CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Censura en internet. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Censura en internet. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, diciembre 11, 2014

Condenan a 3 años a joven que puso señales satelitales de EEUU en Cuba

HablemosPress

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Viceministro cubano: "No hay restricciones políticas para acceder a Internet en Cuba"

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Cuba Hoy

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jueves, diciembre 04, 2014

Cuba es el único país de América Latina sin internet libre - Freedom House 2014

Population: 11.3 million
Internet Penetration: 26 percent
Social Media/ICT Apps Blocked: Yes
Political/Social Content Blocked: Yes
Bloggers/ICT Users Arrested: Yes
Press Freedom Status: Not Free
2014 Freedom On the Net Total (0 = Best, 100 = Worst) 84

2014 Scores

Freedom on the Net Status

Not Free

Freedom on the Net Total
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

84

Obstacles to Access
(0 = best, 25 = worst)

23

Limits on Content
(0 = best, 35 = worst)

28

Violations of User Rights
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

33
  • 2013 Freedom On the Net Total (0 = Best, 100 = Worst) 86
Key Developments: 

May 2013 - May 2014

  • In June 2013, access to Cuba’s new high-speed internet was extended to citizens for the first time, albeit only from designated, censored “cyber points” at prices few can afford (see Obstacles to Access).
  • In January 2014, Cuba’s telecommunications regulator, ETECSA, announced the possibility of future mobile internet connections as well as home internet access (see Obstacles to Access).
  • In April 2014, revelations of a secret U.S.-installed Cuban Twitter, known as ZunZuneo, strained the already tense relationship between Cuba and the United States (see Obstacles to Access).
  • From December 2013 to February 2014, the Cuban government cracked down on opposition surrounding the second annual CELAC summit in Havana, detaining at least 3,000 dissidents and harassing or blocking the mobile phones of others (see Violations of User Rights).
Introduction: 
Cuba has long ranked as one of the world’s most repressive environments for information and communication technologies (ICTs). High prices, exceptionally slow connectivity, and extensive government regulation have resulted in a pronounced lack of access to applications and services other than email. Most users can access only a government-controlled intranet rather than the global internet, with hourly connection costs amounting to 20 percent of the minimum monthly wage. Although mobile phone penetration has been on the rise, and access to the high-speed internet provided by the new ALBA-1 fiber-optic cable was finally extended to citizens in late 2013 via the opening of new “cyber points” or “navigation halls,” ICT access remains limited. Nevertheless, a vibrant community of bloggers has managed to document conditions on the island and transmit information beyond Cuba’s borders.
In recent years, Cuba has exhibited a slight opening to the outside world, although this has not yet correlated to a change in the country’s human rights practices. Some 3,000 opposition and civil society members were subject to detention surrounding the Caribbean and Latin American States (CELAC) summit, hosted in Havana in January 2014. The cell phones of known prodemocracy activists were blocked ahead of the meetings, text messages could neither be sent nor received, and those who attempted to call activists were met with busy signals.[1] A number of dissidents were also detained or placed under house arrest as part of “Operation Cleanup,” an attempt to keep citizens from voicing human rights concerns to CELAC representatives.[2]
Although the government appeared to loosen its restrictions on online media by unblocking a number of blogs in 2011, in 2013 a handful of dissident and critical progovernment sites were blocked once again. Phone numbers associated with the “speak-to-tweet” platform, widely used by activists to publicize human rights violations, were shut down in 2012 and remained disabled as of June 2014. Surveillance has continued on the island, where it has been extended to Cuba’s new “navigation halls.” It is likewise still commonplace in offices, where government-installed software monitors email accounts.[3]

Obstacles to Access: 
Internet access in Cuba is complicated by weak infrastructure and tight government control. While recent years have seen an expansion in the number of internet and mobile phone users, the ICT sector remains dominated by government firms. Restrictions on private enterprise were eased under the 2012 update of Cuba’s economic model. Although proposed reforms did not initially extend to liberalization of the communications sector,[4] in November 2013, ETECSA, Cuba’s state-run telecommunications company, announced that it will allow private workers to market local and long-distance telephone services to the population as self-employed communications agents. The agents may also sell prepaid cards for fixed and mobile telephony and internet access.[5] In January 2014, ETECSA also announced it will allow balance transfers on cards between prepaid users.[6]

The possibility of self-employment marks a significant shift in Cuba’s economic policy, as it affords more control to the citizenry and advances the government’s recent trend of loosening restrictions on Cuban nationals. Although the Cuban government began to allow the limited creation of private cooperatives by computer science graduates in 2012, tight internet restrictions, along with prohibitively high computer and software pricing, resulted in a nonexistent official market. While a black market for such commodities does exist, Cuban ICT liberalization was mostly rhetoric prior to the late 2013 announcement allowing private workers to serve as self-employed communications agents.[7]

According to the National Statistics Office, there were 2.6 million internet users in Cuba in 2011, representing 23.2 percent of the population.[8] The latest data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) places Cuba’s internet penetration at 25.71 percent as of 2013—an increase of less than one percent since 2012, when penetration was measured at 25.64 percent.[9] The vast majority of users cannot access the global internet, but are instead relegated to a tightly controlled government-filtered intranet, which consists of a national email system, a Cuban encyclopedia, a pool of educational materials and open-access journals, Cuban websites, and foreign websites that are supportive of the Cuban government.[10] Experts estimate that approximately 5 percent of Cubans periodically have access to the World Wide Web via government institutions, foreign embassies, and black market sales of minutes by those permitted to have such accounts.[11]

Although Cuba still has the lowest mobile phone penetration rate in Latin America, the number is rising due in part to changes in government-imposed restrictions on telecommunications. According to a study from the ITU, in 2009, 620,000 Cubans owned mobile phones. By the end of 2013, this figure had ballooned to nearly 2 million, or about 18 percent of the population.[12] As the number of mobile phone users has grown, ETECSA has begun implementing small changes beneficial to users. Between 2011 and 2012, the government reduced the sign-up fee for mobile service by over 50 percent—although at a cost of US$60 it still represents three months’ wages for an average worker. Receiving phone calls from within Cuba is now free, the cost of text messages sent within the country has been reduced from US$0.16 to $0.09, and daytime cellphone rates have been cut from US$0.60 to $0.35 per minute.[13]

Despite these positive developments, the cost of mobile service is still too high for the vast majority of Cubans. The government’s undeclared policy—viewed as an attempt to attract new funds in hard currency—is predicated on convincing Cuban exiles to pay for these services for their relatives in Cuba. As of January 2014, friends and relatives living abroad were able to use an internet service to pay the phone bills of users living on the island.

Cuba has roaming agreements with 365 carriers in 143 countries.[14] The island’s mobile network reportedly covers 75 percent of Cuban territory, with further expansions planned.[15] Most mobile phones do not include internet connections, but it is possible to send and receive international text messages and images with certain phones. Phones that utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) technology or satellite connections, however, are explicitly prohibited by Cuban customs regulations.[16] Additional restrictions are placed on modems, wireless faxes, and satellite dishes, which require special permits from the MIC in order to enter the country. [17]

In 2000, the Ministry of Informatics and Communication (MIC) was created to serve as the regulatory authority for the internet. Within the MIC, the Cuban Supervision and Control Agency oversees the development of internet-related technologies.[18] Despite the 2013 connection of a high-speed undersea cable known as ALBA-1, there is still no broadband service on the island, and the limited number of Cubans with internet access face extremely slow connections, making the use of multimedia applications nearly impossible. Despite the high hopes associated with ALBA-1, Cuba’s penetration rate has barely grown since 2012.[19] It is worth noting that the most significant jump in internet access appears to have occurred between 2011 and 2012—prior to the connection of the high-speed cable—when reported internet penetration rates jumped from 16 percent to nearly 26 percent.[20] According to statistical findings from Google Analytics, Cuba has the slowest connection speed in the Western Hemisphere and is among the worst in the world.[21] Access over the intranet is similarly slow due to weak domestic infrastructure and the limited extension of access to Cuba’s new high-speed cable.

The Cuban government continues to blame the U.S. embargo for the country’s connectivity problems, saying it must use a slow, costly satellite connection system and may only buy limited space. President Barack Obama eased some aspects of Washington’s prolonged trade sanctions in 2009, however, allowing U.S. telecommunications firms to enter into roaming agreements with Cuban providers and to establish fiber-optic cable and satellite telecommunication facilities linking the United States and Cuba.[22] Official media ignored this important change in the U.S. legal framework, and Cuban leaders reiterated their demand for a complete end to the embargo.

The bilateral relationship was also affected by a 2009 incident that directly touched on the lack of open internet access in Cuba. On December 4, 2009, Cuban authorities arrested Alan Gross, an American independent contractor who was in the country to set up individual satellite-based internet connections as part of a U.S. government–funded project. In March 2011, Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing an act “against the independence or territorial integrity of the state.”[23] Despite a handful of serious health concerns and a self-imposed hunger strike in April 2014, Gross continues to serve the remainder of his sentence in a Cuban prison.[24]

The volatile relationship between Cuba and the United States took another hit in April 2014, when information was leaked regarding a USAID program to improve connectivity and communications in Cuba. Reports surfaced that the U.S. development agency had created a “Cuban Twitter,” known as ZunZuneo, which attracted some 40,000 subscribers before it was shut down in 2012. News of the program, which the U.S. government has called “secret” but not “covert,” and which was ultimately ineffective given Cuba’s many obstacles to access, has strained Cuban-U.S. relations further, and has given the Cuban government ammunition in its quest to label independent bloggers on the island as “U.S.-funded mercenaries.”[25]

In February 2011, Cuban officials celebrated the installation of a 1,600 km undersea fiber-optic cable laid between Cuba and Venezuela at a cost of approximately US$72 million.[26] The eagerly anticipated cable, known as ALBA-1, was expected to increase data-transmission speeds 3,000 fold, yet no news from the authorities was provided for nearly two years.[27] Due to the prolonged silence, rumors began to spread that Cuban authorities were reluctant to extend access to the general population for fear of enabling a “Cuban Spring.”[28] In late January 2013, ETECSA announced that the cable had been connected, but noted that opening of the line would be gradual (predictably limited to select government offices at first) and that infrastructure would still be enhanced in order to facilitate widespread use of the new technology.[29] In June 2013, citizens were able to access the internet through connections to the new fiber-optic cable in government-run “navigation halls” (see below).

Prohibitively high costs also place internet access beyond the reach of most of the population. A simple computer with a monitor averages around US$722 in retail outlets, and at least US$550 on the black market.[30] By comparison, the average monthly Cuban salary is approximately US$20.[31] Even an internet connection in a hotel costs between US$6-$12 per hour.[32] Only 31 percent of Cubans report having access to a computer, the distribution of which is run by the state-owned Copextel Corporation. Of those with access, 85 percent noted that the computers were located at work or school.[33]

In June 2013, Cuban authorities opened 121 government-run internet access points, or “navigation halls,” with 444 computers, marking a small step toward greater connectivity in a country with one of the lowest percentages of internet penetration in the Western hemisphere. According to Cuba’s official newspaper, Gaceta Oficial, members of the public are now able to access national websites for US$0.60 per hour and international sites for US$4.50 per hour—a significant reduction from the previous rate of $6 per hour, but still prohibitive compared to an average monthly salary of US$20. The cost for checking email will remain unchanged at US$1.50 per hour. Users have been pleasantly surprised by the relatively high connection speed (for Cuba)—up to 2 Mbps—as well as access to some web pages once blocked by the government. However, sites such as Radio/TV Marti, the U.S. government broadcaster that transmits to the island, remain blocked.

By paying for government-run internet service directly at cybercafes or purchasing a “Nauta” card (a pass that links to ETECSA’s interface of the same name and can only be used at specific locations), users will be able to access temporary accounts, valid for 30 calendar days as of the date of the first session. They will also be able to open permanent accounts upon request, complete with username, password, and email address, if they can afford the cost of the service—and the high level of surveillance associated with such accounts.

Despite the improvements in options for access and the reduction of fees, web use at “cyber points” and “navigation halls” remains tightly controlled. A recent decree from the Ministry of Communications reaffirmed the government’s continued monitoring of internet traffic, stating that ETECSA will “immediately” end a user’s access if he or she commits “any violation of the norms of ethical behavior promoted by the Cuban state.” Users must show their national ID cards and sign an agreement stating that they will not use the service for anything “that could be considered …damaging or harmful to public security”—a vague term that could presumably extend to political dissidence.

If users attempt to send email with attachments, ETECSA’s own NAUTA interface system greets them with a pop-up window reminding them that “other people may see what you are sending” and asking if they wish to continue. Although the pop-up window is marked “Internet Explorer” and appears to be a real message generated by the search engine, several Cuban cybernauts have said that they had never seen such a message when using internet cafes in Havana’s tourist hotels. Such claims suggest that ETECSA may have programmed computers at its new access points to prompt users as a reminder that the government is monitoring their online activities.

There are only two ISPs in Cuba: CENIAI Internet and ENET (ETECSA). Both are owned by the state, though Telecom Italia previously held shares of ETECSA. In February 2011, the state-owned company Rafin S.A., a financial firm known for its connections to the military, bought Telecom Italia’s 27 percent stake for US$706 million.[34] As a result, the telecom company is now completely owned by six Cuban state entities. Cubacel, a subsidiary of ETECSA, is the only mobile phone carrier in Cuba.

The Cuban government continues to control the legal and institutional structures that determine who has access to the internet and how much access will be permitted.[35] This regulation extends to the sale and distribution of internet-related equipment. In early 2008, after a nearly decade-long ban, the government began allowing Cubans to buy personal computers. Cuban officials, doctors, or trusted journalists and intellectuals can now legally connect to an ISP with a government permit. Approved access to the internet, which is typically restricted to email and sites related to one’s occupation, is granted to doctors, professors, and government officials, whose offices are linked by an online network called Infomed. Home connections are not yet allowed for the vast majority of Cubans.

The government claims that all schools have computer labs, but in practice, internet access is usually prohibited for students or limited to very short periods of access, certain email accounts, or supervised activities on the national intranet. Students at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, for example, are reportedly granted only 40 minutes per week of internet access, rendering online research or accessing academic journals infeasible.[36] Students of journalism at Havana University are granted up to 40 MB of data access per month as part of the “Hypermedia Journalism” course.[37]

Despite the many barriers, Cubans still find ways of connecting to the internet through both authorized and unauthorized points of access. Some are able to break through infrastructural blockages by building their own antennas, using illegal dial-up connections, or developing blogs on foreign platforms. The underground economy of internet access also includes account sharing, in which authorized users sell access to those without an official account for one or two convertible pesos (CUC) per hour. Some foreign embassies allow Cubans to use their facilities, but a number of people who have visited embassies for this purpose have reported police harassment. There is also a thriving improvisational system of “sneakernets,” in which USB flash drives and data discs are used to distribute materials (articles, prohibited photos, satirical cartoons, video clips) that have been downloaded from the internet or stolen from government offices.

At times of heightened political sensitivity, the government has used its complete control of the cell phone network to selectively obstruct citizens’ communications. During a March 2012 visit to the island by Pope Benedict XVI and the January 2014 Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC summit) in Havana, bloggers and dissidents reported that their cell phones were not working.[38] One independent journalist who investigated the situation found that calls were being automatically redirected to a phone number belonging to the Ministry of Interior.[39] All calls from dissidents’ cell phones are monitored and the service is cut regularly to those working as freelance journalists or voicing views the government does not condone via citizen journalism. Such was the case in early summer 2014 for three independent reporters working for the news site Hablemos Press. Having identified the media outlet as a threat, ETECSA reportedly disconnected the cellphones of at least three of its writers, each of whom was also detained for between 24 and 96 hours.[40]

The Cuban government zealously pursues those who violate telecommunications access laws, and government technicians routinely “sniff” neighborhoods with their handheld devices in search of ham radios and satellite dishes. In December 2012, the official newspaper Granma explicitly warned against “counterrevolutionary” and subversive use of illegal nets.[41] In an extensive report entitled “Violations of the Cuban Telecommunications System,” Granma detailed the criminal investigation of two highly profitable cyber-networks illegally using ETECSA’s fixed and mobile market channels. The investigation is still in progress, but the information provided by the MIC and the attorney general alleges that the illegal networks began operating in 2009 and were responsible for a loss of revenue for ETECSA totaling US$3 million. The defendants, who are being prosecuted for illegal economic activity and fraud, face fines coupled with sentences of three to ten years in prison.

In January 2014, the Cuban government announced a handful of changes in international policy and even hinted at the potential easing of telecommunications restrictions. A new port was constructed with a US$957 million investment from Brazil to facilitate international trade;[42] discussions over ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba also heated up in early 2014; and Havana played host to the CELAC summit, which convened the leaders of Latin American and Caribbean states in order to encourage dialogue and establish shared goals for the region.

Although details about changes to telecommunications policy were vague and did not include information regarding pricing or technology, representatives announced two exciting possibilities for Cubans over the upcoming year—mobile internet connections and home internet access. Experts speculate that access will extend only to the government run intranet and “Nauta” email accounts. Since December 2013, ETECSA has also been working on “opening” Cuban cellphones—which will likely need to support data services (GPRS) if they are to be used for internet activities. If enacted, such a policy shift could have a significant impact on Cuban citizens’ mobile and internet connectivity.

Limits on Content: 
Rather than relying on the technically sophisticated filtering and blocking used by other repressive regimes, the Cuban government limits users’ access to information primarily via lack of technology and prohibitive costs. With the exception of unauthorized points of access in old Havana, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is blocked in Cuba, except from some Wi-Fi hotel connections.  Restrictions on email in the workplace have been growing in recent years, and dissident websites and blogs continue to be subject to periodic disabling or blocking. The cost of access to technologies that facilitate information sharing continues to be high; nonetheless, there is a vibrant community of bloggers in Cuba who utilize the medium to report on conditions within the country.
The websites of foreign news outlets—including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Le Monde, and El Nuevo Herald (a Miami-based Spanish-language daily)—are readily available in Cuba.[43] The sites of some human rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, remain largely accessible; however, Amnesty International’s website was recently blocked.[44] For the most part, dissident news websites such as Payolibre, and independent journalism sites hosted on overseas servers, such as Cubanet, are restricted. The Association for Freedom of the Press (SIAPA) is also blocked, as are the websites of dissident organizations with a presence on the island (such as Damas de Blanco, MCL and UNPACU), which remain inaccessible from government-sponsored youth computer centers, navigation halls, and the like.[45] Revolico, a platform for posting classified advertisements, continues to be blocked, despite the apolitical nature of its content.[46] In August 2013, the government also blocked access to Google, explaining that Cuba is working on the development of a “national browser” along with software to centralize contents. News regarding the national browser has been limited; however, and it remains to be seen whether the application has been completed and is ready for use.
Social-networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were recently blocked at some universities and government institutions, but may be accessed—with consistent monitoring but varying reliability—from some cybercafes and hotels. The government has also increased its control over the use of email in official institutions, installing a platform that restricts spam and specifically prevents the transmission of “chain letters critical of the government.”[47]
While ETECSA does not proactively police networks and delete content, there have been reports of bloggers removing posts after being threatened by officials for publishing views criticizing government actions.[48] The wording of certain government provisions regarding content regulation is vague and allows for a wide array of posts to be censored without oversight. Resolution 179 (2008), for example, authorizes ETECSA to “take the necessary steps to prevent access to sites whose contents are contrary to social interests, ethics and morals, as well as the use of applications that affect the integrity or security of the state.”[49]
Beginning in 2007, the government systematically blocked core internet portal sites such as Yahoo, MSN, and Hotmail. As of 2014, these sites remain blocked in some government institutions, although they are largely accessible from hotels. Cuban authorities also restricted access to Cuban and foreign websites that contained independent reporting or views critical of the government. Among the continuously blocked sites are the Bitácora Cubana blog and the Voces Cubana platform, which hosts approximately 40 blogs including Yoani Sánchez’s award winning Generación Y. While most of these sites and international portals were unblocked without explanation in February 2011, many were re-blocked in 2012 and 2013. The University of Matanzas’ student-run blog La Joven Cuba, which faced difficulties in 2012, became accessible again in mid-2013. [50] Content on Elaine Diaz’s blog La Polemica Digital, which suffered similar challenges, remains available, however blog activity is sporadic.[51] In both cases, the associated bloggers were subject to intimidation, resulting in self-censorship.
Following in the footsteps of other repressive regimes contending with a highly literate and digitally interested populous, the government has also launched its own copycat versions of popular websites, such as Wikipedia, Twitter, and Facebook, and by some accounts, is delaying full connectivity of the ALBA-1 cable until the sites are fully operational so that content can be closely controlled.[52] Although the Cuban government’s faux Facebook site, Red Social, was active for only a brief period in 2011,[53] its 2010 copycat version of Wikipedia, known as EcuRed, was still active as of June 2014, and had even inspired an app.[54] The government’s portable version of EcuRed, known as EcuMovil, became available for free installation on cell phones at JovenClubs (youth centers) beginning in April 2014.[55]
Havana seems to be taking its cues in the field of copycat sites from Beijing, which has successfully prevented access to the most popular global social media sites by directing citizens to closely monitored, censored versions of these platforms. In September 2013, the Cuban government announced the launch of a new “Cuban social network” called La Tendedera, which will be accessible only from JovenClubs and will allow the sharing of texts, photos, and videos, while also offering online chatrooms accessible from public or private rooms. According to the official Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC), the birth of the new social network comes “after many failed attempts.”
Another new social media development from the regime comes in the form of a Cuban blogging platform called Reflejos. Built on WordPress, one of the companies that manage some of the most popular online content, Reflejos can be viewed from outside youth centers; however, blogging outside the headquarters of JovenClubs is not permitted. Nonetheless, Cuban journalists and bloggers are optimistic about the potential of Reflejos, given that it presents the opportunity for those whose sites are hosted on foreign platforms to have a voice in Cuba.[56] ETECSA has also announced that intranet users will soon be able to use the microblogging platform El Pitazo, as well as a URL shortening site and hypermedia sites, which may host and manage multimedia content.
In Cuba, the obstacles to sharing information are significant—the majority of citizen journalism is done offline, often by hand or typewriter, and uploaded and published once or twice a week. The financial cost of freedom of expression is also great; the tools that facilitate contribution to media outlets, such as paid internet access cards and international phone calls, are prohibitively expensive and present a major obstacle.
While there is no exact count of blogs produced in Cuba, Blogs Cubanos reports that there are now more than 1,600 blogs, including sites such as Retazos and Convivencia.[57] Independent websites hosted outside the country, such as La Polemica Digital, Havana Times, and Estado de Sats, provide the few who are able to access the net with a much richer and more robust selection of news sources and perspectives than those available from state-run media. Regional radio stations, magazines, and official newspapers are also creating online versions, though these are state-run and do not accept contributions from independent journalists. Some of these official sites recently installed commentary tools that foster discussion and allow readers to provide feedback, albeit censored. Other news sites run by Cuban exiles, such as Diario de Cuba, Penúltimos Días, and Café Fuerte are now censored at some points but available at others. As censored areas change without warning it is difficult to know where and when such blogs will be accessible on the island.
Unable to completely suppress dissident activity on the internet through legal and infrastructural constraints, the authorities have taken a number of countermeasures, including dominating conversations within the medium itself. The Cuban government maintains a major presence on social networks via “Operación Verdad,” (Operation Truth), its veritable cyber militia of approximately 1,000 trusted students from the University of Computer Sciences (UCI) who were recruited to promote the government’s agenda and to slander dissident bloggers and independent journalists.[58] In February 2013, Yoani Sanchez interviewed blogger Eliécer Avila, a former UCI student—and leader of Operación Verdad.[59] Referring to the group as the “kilobyte police,” Sanchez stated that the interview “corroborated” theories that the state security had created blogs to “denigrate and discredit the citizen who criticizes the system.[60]
During the same month, video of a government training on social media appeared on the internet. In the footage, which was apparently leaked, a Cuban official warns agents of the potential threat that activist bloggers pose, alluding to the possibility that a popular blogger like Yoani Sánchez could organize protests in Havana similar to those that occurred in Iran in 2009. [61] He concludes by saying that the government must respond to these threats.
Despite such grave challenges to freedom of expression, a number of activists and bloggers have persisted in making their voices heard. In recent years, Yoani Sánchez, an award-winning dissident writer and the owner of the popular blog Generation Y, has become arguably the most visible figure in an independent movement that uses new media to report on conditions that violate basic freedoms. In addition to being vocal on Twitter (Sánchez had over 600,000 followers as of June 2014)[62] and, increasingly, on the world stage, Sánchez has been hosting Twitter workshops in her home for the past three years, a bold move that has resulted in a crop of hundreds of new Twitter users in Cuba.
In mid-May 2014, following a whirlwind global tour that allowed her to raise awareness of human rights abuses in Cuba and the fight for freedom of information and expression on the island, Sánchez launched the first edition of a new, independent online news site known as 14ymedio (media begun in the year 2014). Although many expected 14ymedio to be anti-establishment in nature, Sánchez says that her goal is to provide objective news, allowing Cubans to make their own decisions about current events. Reinaldo Escobar, the site’s editor-in-chief and Sánchez’s husband, stressed this point, saying that writers for 14ymedio would avoid using politically charged terminology, such as “dictatorship” and “regime.”[63]
In addition to the popularity of independent blogs, young people are increasingly turning to Twitter and mobile phones to document repression and voice their opinions. In a world where internet access is highly restricted, tweeting directly by SMS or a “Speak-to-Tweet” platform offers an alternate avenue for communicating with the outside world. Although associated phone numbers are continually blocked, the speak-to-tweet platform “Háblalo Sin Miedo” (Speak without Fear) has been proactive in finding new phone numbers in order to enable Cuban residents to call a phone number in the United States and record anonymous messages describing government abuses and other grievances.[64] The messages are automatically converted into posts shared via Twitter and YouTube.[65] At a cost US$1.10 per tweet, Háblalo Sin Miedo is expensive; nonetheless, it is proving effective in allowing activists to denounce repressive acts and human rights violations.[66]

Violations of User Rights: 
Surveillance of ICTs in Cuba is widespread, and dissident bloggers are subject to punishments ranging from fines and searches to confiscation of equipment and detentions. From December 2013 to February 2014, the Cuban government cracked down on opposition surrounding the second annual CELAC summit in Havana, detaining at least 3,000 dissidents and harassing or blocking the mobile phones of others
The Cuban legal structure is not favorable to internet freedom. The constitution explicitly subordinates freedom of speech to the objectives of a socialist society, and freedom of cultural expression is guaranteed only if such expression is not contrary to the Revolution.[67] The penal code and Law 88, known as the “Clamp Law,” set penalties ranging from a few months to 20 years in prison for any activity considered a “potential risk,” “disturbing the peace,” a “pre-criminal danger to society,” “counterrevolutionary,” or “against the national independence or economy.”[68] In 1996, the government passed Decree-Law 209, which states that the internet cannot be used “in violation of Cuban society’s moral principles or the country’s laws,” and that email messages must not “jeopardize national security.”[69] In 2007, a network security measure, Resolution 127, banned the use of public data-transmission networks for the spreading of information that is against the social interest, norms of good behavior, the integrity of people, or national security. The decree requires access providers to install controls that enable them to detect and prevent the proscribed activities, and to report them to the relevant authorities. Furthermore, access to the internet in Cuba generally requires identification with photo ID, rendering anonymity nearly impossible.
Resolution 56/1999 provides that all materials intended for publication or dissemination on the internet must first be approved by the National Registry of Serial Publications. Resolution 92/2003 prohibits email and other ICT service providers from granting access to individuals who are not approved by the government, and requires that they enable only domestic chat services, not international ones. Entities that violate these regulations can be penalized with suspension or revocation of their authorization to provide access.
Despite constitutional provisions that protect various forms of communication and portions of the penal code that establish penalties for the violation of the secrecy of communications, users’ privacy is frequently violated. Tools for content surveillance are likewise pervasive. Under Resolution 17/2008, ISPs are required to register and retain the addresses of all traffic for at least one year.[70] The government routes most connections through proxy servers and is able to obtain all user names and passwords through special monitoring software called Avila Link, which is installed at most ETECSA and public access points. In addition, delivery of email messages is consistently delayed, and it is not unusual for a message to arrive without its attachments.
Under Raúl Castro, the Cuban government appears to have shifted its repressive tactics from long-term imprisonment of bloggers to short-term extralegal detentions, intimidation, and harassment.[71] Bloggers are still routinely summoned for questioning, reprimanded, and detained, however—a phenomenon that spiked in late 2013 and early 2014.[72]
In November 2013, authorities arrested numerous civil rights activists, including Yoani Sánchez and at least 12 others. Among those detained were Laritza Diversent, an attorney who runs the blog Jurisconsulto de Cuba, and Antonio Rodiles, curator of Estado de Sats. Diversent and many others were released shortly after detention, but Rodiles was held in police custody for over three weeks. As it is very difficult to distinguish between independent blogging and political activism in Cuba, it is impossible to accurately pinpoint which offence triggered the detentions.
Regardless of whether an activist is flagged by the government for online or offline activity, arrests in Cuba tend to increase surrounding key political events and meetings; late 2013 through early 2014 proved no exception to this rule. In December 2013, members of Ladies in White, a group of the wives and mothers of 75 “anti-Castro” dissidents jailed in 2003, took to the streets to demonstrate against human rights abuses on International Human Rights Day, but were detained before the protest could begin.[73]
Although most were released within hours, threats and arrests of dissidents and activists spiked significantly surrounding the January 2014 Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit, which was hosted in Havana. The summit, which convenes the heads of state of member nations, was organized to discuss shared objectives for the region extending to economic goals and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing violence in Colombia between the FARC rebels and the government. More than 3,000 “arbitrary, politically motivated” detentions were reported in the three months surrounding the summit.[74]  The blocking of hundreds of cell phones owned by activists was also reported in the days leading up to the summit.[75]
In addition to the increase in detentions, reporters associated with independent online newspapers were also subject to increased harassment in late 2013 and early 2014. In October 2013, three dissident journalists were arrested within 24 hours. Mario Echevarria Driggs, a journalist with the website Miscelaneas de Cuba, was arrested while covering a demonstration in Havana. The next morning, David Aguila Montero, head of the Independent Journalists’ Social Agency (ASPI) was arrested as he left his home. A few hours later, William Cacer Diaz, an independent journalist with the online outlet Hablemos Press, was arrested en route to the newspaper’s headquarters. All three writers were released four days after their arrest, along with Denis Noa Martinez and Pablo Morales Marchan, two additional Hablemos Press reporters who had, at that point, been detained for 24 hours.[76]
In late May, Hablemos Press was again targeted by the Cuban government. Three of its reporters were detained—and their cellphones were disconnected by state-run ETECSA. A member of the state security also reportedly attacked Roberto de Jesus Guerra, the founder of the site, as he walked to an embassy office to file a story online. Guerra and his wife have also begun receiving anonymous death threats.[77]
As of May 2014, well-known blogger and writer Ángel Santiesteban Prats, who has been serving a five-year jail sentence on trumped-up charges since early 2013, was still imprisoned.[78] The winner of major literary prizes, Santiesteban was arrested in connection with his political views several times prior to his December 2012 trail. Such harassment increased after Santiesteban’s creation of the blog “The Children No One Wanted,” in which he criticized the government. Santiesteban has reportedly been subject to mistreatment and torture since his five-year imprisonment began. To date, there is no evidence that he will be released early.[79]
Despite the myriad abuses suffered by dissidents, 2013 brought a notable loosening of travel restrictions in Cuba. As part of immigration reform, bloggers previously denied exit visas, including Yoani Sánchez, Orlando Luis Pardo, and Eliecer Ávila, were allowed to travel abroad. In early 2013, Sánchez, who was finally permitted to leave Cuba after having been denied an exit visa 21 times in the past five years, began an 80-city, 12-country tour, with the aim of bringing awareness to Cuba’s active civil society and blogosphere.[80] Her speeches and online efforts have since received significant international attention. According to Ms. Sanchez’s new website, 14ymedio, a cadre of Google executives visited the island in June 2014 “to promote the virtues of a free and open internet.”[81]

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sábado, noviembre 29, 2014

Jovenes cubanos deambulan alrededor de hoteles y embajadas para captar las senales "wi-fi"

Cada fin de semana numerosos jóvenes cubanos provistos de smartphones y tabletas se congregan alrededor de hoteles, embajadas y centros de negocios de La Habana para intentar captar señales de Internet y superar el estricto control de las autoridades.
"Hay unos que ya tienen los códigos por amigos que trabajan aquí, pero sé que otros logran 'crackear' códigos con algunos softwares", explica bajo anonimato un joven informático en el frontis de un edificio de negocios del oeste de La Habana.
En una callejuela al costado de un hotel vecino, otra estratagema está en marcha. Unos jóvenes digitan afanosamente en sus aparatos: están en línea gracias a la conexión compartida por el computador de un camarada instalado en la recepción.
En Cuba las señales "wifi" son muy codiciadas, debido a que Internet es objeto de un estricto control y está reservado a empresas, universidades e instituciones. Solo unos cuantos privilegiados, principalmente periodistas, artistas y médicos, tienen derecho a poseer una conexión domiciliaria.
En 2013, sólo 3,4% de los hogares cubanos estaban conectados, según la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (UIT), que ubica al país entre los menos "conectados" del mundo.
Tarifas prohibitivas de conexión
Sin embargo, en junio de 2013 el régimen comunista de la isla abrió una pequeña brecha con la creación de un centenar de salas públicas. Pero a 4,5 dólares la hora, sus tarifas son prohibitivas en un país donde el salario mensual bordea los 20 dólares en promedio.
Anteriormente, solo los hoteles podían proveer Internet al público, con una mayor barrera tarifaria que sólo los visitantes extranjeros podían franquear (hasta 10 dólares la hora).
La compañía Etecsa, que tiene el monopolio estatal sobre los móviles, no ofrece Internet móvil a sus clientes, a pesar de que la tecnología 3G funciona en una buena parte del territorio cubano, aunque su desempeño deja que desear.
Ante la presión de la demanda local, Etecsa permite desde hace algunos meses a sus abonados consultar su correo en sus smartphones. Pero esta oferta está restringida al dominio local @nauta.cu.
Más recientemente, la compañía abrió también un servicio a precio módico que permite enviar fotos desde un teléfono a cualquier dirección de correo electrónico.
Estas pequeñas concesiones no satisfacen a los partidarios de un Internet abierto a todos, mientras los smartphones llegados del extranjero son cada vez más visibles en Cuba.
"Cuba es uno de los países más restrictivos del mundo en términos de libertad en Internet", destaca a la AFP Sanja Tatic Kelly, encargada de proyectos de la ONG estadounidense Freedom House, que publica cada año un informe sobre la "libertad de acceso a la red".
"Más que recurrir a las sofisticadas tecnologías de filtro y bloqueo usadas por otros regímenes represivos, el gobierno cubano limita a los usuarios el acceso a la información mediante la carencia de tecnología y precios prohibitivos", explica la experta.
Las autoridades censuran de todos modos ciertos sitios (prensa y blogs anticastristas, pornografía, Skype), pero Tatic Kelly reconoce que "el número total de sitios bloqueados es relativamente bajo en comparación con lo que se practica en China, Irán o Arabia Saudita".
Del otro lado, los internautas locales también han encontrado la fórmula. Ellos recurren a programas fácilmente descargables que permiten ocultar la dirección IP de sus aparatos. En un santiamén aparecen identificados como si estuvieran situados en Europa o Estados Unidos, y pueden navegar a su antojo.
Los menos vivaces siempre pueden arreglarse con el "paquete", descargable a cambio de unos cuantos pesos. Actualizado cada semana, lo forman cientos de gigas de programas de TV, películas, software, juegos y antivirus pirateados que hacen furor en Cuba.
Ante las críticas, las autoridades aseguran que tienen control sobre Internet para proteger al país de ataques en línea. Según el viceministro de Comunicaciones, Wilfredo Gonzalez, en el último año y medio la isla ha sido victima de "ataques cibernéticos (...) desde miles de direcciones informáticas registradas en más de 150 naciones".
Un argumento insuficiente para Tatic Kelly, quien afirma que Cuba está muy lejos de ser uno de los países más afectados. Según un estudio del instituto Kaspersky, la nación sometida a más ataques es Rusia, muy adelante de Cuba, ubicada en el lugar 199.

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Bloquea el gobierno cubano sitio de la Revista de la Arquidiocesis de la Habana

Luego que la principal publicación católica de Cuba, Palabra Nueva - Revista de la Arquidiocesis de la Habana, señaló que la falta de cambios políticos en la isla es el principal obstáculo en las reformas económicas emprendidas por el gobernante Raúl Castro, no se puede acceder al sitio, en una presumible maniobra del regimen para silenciar a la publicacion, como se puede comprobar haciendo click Aqui >>, el cual devuelve un mensaje de "Service Unavailable".
“Si consideraciones políticas (…) no son también actualizadas, pocas posibilidades tienen de triunfar las reformas económicas y sociales”, advierte la revista del arzobispado de La Habana, que lidera el cardenal Jaime Ortega.

“Es necesario posibilitar mayores espacios de libertad, toda la libertad que contribuya al progreso material y espiritual de los ciudadanos y de la nación. Estamos a tiempo”, escribió en un artículo de su director Orlando Márquez.

“Aun la discriminatoria ley de inversión extranjera puede quedar a medias, y todo cuanto debe llevarnos a una situación de mayor prosperidad, independencia y soberanía económicas podría reducirse a palabras o letra impresa”, expresó, aludiendo a un ley dictada este año que ofrece ventajas a los capitales extranjeros pero excluye las inversiones de cubanos que viven en la isla.

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miércoles, noviembre 26, 2014

Cuba, entre los países menos conectados a Internet del mundo

Michel Suárez
Cuba empeoró dos puestos en el Índice de Desarrollo de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación 2014 (IDT) y sigue instalado en la lista de los países menos conectados del mundo.
"En particular, Cuba va a la zaga", afirma la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (UIT), que ubicó a la Isla en el lugar 125 en 2013, frente al 122 alcanzado en 2012.
Según el organismo, la penetración de la telefonía celular "es una de las más bajas del mundo y solo ha aumentado marginalmente" en el período 2012-2013. En este aspecto, los datos muestran un ascenso hasta los 17,7 suscriptores por cada cien habitantes (era de 14,9 en 2012).
Sin embargo, las líneas fijas apenas crecieron un 0,2%.
"La banda ancha es casi inexistente (penetración de menos del 1%) y los servicios wireless de banda ancha no estaban disponibles en 2013", continúa explicando la UIT.
En 2013, solo el 3,4% de los hogares cubanos contaba con acceso a internet. El dato muestra incluso un decrecimiento en comparación con el año anterior (3,8% en 2012).
En cambio, el número de computadoras subió ligeramente en las casas hasta el 12,7%, de acuerdo con el informe Medición de la Sociedad de la Información 2014.
En cuanto a las personas con acceso a internet, el informe recoge un aumento insignificante del 25,6% al 25,7%, aunque no aclara que la mayoría solo se conecta a una intranet nacional, fuertemente censurada por el régimen.
Sin voluntad política
"No hay ninguna mejoría, cada vez hay más censura, saturación y poca velocidad en la conexión a internet", señala desde la ciudad de Camagüey el informático Reyner Agüero, quien hace unos años fue expulsado de la Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas por motivos políticos.
Sin profundizar demasiado en la excepción cubana, la UIT explica las causas que, en su opinión, originan la penuria tecnológica: "La Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba tiene uno de los últimos monopolios estatales del sector en el mundo".
"Estos datos ratifican que las causas no son económicas ni tecnológicas. Lo que no hay es voluntad política", asegura desde Miami el experto en sistemas Oscar Visiedo, exdirector del estatal Centro de Intercambio Automatizado de Información (CENIAI). 
Visiedo repara en que el concepto "isla de los desconectados" es actualmente compartido por intelectuales, profesores, artistas y técnicos del país, "no importa de qué lado ideológico se ubiquen, en la oficialidad o en la oposición".
En septiembre pasado, la prensa oficial dijo que la Isla está "conectada" a internet y "persiste en mantenerse enlazada con el mundo", "a pesar" del embargo de Estados Unidos.
El cable de fibra óptica tendido entre la Isla, Venezuela y Jamaica cumplirá tres años en febrero próximo, pero su funcionamiento solo se ha notado en centros gubernamentales (medios de comunicación oficiales y aparato represivo) y en la apertura de algunas salas de navegación, a precios inaccesibles para la mayoría.
"Ni siquiera en la llamada carpeta de inversiones, divulgada recientemente, hay prioridad para el desarrollo de internet. No hay ningún interés en ello", afirma Oscar Visiedo.

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sábado, junio 21, 2014

Cuba: Autoriza a cooperativas no agropecuarias acceso a Internet

la nota no aclara si el acceso a precios exorbitantes es a Internet o a "internet". por otro lado que importancia puede tener el hecho para una cooperativa no agropecuaria mas alla de incurrir en gastos adicionales.
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Las cooperativas no agropecuarias (CNA) ya pueden acceder al servicio de Internet que presta la Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (Etecsa), que lo hará con su infraestructura propia.
Al realizar el contrato para recibir esos servicios, a las CNA se les exigirá, entre otros documentos, la presentación previa del contrato de prestación de servicio telefónico básico correspondiente al local ocupado por la cooperativa.
Según dicta la Resolución No. 396 de 2014 las del Ministerio de Comunicaciones, tales servicios se prestarán «solamente desde las facilidades de acceso existentes en los locales de las cooperativas no agropecuarias y solo para el uso de las mismas, por lo que resulta imposible su prestación a terceras personas».
La normativa, publicada ayer en la Gaceta Oficial No. 26 Ordinaria, agrega que Etecsa, «en la prestación de los servicios de acceso a Internet a las cooperativas no agropecuarias, aplica las tarifas vigentes para los servicios contratados con entidades del sector estatal».
Las CNA estarán obligadas, como usuarios de Internet, a cumplir con lo establecido en la legislación vigente del Ministerio de Comunicaciones.
El nuevo servicio también puede ser favorecido por otra resolución, la No. 397 de 2014, del Ministerio de Comunicaciones, también publicada en la edición ordinaria de ayer de la Gaceta Oficial.
La misma no se refiere en específico a esa prestación, está dedicada a incrementar el servicio de telefonía para las CNA, es decir, otra buena noticia para estas nuevas formas de gestión no estatal.
Las que no lo tienen, podrán tener teléfono y, por carambola, Internet —contrato y dinero mediante, por supuesto.
En específico, la Resolución No. 397 de 2014 autoriza a Etecsa, «de existir las condiciones tecnológicas, a instalar nuevos servicios telefónicos básicos a cooperativas no agropecuarias», a los cuales les serán aplicados «las tarifas vigentes en pesos convertibles (CUC)».
Al realizar el contrato, Etecsa exigirá a las CNA «los documentos que dispone la legislación específica para establecer relaciones jurídicas contractuales».

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jueves, junio 19, 2014

“Desbloqueo” masivo de sitios webs en Cuba: ¿indicios o error?

Varias páginas web que permanecían bloqueadas desde Cuba ya pueden ser visitadas en la Isla, desde hace pocas horas. Sin anuncios públicos previos, de pronto, se han abierto algunas puertas, aunque nadie puede estar seguro de si no se volverán a cerrar.
Sitios como Revolico.com, el más importante bazar virtual cubano, Skype, o Cubaencuentro, una revista digital editada desde España con una línea editorial desafecta al gobierno cubano, cargan sin contratiempos en los ordenadores conectados a Internet desde diferentes provincias y formas de conexión.
Al menos así se pudo constatar entre usuarios vinculados a la Educación Superior y la prensa –dos de los más importantes y masivos sectores conectados– y en provincias como Villa Clara, La Habana, Ciego de Ávila y la Isla de la Juventud.
Las sorpresas han sido muchas y las inferencias muy prolijas, con ironías incluidas. “URGENTE: Algún cable se quemó en algún lado -o finalmente entendieron que censurar NO es la solución- pero no están bloqueando páginas en Cuba”, avisaba un usuario en Facebook.
La noticia ha corrido entre personas conectadas, asiduos en las redes sociales. Muchos aprovechan la posibilidad de navegar por primera vez a contenidos a los que hasta ahora solo podía accederse utilizando proxys anónimos.
Elena Rodríguez, una joven de 25 años, especie de geek criolla que utiliza su conexión en su centro de trabajo para experimentar todo cuanto puede en la red, comentaba que no podía creer la posibilidad de usar Skype por primera vez desde la Isla. “Pude conversar con una amiga que está en Italia. Es muy emocionante emitir la primera palabra al mundo mundial”, dijo con entusiasmo.
Para todos es raro, aunque desde hace ya varios años en Cuba de un día para otro lo prohibido se vuelve permisible, la mayoría de las veces sin que ninguna autoridad de cuenta de las causas por las que en el pasado prevalecían las más diversas negativas.
Los cubanos vieron cómo, de súbito, en 2008, la prohibición de la compra de servicios de telefonía celular fue abolida, después de años de inexplicable veda. Ese mismo año el gobierno también autorizó la venta de computadoras en tiendas de recaudación de divisas y su importación por parte de personas naturales. En abril de 2012, mediante la Resolución 146/2012 del Ministerio de Comunicaciones, los cubanos pudieron empezar a pagar el acceso a Internet desde hoteles, un servicio hasta entonces solo destinado a extranjeros.
Hasta hoy, los motivos por el que se mantuvieron muchos de estos bloqueos aparentemente rectificados ahora, solo existen en el campo de la especulación. Los usuarios imaginan. “Al gobierno no le conviene que Revolico compita con las tiendas en dólares, y además ellos saben que ahí hay mucho cambalache”, dijo a Progreso Semanal, una especie de caza-fortunas, en Revolico.
Su “negocio” consiste en monitorear día por día las “gangas”, sobre todo en ropas vendidas al por mayor, para “alimentar” luego otros comercios, también subterráneos. Hasta ayer utilizaba una de las decenas de URLs alternativas que el team de Revolico.com se ha asegurado para posibilitar el acceso desde Cuba, burlando así la prohibición sobre su dominio principal.
Algunos otros sitios web “liberados”, como MartíNoticias y la citada Cubaencuentro, han sido presuntamente bloqueados en el pasado por su tendencia política. Es el caso de 14ymedio.com, el sitio recién inaugurado por la bloguera disidente cubana Yoani Sánchez que, en sus primeras horas fue redireccionado a yoanislandia.com, y que, sin embargo, hoy está completamente accesible.
En otras circunstancias, ante visitas de personalidades como el Papa Benedicto XVI (mayo de 2012), o eventos internacionales como la Cumbre de Países No Alineados (septiembre de 2006), las autoridades “aflojaron” estos bloqueos de contenidos web. De hecho, paulatinamente lo han venido haciendo, pero lo que sorprende ahora es el aluvión sin ningún “motivo”.
La posibilidad de acceder a Skype –aun con las lentas conexiones que predominan en la Isla– es una grata sorpresa, aún más si se tienen en cuenta recientes declaraciones del Director de Comunicación Institucional de ETECSA, sobre las llamadas por Internet –evasivas de los altísimos precios que tiene fijados la empresa para comunicaciones telefónicas internacionales–, como causa de pérdidas económicas.
En un foro abierto hoy en el sitio Cubasí –perteneciente a ETECSA–, la empresa reconoce que “una parte importante de las insatisfacciones y expectativas de nuestros clientes y de la población en general giran en torno a los precios y diversidad de ofertas del servicio celular y el acceso a internet.” A esto agrega que “en la medida que se desplieguen las inversiones necesarias, nuestra empresa podrá lograr índices cada vez más comparables en cuanto a calidad y desarrollo”.
La reciente apertura de accesos a ciertos sitios en Internet “congelados” en el pasado desde Cuba, pudiera indicar mucho o nada, en un país donde las políticas de comunicación, las nociones de derechos y deberes en cuanto al acceso a la información permanecen relativamente indefinidas y dan paso muchas veces a estrategias discrecionales.

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miércoles, mayo 21, 2014

Cuba bloquea 14ymedio, el periodico digital de Yoani Sánchez

LA HABANA, 21 de mayo.- El diario digital que la bloguera disidente cubana Yoani Sánchez lanzó este miércoles fue direccionado por desconocidos a una página que publica notas contrarias a ella o denuncia sus actividades.
Por la mañana se podía entrar a 14ymedio, como se denominó al periódico digital de información general, pero unas horas después en su lugar se ingresaba a una página llamada "Yoanilandia".
Este es sitio de un grupo de personas hartos de que Yoani Sánchez se presente como la Madre Teresa de Calcuta de los disidentes cubanos y el ciberfetiche de turno, mientras se esconden sus ambiciones políticas y económicas", expresó el sitio.
Aparentemente la intervención de la página se produjo sólo en Cuba, pues Grupo Imagen Multimedia pudo abrir el periódico en el exterior.
Esa página (Yoanilandia) existe desde hace tiempo", dijo en conversación telefónica con la agencia AP M. H. Lagarde, un bloguero cubano con posiciones cercanas al gobierno y uno de cuyos textos con una denuncia contra Sánchez aparece en mencionado portal.
Lagarde dijo desconocer a los autores del sitio, pero indicó que el artículo fue sacado de su bitácora como la de casi todos los que figuran allí.
Otros de los que aparecen con textos de críticas y denuncias sobre Sánchez o sus nexos con grupos en Estados Unidos no hicieron comentarios inmediatamente.
Varios llamados telefónicos a la bloguera tampoco fueron contestados, pero ella hizo comentarios sobre el direccionamiento de su periódico en su página de Twitter y culpó de ello a las autoridades.
Mala estrategia del gobierno cubano de redireccionar nuestra web http://14ymedio.com desde #Cuba nada hay más atractivo que lo prohibido", escribió en la red social.
Sánchez lanzó este miércoles el diario digital de interés general con el que busca contrastar la información en la isla, cuyos medios son mayoritariamente gubernamentales.
14ymedio arrancó con un reportaje sobre la sala de urgencias de un hospital capitalino y varias notas de opinión firmadas, una por la bloguera opositora Miriam Celaya y otra por el escritor residente en Nueva York, Vicente Echerri y salpicadas con datos sobre el clima en la isla, el precio de la carne de cerdo en un mercado capitalino y una cartelera de actividades recreativas.
14ymedio.com ha sido mi obsesión durante más de cuatro años. Primero sentí la necesidad de que naciera, para contribuir con su información a que los cubanos decidieran con mayor madurez su propio destino", escribió Sánchez en la nota de presentación del periódico, que según ella y sus colaboradores busca ofrecer información sin matices ideológicos o partidarios.
Esta no es la primera publicación en internet de activistas cubanos que buscan romper el monopolio del gobierno o sus organizaciones afines, pero probablemente será la más notoria al calor del nombre de su directora, quien se convirtió en una renombrada bloguera a través de su página Generación Y -creada en 2007-, de fuerte crítica al gobierno cubano.
Sánchez, de 38 años, obtuvo en 2008 el premio español Ortega y Gasset en la categoría digital y el Premio Internacional a las Mujeres de Coraje del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos en 2011. También fue mencionada por las revistas Time y Foreign Policy.
El gobierno cubano cataloga a los disidentes como agentes de grupos de interés orientados y pagados por ellos para destruir a la revolución. Sánchez, en particular, fue centro de muchas críticas de las autoridades que la consideran un producto de Estados Unidos y Europa.
Reinaldo Escobar, esposo de Sánchez y editor en jefe del nuevo medio, comentó a la agencia AP que en el diario trabajaban 11 personas -incluyendo a ellos dos- y que será un periódico con actualización diaria en la red y un semanario en PDF. 14ymedio es financiado por inversionistas independientes, nacionales y extranjeros y tiene fondos suficientes para un año, agregó Escobar.
El gobierno no ha hecho hasta ahora comentarios sobre el emprendimiento.
Los medio de comunicación son estatales en Cuba y la ley sanciona la distribución de información que pueda considerar enemiga.

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viernes, mayo 16, 2014

Cuba mobile email experiment causes chaos

visiondesdecuba.com
HAVANA — On an island where most people have no Internet access, the arrival of mobile phone email service was embraced with joy.
Tens of thousands of Cubans began emailing like crazy in March — for days, until the service started to fail, taking much of Cuba’s already shaky voice and text-messaging mobile service down with it
The island’s aging cellphone towers became swamped by the new flood of email traffic, creating havoc for anyone trying to use the system. Users had to make eight or nine attempts to successfully send an email. Even voice calls by non-subscribers’ began to drop mid-conversation. Callers sounded like they were phoning from the bottom of the sea. Ordinary text messages arrived days late, or not at all.
Since then, the state telecom monopoly Etecsa has issued a rare apology and the troubles have eased. But problems with the service, dubbed Nauta, offer a rare window into the Internet in Cuba, where the digital age has been achingly slow to spread since arriving in 1996, leaving the country virtually isolated from the world of streaming video, photo-sharing and 4G cellphones.
Cuba’s government blames the technological problems on a U.S. embargo that prevents most American businesses from selling products to the Caribbean country. Critics of the government say it deliberately strangles the Internet to halt the spread of dissent. Other observers offer a less political explanation: a government desperate for foreign exchange is investing little in infrastructure improvements while extracting as much revenue as possible from communications services largely paid for by Cubans’ wealthier overseas relatives.
Experts say that last explanation appears to be the primary culprit in the case of Nauta, in which the government tried to open connections with the world but floundered due to apparent poor planning and underinvestment.
“Cuba is extremely broke,” said Larry Press, a professor of information systems and expert on Cuban telecommunications at California State University, Dominguez Hills. “If they had access to tons of capital they would probably expand (Internet service) further.”
About 100,000 people — around 5 percent of Cuban cellphone users — had subscribed to the service even though it cost 50 times that of many U.S. data plans.
Radio scriptwriter Lisandra Ayala, 36, stood in line for hours in March outside an Etecsa office, dreaming of zipping emails back and forth with her favorite cousin in Canada. Like many Cubans, she has long had a smartphone — a status symbol frequently brought in by visiting relatives.
She paid $1.50 to sign up for a Nauta contract that was supposed to let her send emails with the ability to attach photos, but not send video or check the Web. Even the price of $1 per megabyte, many times higher than in virtually any developed country, didn’t deter her.
“I was so excited at first, but then the experience turned into a total disaster,” Ayala said. After a week of decent service, she found it impossible to open the icon for Nauta without trying at least six times; voice calls dropped or didn’t go through and text messages disappeared mid-air.
“We have been preparing for more than a year,” Hilda Arias, director of Etecsa, told official media late last month. “Customers’ expectations really exceeded our vision ... this provoked an overload.”
She promised that the situation would improve, albeit slowly.
With cellular rates as high as 35 cents a minute for domestic calls, Etecsa earned roughly $500 million last year, revenue that’s been rising slowly since 2008, according to Emilio Morales, a systems engineer who heads the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group, a private consultant that analyzes Cuba’s scanty public information about government revenues and operations to produce estimates widely considered reliable by Cuba-watchers.
“There are few businesses in Cuba that work as well as Etecsa,” he said.
The group’s studies show that 54 percent of payments to Etecsa come directly from the Cuban diaspora. Morales believes Cubans pay much of the rest out of the estimated $2.6 billion a year in remittances from abroad. And, while most state workers only make $20 a month, a new class of roughly 400,000 independent businessmen and their employees also make heavy use of cellphones for advertising with text-message as well as ordinary business calls.
Authorities here say they are trying to offer a range of new Internet services by year’s end, including mobile Web access and unrestricted home Internet access, currently limited to select government officials and employees of foreign businesses and embassies.
But customers remain wary.
“Nauta failed and stopped the whole mobile communication system from working properly,” said Indira Perez, a 24-year-old university employee “If they don’t prepare themselves better when they want to broaden Internet access, it’s going to be total chaos.”



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lunes, abril 14, 2014

Zunzuneo e hipocresía - Montaner

El Blog de Montaner
La AP lo reveló hace unos días. Estados Unidos, por medio de USAID, creó una red para que los cubanos pudieran comunicarse por medio de Internet. (¡Bravo!) Esa red, llamada Zunzuneo, estuvo funcionando hasta hace un par de años y alcanzó cierto éxito. Unos 68 000 cubanos se vincularon a ella. La dictadura de los Castro protestó ofendida ante la noticia. Aparentemente, se había violado su soberanía.
Hay una gran hipocresía en todo esto. Es cierto que Estados Unidos ayuda a los demócratas de la oposición proporcionándoles algunos medios pacíficos para tratar de inducir cambios en ese régimen. ¿Qué menos puede hacer contra un tenaz enemigo situado a 90 millas de sus costas, que lleva 55 años perjudicando sus intereses, desacreditando su modelo de sociedad y asociándose con todos los elementos que pretenden destruir el tipo de Estado que libremente se ha dado la mayoría de los estadounidenses?

La dictadura cubana confiscó numerosas empresas norteamericanas sin compensar a sus propietarios. Envió guerrillas y terroristas a medio planeta, esfuerzos subversivos que comenzaron desde 1959 con la expedición a Panamá, antes de que Washington reaccionara auspiciando a los invasores de Bahía de Cochinos y luego algunos sabotajes y operaciones encubiertas.
El gobierno de los Castro conspiró con los “panteras negras”, con los “macheteros” de Puerto Rico y con los narcotraficantes que inundaban de droga el territorio americano. Convirtió a Cuba en un peligroso satélite soviético, y en 1962, durante la Crisis de los Misiles, Fidel le pidió al Premier soviético que enviara los misiles nucleares contra Estados Unidos.
Desde que se instaló la revolución, más de un 20% de la población cubana se ha trasladado a Estados Unidos. Durante el éxodo de Mariel, cuando escaparon de la Isla 125 000 personas, el gobierno comunista camufló entre ellas unos 20 000 delincuentes, psicópatas y criminales sacados de las cárceles, a sabiendas de que asesinarían a muchas personas inocentes.
Ante semejante vecino, ¿qué menos puede hacer Estados Unidos que tratar de inducir cambios para que en la Isla se instale un gobierno amistoso que deje de comportarse de la manera en que lo hace Cuba? Un gobierno sereno y razonable, como sucede con casi toda América Latina, con el cual se pueda tener una convivencia normal.
¿No se debe intentar erradicar a un régimen capaz de enviarle armas y municiones nada menos que a Corea del Norte, o que se asocia con Irán y Venezuela para revivir una nueva versión de la Guerra Fría y perjudicar a Estados Unidos? ¿O es que la no injerencia sólo es válida para paralizar a las democracias?
Se podrá esgrimir “el derecho a la libre determinación” de los países, o el de “no injerencia en los asuntos internos de las otras naciones”, pero la verdad es que el gobierno cubano ha proclamado su derecho a ejercer el “internacionalismo revolucionario”, de donde se desprende que debe existir el derecho al “internacionalismo democrático”.
Si el gobierno de La Habana se arroga el derecho a  instalar en el poder a radicales enemigos de Estados Unidos, ¿no tiene Washington la obligación moral de tratar de hacer lo mismo con sus tenaces adversarios? Cuba no puede operar con unas reglas y esperar que su adversario suscribe otras diferentes, mucho más benignas.
Además, ¿cómo puede condenarse el hecho de que Estados Unidos ayude a los cubanos a informar y a informarse, si se admite la existencia universal del derecho a la libertad de expresión? Lo que es realmente vergonzoso es que ningún país latinoamericano auxilie a los demócratas cubanos. Eso sí es triste.
No hay delito alguno en propiciar el zunzuneo de los cubanos. El delito, cometido por el gobierno de los Castro, está en negarles el acceso a Internet, en prohibirles que vean la televisión internacional –persiguen las antenas—o que escuchen la radio de onda corta. El delito está en la dictadura totalitaria. Y también, claro, en la hipocresía.

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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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