Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flash Drives are Cuba’s Internet

Flash Drives are Cuba's Internet
January 3, 2012
Alfredo Fernandez

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 3 — Here in Cuba, USB flash drives are used as a
substitute for the Internet. People somehow manage to copy TV series,
documentaries, books, movies and all kinds of information.

They store these on their USBs and then they get distributed randomly.

This is how we all learned the details around the capture of Osama Bin
Laden. It's the way teenagers watch the beauty pageants every year and
how families are delighted for hours with Caso Cerrado (a
Spanish-language TV courtroom series).

It's all thanks to our strange form of the Internet.

The device that complements the "Cuban Internet" is the DVD player. Due
to their prices being so much lower than a PC or a laptop, these have
become great allies of the Cuban family.

Cubans who buy these make sure they have a USB port to plug in their
flash memories to watch programs or movies that usually aren't shown on
national TV.

Many Cubans have flash memories though they don't own a computer,
sometimes not even a DVD player. They carry these everywhere, and
whenever they get a chance those who are denied real Internet access
plug in their memories to watch or to study.

Although this "Cuban Internet" helps to keep us updated, we're always a
little behind in what's going on in the world.

Every Cuban without access to Internet is a kind of tropical Anne Frank,
writing in their diaries about life distant from a space that inevitably
should be theres.

When will we see the end of this technological apartheid that forces me
to exchange data on a flash memory to be well informed?

When will this sick relationship that I have with the future end?

When I will I be able to connect to the Internet from home or any other
part of my country like any other citizen in the world does?

When will flash memories cease being "My Internet"?


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