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A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity 119

Posted by timothy
from the about-time-and-overdue dept.
lpress writes "In the mid 1990s, there was debate within the Cuban government about the Internet. A combination of pressure from the U.S. trade embargo, the financial crisis brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union and fear of free expression led to a decision to limit Internet access. This has left Cuba with sparse, antiquated domestic infrastructure today. Could the government improve the situation if they decided to do so? They don't have sufficient funds to build out modern infrastructure and foreign investment through privatization of telecommunication would be difficult to obtain. Furthermore, that strategy has not benefited the people in other developing nations. A decentralized strategy using a large number of satellite links could quickly bootstrap the Cuban Internet. Decentralized funding and control of infrastructure has been an effective transitional strategy in other cases, for example, with the NSFNET in the U.S. or the Grameen Phone ladies in Bangladesh. This proposal would face political roadblocks in both the US and Cuba; however, change is being considered in the U.S. and the Castro government has been experimenting with small business and they have begun allowing communication agents to sell telephone and Internet time. It might just work — as saying goes "Be realistic. Demand the impossible.""
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A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

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  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:20PM (#46240169)

    Allowing Internet connectivity reduces the centralized control that a totalitarian Communist system requires in order to protect the leaders and the system itself from the inconvenience of reality.

  • Not going to help (Score:1, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:24PM (#46240189)

    The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth from when they were Battista cronies, have a serious hate-on for Cuba. Until the Castros are dead and Cuba is a slathering U.S. lapdog, the U.S. and CIA will actively sabotage any development there.

  • Will it be useful? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @03:24PM (#46240193)

    I question if Cuban internet access will even be useful to them. With beta, is there even an internet worth looking at?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @04:27PM (#46240609)

    Communism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

    The exact same is true of Capitalism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @04:28PM (#46240623)

    Your "knowledge" of history is somewhat mistaken. The reason Castro was driven to looking for help from the USSR was the stupid attitude of the USA. That help had a cost, which was the placement of nukes. The Cuban missile crisis was the result of America's attitude to Cuba and Castro, not a planned event by Castro. Wise up and learn what actually happened rather than through the filter of "USA! USA! USA!"

  • by elrous0 (869638) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @04:29PM (#46240627)

    Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

    And what does capitalism do?

  • by iris-n (1276146) on Thursday February 13, 2014 @07:14PM (#46241819)

    Sweden also chose socialism. Look at the shithole it has become.

  • Re:Yes, it is (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 13, 2014 @08:31PM (#46242337)

    You are kidding, right? I'm a Cuban-American, grew up in Miami. Mom fled while she could, grand-parents got out in the final stages of their lives when they became a burden on the Cuban state. We hosted refugees from the Mariel boat-lift in our home in Miami and saw Miami transformed by the mass migration of Cubans to the US.

    People are wards of the state. They attend government run schools where they are indoctrinated in socialist-communist ideology. They are taught to worship a man Fidel Castro whom they have no right to vote in or out of office.

    Consider the possibility that you don't know as much about Cuba as you think. Over the past 50 years, a peculiar political culture had taken root in Miami which led to rampant speculation and the unchecked spread of rumors. Until recently, the lack of direct telecommunication between Cuba and the US was one factor. Other players were the large populations of exiles who had lost property in the revolution and militants who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion (you didn't think those radicalized Cubans just disappeared after the invasion took place, do you?), all of whom had a personal interest in making conditions on the island sound as bad as possible.

    Yes, the vast majority of Cubans are quite poor, unemployed, and hoping to find a way to leave the country. On the other hand, Americans vastly overstate the degree that ordinary citizens have been indoctrinated and worship Castro. The Castro brothers are corrupt, selfish imbeciles, and everyone knows it -- not just in Miami, but also in Cuba. The typical citizen who shows up at a Communist rally is there because it was required by their employer (e.g. the government), not because they actually believe in that crap.

    When it comes to understanding the true situation in contemporaneity Cuba, being from Miami is probably more of a liability than an asset. On the other hand, President Obama has recently liberalized travel regulations, which would allow you to legally travel to Cuba and visit your relatives with no paperwork whatsoever. In the hacker spirit of free inquiry, why not go down there and see things for yourself? ;-)

    You'll probably come back less impressed with the Castros than ever, but more impressed by the ability of the populace to see the situation for what it really is.

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