Monday, April 30, 2012

Mayday, Mayday

Nor should we forget the country a little closer to our own shore that proves that worrying about living in a market society is a fool's errand;
[Alan] Gross, an American from suburban Washington, was arrested and accused of being a spy two years ago for bringing satellite phones, laptops and BlackBerry cellphones onto the island [Cuba]. Gross worked under the umbrella of a pro-democracy project of the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development. He said he was bringing the equipment to the island's Jewish community, but he was accused of trying to subvert the government.
Subverting he probably was.  Cuba's elite fears, with good reason, that their people might have access to information that even Haitians do; through the internet.  Couldn't let people be free to actually buy at market prices what they want.  Where would that end?
Cuba, with its authoritarian communist government in control of the Web, has the lowest Internet-penetration rate in the Western Hemisphere, with just 16 percent of its population online. Even earthquake ravaged Haiti, the hemisphere's poorest country, has a higher percentage of its people on the Internet.
In Cuba, only government officials and foreigners can set up the Internet in their homes. Most Cubans can't afford the fees charged at tourist hotels, where an hour of Internet equals about a quarter of the average Cuban's monthly salary. 

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