Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The wild colt of new technologies

Why does Cuba limit internet access to its citizens? Because of U.S. imperialism. Furthermore, says Cuba’s Communications Minister, we need to control “the wild colt of new technologies.” You know, that newfangled internet thing, which is just a series of tubes. He noted that the U.S. has blocked Cuba from connecting to fiber-optic networks, and that Google and Microsoft are tools of the empire anyway. To deal with the former, Hugo Chávez promised to lay a cable between Venezuela and Cuba. To deal with the latter (where he has a valid point in terms of giving the government information about what people do online), Chávez should use some oil money and create a Bolivarian Search Engine, which could prevent people from accessing counter-revolutionary sites or supporters of Mr. Danger.

Incidentaly, Granma covers the minister’s statements, but chooses not to include any of his statements about “control.”

I do wonder, though, why the U.S. wants to make it more difficult for Cubans to access the internet. Even if there is a risk of getting money into Cuba via electronic transactions, wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage savvy Cubans to get around government firewalls and communicate more with the outside world and even with each other? So much of our Cuba policy is based on the premise “we’ll try to hurt you as much as possible so that you’ll join us.”


Anonymous,  9:36 AM  

A while ago I posted an intersting article that was published on this same topic.

Greg Weeks 10:55 AM  

Yes, basically we have yet another example where U.S. policy doesn't make sense, while the Cuban reaction is not very convincing.

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