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Networking The Internet Technology

Cuba Turns On Submarine Internet Cable 132

angry tapir writes "A change in Internet traffic patterns over the past week suggests that Cuba may have turned on a fiber-optic submarine cable that links it to the global Internet via Venezuela. Routing analyst firm Renesys noticed that the Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica began routing Internet traffic to Cuba's state telecommunications company, Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA). The Internet traffic is flowing with significantly lower latencies than before, indicating the connection is not solely using the three satellite providers that Cuba has relied on in the past for connectivity."
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Cuba Turns On Submarine Internet Cable

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  • Interesting Enigma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @09:44AM (#42646263)

    I'm not sure what or how much difference this cable will make for the immediate future.

    Cuba is a really interesting enigma. The Cuban government (and some misinformed Americans) likes to blame the U.S. embargo on Cuba's woes, being poor with little hope of advancement. But, the reality is that ALL of Cuba's woes are the failure of the Cuban government.

    Sure, the U.S. and some of its allies own't (aren't allowed) to trade with Cuba, but the vast majority of the world can and will trade with Cuba. A few actually do trade. Countries like Canada, the E.U., Japan, Australia, Russia, India, China, most Latin American countries... They all willingly trade with Cuba. But, they require Cuba to pay them for goods and that is where Cuba suffers. Due to mismanagement by the Cuban government and their ideology, they have never had a strong enough economy nor enough money to buy the things that they need or should have as a modern country.

    We are always shown the crumbling buildings and the 1950s era cars on the streets of Havana. But, there are a fair few brand new Peugots, Renaults, Toyotas and more driving around on Cuba's roads. But, they are all being driven by the extremely wealthy, government officials or tourists. There are fabulous opulent and modern resorts in Cuba. There are citizens with expensive yachts around Havana. The media never shows this and the Cuban government keeps it on the DL so that the local population doesn't get upset about it, but its all there.

    Recently, there have been reports of food shortages in Cuba. Why? Cuba is a Caribbean island that is extremely fertile. They could, and in the past have been able to feed themselves. Once upon a time Cuba exported food, as well as other resources. Sure, the U.S. market isn't open to them, but all the rest of the world is. Yet they fail so miserably that they are now struggling to feed the populace? That's gross mismanagement. That's Fidel's fault. Raul may or may not be turning to a better course, but for the past 50 years, the management has been the cause of Cuba's problems.

    All of Cuba's woes are caused by their government's poor management and failed ideology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @09:50AM (#42646299)

    I've been there and it didnt look very woeful to me.

    A lot of the ancient 1950s gas guzzlers have been replaced. People everwhere on the island were wearing new clothes. New roads were under construction. Pretty much like any 3rd world country that is modernising.

    There didnt seem to be any food shortage that I could see.

    Although I didnt see it first hand, the health care is legendary.

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @10:54AM (#42646871) Homepage Journal

    It's funny; everyone says their health care is legendary, but no one has actually seen it. Oh yes, some foreigners have seen the facilities made available to them-- but these aren't the ones used by Cuban citizens.

    If Cuban health care is so great, why do humanitarian organizations and relatives have to send in medicines from the USA all the time?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:29AM (#42647205) Homepage

    My mother made several trips there in the 1990's, spending most of her time well outside of Havana, in private homes, and was not surrounded by government minders or anything like that.

    There was a significant crisis after the collapse of the USSR, because before 1989 the Cuban economy had relied on trading sugar to the USSR in exchange for almost everything else including food. There were some food shortages - nothing like, say, Ethiopia's famines, but people were sometimes going hungry. The Cuban government responded to this by converting more of their farming towards food and loosening the restrictions on private sales of food (prior to that, the only legal way to get food was to buy it from the government-run stores). It still hasn't fully recovered, but it's definitely gotten better in the food department. Raul Castro is also significantly more pragmatic about such things than Fidel Castro was - Fidel was focused on pure ideological communism, Raul seems fine with limited market economies so long as nobody is getting overly rich or poor.

    Health care was definitely readily available and quite innovative. Their model starts with the neighborhood doctor, who is not only the primary care physician but also acts as a public health advocate for residents. Doctors also were growing herb gardens and using them for natural remedies when the pills weren't available (e.g. camomile instead of sleeping pills). On the flip side, when pills were available, she noticed that people would frequently take very large doses, far more than an American would, all at once. Because of the difficulty in treating illness, Cuban medicine has always been focused on preventative care, and it seems to mostly work. The people she encountered were generally of sound health.

    And as a sibling poster points out, your average Haitian or Dominican would see Cuba as a paradise by comparison. You would probably also be a lot happier living in Cuba than living in the worst part of Detroit.

  • Venezuela (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gocho ( 16619 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @11:41AM (#42647303)

    To all of you who think Cuba is "modernizing" on its own, I remind you that Venezuela is sending over 100,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis which the Castros sell to other countries at current market prices. Venezuela became, for Cuba, what the USSR used to be. This is why many venezuelans think that their (our) country is being controlled politically by the Castros in Chavez' absence so that Cuba never loses that lifeline that, if it were to be gone tomorrow, it will send their country to another "periodo especial"

  • by PhilJC ( 928205 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @12:36PM (#42648001) Homepage
    Having spent three weeks in Cuba, one week in a 5* hotel for my brothers’ wedding and the other two weeks trekking round the island on my own I thought I'd add some comments from my experiences there:

    Yes it is a poor country but as far as quality of life goes I have to say I’ve seen a lot worse (India, Thailand, even rural Mexico to name but a few... Don’t even get me started on Africa). The people I met were friendly and largely happy with what they had.. I say largely because I did hear complaints but these were mostly along the lines of “I want a better TV.. my car needs new parts.. etc. Nothing you wouldn’t hear from a more wealthy first worlder.

    Whilst travelling I tripped and cut my leg in Cauto Cristo. This is not a tourist destination and I have to say the medical attention I received was excellent and, best of all, free.

    I didn’t see any food shortages – in fact people were continuously inviting me round for dinner (and only once was I asked to contribute and it was only for the price of ingredients rather than an attempt to con the foreign devil)

    With regard to the “opulent” resorts mentioned by a previous poster I have to say they were great. But hardly “opulent” when compared to a Las Vegas hotel. Tourism is a major source of income for the country so why wouldn’t they spend money making it a place people want to visit? These resorts are hardly hidden from the populace either and instead offer job opportunities that everyone I spoke with were pleased to have.

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