An Insight Into Cuba’s Internet Accessibility

In the past, illustrators would create bird’s eye view maps with detailed architectural illustration crafted from a favorable vantage point. Aerial view maps would capture a moment in time making it very interesting to anyone who views it. However, the increasing amount of geodata gave birth to digital maps that people can access through their computers.

People have become accustomed to smartphones to access social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp or YouTube including The New York Times. In Cuba, people can easily download the Spanish version of Miami Herald which is infamous for anti-Cuban government reporting. Cubans use Signal, an encrypted messaging app that was developed by Edward Snowden to prevent the US government from eavesdropping.

Over the past decade, Cuba has made great progress in internet accessibility but government officials from the United States, right-wing Cuban exiles in Miami and conservative human rights group want Cuba to intentionally limit access to the internet.

Meanwhile, according to Freedom House, a conservative think tank, the Cuban government is actually keeping the country technologically backward and censors websites of political dissent. The fact is Cuba remains as one of the worlds’ most disconnected countries because of its repressive environment for information and communication technologies.

In January 2020, a survey made by the Open Observatory of Network Interference revealed that the Cuban government has blocked 36 websites most of which were created by dissidents that are supported by the United States like blogger Yoani Sanchez and Ladies in White, an organizer of anti-government protests in Cuba. However, Cubans who want to visit such sites only need to download Virtual Private Network or VPN that allows unfiltered access to the internet.

On the other hand, the US prohibits Cubans from using their commercial websites like Amazon, computer companies and banks as part of the unilateral embargo of Cuba. This US policy restricts both Americans and Cubans to freely communicate through the internet.

Because aerial view maps with detailed architectural illustration are both hand drawn and digital, they can be accessed through the internet. The illustrated maps can be used by towns, cities, resorts or campuses for marketing purposes. They can also be framed and hanged on the boardroom walls as a  topic for conversations.

March 3rd, 2020 by