Unconnected Cuba's Internet parks By: Annabel KAzias

What are the struggles of Cubans who are trying to get internet access?

Many don’t realize, but Cuba remains one of the least connected nations in the Western Hemisphere. Up until 2008, the ownership of computer and DVD equipment was banned in Cuba. About 5% of Cuba’s homes are connected today, unlike America’s 84% of homes.

A woman struggles to get connection as she makes an effort to video chat with a loved one.

People of Cuba are banned from using the internet privately in their homes. Most Cubans go to WiFi parks, a large monitored internet hotspot, to video chat with loved ones and discover the World Wide Web. Ever wondered the struggles of Cubans? They have to purchase expensive WiFi cards that only last about an hour. Cubans aren’t allowed to use the internet privately because of high costs, little funding, tight government restrictions, and the US embargo. To many, it seems like the Cuban government has lots to hide.

An article from CNN states, “The island's poor, outdated communications infrastructure has long conspired with the government's deliberate decision to keep the majority of its more than 11 million citizens from surfing freely across the World Wide Web.” It's a struggle to even video chat or post a photo in Cuba. The country's government is very restrictive over outside influences. Other than that, many Cubans can't afford the WiFi cards, or the Internet is very poor. This unfortunately, causes many people to rarely get internet access.

A article from Mashable states, “The Cuban government has always been very good with information and disseminating its version of accounts," says Romer. "So now they're starting to venture out more and more into the Internet and social media.” It explains how the Cuban government is very controlling, but they are getting better by becoming open to more social media products.

For years, people have been wondering why Cuba is so restricting over its’ internet access. It's a step forward for Cuba as they begin to innovate with the rest of the world, hopefully Cuba will grow into a free-spirited country in the future.

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Annabel K
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