Despite advances in accessing the World Wide Web in Cuba, the government continues to implement censorship and surveillance for its citizens. The Cuban government controls the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA) 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).
- Steep prices for data packages to access available internet services.
- An internet package of just 4 GB costs one month’s salary for the average Cuban!
By limiting both communication 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.
- Free & Private Communications Access
- Prepaid cards provide internet data and telephone minutes.
- Uncensored news information packages are shared via Google Drive, Bluetooth, or the Zapya mobile app (to avoid government censors).
- Private massive mailings via FHR Cuba’s proprietary software.
- Flash drives and hard drives with various educational and entertainment content.
- Computers, tablets, and mobile smartphone hardware to access the internet.
- Education courses on basic technology orientation, internet usage, and setting up VPNs and proxies to bypass government censors.
Since its founding, the Connect Cuba program has brought countless uncensored conversations, unedited news stories, and valuable digital content to Cuban citizens. 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 toward freedom of information, and have accomplished the following:
Number of thumb drives sent
Information packets created and distributed
Unfiltered news emails sent
* The numbers above reflect data collection and analysis as of 2019
** The program has continued under a cooperation agreement with NED and WHA, for more recent numbers review yearly reports on the agencies’ websites
HOW YOU CAN HELP
With your help, FHRC can continue to undermine the Cuban government censorship of its citizens. Thanks to our supporters, Connect Cuba continues to undermine the attempts of the Cuban government to control the information flow and communications of its citizens.