Despite advances in accessing the World Wide Web in Cuba, the government continues to implement censorship and surveillance for its citizens. The Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) is controlled by the Cuban government and has an unchallenged monopoly on all services. Currently, Cubans can expect these realities when accessing telecom services:
Slow and unreliable connections (3G connectivity with speeds between 3-5 Mbps)
Full surveillance of all emails and text messages sent and received
Censored search results and blocked websites deemed “unacceptable” by government authorities
Fines and jail time for using any tools to subvert or bypass government censors (VPNs or proxies)
High prices for data packages to access available internet services
As an example, an internet package of just 4 Gb costs one month’s salary for the average Cuban! By limiting both internet access and availability, the government essentially offers a hollow benefit for its citizens.
The Cuban people should have the right to freely access information and express their views according to their conscience. Offering the ability to access a sanitized version of the internet, while having all communications monitored by a government authority, is a reality every freedom-minded human should rally against.
In order to assist the people of Cuba in accessing the free and open internet, we have provided for many years the following support, via our Connect Cuba initiative, to pro-democracy activists struggling for free uncensored internet access.
Prepaid cards providing internet data and telephone minutes
Uncensored news information packages shared via Google Drive or Bluetooth Zapya applications (to avoid government censors)
Private massive mailings via FHR Cuba’s proprietary software
Flash drives and hard drives with information
Computers, tablets, and mobile smartphone donations to access the internet
Education courses on basic technology orientation, internet usage, and setting up VPNs and proxies to bypass government censors
The Connect Cuba program has brought countless uncensored conversations, unedited news stories and valuable digital content to Cuban citizens since its founding. In addition, it has provided FHRC information on repression and other conflicts not well known outside Cuba. We are proud to have contributed to a movement towards freedom of information, and have accomplished the following:
Thanks to FHR Cuba’s supporters, Connect Cuba continues to undermine the attempts of the Cuban government to control the information flow and communications of its citizens. With your support, we can keep providing tools to increase the freedom of information for a population suffering from severe censorship!