LINK The Internet is a luxury to the privileged few in Cuba, and the government there says the U.S. economic embargo is at fault. BY FRANCES ROBLES. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oscar Visiedo says that when he helped bring the Internet to Cuba in 1992, he faced three daunting obstacles: the U.S. economic embargo, technological shortcomings and ominous state security.
Thirteen years later, steep prices and strict government controls largely keep ordinary Cubans from the World Wide Web, while the island's authorities still blame the embargo as the reason the country stalled on the information highway.= So, even while the Internet boomed in Cuba -- the government alone has at least 200 sites -- usage remains among the lowest in the Western Hemisphere, and the hurdles remain unchanged.
''There is a fear -- a fear that is practically pathological -- of access to information,'' said Visiedo, who worked at the government office that introduced Cuba to the Internet, back when nobody there knew what it was. He now works in management information systems at Carlos Albizu University in Miami.