Cuba says US sanctions block free internet access – 12/08/2021

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Havana, August 11 (EFE). Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez announced on Wednesday that economic, commercial and financial sanctions enforced by the US government prevent the Caribbean country’s population from free access to the Internet.

“The new information note from the US State Department confirms that communications and information services between Cuba and the US, including the Internet, are prohibited by law and policy by law and policy, with exceptions,” the Cuban minister wrote in his account on Twitter. .

“The blockade (known as the US sanctions policy on the island) prevents Cubans from free access to the Internet,” Rodriguez said.

The minister’s tweets were a response to a statement from the US Treasury Department, which today urged individuals and companies under US jurisdiction to act to provide telecommunications and internet services in Cuba.

Exceptions detailed by Folder are mostly contained in Cuba’s Asset Control Regulations (CACR) and include authorization to initiate transactions, including payments, related to the provision of telecommunications services to Cuba, under US jurisdiction.

“This includes Internet connections, data, telephone, telegraph, radio, television, news agency services and other similar services, regardless of the medium of transmission, such as via satellite,” the Treasury Department said.

In mid-July, the Cuban government banned internet service following the July 11 protests, cutting off connections for most of the population for days. After that, US President Joe Biden announced that his administration was evaluating all available options for providing Internet access to the Cuban population, which he said would help prevent censorship.

Internet service in Cuba has been restored and is working normally, but access to press vehicles with positions critical of the government or opposition is still restricted, which was the case before the demonstrations.

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The US Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment aimed at providing free internet access on the island by creating a budget fund to promote an “open and uncensored” service.

After passing the amendment and the entire $3.5 billion budget initiative introduced by Democrats, the text must now pass approval by the US House of Representatives.

About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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