Internet Invasion of Cuba

The NYT has a great article about the ways in which young people in Cuba are using new technology to both capture and disseminate news the government doesn’t want the citizens to have:

“Last month, students at a prestigious computer science university videotaped an ugly confrontation they had with Ricardo Alarcón, the president of the National Assembly.

Mr. Alarcón seemed flummoxed when students grilled him on why they could not travel abroad, stay at hotels, earn better wages or use search engines like Google. The video spread like wildfire through Havana, passed from person to person, and seriously damaged Mr. Alarcón’s reputation in some circles.

Something similar happened in late January when officials tried to impose a tax on the tips and wages of employees of foreign companies. Workers erupted in jeers and shouts when told about the new tax, a moment caught on a cellphone camera and passed along by memory sticks.

“It passes from flash drive to flash drive,” said Ariel, 33, a computer programmer, who, like almost everyone else interviewed for this article, asked that his last name not be used for fear of political persecution. “This is going to get out of the government’s hands because the technology is moving so rapidly.”

Highly recommend checking out the whole article.  You’re going to be hearing stories similar to this in lots of formally “closed” countries.  I really think that the internet will do more to bring down dictators than armies have ever succeeded in doing.

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