Prison Diary XXX: Internet in Cuba / Angel Santiesteban

The Cuban government announces Internet connection points around the country, proving that the cable extending from Venezuela, which was the pretext for justifying out exile from browsing the digital networks, is working in the nation. They say, however, that it has not yet been approved for use in Cuban households thus maintaining the iron surveillance of the dictatorship.

With an exorbitant price for Cubans, those who earn the highest salaries would have to work about five days to consume one hour of connection, ie the best paid may consume five hours a month, but this would not allow them to also feed or clean themselves, and they would have to pray to have no dependents to maintain.

The “points” indicated, according to official information, will be the Youth Clubs, which belong to the leadership of the Young Communists, and it will be a way to announce to the world that in Cuba the population “has” internet.

When I heard the news that an hour of connection would cost 4.50 CUC, just over 110.00 Cuban pesos, which is the currency that is paid to the people who sweat, I did the calculation below: a midlevel teacher would have to work seven days just to hear from his family abroad, because reading news would be impossible treat to give yourself.

As the government does not solve nor interest itself in social problems, and we know this through each measure it dictates, it is not hard to convince oneself that it’s looking to get nationals out of the hotel internet rooms and away from tourists, and to some extent to limit the protection of dissidents who, in the majority of cases, are not arrested in tourist areas so as not to damage even further the tarnished image that the regime has earned abroad.

Now from the Youth Clubs, located in the city slums, they can pursue, monitor and suppress the footsteps of those who dare to criticize the government and demand  Human Rights; and in passing they will alter their figures, as they often do, and will tell the Human Rights Commission in Geneva that the internet is free and available to those who need it; what they won’t say is that for the average citizen, the use of it will be an act of science fiction.

21 June 2013

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