What it’s like to use the Internet in Cuba

Originally published at: What it's like to use the Internet in Cuba | Boing Boing


If you are a foreigner, though, internet access is much easier. And, as with everything in Cuba, it’s easier to get Internet as a Cuban if you’re in an area with a lot of tourism.

The USB Drive as internet has been going on for quite a while. If you travel to Cuba, bringing USB drives loaded with movies and TV shows is a nice gift for your hosts.


For the l33t who have access to wifi, there are meshes.


For most of my lifetime, the US has chosen to punish this island for the audacity of preferring the dictator Castro over the dictator Bautista. Our objections to their political choice has helped to impoverish multiple generations of completely innocent citizens of Cuba.

Seriously, enough is enough. Let them join the rest of the modern world. It’s a beautiful place full of terrific people who have deep ties to America.


I drove in one of those cars. Sure they look cool, but they are uncomfortable death traps. No seat belts and just under the fuzzy lining is sharp metal. At least the roads are so bumpy that you can rarely go over 30. Still it’s a wonderful country and it’s utterly ridiculous that the US government is continuing sanctions against Cuba.


We had lots of trouble trying to get online to the point where we just gave up and enjoyed our time offline.

The public parks are gathering places where the locals can access the public hotspots but as a tourist, there’s no way to purchase access.

There’s also the matter of the two currencies: CUC and CUP. Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) are for tourists while Cuban Pesos (CUP) are used by locals. As far as I know, you can only buy Internet access cards with CUP.

Driving down the Malecón in an open air classic car convertible is a truly memorable experience. The people are so awesome and friendly and the food is amazing.


If you go to a ETECSA you can use CUCs. If you buy them still-wrapped on the street you can use almost any currency. Hotels sell them as well for CUCs, though usually you have to use the WiFi in the hotel where you bought it. Depending on which city you’re in, and where, El Pollo Locos usually haveWiFi in the outdoor sitting area.

Edit: ETECSA is the store, Nauta is the card. We always said “vamos a la Nauta” lol


For 60 years the US has maintained a stranglehold on the Cuban economy through embargoes and blockades.

“The weak Cuban economy demonstrates the inherent failure of a communist system” I don’t think that’s true. I think that you can draw no conclusions at all about the effectiveness of Cuba’s economy.

Like George Floyd, if we’d get off of their necks they might surprise us. Like George Floyd, there are those in the government who want to stay on Cuba’s neck until they are no longer a threat - ie dead.


I think that Cuba’s economy continues to survive in spite of the pointless sanctions is a testament to the resourcefulness of the Cuban people. Just imagine what it would be like if we did indeed got off their necks


On the other hand, Cuba has had sixty years to find other trading partners. The Cuban economy cannot still be dependent on trade with a country with which it has no trade.

1 Like

Except the Helms-Burton Act prevents foreign companies from trading with Cuba. Prior to that Cuba was part of the Soviet Orbit and doing as well as any country inside of that umbrella.


Helms-Burton can deter third country nationals from doing business in Cuba but the US can’t stop them.

It tells foreign business that if they do business in Cuba, they’re subject to sanctions in the US.

It’s the same as stopping them because it forces them to choose between trading with Cuba and trading with the US. Further, the company’s leadership and their families can be denied entry into the US, which for an international business can be fatal.

1 Like

Chinese rolling stock manufacturer CRRC is doing business with Cuba and the USA at the same time.

1 Like

Yep. China has a lot of power. There’s a Dutch company that’s built hotels. The law is selectively applied. But the effect is that it prevents companies from investing in Cuba.

Edit: because the law doesn’t say you can’t do business. It says you can be sanctioned if you do.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.