The mission of Connect Cuba is to empower Cuban civil society with open, uncensored access to the Internet and the ability to communicate freely with each other and the world.
The Connect Cuba Petition will be presented to major international bodies with the purpose of pressuring the Cuban government into opening internet access to all of Cuban civil society, without censorship, while protecting the right to freedom of expression in accordance with article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Internet Without Internet
With your contribution you will help the FHRC continue growing the underground network “Internet without Internet” in Cuba, providing civil society with the resources they need, including flash drives, computers, smart phones, and other technologies to share open, uncensored information with each other, and the world. With your support, we can continue to grow the Connect Cuba movement and give the Cuban people the voice, and choice, they do not have.
- Cuba is wired but not connected. With a fully functional fiber-optic cable (the ALBA-1) that has the capacity to increase data transmission speeds on the island 3,000 fold, select government officials have been given access rather than the entire population.
- Cuba ranks lowest with the lowest ratio of computers and the lowest mobile phone penetration per inhabitant in Latin America, as well as lowest in internet access in the entire Western hemisphere.
- Cuba is one of the ten most censored countries around the world.
- Cuba continues to employ a “cyber militia” to slander human rights defenders and bloggers, and disseminate official propaganda.
- Arbitrary detentions and intimidation of Cuban bloggers increased in 2013.
- Prohibitively high cost places internet access beyond the reach of most of the population.
- Tight government restrictions limit even e-mail access in Cuba’s workplace.
- Cuba has a rising improvisational system of “sneakernets” or “Internet without Internet” in which flash drives and data discs are used to distribute articles, prohibited photos, satirical cartoons, and video clips.
- 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 and may only buy limited space. In 2009, President Barack Obama eased some aspects of Washington’s prolonged trade sanctions, however, allowing U.S. telecommunications firms to enter into roaming agreements with Cuban providers and to establish a fiber-optic cable and satellite telecommunications facilities linking the United States and Cuba. Official media ignored this important change in U.S. legal framework however, and Cuban leaders reiterated their demand for a complete end to the embargo.
- 2013 Freedom on the Net Ranking: Not Free