Article copyThe (Dead Trees) Information Age seems definitely over, as the new thrive for freedom in the most famous of the last Communist dictatorship — and the most revered of all in France — ignores the Samizdats-on-paper of the 20st century Soviet Union and its unfortunate satellites, in favor of flash disks and data sticks smuggled in the country:
HAVANA — A growing underground network of young people armed with computer memory sticks, digital cameras and clandestine Internet hookups has been mounting some challenges to the Cuban government in recent months, spreading news that the official state media try to suppress.All in all, an extremely heartwarming read — even though it comes from the New York Times, of all places.
Something similar happened in late January when officials tried to impose a tax on the tips and wages of employees of foreign companies. Workers erupted in jeers and shouts when told about the new tax, a moment caught on a cellphone camera and passed along by memory sticks.
“It passes from flash drive to flash drive,” said Ariel, 33, a computer programmer, who, like almost everyone else interviewed for this article, asked that his last name not be used for fear of political persecution. “This is going to get out of the government's hands because the technology is moving so rapidly.”
Young people here say there is a thriving black market giving thousands of people an underground connection to the world outside the Communist country.
People who have smuggled in satellite dishes provide illegal connections to the Internet for a fee or download movies to sell on discs. Others exploit the connections to the Web of foreign businesses and state-run enterprises.
Students download everything from the latest American television shows to articles and videos criticizing the government, and pass them quickly around the island.
The days of Socialist Cuba are numbered, and the end could come faster than it did for any of its predecessors. Could almost make you regret that Castro died before seeing this.
Cheers to all Cubans Freedom Cyber-fighters — and viva Cuba libre, at last.
h/t to Bill for the post title
By the way
Sure, Castro is not dead. Neither is Elvis.