Monday, October 21, 2013

Blogger - Cubans use creativity to get info online

Posted on Sunday, 10.20.13

Blogger - Cubans use creativity to get info online

DENVER -- Most Cubans remain cut off from the Internet but are still
using creative ways to access and spread information online, a dissident
blogger told journalists from around the Americas Sunday.

Yoani (YO'-ahn-ee) Sanchez gave a largely grim report of the state of
the press in Cuba at a meeting of the Inter American Press Association
in Denver. She said President Raul Castro's regime has been aggressive
in arresting and beating people who speak out against the government and
has failed to document those actions, as his brother Fidel did. However,
she said neither is better than the other.

"They play the good and the bad policeman but in the end they are two
policemen," she said to applause.

While over 200 Internet cafes opened on the island nation this year, she
said the cost of using the slow and censored service for just an hour is
about $5 — about a third of the average Cuban's monthly salary.

Despite that, she said people are sharing information on thumb drives
and can use their cellphones to text and post messages to Twitter
blindly, which she compared to sending a message in a bottle since she
doesn't know who is reading what she wrote. She joked that when Cuba is
free, the country will have to build a monument to the thumb drive,
which she said has done more to help the country than many of the people
now honored by statues there.

Sanchez said those and other methods of "extreme creativity" to deal
with limited Internet access aren't surprising in a nation where people
were forced to come up with a way to make the spicy ground beef dish
picadillo without meat.

"We do the same with information," she said.

At 38, Sanchez is among the second generation of Cubans born under
communism. She has taken advantage of a new reform ending a longtime
requirement that all Cubans obtain permission to travel abroad. Under
the old rules, government critics were routinely denied exit visas.

Earlier this year, she also visited more than a dozen countries in
Europe and the Americas and gave speeches criticizing Cuba's
Communist-led government. Her travels have helped her pick up more
Twitter followers but she remains less well known at home.

Source: "DENVER: Blogger: Cubans use creativity to get info online -
Technology -" -

No comments:

Post a Comment