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A Strategy For Attaining Cuban Internet Connectivity

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the about-time-and-overdue dept.

The Internet 119

lpress writes "In the mid 1990s, there was debate within the Cuban government about the Internet. A combination of pressure from the U.S. trade embargo, the financial crisis brought on by the collapse of the Soviet Union and fear of free expression led to a decision to limit Internet access. This has left Cuba with sparse, antiquated domestic infrastructure today. Could the government improve the situation if they decided to do so? They don't have sufficient funds to build out modern infrastructure and foreign investment through privatization of telecommunication would be difficult to obtain. Furthermore, that strategy has not benefited the people in other developing nations. A decentralized strategy using a large number of satellite links could quickly bootstrap the Cuban Internet. Decentralized funding and control of infrastructure has been an effective transitional strategy in other cases, for example, with the NSFNET in the U.S. or the Grameen Phone ladies in Bangladesh. This proposal would face political roadblocks in both the US and Cuba; however, change is being considered in the U.S. and the Castro government has been experimenting with small business and they have begun allowing communication agents to sell telephone and Internet time. It might just work — as saying goes "Be realistic. Demand the impossible.""

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Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240161)

Sucks

Control vs. Prosperity (4, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 8 months ago | (#46240169)

Allowing Internet connectivity reduces the centralized control that a totalitarian Communist system requires in order to protect the leaders and the system itself from the inconvenience of reality.

Will it be useful? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240193)

I question if Cuban internet access will even be useful to them. With beta, is there even an internet worth looking at?

Re: Will it be useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240339)

they need to focus on building better rafts.

Re: Will it be useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242471)

Cubans dont need a raft to leave Cuba. They just buy an airplane ticket. Once they are here, they can apply for residency immediately. After 5 years of residency they can become a citizen. They can fly back and forth to Cuba to visit whenever they want--without the restrictions that I, as a native born citizen of the US have.

Now only highly educated people like doctors might have problems getting an exit visa--because Cuba doesn't want all its doctors leaving to make the big money in the US.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240295)

"totalitarian Communist system"
You have no fucking clue what a communist system entails do you?
Cuba, as the USSR, and as China are socialist countries, not communist, there's a HUGE difference.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240383)

They also arn't socialist

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

mc6809e (214243) | about 8 months ago | (#46240461)

It's hard to know anymore what anyone really means when they use the terms "communist" and "socialist".

Marx used both of them to refer to societies where the means of production were collectively owned, where socialism was a transitional period before full communism.

In practice, collective ownership has meant state ownership.

Are you suggesting that it's the form of state ownership that distinguishes socialism from communism?

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46240583)

Don't even argue. He's just an assclown repeating 'no true Scotsman'.

Communism is the system of government practiced by self described communists. Old books full of fallacies (the manifesto) don't even enter into the argument. Communism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240609)

Communism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

The exact same is true of Capitalism.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#46241107)

Except its not.

Tell me, if the exact same thing is true of capitalism, then why is it that all of the self identified capitalist societies have the highest education rates, highest literacy rates, and highest standards of living for everybody overall?

Compare that to self identified socialist states where quality of life and education are the worst. Notice how as China has been sliding away from socialism and more towards capitalism, the quality of life and individual liberties have improved.

Another example: North Korea chose communism, South Korea chose capitalism. South Vietnam chose capitalism and when the North took over, they were forced into education camps followed by being forced into doing free labor for no reward other than the supposed "greater good." Vietnam has only recently begun to embrace capitalism again, and their economy is beginning to grow.

Look at Venezuela where the glorious socialist revolution has caused that country to fall into its current period where people have the fewest freedoms they've ever had, to the near point where the president is almost a dictator, and death by murder is more common there than Iraq. Cuba used to be capitalist as well, and look at how poor they became once the "great socialist revolution" occurred.

Yes, capitalism has its faults, and no system is perfect, but anybody who thinks socialism is any better than capitalism is dumber than a young world creationist. The evidence against that idea is so strong yet they are just flat out oblivious to it because it conflicts with their ideology of out things "ought to be."

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 8 months ago | (#46241777)

Vietnam has a high standard of education. Overseas students from Vietnam definitely show up at Australian universities with better high school education than the locally educated kids. In my experience, the USSR delivered some highly educated people as well.

It's hardly fair to ignore external factors that affect quality of life in Vietnam. They had the shit bombed out of them by the US and a lot of farmland destroyed with Agent Orange. Then they had the drain on their economy of cleaning up Cambodia in the wake of Pol Pot. Communism is a factor, but hardly the only one.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242397)

Have you ever entertained the thought that some sort of selection bias is going on in here - it would make sense that only the smartest and brightest Vietnamese get to go to school overseas in the first place.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1, Insightful)

iris-n (1276146) | about 8 months ago | (#46241819)

Sweden also chose socialism. Look at the shithole it has become.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46241969)

Sweden is a capitalist welfare state. Which isn't a trouble free situation but is not full on Marxism derived thinking.

Are you one of those 'Socialism evil, EVIL' people? It's not socialism unless the 'people own the means of production'.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

iris-n (1276146) | about 8 months ago | (#46242135)

That was a sarcastic answer to GP; I'm not one of these people, I think Sweden is a great country, and I'm fact gonna visit there in two weeks.

I'm aware that yours is the "correct" definition of socialism, but you should also taking into account that the definition is very much culture-dependent. People in Europe usually refer to Sweden as socialist, and I'm happy to go along, since the old form of socialsm doesn't exist anymore in Europe.

Swedens Socialism (1)

voss (52565) | about 8 months ago | (#46243875)

Sponsored by Volvo and Ikea...we feed the world one meatball at a time.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

iris-n (1276146) | about 8 months ago | (#46241843)

You should do some research on how Cuba was before the revolution. People don't revolt for nothing, you know? Although it's undeniable that today Cuba is quite poor (partly because of their own economic mismanagement, partly because of the US embargo), it is still in a better shape than it was under Fulgencio Batista. At least the people now have universal access to health and education.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242633)

North and South Korea didn't "choose" communism and capitalism. Two halves of Korea were occupied by the Soviet Union and the United States respectively at the end of the second world war. Rather than letting the people of Korea figure anything out for themselves they were catapulted into the Korean War. Then South Korea endured years of harsh authoritarian rule while pursuing capitalism and industrialization. Much of this has to do with coercive US-Korea relations... so it's not always a matter of socialism v. capitalism. All over the world, the United States is trying to keep a hold over its economic hegemony.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46242815)

Except its not.

Tell me, if the exact same thing is true of capitalism, then why is it that all of the self identified capitalist societies have the highest education rates, highest literacy rates, and highest standards of living for everybody overall?

Actually it is.

There aren't any pure capitalist societies, unlike communism which started and failed, pure capitalist societies never ever got off the ground.

Western economies are mixed economies, neither pure capitalist or socialist, rather a mix of the two and this is why they are so successful. Capitalism and Communism are limited ideologies incapable of change or accommodating anything out of their limited ideologies. This is why communism failed and pure capitalism (libertarianism) has never even started.

Also, you've failed to explain why the "evil socialist" Nordic states have some of the highest living standards in the world (including amongst western nations).

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#46242975)

You don't even know what socialism is. Socialism means that there's no private ownership of the factors of production; either a government entity controls it or people just work "for the greater good". The first is socialism, the second is communism. The second has never, ever even started. Even communes like the Icarians still effectively had their own governing system that controlled it. Marx basically predicted that these communes would turn into the later scenario and there would be no need for central planning. That never actually happened anywhere. This is why when people say communism looks great on paper, they mean that because it literally has never existed off of paper.

Nordic countries don't follow either of these, by the way. They're just capitalist countries with a strong welfare system. The government doesn't issue orders to citizens to build houses or farm crops and then give it away to somebody else for free, and then claim that everything you own belongs to everybody else. They might take your money at gunpoint and give it to somebody else and call it a tax, but so does the mafia (though mafia prefers the term "protection money.") Yet I don't think the mafia claims to be socialist.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46243519)

You don't even know what socialism is

You seem to have me confused with yourself.

Socialism means that there's no private ownership of the factors of production

Nope, here you demonstrate you dont know what socialism is. Socialism is covers a very broad range of ideologies from co-operative enterprise to state ownership.

Nordic countries don't follow either of these, by the way.

Nordic countries, much like the rest of the western world use a mixed economy, neither capitalist nor communist and they do tend to have a lot more co-operative enterprise than most nations. Whether this is good or bad depends on your own philosophy but it works for the Swedes, Finns and Norwegians so I wish them luck.

You cant change the meaning of words to suit your narrow view.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242835)

Canada is a socialist country. We have a better standard of living, better health care, and better education than America. So, yeah, your argument doesn't hold any water.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 8 months ago | (#46242927)

No, it's not. It's a capitalist welfare state. In socialism the factors of production are controlled by a government entity and/or aren't owned by private individuals.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

slart42 (694765) | about 8 months ago | (#46243853)

Tell me, if the exact same thing is true of capitalism, then why is it that all of the self identified capitalist societies have the highest education rates, highest literacy rates, and highest standards of living for everybody overall?

"Education rates" and "Standards of living" or somewhat subjective and thus hard to compare (though I guess what you say is true for many countries, with notable exceptions). "Literacy rates" are hard comparable numbers, and looking at that Cuba is not doing bad:

Literacy in Cuba 99.8%
Literacy in US 99%

Source: CIA World fact book: https://www.cia.gov/library/pu... [cia.gov]

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46242787)

Communism inevitably leads to totalitarianism. Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

The exact same is true of Capitalism.

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's the other way around.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 months ago | (#46240627)

Because communism concentrates power and power corrupts.

And what does capitalism do?

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240981)

And what does capitalism do?

Hush. Nobody like a smart ass.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46241017)

In Capitalist countries, office holders and policy makers get voted out of office occasionally.

(And before you say (as I know you intended to) that there is no difference between the parties, just scan a few threads here on Slashdem to see all the anti republican rants. There seems to be a lot of difference in many people's minds.)

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241451)

In Capitalist countries, office holders and policy makers get voted out of office occasionally.

So the best we can argue these days is:

$COUNTRY is worse...
$COUNTRY used to be worse...
but Stalin...
It's legal...
Can't tell, national security...
*Occaisionally* people get to choose... :(

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46241991)

Better then your argument:

$System is imperfect. We can imagine a better one, even though it's failed every time it's been tried.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

Darktan (817653) | about 8 months ago | (#46241561)

Wait. What does Capitalism have to do with democracy? Some Capitalist countries, especially the richest ones, are democratic, but democracy is by no means a required part of the Capitalist economic system.

A better statement might be to say that central planning of economies doesn't work. While central planning is a typical feature of Communism, they aren't always the same thing.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46242019)

Granting Central planning is the biggest problem with socialism, it's not the only one. It is the factor that makes 'Libertarian Socialist' an oxymoron.

You can't have Capitalism without markets. You can't have markets without free economic actors with their own interests.

Reviewing history: 'Capitalism' in totalitarian states is a pale shadow of its free form. Weak growth, squandered resources.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 8 months ago | (#46241617)

"The only universal medicine (Marxists) have for social evils - State ownership of the means of production - is not only perfectly compatible with all the disasters of the capitalist world: with exploitation, imperialism, pollution, misery, economic waste, national hatred and national oppression, but it adds to them a series of disasters of its own: inefficiency, lack of economic incentives and above all the unrestricted rule of the omnipresent bureaucracy, a concentration of power never before known in human history".
-- Leszek Kolakowski

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46243133)

puts money in my pocket and gives me freedom

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

Zeinfeld (263942) | about 8 months ago | (#46241413)

What I find problematic with that mode of argument is that it tends to turn McCarthyite very quickly. Castro attempted to cut a deal with the US before going to the Soviets, he is rather less committed to communism than either his supporters or his opponents believe. He also gave the CIA the location of Che Guavera when he decided he was a liability. So there has been a basis for cooperation for a long time.

The list of crimes committed by US Presidents panicking about communism is very long. Snuffing out a democracy in Iran to replace it with a bloodthirsty dictator, supporting the Khumer Rouge after Vietnam ejected them, installing Pinochet, a mass murderer in Chile. George W Bush just managed to cause the deaths of a half million Iraqis and wonders why he isn't being praised for his efforts.

The problem isn't capitalism of communism, the problem is authoritarianism and elites who believe that brute force is the solution to every problem. Castro is a thug and a murderer but its the US who set up a torture chamber in Cuba.

Since the US government has been spending a large amount of money to get the Internet into Cuba, giving them a pipe and letting them rip with it seems like the best way forward. They will try to control it but everyone knows that Cuba is going to liberalize in the near future.

The logical way forward would be for the US to lift the blockade and let the commerce flood in. The communist system would collapse pretty quickly when there was money to be made. But the problem is that there is a faction that is less interested in bringing democracy to cuba as returning their assets that were nationalized. Since they stole the assets under the corrupt Batista regime, there aren't going to be many interested in that happening.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 8 months ago | (#46241789)

In America, a socialist is a person who wishes to spend money on anything other than the military.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240469)

En Español:
"Socialismo es Comunismo". Pronounced by Fidel Castro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHZoR1KCG3A
Feel free to translate to English.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#46240483)

You must be from the US.
Opinionated on the world, yet totally clueless about your own environs.
Good luck living your dream.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#46240555)

Allowing Internet connectivity reduces the centralized control that a totalitarian Communist system requires in order to protect the leaders and the system itself from the inconvenience of reality.

Whereas in other countries we apparently use distributed control in order to protect the leaders and the system from the inconvenience of reality.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

isorox (205688) | about 8 months ago | (#46240797)

Allowing Internet connectivity reduces the centralized control that a totalitarian Communist system requires in order to protect the leaders and the system itself from the inconvenience of reality.

It's OK, the cable companies and telcos are trying their hardest to put the genie back in the bottle.

Re: Control vs. Prosperity (1)

fygment (444210) | about 8 months ago | (#46241187)

Right ... like China, Egypt, Russia, ... oh, and the US. And yet, the increased connectivity in each is allowing the public in each a greater hand in their own governance by allowing freedom if speech.

Re: Control vs. Prosperity (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 8 months ago | (#46241289)

And yet, the increased connectivity in each is allowing the public in each a greater hand in their own governance by allowing freedom if speech.

Which was GP's point, I think. I doubt very seriously that whichever Castro is running things now is all that interested in...how did you put it?

Oh, yeah, " the increased connectivity in each is allowing the public in each a greater hand in their own governance by allowing freedom if speech"....

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 8 months ago | (#46242289)

I just read a very interesting article, that proposes the thought that BitCoin is not money, it's the internet of money [theumlaut.com] . If the writer is correct, bitcoin's protocol and scripting system has the potential to break every government's (and banking system's) monopoly on the control of financial transactions. It could have a similar effect on financial transactions to the effects HTML and HTTP have had on information 'ownership' and transfer. IOW, their business models may have already been sunk. This has enormous unintended - really unknown - consequences.

For those who have not read the original Sakamoto Bitcoin paper, see Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System [bitcoin.org] . According to my company's head, who _really_ knows this stuff, almost nothing you read about Bitcoin is really correct - this paper lays it all out in very concise, complete detail. And he agrees (at least in principle) with the first article.

As for my particular interest in space development and space commerce, the bitcoin protocol may be one of the enabling technologies for space commerce, as it allows provable transactions and related actions over a remote data link - no need to ship a piece of paper, or a fax, to confirm a contract.

Re:Control vs. Prosperity (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 8 months ago | (#46244181)

Allowing Internet connectivity reduces the centralized control that a totalitarian Communist system requires in order to protect the leaders and the system itself from the inconvenience of reality.

It hasn't reduced the protection of our corrupt oligarchy here in the Capitalist world. Quite the opposite, gave them one more tool to spy and control us.

Not going to help (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 months ago | (#46240189)

The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth from when they were Battista cronies, have a serious hate-on for Cuba. Until the Castros are dead and Cuba is a slathering U.S. lapdog, the U.S. and CIA will actively sabotage any development there.

Re:Not going to help (0)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about 8 months ago | (#46240233)

If only i had mod points...

Re:Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240465)

Second & Third the motion... The Cuban people are pawns in a Machiavellian-Rube Goldberg political construct.

Re:Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240281)

The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth from when they were Battista cronies, have a serious hate-on for Cuba. Until the Castros are dead and Cuba is a slathering U.S. lapdog, the U.S. and CIA will actively sabotage any development there.

This is it exactly. Why would we want them to have internet anything? We are just waiting for the government to burn itself out so we can turn it into a US provincial territory like puerto rico, set up some nice resorts and reduce the GITMO staff to just the prison guards.

Re:Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240365)

We are just waiting for the government to burn itself out so we can turn it into a US provincial territory like puerto rico, set up some nice resorts

Cuba has some nice resorts.

And the nicest thing about them is there's no fucking Americans stinking up the place by acting like they own it.

Re:Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240447)

Best 2 vacations I've ever had were in Cuba and no Yanks anywhere around to ruin it.

Re: Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241331)

Hear hear .. Been to Cuba many times. Best damn vacations ever without the loud whiney yanks complaining they couldn't get their hot dogs and natchos.

Re:Not going to help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240445)

The U.S. may still be a bit "pissed" as you say, from the time when Castro wanted very seriously, to nuke the U.S.

Re:Not going to help (2)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 months ago | (#46240599)

Ah yes, just like Saddam Hussein.

Re:Not going to help (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240623)

Your "knowledge" of history is somewhat mistaken. The reason Castro was driven to looking for help from the USSR was the stupid attitude of the USA. That help had a cost, which was the placement of nukes. The Cuban missile crisis was the result of America's attitude to Cuba and Castro, not a planned event by Castro. Wise up and learn what actually happened rather than through the filter of "USA! USA! USA!"

Re:Not going to help (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46242185)

Putting nukes in Cuba was just a predictable chess move to counter the American nukes in Turkey.

Pulling both back was the only sane move. Why would anybody want to put their enemy into a position that they _had_ to fire their nukes on launch detection? The same thing played out in reverse in the 80s in Europe. (Thank god for Vasili Arkhipov. May his family prosper.)

The details in Cuba were to say the least interesting. People give Kennedy too much credit and not enough blame for the missile crisis. Ordering the invasion in the first place was _insane_. Putting medium range nukes in Turkey was, at least, provocative. That may have been on Ike.

It takes incidents that those for both sides to stop thinking they could win. I worry about Pakistan and India a lot. The MAD phase. Weird kind of cultural puberty. Looking back, the amount of emphasis on 'pride' by both the Russians and Americans looks like middle school.

I dunno... it's just crazy enough it could work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240477)

But wouldn't Cuban internet be good for the US total surveillance society? Must be easier than people on the ground.

Meanwhile I'm sure the top men in Cuba hasn't been blind to the marvelous possibilities afforded such total surveillance on their end either.

Seems like the US and Cuba would have a common interest here.

Re:Not going to help (2)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 8 months ago | (#46240909)

The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth...

When Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1988, he and Fidel Castro went on a boat tour of the harbor in Havana. About half way through the tour, the boat sank. Fidel picked up the pope and carried him back to shore, walking on the water the entire way.

The next day, the newspaper headline in Tribuna de La Habana read "Castro Displays Superiority of Socialist Man".

The newspaper headline in L'Osservatore Romano read "Pope Helps Fidel Perform Miracle".

The newspaper headline in the Miami Herald read "Fidel: Can't Even Swim".

Re:Not going to help (1)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#46241329)

That would be funny if Fidel Castro had ever accomplished anything except murdering people, stealing property, and fooling a bunch of left-wing Westerners into thinking he had a working Communist paradise.

Re:Not going to help (1)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 8 months ago | (#46241631)

I am certainly no fan of Castro's, but I do not blindly hate the man and froth at the mouth every time his name is mentioned. While I do not think it is worth anywhere near the price the people have paid, there are some things that Cuba does get right.

Look at this page from the CIA World Fact Book [cia.gov] and look at the relative positions of the US and Cuba.

Re:Not going to help (1)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46241133)

The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth from when they were Battista cronies, have a serious hate-on for Cuba. Until the Castros are dead and Cuba is a slathering U.S. lapdog, the U.S. and CIA will actively sabotage any development there.

This is idiotic old school thinking.

Establishing open internet connections changes users perspective, it is seductive beyond any ability to control. China is a perfect example. In spite of having enough people to build and maintain the great firewall of China, it has been largely ineffective, and the people have seen and adopted world views. The entire country has and is changing and even those in power see little point in preventing free access to world news (as long as it doesn't tie to any key hot buttons like Tiananmen Square, etc.

The same would happen in Cuba, only faster, because they have neither the people or the expertise to throw at firewalling. The west knows this. So does the Cuban government. It is not the west that is standing in the way.

Given the opportunity, the US (not to mention major US corporations) would hang free wifi on every street corner in the country. The current regime would last maybe 8 years after that.

Re:Not going to help (1)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#46241313)

bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth

The Castros stole the private property of citizens and foreigners, alike.

Until the Castros are dead and Cuba is a slathering U.S. lapdog

Nice strawman. Regardless, it would STILL be better for the citizens than what they have now.

Re:Not going to help (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241355)

The Castros stole the private property of citizens and foreigners, alike.

So did Mao in China. But you don't see the Chinese-exile hate mongering community. They've moved on. Cuban "exiles", on the other hand, would torpedo anything that would improve actual conditions of people in Cuba. Cut your nose off to spite the face kind of a deal.

Re:Not going to help (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 months ago | (#46243439)

The U.S.. and a bunch of exiles still pissed about losing their wealth from when they were Battista cronies, have a serious hate-on for Cuba.

Cuba is an island ninety miles off the US coast whose primary source of income is tourism. How do you propose to keep Cuba from falling back into orbit with the US?

Venezuela props up the regime, but Venezuela is dead on its feet.

In early 2013, Venezuela devalued its currency due to growing shortages in the country. The shortages included necessities such as toilet paper, milk, and flour. Fears rose so high due to the toilet paper shortage that the government occupied a toilet paper factory. Venezuela's bond ratings have also decreased multiple times in 2013 due to decisions by the president Nicolas Maduro. One of his decisions was to force stores and their warehouses to sell all of their products, which may lead to even more shortages in the future. Venezuela's outlook has also been deemed negative by most bond-rating services. According to a Johns Hopkins University professor, Venezuela had a 297% implied inflation rate for 2013.

Venezuela [wikipedia.org]

running out of crooked little fingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240217)

WMD on credit genociders dilemma http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=www+censorship&sm=3 never a better time to consider ourselves in relation to each other, our spirits & our creational new clear options. see you there...

The Cuban Landline (4, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | about 8 months ago | (#46240237)

Cuba recently (last 18 months) had an undersea line laid from Cuba to Venezuela. Previously they could only connect via Satellite link.

Re:The Cuban Landline (2)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about 8 months ago | (#46240343)

And they could share the cost of satelite communication with the Bolivian government which just launched it's own satelite.

And if they start with providing enough connectivity for a couple of business hubs (wich means a couple of ethernet cables and wifi) they could try to use it to boost their economy, and if it works it will pay for itself.
If it does not work, then they will feel that they do not really need it (and since easy access to youtube and facebook will not really help the common cuban citizen anyway, it will be somewhat true).

Hopefully they'll find some way out of the current conumdrum withouth going back to batista times...

Re:The Cuban Landline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240481)

the problem is that it that content the covernment doesn't like gets censored and it is priced so that only foreigners and well connected cubans can use it. An hour or internet use costs the equivalent of a week of work for most cubans

Re:The Cuban Landline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240489)

And they are using this fiber-link to run alternate datacenters to manipulate elections and to spy on military and civilian targets in Venezuela.

Re:The Cuban Landline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240659)

What a wasted opportunity. It would have been much cheaper for the Cubans to connect to the US. And much easier to tape for the NSA. What's not to like?

Re:The Cuban Landline (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46242213)

They have to tap a certain number of undersea lines/year just to keep in training. The submarines are a sunk cost.

Re:The Cuban Landline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240709)

I don't think people are quite understanding this. Cuba has great internet access. The problem is the government strictly controls how it is used. Previous to the landline it was only via Satellite which still provided lots of bandwidth, just had high latency. The internet cafes and such are still routed over satellite only government access is routed over the landline.

Connectivity isn't the problem. Getting access to the existing infrastructure is the problem.

I don't believe in Cuba. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240321)

It is a myth. I don't know anyone who has been there. I haven't been there. Prove to me that there is such a place as "Cuba".

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240395)

I'm Cuban you insensitive clod!

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (1)

Grisstle (2798631) | about 8 months ago | (#46240475)

I've been there, and I will be there again by this time Saturday. I can hardly fucking wait, I'm so sick of winter! Oh and I have pics to prove I was there.

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#46240885)

Rent a boat in Key West and sail it due south. Let us know if you bump into anything.

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 8 months ago | (#46241357)

Just a conspiracy of cartographers, then?

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241379)

It is a myth. I don't know anyone who has been there. I haven't been there. Prove to me that there is such a place as "Cuba".

Where do you think the cigars and refugees come from?

Re:I don't believe in Cuba. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 8 months ago | (#46242281)

I believe most 'Cuban' cigars are remarked 'Hondurans' (don't ever go to www.justfakes.com). Not sure about the refugees. If I was on a boat coming from Haiti, I'd claim to be Cuban.

Why are you so fucking stupid? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240401)

Cuba is a totalitarian communist dictatorship [worldaffairsjournal.org] . That dictatorship has absolutely no interest in a decentralized Internet solution. Cuba's police state was set up by Che Guevara [worldaffairsjournal.org] , who modeled it on that of his NKVD/KGB tutor, Lavrenty Beria.

The communist government has exactly zero interest in "decentralization."

Re: Why are you so fucking stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241343)

I had plenty of internet when I was there. Twice. No Americans too.
    Gawd I hope it stays the way it is...

Re: Why are you so fucking stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242297)

If you were in Cuba that means you weren't in the US. It would be great if you kept it that way.

loving the new beta... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240435)

Just want to say, beta is really floating my boat right now. All the greybeard whiners have gone off on their silly 'boycott', leaving the a quality slashdot audience here to enjoy the site. Let's face it, we're the future! Hip, younger, more sociable, more trend-orientated and 100% more employable than the old crowd. Dice knows where their future revenue comes from and they know it isn't with the oldsters.

Back to beta. I have a few suggestions that would really improve things even further and hopefully will make it into the final slashdot 'release':

-Slightly larger font and font spacing between lines. A lot of us read on HD tablets don't forget!
-More content that is relevant and engaging with today's IT crowd - so topics like ruby on rails, PHP, wordpress plugins, apple products, SEO. And less stuff on boring out-of-date technologies like UniX and Sun.
-More comment posting formats - like inline images, youtube vid embeds, code containers etc.
-Less comment nesting - say 2 or 3 max, to make viewing on smartphones more comfortable
-Lose the 1990s scheme! Seriously, teal? Take a look at apple or microsoft's website if you want some perfection in design with modern web standards.
-Make slashdot more social - like integrated facebook and twitter feeds on the left hand side of the page from the top 10 users or something.

Thanks! Joey.

Re:loving the new beta... (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#46240517)

Take a look at apple or microsoft's website if you want some perfection.

You must be new here. You can't be *both* an Apple and a Microsoft fanboy; you must choose sides.

Re:loving the new beta... (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 8 months ago | (#46241455)

Well done, I got down to your third bullet before I realised you were trolling. Try to get in a little earlier for more exposure next time.

Cuba (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 8 months ago | (#46240463)

For help, Turn to Brazil, not the USA.

propaganda no longer hides the truth about us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46240495)

lots of terror images http://rt.com/news/olympic-boycott-art-1980-794/ just images

our real history of murderous acquisition by religious 'conversion' http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=unrepentant&sm=3 now known the wwworld over

Serious Flaws with Study (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 8 months ago | (#46240631)

This is my field... not Cuba, but IT trade in emerging markets. The second link critiquing private infrastructure investment is flawed, kind of stupid, and possibly biased (in favor of government's active participation). Look at the data on the chart and gee, it looks like the emerging markets (the author still uses the word "developing") are way behind. But you have to weight the charts by population... weighted average tells a completely different story. 3B3K (three billion people living in nations earning an average of $3,000 per year) increased internet access per capita at ten times the rate of growth of the 1.3 billion people in the OECD. By combining the fastest growing internet market of 3 billion with the 3 billion poorest people - combining say Chili and Malaysia with Sudan and Eithiopia - they create a category "developing" which is just stupid.

Internet isn't growing in countries. It's growing in cities. Huge cities like Lima, Cairo, Lagos, Karachi and Mumbai are getting online like wildfire. If government gets involved, they tend to try to run cables and highways out into the boonies. The private investment sector the paper criticizes is much more efficient, much more bang for the buck, and only looks bad if you postulate "universal coverage" as the goal, which may be noble but who pays for it and by putting government in charge do you get in the way of the enormous progress in the cities? Look to Cuba for an example of a government which tries to control it and winds up without the access in Havana that you can find in any similar large city which allows private investment to cover the cheapest kilometer of cable, the 20% of cell phone towers in reach of 80% of the users.

Seriously? (2)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 8 months ago | (#46240689)

Cuba is a totalitarian police state [worldaffairsjournal.org] . The problem is not too little infrastructure, it's too much oppression. And I don't see how an initiative like this could change the situation.

Re: Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241367)

No, its not. Go there sometime. Oh wait .... You're an American, right? :)

Yes, it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241557)

You are kidding, right? I'm a Cuban-American, grew up in Miami. Mom fled while she could, grand-parents got out in the final stages of their lives when they became a burden on the Cuban state. We hosted refugees from the Mariel boat-lift in our home in Miami and saw Miami transformed by the mass migration of Cubans to the US.

People are wards of the state. They attend government run schools where they are indoctrinated in socialist-communist ideology. They are taught to worship a man Fidel Castro whom they have no right to vote in or out of office.

Re:Yes, it is (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242337)

You are kidding, right? I'm a Cuban-American, grew up in Miami. Mom fled while she could, grand-parents got out in the final stages of their lives when they became a burden on the Cuban state. We hosted refugees from the Mariel boat-lift in our home in Miami and saw Miami transformed by the mass migration of Cubans to the US.

People are wards of the state. They attend government run schools where they are indoctrinated in socialist-communist ideology. They are taught to worship a man Fidel Castro whom they have no right to vote in or out of office.

Consider the possibility that you don't know as much about Cuba as you think. Over the past 50 years, a peculiar political culture had taken root in Miami which led to rampant speculation and the unchecked spread of rumors. Until recently, the lack of direct telecommunication between Cuba and the US was one factor. Other players were the large populations of exiles who had lost property in the revolution and militants who participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion (you didn't think those radicalized Cubans just disappeared after the invasion took place, do you?), all of whom had a personal interest in making conditions on the island sound as bad as possible.

Yes, the vast majority of Cubans are quite poor, unemployed, and hoping to find a way to leave the country. On the other hand, Americans vastly overstate the degree that ordinary citizens have been indoctrinated and worship Castro. The Castro brothers are corrupt, selfish imbeciles, and everyone knows it -- not just in Miami, but also in Cuba. The typical citizen who shows up at a Communist rally is there because it was required by their employer (e.g. the government), not because they actually believe in that crap.

When it comes to understanding the true situation in contemporaneity Cuba, being from Miami is probably more of a liability than an asset. On the other hand, President Obama has recently liberalized travel regulations, which would allow you to legally travel to Cuba and visit your relatives with no paperwork whatsoever. In the hacker spirit of free inquiry, why not go down there and see things for yourself? ;-)

You'll probably come back less impressed with the Castros than ever, but more impressed by the ability of the populace to see the situation for what it really is.

Re: Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241577)

Hush, you fool! Let the dumb Americans believe their government's propaganda. It makes it a great vacation spot to get away from them.

Cuba-specific Tor + long range wifi (802.22?) (2)

Khopesh (112447) | about 8 months ago | (#46240771)

If Cuba built its own onion routing network (perhaps using Tor software though not connected to the Tor network), then each satellite dish or other internet connection would automatically be able to facilitate connectivity for the rest of the network. No need to wire anything (except some of the exit nodes), this can all happen over wifi.

Don't forget that 802.11af, 802.11y, and 802.22 have ranges measured in miles (802.22 can cover 100km). Blanketing an island of 110km would still take a good number of antennae (especially given the dead zones created by dense buildings in cities), but at a governmental budget scale, it seems quite feasible.

Re:Cuba-specific Tor + long range wifi (802.22?) (2)

cbeaudry (706335) | about 8 months ago | (#46242917)

"The island is 1,250 km (780 mi) long and 191 km (119 mi) across its widest points and 31 km (19 mi) across its narrowest points.[1] The largest island outside the main island is the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) in the southwest, with an area of 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cuba-specific Tor + long range wifi (802.22?) (1)

Khopesh (112447) | about 8 months ago | (#46243479)

"The island is 1,250 km (780 mi) long and 191 km (119 mi) across its widest points and 31 km (19 mi) across its narrowest points.[1] The largest island outside the main island is the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) in the southwest, with an area of 2,200 km2 (850 sq mi)." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Cuba [wikipedia.org]

Sorry, Slashdot killed my squared symbol and I missed it in the content preview. Wikipedia says Cuba is 110 km^2 in area.

If 802.22 can cover a 100km radius (200km diameter), width isn't an issue. The 1,250km length would need only seven full-powered 802.22 antennae to provide a "backbone" across the main island (1250/200 = 6.25). Maybe each of those can have either a satellite uplink or a wired connection. Surely, another few hundred cheaper and/or lower-powered antennae (perhaps 802.11y or 802.11af?) would be able to saturate valleys and high density areas.

What's their cell phone strategy? (1)

CityZen (464761) | about 8 months ago | (#46241505)

Wouldn't it face the same issues?

As far as internet, the people may wish to look at mesh wifi setups.

Cuba is a totalitarian regime that has suppressed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46241517)

Let's cut to the chase here - the US is not the reason why Cuba's government suppresses human rights and other aspects of modern civilization such as property ownership, education, access to health care, access to food, shelter, travel and freedom of expression. Cuban citizens have few if any rights to protest or challenge government policy. Those that do have historically been beaten, jailed or executed.

Access to the internet is just the latest example. What Cuba needs is a reformed economy that allows people to be rewarded financially for their efforts.

Slashdot editorial policy has consistently been to romanticize the Cuban communist-socialist revolution, while sugar coating the corruption and violence against the Cuban people.

Stop the madness! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46242713)

Cuba is going to get the internet? We gotta stop this! How about we set up an embargo for 25 years or more and starve children for the sins of their fathers? We can starve generations of people...just because we can. That will teach them that our way is the right way.

Seriously, you dumb fucking Americans, how can you live with yourselves knowing that you choose to kill children THAT WERE NOT EVEN AROUND WHEN YOU STARTED TO EMBARGO THESE COUNTRIES? Fuck you.

Re:Stop the madness! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46243423)

Hey, we still take in refugees and immigrants, not like you hate-filled Eurotards [businessweek.com] . Good luck in your upcoming EU Parliament elections. Maybe you can try that Master Race thing again soon.
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