Internet Access Spawns Cuban Bloggers

By April 29, 2008

Raul Castro’s lift of Cuba’s ban on consumer electronics has opened the door to Cuban bloggers exposing life in the Communist country.   Although the government imposes tight restrictions on the use of the Internet, many Cubans ar

e finding ways around them and chronicling life on the Island. Some bloggers even criticize the government in their blogs, a risky move under tight governmental surveillance.   In her “Generacion Y” blog, Yoani Sanchez is not afraid to criticize the government, discussing her opinions of former dictator Fidel Castro and other topics and garnering over one million hits per month.   Eva Hernandez’s blog “Sin EVAsion” (without evasion) has belittled the government’s official newspaper “Granma,” named after the yacht that carried Fidel to the island from Mexico, saying “the official voice of the government, has the ridiculous name ‘granny’” and that it represents everything bad that came with Fidel’s dictatorship.   Internet accounts are restricted to tourists and few government and academic officials, so blogging is a tricky process. Sanchez dresses like a tourist and uses hotel Internet connections at $6 per hour, and with most Cubans making about $20 a month, it is an expensive blog to keep.   Cubans can use the country’s network for email, but the rest of the Internet is blocked, a tighter restriction than China has.   Still, many find ways to access the Internet on the black market. Working around Cuba’s restrictions has become a way of life on the island, as the black market and foreign friends have enabled many Cubans to use previously banned technologies.   Last month Raul Castro lifted a ban on cell phones and other electronics, but much like using the Internet, it does not necessarily mean that everyone is able to use them freely.   By Danny Scuderi   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

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