users who were not engaged prior to their migration
    onto the Internet. As Scheufele & Nisbet (2002) explain, people are cognitive misers (Downs, 1957; Popkin, 1991) and do not typically seek out (political)
    information unless they feel they have to. This reflects
    the Huxlian idea that new communication technologies
    such as the Internet tend to distract more than
    empower citizens. In his book Amusing Ourselves to
    Death, Neil Postman (1985) argues that all new communication
    technologies since the photograph have
    been geared more toward sociopolitical disorientation
    than democratization. The reason for this, he explains,
    is because they are primarily focused on amusement
    and entertainment rather than rational debate—perhaps
    the chief cornerstone of civil society and democracy
    (Dunn, 2005). In the same vein, Lewis Mumford
    (1934, p. 240) has argued that instantaneous communication
    tends to trump “the great economical abstractions
    of writing, reading, and drawing, the media of
    reflective thought and deliberate action.”

  8. So it’s obvious then, that the real economy in Cuba exists on a totally different level than the Castristas’ imagined reality. This is possibly the best of all scenarios, that the Castristas simply and beome irrelevant and without any real power…

  9. Wayne Wohlfahrt:

    It is easy to understand:

    Most Cubans don’t have computers.

    Most Cubans have never been on the internet.

    However a growing minority do have the above thanks to money and gifts from capitalists abroad and from capitalist tourists.

    A thriving black market and criminal activity, such as theft from the state and prostitution, helps spread some of the wealth around.

    Capitalism has helped millions of Cubans avoid starvation.

    Capitalism has given more and more Cubans computers, TVs, jewellery, cell phones and even internet access.

    By the way, they lied to you.

    The 20 dollar a month figure is government propaganda and is supposed to be the mean wage, not the median.

    Last time I checked most Cubans were making about 10 dollars a month.

    And some elderly Cubans who can’t get out and beg still starve to death. And some Cuban children still go hungry.

    It was much worse before all this capitalist money fllooded into Cuba.

    And before Castro tolerated small private markets.

    In those good old Pure Socialist days, starvation was common and most Cubans couldn’t even imagine a computer.

    None of that ever applied to Castro and Che, who always go fed from their own private farms, and never shared their imported wine and caviar with the ignorant masses.

  10. I have been told that Cubans make about $20 per month and that the internet is being blocked by the government to local households and this is why very few Cubans have access to the internet. At $20 per month, how do the cuban people have the money to buy computers in the first place. We pay about $400 for a cheap computer in Canada and this would take a Cuban 2 years salary to purchase the computer. And how would a Cuban pay for internet usage, we pay $60 to $80 per month for internet usage. Things don’t add up. Where are they getting their computers from and how are they paying for them. How would they pay for the internet? Is the government paying for these computers and supplying them to there people at no cost? Is the internet available to some Cubans by the government at no cost? Can someone explain to me what the truth is. I’m confused. On my last trip to Cuba, I went to the market where they we’re selling cheap custom jewelry. My wife and I noticed that all the venders we’re wearing gold jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets) and not the cheap hand made jewelry they we’re trying to sell us. Some venders had Ipads and most had celphones. How can they afford these things on $20 per month. Can someone explain this to me as this doesn’t add up.


    REUTERS: Exclusive: Cuba may revive Paris Club debt negotiations – By Marc Frank – Apr 22, 2014

    Cuba and the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations are working to resume talks over billions of dollars of official debt in a new sign the communist government is interested in rejoining the global economy.
    A Paris Club delegation quietly traveled to Havana late last year to meet with Cuban bank officials, who were prepared with various proposals and appeared eager to strike a deal, according to Western diplomats.
    Previous negotiations broke off in 2000 and obstacles remain to reviving serious talks, said the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
    The Cuban government last reported its “active” foreign debt, accumulated after it declared a default in the late 1980s, as $13.6 billion in 2010. The government no longer reports its “passive” debt from before the default, which economists estimate at $8 billion.
    By the Paris Club’s accounting, Cuba owed its members $35.5 billion at the close of 2012, but more than $20 billion of the debt was in old transferable Soviet rubles, 90 percent of which Russia forgave in 2013.

    NBC MIAMI: Florida Senate Votes to Send Message to Obama on Cuba Policy
    The Florida Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to send President Barack Obama a message that it opposes his decision to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba. The three-page message to Obama and Congress expresses “profound disagreement” with the president’s decision last December to restore relations with the communist nation just 90 miles off the Florida coast. It says Fidel and Raul Castro have mistreated Cuban citizens since they took power in 1959.
    “The actions of the Castro brothers have resulted in the impoverishment of the Cuban people and a complete and blatant disregard for human rights and democratic principles,” it reads.
    The message was sponsored by three Cuban-American senators: Republicans Anitere Flores, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Rene Garcia of Miami-Dade County.
    “We’re blessed to live in the best country in the world, a country that was founded on enshrining basic freedoms. The Cuban government does the opposite. They want to take away those freedoms from their people every day and at every moment,” Flores said.
    The only objection came from Democratic Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa, who said she supported Obama’s decision.
    “His moving this forward is an effort to bring freedom to the Cuban people,” Joyner said.

  13. Socialism in Cuba is not a singularity. Cuba is a survivor in a World economy directed by private money barons and greed. Cuba only needs more loans and less people living in the island. Removal of people and institutions from the terrorist list in Cuba is very, very promising for the Cuban people.

  14. yoani,

    I think one of the reasons Cuba holds such a mystic for Europeans and Americans is because the mid 50″ s and early sixties was the economic golden age for the west. the truth is that the information age and the service economy has degraded the standard of living in the West. I think that instead of seeing the glass empty, you should see it half full. Cuba’s climate, organic agriculture and primitive technology ( from the point of view of tourism) is valued very highly by people that know the downside of today’s modern World. temporary jobs, no money for higher education, unaffordable healthcare, artificial food, economic apartheid, deceases created by man

  15. 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.



  16. THE ECONOMIST: Cuba and the internet – Wired, at last – Mar 3rd 2011
    ACCORDING to government figures, only 3% of Cubans frequently use the internet, making the communist island the least connected place in the Americas. Those that do require patience: according to an industry survey, Cuba’s dial-up internet access is the world’s second-slowest, after Mayotte, a French territory in the Indian Ocean. Under the guise of rationing the use of bandwidth, internet access is banned in most private homes and censored in offices. In 2009 Barack Obama authorised American companies to provide internet services to the island. But Cuba showed no interest in exploring the possibility. Instead it turned to its ally and benefactor, Venezuela.

  17. BLOCKADE is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually directed at an entire country or region, rather than a fortress or city. Most blockades historically took place at sea,

    ECONOMIC EYE ON CUBA- February 2012 – Report For Calendar Year 2011

    The following is the data for exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba relating to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act (TSRA) of 2000, which re-authorized the direct commercial (on a cash basis) export of food products (including branded food products) and agricultural products (commodities) from the United States to the Republic of Cuba, irrespective of purpose. The TSRA does not include healthcare products, which remain authorized by the Cuban Democracy Act (CDA) of 1992.

    The data represents the U.S. Dollar value of product exported from the United States to the Republic of Cuba under the auspice of TSRA. The data does not include transportation charges, bank charges, or other costs associated with exports from the United States to the Republic of Cuba. The government of the Republic of Cuba reports data that, according to the government of the Republic of Cuba, includes transportation charges, bank charges, and other costs. However, the government of the Republic of Cuba has not provided verifiable data. The use of trade data reported by the government of the Republic of Cuba is suspect. The government of the Republic of Cuba has been asked to provide verifiable data, but has not.




  19. socialistworker,

    I am happy to inform you that you just wrote two lies in two sentences.

    If you make a vow to start living in the real world, you can stop obsessing with this blog and face your real problems.

    Here is the truth:

    1) There are no “made in Cuba” labels on nickel molecules. Castro has no problem selling his nickel on the world market.

    And of course, Cuban nickel is bought by European corporations and ends up in the USA. Just like every other Cuban export that goes through third parties. Perfectly legal and nothing the US has ever done to stop it.

    From a recent report on Mineweb:

    “The report said that the Ernesto Che Guevara plant’s earnings were 15 percent below expectations, and the Pedro Soto Alba plant was down 25 percent, “mainly due to the low price of the mineral on the world market.”

    “China and Europe also purchase Cuban nickel products, the country’s most important exports and one of its top foreign exchange earners after technical services and tourism.”

    2) Your second statement, even if it were true, is irrelevant.

    Cuba’s only valuable exports besides Nickel have been propaganda, war and terrorism.

    We could add rum and tobacco to that, except Castro imports most of his sugar and some say his tobacco too, so his “Cuban” booze and smokes are of dubious origin.

    As you must surely know, if you have any connection to reality, all medical aid has been exempt from every US embargo since 1959.

    Castro gets all the drugs and medical aid he needs to keep him, his family, and his military mafia taken care of. They never let ordinary Cubans get their hands on it.

    Hope this moment of truth won’t upset you and you get a good night’s sleep.

  20. Cuba has nickel as a resource how ever it can’t be used in European stainless steel because of the blockade. Cuba has a medical treatment for diabetes however while it is patented in the US it can’t be sold in the US.

  21. Wohlfahrt:

    I am happy to inform you that everything you wrote is the exact opposite of the truth, so you can relax.

    Here is the truth:

    Communists took over China and Cuba by force.

    Communists turned the Chinese and Cubans into slaves, not American corporations.

    Communists outlawed unions and syndicates, not American corporations.

    American corporations have no say in what the Chinese or Cuban Communist governments do.

    American corporations were invited by the Chinese Communist government to take advantage of low paid Chinese workers.

    In general, American corporations pay Chinese workers much better than corporations owned by Chinese Communists.

    Cuba is worse than China.

    Chinese Communists WANT foreign corporations to treat Chinese workers like slaves.

    Cuban Communists (Castro and family) FORCE foreign corporations to treat Cuban workers like slaves.

    Castro won’t allow foreign corporations to pay Cuban workers a living wage.

    Foreign capitalists who tried to pay their Cuban workers a half decent wage have been thrown in jail by Castro.

    It is Castro who is obsessed with changing the USA, not the other way around.

    Castro sold his country out to the Soviet empire and the Chinese empire and the Islamic empire and Colombian drug cartels.

    Castro has sold out his country out more than any other Cuban dictator.

    Castro has sponsored world wide terrorism, including in the USA, and has intervened militarily in dozens of countries.

    The USA has nor responded militarily to Cuba in about 50 years.

    The US embargo has never hurt the Cuban economy.

    US presidents have always put in exemptions to the embargo at the slightest hint of business interest from Castro.

    Castro buys less than 1 % of what US corporations try to sell Cuba.

    Now that Obama wants to remove the embargo completely, Castro is putting up more and more obstacles in his way.

    Wohlfahrt, I hope these bits of truth help you get a good night’s sleep.

    But if you really hate the USA and technology, I suggest you trade in your US invented computer and US invented internet for life on 10 dollars a month in Cuba.

    Should I buy you a one way ticket?

  22. In the CNN report by Mr. Quest it was said that – as Cuba changes – too much foreign money can’t come too fast, because that will just fuel corruption. That’s certainly true if the Castristas are still in power!
    Cuba, and any other country that’s “waking up”, needs to discover its self-worth and learn to sell whatever it can produce in the World market place.
    – And yes, keeping old Cads running should be a hobby, not a necessity…

  23. Cuban people long for modern technologies of first world nations. But without anything to trade for them even the lifting of the US imposed embargo won’t change anything. The Cuban convertible peso is traded for Canadian dollars at an outragous rate. The CUC is valued by the Cuban government at a higher value then the US dollar. It costs 100 dollars canadian for 71 CUC. If the CUC was on the stock market, its true value would be a small fraction of what it is valued at now and this value would be determined by the global economy and not by the Cuban government. The Cuban government has been fighting for decades to keep Cuba in Cuban hands and not US hands. It would have been so easy for the Cuban government to give in to US pressure. Think of how rich the the government officials would have been from the bribes offered by the US government to allow US take over of the island. With a puppet government run by the Americans. Corruption would be everywhere. There would be the very few extremly rich (millionaires if not billionaires) and the majority of the absolutely poor Cuban families.
    The Americans are like vampirers who feed of the blood of the poor. Their focus for the pass decade has been on China. Using them to manufacture Iphones and other technologies at dollar a day wages. The pollution in many of Chinas larger cities is so bad that it is impossible to go outside on many days because you can barely breath the air. The Amirecans trade with China, which is a communist country like Cuba because they use the Chiness people as slave labour. The US wants control over the Cuban island and cares little about the Cuban people,.
    This is why they have not lifted the embargo. The Cuban government has refused to sell out its
    people or its country to the Americans, this is why the embargo remains on Cuba. The US talks about lifting the embargo is a new strategy the Americans are thinking of using against the Cuban government and people. Promises of wealth and progress that will never materialise.
    The Americans want a new tropical paridise to travel to and their eyes are set on Cuba. But make no mistake they will bring very few jobs with them. They will import everything they need from florida only 90 miles away instead of creating jobs in Cuba. Increasing the output of a factory in the states by a few percent is alot cheaper then building factories in Cuba. And There is the matter of the properties in Cuba the Americans still feel are theirs. Massions and land they beleive is odd to them. Many Americans will not rest until these assets are returned to them.
    The proposed lifting of the embargo is the latest American attempt at making the Cuban people
    put pressure on the Cuban government to sell out Cuba to the Americans. They hope the younger Cubans who don’t remember the past will pressure the government. In the late 1950’s
    when gangsters and corrupt Cuban governments ran Cuba, a war was needed to get the Americans out of Cuba. The Americans know that the Cuban people do not have a second war in them to oust the Americans from their country should things go bad for the Cuban people this time around. Be very careful how you deal with the Americans for they know what they are doing and they will try to set young Cubans against their government, even if this means civil unrest and riots in the streets of Cuba. Look at the middle east. The Americans only care that there is oil there and nothing else. Cubans think that Americans will come in and modernise Cuban farms to help with the shortages of food. But the truth is they will buy the farms for little to no money and reform them, then sell the food for outrages prices to make profits. New cars will be available for purchase but at $20,000 to $30,000 dollars a car who will be able to afford them. They wont just give these things away to Cubans. Yes if the embargo is lifted a restructuring of the Cuban economy will come but only if the Cuban government is willing to make deals with the Americans. Intrenet is available in hotels in Cuba at 4.5 CUC an hour. Cuba will not see the internet available in all corners of the island just because the embargo is lifted and the price wont be any cheaper. most people will still be working for Cuban pesos or maybe a new Cuban pesos will be created to replace the old one. a new peso that will be traded on the new york stock exchage for pennies on the dollar. Without abundant natural resources and commodities to trade the Cuban peso will have little if any value. Fidel was right when he said tourism is the most abundant resource of the island. There is oil off the coast of the Cuba but the Americans stake claims to most of it and have the resources to drill for it. These are chalenging times for the Cuban people and the choses are many, but again be very careful about the choices you make for they can make or brake Cuba.

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