Internet in Cuba. Internet censorship by country.

I personally had my first email address barely 6 years ago. Before that I never knew what the Internet was, I am telling you about the year 2017, at that time, in Cuba there was already Internet, super limited and slow but it existed, the problem with that, was the price. The service as we know it today was implemented in 2015 and despite its poor service, it has thousands of users in Cuba because it is the only option.

The Cuban Military Dictatorship has always been in charge of hiding information for this reason it did not make public the use of the Internet for citizens, on the other hand, all members of the Cuban government had Internet in their homes as well as computers. Personally, I never had a computer when I lived in Cuba, and thus, millions of Cuban citizens live today, without a computer, many without a cell phone and without an Internet connection in the middle of 2022. So… Why did the Dictatorship put the Internet in the lives of Cubans?

There are many speculations in this regard, many claim that it was due to the visit of the American President Barack Obama to Cuba however in my very personal opinion, I think they finally opened the use of the Internet on the island because they knew that they could get money from this service in some way also product to international pressure. Millions of Cubans (outside of Cuba) protested in favor of the use of the Internet in the country, these protests reached the ears of international organizations and due to this pressure, the Cuban Military Dictatorship finally gave in. 

There is Internet but not like in any normal country in the world. Having Internet in Cuba is a luxury.
As you already know, in Cuba there are no large private companies, so there is a single company destined to provide Internet to each user in the entire country. This results in lousy and unwarranted service. The company is called ETECSA and belongs to the Army, this means that every email that enters Cuba is reviewed by national security. In this way, the Cuban government spies on citizens and violates their privacy. Now I am going to explain to you the ridiculous Internet system implemented by the Cuban Military Dictatorship so that you have an idea of ​​how bad these people can be. 

In Cuba Internet cards were sold that could be obtained in government offices. *Please use your imagination and imagine a card as if it were a credible card but made of poor quality cardboard.

These cards had a code which, once connected to a WIFI network, the user could access a website where they entered the password that appeared on the card and thus could navigate in Internet. Each valid for a period of 30 minutes to an hour.  As I have already explained to all of you, the basic salary in Cuba is 15 to 20 dollars a month, it is important to explain this so that you guys can understand.

The one-hour cards had a cost of 2 US dollars, which represents the most expensive Internet in the world, without saying that there are hundreds of websites to which the Cuban Dictatorship prohibits access to citizens and that's not all... To be able to connect to a WIFI network, you had to visit specific places distributed throughout the city where this service was offered, such as public parks, on the outskirts of Hotels and other places, that's why in Cuba you can see large groups of people sitting everywhere on the street like animals staring at their phones. However, tourists could enjoy their Internet sitting in comfortable chairs inside a hotel with a pleasant view of the poor Cuban crowd and a Havana devastated by communism.

Due to the need of thousands to use this service due to the fact that many have relatives outside of Cuba and communication by Internet is easier. Obtaining these cards, was pretty difficult. There were long lines from morning hours to get this cards. In addition, the sales offices restricted the purchase of the cards to 3 for people! This is ridiculous! It happened that Cubans bought many cards and then sold them to earn some %, then owning more than 5 Internet cards in Cuba became a crime! There is no free market in Cuba and the Dictatorship persecutes every citizen who tries to earn money in a healthy and creative way.

The communists create this series of absurd laws in order to imprison people who then use cheap labor because no one works in state companies due to slave wages. In general, people did not work in State industries, that is why in Cuba there are people in the street, 24 hours a day. Don't be fooled anymore by false advertising! The Cuban prefers to sell products on the street before working regularly in a company. The people you see on the streets are making a living. Looking for money to feed their families and what is the Cuban Military Dictatorship doing? They chase and fines them extremely high amounts of money and does not allow the Cuban to provide solutions.

Private initiative.

Thousands of young people from Havana, who had computers in their homes, took the initiative to build a network that would connect all users in order to play online. To do this, these young people bought with their money thousands and thousands of meters of cables which they installed throughout the city in an organized way without obstructing the public wiring. This network became popular in Havana and it was planned to implement in other provinces of the country. This was the Cuban initiative to counteract the high prices of the Internet. After several years of operation, the Cuban Dictatorship discovered its operation and simply eliminated it. The young people lost their money but they also lost their illusions that happens because they does not accept competition, it simply eliminates it! The government's justification was that pornographic content was trafficked in this network. False accusations without proof to confirm it. 

Returning to the topic of the Internet, I will tell you that approximately 3 years ago, due once again to international pressure, the Cuban Military Dictatorship agrees to provide mobile data with 3G coverage to Cuban users! This is ridiculous! Even the price rates related to this service in Cuba are extremely high, and most users depend on their relatives abroad because it is impossible to pay for the Internet with their salary, so this service has become a clear business for the Dictatorship where they exchange cash for telephone data. Round business! The always find the way to get easy money! This happens because they do not need an international license or permission from banks to carry out these transactions and they do not work directly with cash, we are  speaking about telephone balance. But despite all this there is something positive in the implementation of Internet service in Cuba. Something that the Dictatorship fears and cannot control, is called information.

The Internet is being used by thousands of Cubans to denounce the abuses that happen every day in the country, in the same way thanks to the Internet we can exchange information between Cubans and make it public to International Organizations and in this way we accelerate the process of the National Liberation. The communists never imagined the real power of the Internet and in their quest for easy money they implemented it. Now it is impossible to stop people, who are beginning to see the reality that exists outside of communist, Cuba is waking up.