When we’re at home we just expect the internet to work. We expect to get on our tablets or laptops or phones and check our various daily messages with no delay. We use it to stream our entertainment and play video games. When the internet stops working we go into panic mode like the Apocalypse just happened. We restart the modem, the router and every connected device. When that doesn’t work we dread having to call customer service for fear of them telling us they’ll send out a technician in a few days which we consider the worst case scenario. All because we can’t post pictures of our lunch on social media. Now imagine living in Cuba where you can only get your internet at certain public hotspots for a substantial fee. Could you handle it? Probably not.
This is how the people of Cuba have had to access internet for many years now. Now, with the decades long US embargo finally lifted, 2000 select citizens will be receiving home internet in downtown Havana. Due to the embargo, Cuba claims that they were unable to provide internet infrastructure until recently.
This leads to two questions. First off, just because people will be receiving home internet will the government be heavily monitoring or censoring the Cuban net? Just because the embargo has been lifted and Fidel Castro is gone doesn’t mean that Cuba has become a haven of democracy. The second question is, will more internet access to Cubans start leading to a democratic Cuba? With being so close to the US and the fact that even the greatest national firewalls can be bypassed will this lead to Cubans using their new internet to organize democratic movements? That remains to be seen but it is a definite possibility.
Now keep that in mind the next time you want to see what the latest Kardashian has posted on Instagram.