Cuba & the Internet or “Island of the Disconnected”

Cuba & the Internet or “Island of the Disconnected”

Cuba´s internet is not only one of the slowest in the world, it is also the youngest – and the most wanted. Cubans have been cut off the rest of the world for too long. Now is their time to take over Facebook and Twitter. They are more than ready for it.

But first, let me tell you a story from my last visit to Habana. I am half Cuban and often visit my relatives on the island. Cubans are famous for being inventive – I mean, thats really all you got, when materials and opportunities are rare. When supermarkets and pockets are empty, the black market flourishes. I was walking down a side street of Old Havana, looking for someone to buy from. If I was lucky I´d spot a dealer and be able stock up. He would most likely mark it up 50%, but at this point I walked so far in the hot tropical sun, that I didn’t care anymore. And there he was. Sun-tanned and well-dressed, gold neckless, big watch and iPhone in his hand. I wondered where he got that from… He noticed that I was eyeing him and nodded. I knew better than to buy on the spot. This was sloppy. But, when you’re in another country you just let the madness roll upon you like crashing waves. We met at the corner of the street two minutes later. No words. We were looking over each others’ shoulders. He quickly pressed a card in into my palm. I held out three pesos, he snatched. A cop turned around the corner. Something beyond us caught his attention. We ducked into separate side streets. Now all I had to was to find a wifi source, punch in the card’s code, go online and check that e-mail I was waiting for so desperately.

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