Cubans Using Thumb Drives to Exchange InformationBy: Mike Fossum - October 20, 2013
Citizens of the Republic of Cuba remain mostly disconnected from the internet in the communist country, though have been inventive in finding ways to access and exchange information online.
The Republic of Cuba, along with China, Laos and Vietnam, is one of the world’s four remaining socialist states espousing communism. Whereas China has a great firewall, Cuba plainly has little internet access.
At a meeting of the Inter American Press Association in Denver, Yoani Sanchez related the present state of Cuban press and media, comparing Raul Castro and Fidel Castro’s governments. “They play the good and the bad policeman but in the end they are two policemen,” Sanchez explained. Plainly, Raul is adept at arresting and beating those who speak out against the country, much like Fidel did.
Legal internet access does exist in Cuba. About 200 internet cafes had popped up in the nation in 2013, though the connections are slow, heavily censored, and cost about 5 dollars an hour, which is roughly a third of an average monthly salary in Cuba.
Regardless, people are able to blindly post things to Twitter with smartphones, which Sanchez describes as being akin to sending a message in a bottle. One cannot really be sure if the tweet was actually posted, or who is reading it.
Interestingly, Sanchez has developed quite a following on Twitter, as a new Cuban mandate allows people to travel abroad without permission. Sanchez has visited over a dozen countries this year to speak out against the Cuban government, where she can actually see her tweets. Still, when she returns home, she’s essentially anonymous to her compatriots, regarding any internet presence.
Sanchez, 38, also pointed out that thumbs drives are integral for the exchange of information in Cuba. She joked that when Cuba is free, the country will have to establish a monument to the thumb drive, which she said has done better to help the country than many of the people now honored by statues there.
Image via Twitter.