In the closed room of the Palace of Conventions an Information Technology conference ended today, one which was accessible only to foreign delegates or Cubans with credentials.  As much as I tried to slip into the event, I lacked the association with an official institution needed to be there.  As an optimistic preamble to the meeting, the Vice Minister of Informatics and Communications gave an interview to the newspaper Juventud Rebelde [Rebellious Youth].  Full of statements about a vague future that could happen next week or in a decade, he renewed—in some—hopes for broad access to the internet.  However, after reading the answers of this functionary several times, I’m more alarmed than comforted.

His words do not demonstrate the slightest criticism of censorship or blocking of pages, which is so common on the Cuban networks.  He positions ideological differences on a long list of atrocities among which we find, “harmful content such as incitements to terrorism, xenophobia, pornography…”  In the same club with these monstrosities he included, “of course, inciting subversion of the established order in Cuba and frankly counterrevolutionary content.”  The final adjective confirms that our access to the network continues to be lost among a bunch of criteria that has nothing to do with bandwidth or satellite connections.

But it’s not worth it to get upset because the Internet will not be a crumb that falls from above, a privilege that we earn by good conduct, nor a benefit realized after applauding a great deal.  Not this time.  A true takes place parallel and contrary to the rationing they want to impose on the virtual world. There are no bearded ones, no rifles, much less a leader shouting from platform.  It is slow, and still focused, but it will reach nearly all Cubans.  Its commanders carry strange names like Gmail, WordPress, Skype and Facebook: they do not create divisions but rather unite people.

The effect of this technological revolution will last more than fifty years; to prevent it or impede it there is little the ministers, or the electronic filters or the promises of access that never materialize can do.  Even today, while behind closed doors they hold the closing ceremony of Information Technology 2009, already a new gap is opening somewhere, where we can pass without permission.


  1. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Each time I read one of Yoani articles I fall in a kind of ecstasy …. like when you listen for a solo of Gipsie Guillespie or Paquito De Rivera in a jazz sesion….once finished the solo you always will listen someone in the public that says “YEAH” and immediately the crowd shoots a frenetic applaud.

    YEAH, YOANI, YEAH!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is by far one of Yoani’s better posts in a long time!!!
    This made me smile and that’s no easy feat.
    I wrote about how the internet should send the corrupt, the vile, the unjust and the governments running this week on But this (by miles) beats the crap out of my article.

    This is the new Cuban revolution.
    It will not be fought with guerrillas in the Siera Maestra, instead it will be fought with keyboards and laptops , from cafés, cell phones and pirated internet connections, it will be fought from the heart of the country, from right under the government’s nose.

    As long as we give these bloggers a voice, as long as we comment, as long as we support them; their fight will continue and they will emerge victorious.

  3. Cold in Chicago dice: 14 Febrero 2009 a las 04:14

    #29 Farmer

    One last thing for this post:

    Great paragraph by Marti if correctly quoted, never read it before. If its true, it should be written on every bathroom stall in Havana. How’s the regime going to refute or explain that. Please show your source or link.

    I have no link, I copy and save to my computer all I find in the web that can serve me in the future but I have never though to save the links too…. I will do it from now

  4. Sickboy dice: 14 Febrero 2009 a las 04:15

    As long as we give these bloggers a voice, as long as we comment, as long as we support them; their fight will continue and they will emerge victorious.

    A big YEAH for you too!!!!!!

  5. The geriatric body of government seems so macho when you read their slogans in every other corner of the Island, but when people start questioning the lack of freedom in the internet or the right to choose other channels of information they are always afraid of anyone who disagree with their belief. They are the xenophobic, they are the terrorists, they are the pornographers, and they are the censorship. In fact they are so paranoids that they can’t stand anyone with a different point of view.

  6. #1 – Carbo Servia

    This may be right up there with my most favorite comments EVER on Yoani’s blog!!!!!!

  7. ***
    Jose Marti’s words can not be forgotten. They will lead to the fall of the Cuban dictatorship.
    Las palabras de Jose Marti no pueden ser olvidado. Van a llegar al caida del govierno Cubano militar.

  8. It’s always amazing how the lackeys of the regime snake their way through, trying to explain that which the people want but which they know could hurt them. As always, they use their word games with the population, as if they could fool every member of the audience. But guess what, there are thousands watching that know exactly what they are up to.

    As the saying goes, fool me for fifty years, shame on you. Fool me for fifty more years, shame on me. Don’t quote me on this, I don’t think I got it right.

  9. saludos a todos y felicidades en este hermoso dia un abraso a todos los que luchan por la libertad y por la soberania de los pueblos algo que se deberia respetar en todo el mundo felicidades por tu articulo sigue para adelante “MARIANA” que como las otras “MARIANAS DE BLANCO ” nos llenas de orgullo cada dia
    ivan camejo”el que lucha desde miami no el que se le arrastra al tirano en cuba”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *