Fidel Castro: Loves The Internet... Even As Cubans Are Blocked From Using Most Of It

from the what's-good-for-me,-and-not-for-thee dept

Nearly a decade ago, we wrote about how difficult it was for Cubans to get access to the internet, with some resorting to bootleg access to get around the limitations. It wasn't just that internet access was hard to come by, expensive and incredibly slow, but that it was heavily filtered, leaving little access to many popular sites. Still, back in 2003, we noted (with some surprise) that Fidel Castro was saying that the internet was important in giving people a voice and breaking down communications barriers.

Apparently, he still believes that. While Castro hasn't been heard from as much since handing over control of the government to his younger brother Raul Castro, he's apparently still a fan of the internet, and has become something of an internet junkie. In a recent interview he's again talking up the wonders and importance of the internet, and notes that he reads 200 to 300 news items a day, and is a big fan of Wikileaks (no surprise there).

As for the vastly limited access on the island, he blames the US embargo (of course), but even if that explains the difficulty and expense associated with access, it does not explain the filters and the limits (including a long period -- only recently ended -- where Cubans weren't allowed to have computers with internet access in their homes). So, the overall position still seems pretty hypocritical. Internet access is important in "putting an end to secrets," as he says... but the Cuban government doesn't want that to apply to itself.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Auditrix (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:01am

    There is internet access in Cuba

    My family member just visited Cuba and had no problems with internet access there. However, she was most likely not plumbing the depths of the Internet, so maybe it is worse than she reports.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:02am

    Thanks to my government not being morons who try to blockade governments they don't agree with, I was in Cuba for a holiday a few years ago.

    People there are great, but clearly living in conditions that most Westerners would find unacceptable. The best way to change this is for the people to demand more power, and the best way for this to happen is for the people of Cuba to see how different their life is from the rest of the world.

    Travellers like me and internet access are the best ways to get this to work, not blocking them out of the modern world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    C., Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:23am

    US Embargo (of course) ???

    Different point of view from this link.(of course)
    http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/29-07-2010/114424-another_empire_lie_that_cuba_hi-0/


    ".. but the Cuban government doesn't want that to apply to itself."

    And a government that does is????

    So what's the reality?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Steve, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:24am

    Having recently been to Cuba, I can report that I had no trouble accessing the internet and didn't find any restricted sites. Havana University even has free, unrestricted WIFI.

    The speed was slow though however, probably due to the fact there aren't any internet cables between the US and Cuba, restricted by the US of course, and all of the islands access is through satellite links.

    I'm sure though that when they have finished laying the cable between Venezuela and Cuba the speed will increase dramatically.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2010 @ 5:13am

    so a communist government restricts things and you act surprised???

    """People there are great, but clearly living in conditions that most Westerners would find unacceptable. The best way to change this is for the people to demand more power, and the best way for this to happen is for the people of Cuba to see how different their life is from the rest of the world. Travellers like me and internet access are the best ways to get this to work, not blocking them out of the modern world."""

    why do feel the need to force your beliefs and your way of life on others???

    If you find it perfectly acceptable to do this...then perhaps you should just kneel and start praying to mecca, considering they are trying to force their beliefs on you and your country and I bet you find that unacceptable

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    sprearson81 (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 8:52am

    200 - 300 a day, you'd think he'd have more pressing things to do

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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