As published in Vice Motherboard, a nonprofit Miami based startup Apretaste, has “set up a system to allow Cubans to browse the web via email, which more people have access to. Only about 400,000 Cubans can freely browse the web, according to Apretaste, but 2.6 million have access to email.”
Motheboard describes the service as “simple” to use. “Users can get the Wikipedia entry for Cuba, for example, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Wikipedia Cuba.’ Apretaste will download the Wikipedia page in Spanish, compress it to minimize the size of the resulting HTML file, and email it to back to the user.”
The article also mentions that “in addition to searching Wikipedia, Apretaste also runs a Craigslist-like service that connects buyers and sellers in Cuba.”
“Apretaste definitely fills a need,” José Luis Martínez from the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba and the Connect Cuba campaign related to Motherboard.
“About a year ago,” he said, “the Cuban government for the first time allowed for Cubans to have access to basic email on their phones. But they aren’t allowed to have internet on their phones, that’s why this is such an interesting project.”
“Cubans both on and off the island are constantly looking for creative workarounds to get more information,” Martinez added.
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(Foto courtesy CubaNet)