Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"The wild colt of new technologies can and must be controlled,"

The Associated Press reports the following effort by a senior Cuban official to justify the Castro regime's censorship of the Internet:

Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes opened an international conference on communication technologies Monday by complaining that Washington is choking Cuba's access to the Internet even as U.S. military and intelligence services use it to undermine the communist government.

Internet technologies "constitute one of the tools for global extermination," he said, referring to U.S. policies, but they "are also necessary to continue to advance down the path of development."

He defended Cuba's "rational and efficient" use of the Internet, which puts computers in schools and government computer clubs while prohibiting home connections for most citizens and blocking many sites with anti-government material.

"The wild colt of new technologies can and must be controlled," he said.

(Emphasis added-DD)

Reporters Sans Frontieres has shown exactly what the Castro dictatorship's "rational and efficient" policy towards the Internet looks like. They offered this response to Minister Valdes' comments:

“The US embargo prevents Cuba from connecting to the Internet by underwater cable and this obviously does not favour development of the Internet, but we published a report in October that shows that the authorities deliberately restrict online access,” the press freedom organisation said.

“It would anyway have been astonishing if a country that has no independent radio or TV station or newspaper did allow unrestricted access to the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “We await the creation of a better Internet connection via Venezuela, as the minister announced, and we will then see if the government finally allows its citizens access to an uncensored Internet.”

Somehow, I doubt ordinary Cubans will experience uncensored Internet access anytime soon.


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