US Wants to Force Feed Cuba with Free Internet

 

HAVANA TIMES – The United States announced on Tuesday the creation of a team to promote “free and unregulated” Internet access in Cuba, the State Department said in a statement, reports dpa news.

The so-called Cuba Internet Task Force “will examine the technological challenges and opportunities to expand access to the Internet and independent media” on the island, added the text released today.

Presently in Cuba Internet is expensive related to the low salaries and none of the hundreds of WIFI hot spots set up in the last couple years in parks and other public areas are free.  A previous offer for free Internet from Google was rejected by the country’s leaders who prefer stricter controls and benefit from the state monopoly that charges for connecting.

The first meeting of the task force will be on Wednesday, February 7 at the State Department.

The measure is part of the guidelines of the new policy towards Cuba that US President Donald Trump announced on June 16th of last year at an event in Miami.

Connected to the public pay-for WiFi service. Photo: Juan Suarez

“I am canceling the completely unilateral agreement with Cuba of the previous administration,” Trump said at that time, alluding to his predecessor, Barack Obama. “Today I announce a new policy as promised during the campaign.” 

Among other measures, Trump then announced the renewed limitation of travel of United States citizens to the island to prevent any possibility of tourism.  However at this time, people from the US can still legally travel to Cuba in more structured group educational and cultural tours.

Washington also seeks to prevent US funding from reaching the government of Raul Castro by forbidding US companies from doing business with companies in the hands of the Cuban armed forces.

27 thoughts on “US Wants to Force Feed Cuba with Free Internet

  • January 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm
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    This is just another sign of U.S imperialism to piss off the Cuban Government, not to help the people. Why doesn’t the U.S provide free internet to U.S residents. I just came from Cuba and there are many who are already connected.

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    • January 23, 2018 at 8:25 pm
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      In the USA we have FREE internet in Libraries, most Cafe, businesses and even in whole city areas like Santa Monica, near where I live! While in Cuba none of this is available! Try again!
      GATES FOUNDATION: New data shows that 98.9 percent of all public libraries offer free public access to computers and the Internet—a growth of more than 400 percent since 1996, when just one in four libraries did.
      https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2005/06/Support-Needed-for-Library-Technology

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      • January 24, 2018 at 1:24 pm
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        I want free internet inside my home, just like the U.S intends to give the Cubans.

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        • February 1, 2018 at 10:48 am
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          parks , downtown, libraries, most dinning places, schools, colleges. there are a few more but as for free internet if you move downtown you will have free internet in your home or near some public parks you will also have it there. But you have to understand that America’s present leader mostly says what his fringe supporters like to hear. Trump loves to sell his image to keep his followers happy , very similar has Fidel did way back.???

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    • January 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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      Free internet in America as you define it probably means free of charge (remember, Trump’s Cuba memorandum, while acknowledging opportunities for the US and Cuba to work together in the environmental and health spheres, honors Trump’s past pledges not to praise Castro for bringing free-of-charge education to the poor and presumably recognizes the propagandized nature of Cuba’s education system).

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    • January 23, 2018 at 8:42 pm
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      “….many who are already connected”? If many means less than 2% of the country. This is the lowest level of connectivity in the hemisphere. The reason the US government does not give away internet connection in the US is because we have a private sector that does it as a business. It’s called capitalism. I don’t want government-provided internet.

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      • January 24, 2018 at 12:43 pm
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        I don’t like my hard earned taxes being spent to give free internet in Cuba. Hey, why not connect the whole world, including sub Sahara Africa, North Korea, or Borneo.

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        • January 24, 2018 at 4:44 pm
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          Here you go dear! – In Africa, the trend is towards providing citizens with free Wi-Fi in order to boost economic activity and education, in line with McKinsey’s projection that if internet penetration grows in the same way as that of mobile phones on the continent, it could contribute as much as 10 per cent – $300 billion – of the continent’s total GDP by 2025. https://thenextweb.com/insider/2014/10/28/growth-free-wi-fi-transforming-life-africa/

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        • February 4, 2018 at 6:22 am
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          The .01% and higher have apparently squirreled away upwards of $30 trillion to avoid taxes. This could provide not only global free internet but global health care & education. Global renewable power is also necessary to to allow human life to persist. This shows the problem of unlimited personal accrual of $.

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    • January 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm
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      Uninformed…. are you kidding….? The desinformado eres tú, Capirro!

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  • January 23, 2018 at 10:14 pm
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    The U.S. doesn’t have a right to make decisions about any country’s laws and regulations but its own.

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    • January 24, 2018 at 11:57 am
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      I find it very hypocritical that you have internet access but you do not want the Cuban people to have it. No government should decide that!

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        • January 24, 2018 at 4:37 pm
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          Look at your own comment! It supports the censorship that the Castro oligarchy dishes out! This is not the first time the Castro clan said no to the Cuban people having free or almost free internet! Even Obama could not get a deal on that as far back at 2009! – THE ECONOMIST: Cuba and the internet – Wired, at last – Mar 3rd 2011 – In 2009 Barack Obama authorised American companies to provide internet services to the island. But Cuba showed no interest in exploring the possibility. Instead it turned to its ally and benefactor, Venezuela.
          http://www.economist.com/node/18285798

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          • January 24, 2018 at 10:48 pm
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            There is no need for me to look at my own comment since it is mine. Which means that projected meanings about it have to be checked with an authorized by me.

          • January 25, 2018 at 1:22 pm
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            No government should be telling its citizens that they have no right to information! Try Again!

          • January 25, 2018 at 1:35 pm
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            The U.S. doesn’t have a right to make decisions about any country’s laws and regulations but its own.

            Okay, I tried again.

            I don’t have much hope that you will read it any more honestly than you did the first time though.

          • January 25, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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            No government should be telling its citizens that they have no right to information! Try Again!

  • January 24, 2018 at 8:25 am
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    The U.S. already tried this with USAID/CIA agent Alan Gross.
    They never give up.

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  • January 24, 2018 at 1:22 pm
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    Americans who take part in these clandestine operations inside Cuba deserve to be thrown in jail, just like Alan Gross.

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  • January 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm
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    So what’s the latest programme of the rogue trumpety-trump government?
    Free internet for Cubans citizens.
    And state sponsored travel restrictions on US citizens.
    Sounds like the latest line in a 59 year old joke to me…………
    Or is it the latest line in a 1 year old joke?
    Take your pick.

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  • January 25, 2018 at 12:28 am
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    So the “deal” is… we keep Americans from traveling to see the country and its people, and strangle it economically, but for some reason we’d like to give the people “free Internet”? Something not right with that picture! Just back from Cuba, I can confirm how it’s mostly out of reach for ordinary Cubans, needing to queue up on the sidewalks in many places to access wi-fi Internet, using the state telco access cards, which are costly compared with wages. There’s been discussion I caught some of – with generally strong skepticism, I think rightly so – about expanding access through…. drumroll…. DSL. Back further to the future? Today, the U.S. being altruistic, an angel of free speech, or saviour of the Cuban people (now hurt by the U.S.) is tough to fathom, given the current state of State, or lack thereof. Well, I do hope there is cheaper and easier access very soon, as even things like email (esp. with images/attachments) or seeing a YouTube, are costly now. Are we going to help? I guess it depends on the meaning of “help” and maybe how the US telco’s might benefit via DSL. ack!

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  • January 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm
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    Internet and technology will damage the cuban economy just like it has the US economy. Too many freebies handed out under the guise of free enterprise. Meanwhile a very few get extremely wealthy and by their popularity control the information being disseminated. (sounds very familiar in Cuba) Facebook and Google, with their vision and agenda have by far caused more social damage with their intolerant political views and liberal agenda with 300,000,000 than the political machine in Cuba, which was set up to insulate Cuba as a distinct cultural entity that carries a beautiful nostalgia. That stated…..Cuba is opening up slowly like a rosebud to show its petals. I know this, because my fiance was granted a visa to go to Bogota for an interview. And he is a dentist. So my suspicious percpetion of Cuba was somewhat erroneous. Where else in the world can you go and see the regular folk playing classical music and dance? That stated, economic strategies need to be reavailuated globally to ensure that our children receive an adequate education to compete. Sad to say, Cubans outside of Cuba, but who have received a Cuban education fare better than many of their economically superior rivals. Maybe it is the same teamwork idea that the Israelis have.

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  • February 26, 2018 at 9:47 pm
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    There no longer is “net neutrality” in the U.S. so “free” internet is pretty much garbage isn’t it? -Especially if the free stuff is what you are forced to have rather than what you want to access.

    Reply

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