Reluctantly, I am sure, the New York Times concedes that the new internet cafés in Cuba being touted by the Castro dictatorship and its sycophants here in the U.S. are really nothing more than a sham.
Salons or Not, Cyberspace Is Still a Distant Place for Most Cubans
[…] “This is like a Three Kings’ Day gift,” Mr. García said of his newfound Internet access, referring to the Jan. 6 holiday when people dressed as the Magi hand out goodies to children.
But as gifts go, it is extremely expensive, he said. At $4.50 an hour, a session at one of the new cybersalons costs almost as much as the average state worker earns in a week, prompting many Cubans to wonder whether President Raúl Castro is serious about bringing the Internet to the masses, or just playing for time.
“At this price, hardly anyone is going to be using it,” said Mr. García, who figured he could afford to buy an hour or two a week because his daughter helped him out and he had just sold his house.
Cuba’s limited Internet access is a source of festering resentment among Cubans, millions of whom have never been online. Some people — medics, for example, or journalists — qualify for a dial-up connection at home. Others use pirated connections, rent time on a neighbor’s line or log on at a hotel, where they pay about $8 an hour. Many trade information on memory sticks or rely on stodgy state-run periodicals for news.
“We are living in the back of a cave,” said Walfrido López, a Cuban blogger and information technology specialist. “People here are asleep, because they don’t have information.”
He added, “Having information is what enables you to make decisions, take positions.”
Government figures indicate 26 percent of Cubans had Internet access last year, but this includes millions who entered only an intranet linked to their work.
Read the entire article HERE.