Castro hates the internet, so Cubans created their own
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Castro hates the internet, so Cubans created their own

August 27, 2019


♪ Music ♪ The internet is incompatible with totalitarianism. Totalitarianism need to have control of information. Whoever controls information controls the minds of people. There are 353 people playing. [NARRATOR]
This is Yuta. He’s playing World of Warcraft with a few hundred others in Havana. But, he’s not connected to the Internet. Instead, Yuta is using what’s called StreetNet. It’s one of the many bootlegged inventions Cubans have come up with to bypass their government’s resistance to Internet access. [JOSE]
Five percent of the 11 million people in Cuba actually have access to the Internet. [NARRATOR]
A few years ago, some young tech-savvy gamers in Havana started connecting their computers through long Ethernet cables, running them from rooftop to rooftop across the city. And soon, they started using wireless routers to expand even further. They created a giant mesh network, which has no central server. Instead, each participant holds a piece of the network on their local computer, creating nodes that connect the city to one giant network. Today, there are over 10,000 users connected to StreetNet throughout Havana. Using StreetNet is strangely similar to searching the real web. There are blogs and forums, dating sites, and social media that looks like Facebook. You have to remind yourself that you’re actually looking at an illegal makeshift network invented by Cuban gamers. [Fidel Castro speaking in Spanish] [NARRATOR]
In 1959, Fidel Castro led a socialist revolution that flipped cuban society upside down. [Fidel Castro speaking in Spanish] Castro established a regime that limited all unapproved expression, punishing anyone who spoke out against the government. Decades later, the world started adopting the Internet. “Hey! Why should I be on the Internet?” “Why?” But Cuba is the most censored country in the Western Hemisphere, and the advent of the Internet in all of it’s uncontrollable and decentralized glory posed a unique challenge for a regime that really wants to keep control over information. [OBAMA]
The states of America is changing it’s relationship with the people of Cuba. [REPORTER]
The United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba. [OBAMA]
I believe that we can do more to support the Cuban people. [REPORTER]
to the thawing of diplomatic relations with Cuba– [REPORTER 2]
and to improve Cuba’s internet– [REPORTER 3]
includes U.S. equipment to improve Cuba’s internet. connect Cuba to the internet [REPORTER 4]
a surge in Internet usage– [REPORTER 5]
One of the companies watching closely, Google. [REPORTER]
Google has gone to Cuba in a push for a free and open internet. [REPORTER]
It hasn’t been easy for Google. There’s no Internet not when you land at the airport, but we are right now at one of these new WiFi hotspots that the government has set up just in the last few weeks. Now to get on the internet you have to buy a card like this. Featuring a relaxed looking woman in Spandex meditating. It costs Two Dollars and with it you can go to one of the 35 WiFi hotspots in the country and enter a code to get one hour of unadulterated access to the uncensored internet The government often runs out of these access cards so most people have to buy them off a black market dealer for three or four dollars. Since these hotspots opened a couple months ago, people have been flocking to the internet, mainly to connect with family members. Many Cubans buy into the official state line that internet deficiency is caused by a combination of the embargo from the United States and a lack of telecoms infrastructure. A quick look into this and you start to realize that the infrastructure argument is completely bogus. In January 2013 a submarine Fiber-Optic cable running from Venezuela went live on the island. The cable is called Alba 1 and it was supposed to support a more widespread and faster internet on the island. Experts say that with this cable, connecting the island should be easy. When the network goes online this summer, Cuba’s bandwidth will increase by 3000.The question is, will Cubans then have access to the web without restrictions and without excuses? Even Google’s gone, over the past year, year-and-a-half, they’ve made several trips to Cuba. They offered, “we’ll help you create that infrastructure,” and and I believe that Cuban government politely declined. This is not an infrastructure issue. This leaked video from a government training session shows a presenter talking about “the threat of new technologies.” Cuba now employs a Cyber Militia that has started harassing and discrediting dissident bloggers on the island, but that doesn’t seem to stop them. There are now 1,600 blogs run by Cubans. Yoani Sanchez is among the most visible of these underground bloggers. The idea is that, you know, Yoani or one of her journalists will write an article and she’ll get, you know, access to one of these WiFi points or the internet somewhere, and she’ll email the article to her colleagues in Spain or wherever and they’ll publish It and download all that information onto a PDF, and then send it back into the island. You know Remi is a visitor that’s coming with a flash drive. Yoani considers this the boomerang effect. And then that gets put on the flash drives and CDs and DVDS and literally gets passed hand to hand ♪ Music ♪

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  1. I went to Cuba with my parents during the summer 2 years ago and oh man… A teen like me without constant internet connection? Complete torture. And my phone didn't work with the cards.

  2. Itโ€™s amazing how well these journalists like VOX and VICE do at laying out the injustices in the foreign field but canโ€™t acknowledge the bullshit going on domestically that would seek to control us just like these other nations. Google wants free access in Cuba but these companies love censoring and manipulating access to information to Americans. Google search is not near as accurate and efficient as it was ten years ago and thatโ€™s a fact, Jack.

  3. Thi is Yunta jajajakak Acere que bola . Vamos , ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ Que Cuba se conecte ya para jugar con mis amigos

  4. Why didn't thecuban government hire these gamers to create a better living standard for their people ?

    I know having your workforce connected can cause revolution but you can still heavily monitor and restrict it when necessary. Its better to have the technology in your hands than in the hands of gamers who could organize a riit at any time anywhere without having to meet in real life !

  5. title should have been "Castro Hated the internet, So Cubans created their own." Castro is dead so you use the past tense version of hates.

  6. stop invening in Another Country personal affairs It Dosent Suits You look into Yourself How Fine and Transparent is your System.

  7. Do any of you guys notice how they always show black People in Cuba who only make up 10% of the population compared to white people who make up 40% of the population.

  8. imagine having a smart phone in Cuba and then you see this icon that says 'google' / 'safari' but it doesn't work, damn

  9. Wait couldn't they get caught from watching… Oh wait forgot their gov don't have internet to even access to youtube oops

  10. Dude i read this as "costco doesnt like internet" and just accepted it and kept scrolling then did a double take

  11. Cuba WiFi isnโ€™t all great and people will make you pay to join in for a certain amount of time and top of all that you got 60-100 other people trying to use it too

  12. Yโ€™all make it look so sad but itโ€™s really annoying I be sleeping and at 3 am my prima just hits me bruh๐Ÿ˜‚

  13. Glad this is making the rounds again, considering the relevance with net neutrality. Who knows, maybe the fans EA and Bethesda pissed off will make something like this.

  14. This video has a message to take in. Be grateful you were born in such a developed and safe country.

  15. Humans are not meant to be caged or restricted. We are like springs. The more opressed we are, the more we yearn for the unknown and impossible. The higher we will leap. Seeing how people try to hard to transmit information gives me great comfort, as I and know that it will just be a matter of time before all of us rise up; together, knowing that we will overpower any obstacles. History has proven to us that any barrier that tries to separate us, we overcome it. I have faith that one day, they will be free

  16. Cubans should move to the USA and their street net service should be moved as well to boost internet access

  17. Proof that gamers will do whatever it requires to pleat games and that they are the most united group in the world

  18. Piracy issue? Chill, it's Cuba. I hope there's no greedy cuban, selling those stuff for low price, or take material advantage.

  19. Honestly this isn't a bad idea of local communitys to try out

    Make a city wide network in this fashion and setup lan games, websites, ect. and you could see everyone that lives in your own city

  20. I went to Havana and saw this myself. It was crazy seeing 100+ people at 9-10pm all sitting in this area just to use the internet. Btw some places turn off their wifi at 12am

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