Cuba in Store for Porn, Protest, and Pop Culture When High-Speed Internet Kicks In This Month

Categories: La Habana
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LOLCASTRO: I CAN HAS INTERNETZ?

​​In early February, a massive ship belonging to French company Alcatel-Lucent arrived at port near Santiago de Cuba after setting sail from Venezuela. Cuban officials immediately touted its arrival as a "breach" of the United States' 50-year trade embargo. Its cargo? Not oil, food, or weapons but the Internet itself.

For years, Cuba has languished in a maddening digital limbo: 97 percent of Cubans don't have access to the web, and those who do chug along at AOL dial-up speeds slower than el comandante's tennis-ball-wheeled walker. Now, however, the new fiber-optic cable will provide Internet 3,000 times faster than before, enabling 11 million Cubans to routinely surf the net for the first time.

They have no idea of all the shit they are in for. After all, we've been wrestling with the pros and cons of high-speed Internet for more than a decade: from naughty Napster videos to computer viruses. Here's what Cubans can expect.

Porn:
Roughly 12 percent of the Internet is straight-up smut. So, with the Cuban government laying off 500,000 workers, it's a bad time to tap a portal to unlimited American-made pornography. What will happen to production quotas when habaneros start spending their days scouring the net for the latest BangBros episode? Cuba's leadership may be geriatric, but in Internet terms, the country is a horny teenager with a new bottle of lotion and unlimited Wi-Fi. Expect a lot of wasted afternoons.

Protest:
Cuban government censors are no slouches, but even they won't be able to stop the outpouring of criticism, mockery, and -- yes -- unrest that comes with high-speed Internet. "If the cable is activated, I'm sure some of those fibers will reach people like me," popular blogger Yoani Sánchez told GlobalPost in June. We give it two days before the island is inundated with fake Fidel Castro Twitter accounts.

Pop culture:
While the arc of history may be long and bent toward justice, the arc of the Internet veers toward chugging Code Red Mountain Dew and incessantly Googling celebrity nipple slips on TMZ.com. Just imagine the flood of juvenile Internet humor that will begin pouring into Cuba when the fiber-optic cable kicks into gear later this month. As it is, the country is a veritable virgin landscape, free of obnoxiously viral cultural memes such as dancing babies, LOLcats, and Bill Simmons.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Fidel gets rickrolled for the first time.

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Steve Bidwell
Steve Bidwell

Hands up all those who think that the AVAILABILITY of fast internet in Cuba means that it will be available to the population at large! My guess is that there will be little if any progression and this will be blamed on the US embargo - (most likely because the results of most of the Cuban governments  incompetence is blamed on this!) but if Cuba gets fibre optic cable at a heavily subsidised rate, compliments of Chavez,  then other technology can be thrown the Castro's way by Chavez and China as well! 

Liborio
Liborio

Interesting that you don't post comments that show your article's lack of any knowledge and professionalism.

Thinkaboutlifemore
Thinkaboutlifemore

You don't bother to wonder about the potentials for invasions of privacy and social monitoring on the people by the government that this change may create. or about the the eventuality of a new Cuban hacker class emerging. or the way it will help music and art. 

lisa
lisa

THIS READ LIKE DEMONS HAPPY TO PLACE ITS EVILS IN A LAND THAT HAVE NONE!  I pray that Cuba STAY WITHOUT all the FILTH and CRIME we live with everyday!

Liborio
Liborio

Apologists are the really funny ones - and ignorant.

Boris Moreno, viceminister of information technology recently stated the it will not be until september-october before there is broad-band access to the internet on the island.  THere will be no access to individuals and prices will remain prohibitedly high.  In the mean time, the regime is in the process of preparing "content to be accessed". It will not be the free, uncensored internet we all know and love.

For reference, see kaosenlared.net 30JUL11 - Cuba continuará priorizando el acceso social a Internet

Alex H
Alex H

Funny how you fail to mention why Cuba didn't have generous access to the internet before this nor who is responsible for the change now. Typical hypocrisy. Not to mention that you take a serious topic and turn it into writing the likes found on a bathroom stall. Just how stupid do you expect your readers to be? How much disrespect do you have for the intelligence of your readers?

Oscar Borras
Oscar Borras

Shut up..... its the Miami NewTimes not Times magazine laugh a little

novenator
novenator

TIL: Cuba's first connection to the Internet was established in September 1996. It was a 64kbps link to Sprint in the United States.[1] Telecommunications with Cuba is limited to the Intersputnik system and aging telephone lines connecting with the United States, with a new link with Venezuela scheduled for 2011 [2] [3]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

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