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Cuban Internet Censorship is a Good Thing, According to The Nation

Venerable progressive mag argues in favor of a repressive regime controlling access to information, because it beats "corporate control."

What's worse than living under a repressive regime that tightly controls your ability to engage the rest of the world, censors anything remotely critical of the government, and only doles out broadband internet access to privileged individuals?

Why, Google, of course.

That's the basic thesis of a recent article in The Nation, written by Sujatha Fernandes, a professor of sociology at Queens College and the City University of New York (CUNY).

Over more than 3,000 words, Fernandes At least I'm free from Google.Wikipediaconcedes that "It is generally agreed that Cuba would benefit from better telecommunications infrastructure" but cannot simply say that a major reason Cuba has an abominable internet penetration rate is because its communist government fears what would happen to its one-party grip on power if its citizens had access to the World Wide Web.

Though she parrots the Cuban government's claim that "27 percent of Cubans currently have Internet access," in actuality only about 5 percent can access the global web (rather than a closed state-run intranet), and those lucky users are either in the government or hand-selected "friends" of the regime.

The piece is riddled with self-contradictory observations, such as blaming the US embargo for "hampering Cuba’s access to Internet technologies" but a few paragraphs later noting that "in 1996 the embargo was amended to allow US companies to provide telecommunications services to Cuba."

Though the embargo is undoubtedly a failure whose days are hopefully numbered, reading this piece, one could surmise that Fernandes thinks keeping Cuba pure from the supposedly destructive corporate influences that will be brought upon the island by engagement and trade with the US is preferable to allowing the Cuban people the full, unfettered internet access she is able to enjoy. 

Fernandes acknowledges that the Cuban government's introduction of a few dozen public Wi-Fi hubs, which are often so crowded they lack both the physical space or bandwidth to satisfy demand, "reflects the strong desire for connectivity." But she theorizes that the current system of top-down censorship and strictly doled-out access is a uniquely positive aspect of Cuban culture.

She backs up this idea with a quote from a Havana-based professor and journalist, Milena Recio, who advocates "preserving the best aspects of the current system, which keeps the infrastructure in Cuban hands, avoids the market as the principal distributor of connectivity, and has very little commercial advertising."

According to Fernandes, one of the "best aspects of the current system" is EcuRed, basically Wikipedia Cuban-style, whose stated goal is to "create and disseminate knowledge from a decolonizing, objective, and truthful point of view."

How does the site achieve this decolonized database of knowledge?

EcuRed is run by the state, and controlled by moderators who are government employees, but participation is open to all Cubans who are willing to abide by its rules of neutrality in reference to controversial political themes. The moderators enforce these rules, and can delete or edit content and block registered users.

"Neutrality in reference to controversial political themes," sounds an awful lot like total deference to the government's point of view, and nothing at all like an "objective...truthful point of view."

Fernandes concedes that the government-run intranet "has been criticized by groups such as Freedom House for being a filter for the state to restrict what Cubans can and cannot see." This includes the shuttering of a blog run by a "self-described LGBTQ and anti-capitalist collective" for "denigrating the revolution" when they criticized the Castro regime for failing to make amends for putting gay men (or in revolutionary parlance, "antisocial elements") in forced-labor camps in the early days of communist Cuba

But, Fernandes argues, Internet censorship is a good thing because "it has actually been used by Cubans to develop local means of creating and sharing knowledge."

One of these means of sharing knowledge is the dissemination of "Weekly Packets," or pacquetes semenal, which are hard drives filled with TV shows, movies, newspapers and other data from around the world (but mostly the US) that are cultivated by hackers, shuttled around the island by "data mules," and ultimately consumed by a public hungry for entertainment and information denied to them by their government. 

Recio makes the inexplicable case that "Even if Cuba were to develop the infrastructure to make broadband Internet easily available to its residents...the Weekly Packet will not go away," and adds that even though the Packet is comprised completely of pirated copyrighted material, "she hopes that it might transition into something more akin to Creative Commons, where freely available content not limited by copyright restrictions can be part of an open and plural public domain."

Making yet another argument in favor of the current status quo of state-imposed censorship, Fernandes writes:

Most Western press coverage about the Internet in Cuba presents the government as holding back its expansion because of political concerns. It is said that the Cuban leadership fears that exposure to democratic ideas and the means of self-organization could be destabilizing for the revolution. Dissident groups and bloggers have argued that the Cuban government deliberately controls access to digital technologies as a means of social control. These blanket statements tend to conflate two sets of concerns: One is the fear of what the government calls “ideological risks,” and the other is the security and privacy issues that have been endemic to the worldwide Internet.

Decrying "blanket statements" which she does not claim to be untrue, Fernandes argues that because companies like Google have complied with the US government in handing over their customers' personal information, it's better to just cut out the middle-man and have the government in total control of the internet: because "privacy."

Fernandes writes:

While the state censors and restricts Internet usage in order to quell political opposition, the government’s security concerns about handing over its telecommunications infrastructure to a company like Google are real. Particularly in light of the evidence revealed by Edward Snowden about how the US National Security Agency is using the Internet for spying and to engage in surveillance of users—and paying telecom companies for access to their communication networks—ceding control over Cuba’s digital sphere to private US companies could put Cuba at the same risk of insecurity that has occurred in other countries.

It is completely fair to point out that Snowden's revelations about how the NSA planned to infiltrate Google and Samsung apps as a means of spying on people raised legitmate and unsettling privacy concerns for both governments and citizens beyond the US' borders. 

However, it simply beggars belief to state that US internet users are under "ubiquitous surveillance" which "devalu(es) the Internet as a public resource," but Cubans who have to smuggle infomation to each other illegally (even if such smuggling is tolerated for the moment by authorities, provided the citizens don't share pornography or "anti-government" material) enjoy "rich cultures of connectivity."

Fernandes suggests that the current Cuban internet culture, which includes people desperately trying to chat over Skype or Facebook with overseas relatives on an insecure and overloaded public Wi-Fi signal, could "provide a strong base for constructing a self-sustaining, open, and accessible digital commons with robust privacy protections."

Further, she waves off the suggestion that the Web is a "paradigm of democratic knowledge and freedom" but is instead "a sphere riven by inequality, corporate control, surveillance, and privacy concerns."

Just two days after President Obama spoke at Havana's el Gran Teatro, a small group of pro-democracy demonstrators took to one of Havana's public wi-fi parks a few blocks away and reportedly shouted "pro-Obama slogans" and things like "Down with Fidel," before they were brutally arrested by authorities.

Yahoo News reports:

According to witnesses, a small group of demonstrators had entered a park on San Rafael Street, the most popular of Havana’s newly opened Wi-Fi hotspots, where hundreds of people were busily connecting to the Internet or placing international calls over VOIP services. It is unclear how many participated in the demonstration or were arrested; attracted by a loud, angry crowd that had formed on one of the city’s principal avenues and was filming the arrests, I arrived on the scene too late to see the original incident but witnessed part of the aggressive police response.

As hundreds of Cubans flooded into the park, perhaps more than 60 raised their cellphones and recorded a rough, even vengeful series of arrests. One protester I witnessed appeared to be running away from the police response as muscular men in guayabera shirts chased him down, pinned him to the ground and then punched him repeatedly in front of hundreds of their fellow citizens as well as foreign tourists and this reporter.

These arrests were recorded by Cuban citizens, but the video won't be disseminated on the Cuban intranet, as it certainly would be deemed "anti-governmental" material by the state.

For the forseeable future, what Fernandes refers to as the "best aspects of the current system," including a strictly-censored online encyclopedia, will remain preserved, as will the inability of Cubans to freely observe and discuss images depicting agents of their government brutalizing their fellow citizens and squashing their modest attempts at peaceful protest.

But at least the Cuban Internet is free of "corporate control."

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    "The piece is riddled with self-contradictory observations, such as blaming the US embargo for "hampering Cuba’s access to Internet technologies,""

    LOL. Apparently only the US sells internet technology. No possible way they could have bought it from other countries. I mean, who ever heard of a Latin American telecommunications provider?

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Telmex is owned by América Móvil which owns TracPhone.

  • PapayaSF||

    I was going to say that. It's absurd how Cuban apologists act as if the US is the only possible source of trade for Cuba.

    And, of course, the inherent idiocy of saying "this Communist country is poor because a capitalist country refuses to practice market economics with them."

  • John Thacker||

    It is, though at the same time it should temper any idea that the US opening up is going to radically transform Cuba. It's not like they have Canadian or European chains on every street corner now. Granted the US is a natural trading partner, but the Communists will prevent real change. (Despite that, yes, I support letting Americans travel there.)

  • ||

    That's all Cuba needs...Boston Pizza.

  • Illocust||

    This, a whole lot of this. We are not the only country in the world. Our refusing to trade with Cuba is not why it's still poor.

  • InterDimentionalSpacePyrate||

    And, of course, the inherent idiocy of saying "this Communist country is poor because a capitalist country refuses to practice market economics with them."

    Spot on fruity.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Cubans who are willing to abide by its rules of neutrality

    You know who else has implemented rules about neutrality on the internet?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Comcast?

  • SimonD||

    Oooh, I know this one. This one's just GOTTA be Hitler, right?

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    Comcast is only mildly worse than Hitler.

  • Eman||

    that's a good guess!!

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Apparently, Sujatha Fernandes knows better than the Cuban people what the Cuban people need.

  • yet another dave||

    It's the SOP of "progressives" to be completely and blindly confident that they know what's best for others. The cognitive dissonance is appalling.

  • Jerryskids||

    All good progs know better than everybody what everybody needs. They don't need 23 kinds of deodorant, for example.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Many appear to not even need one.

  • coloraDOOM||

    They need it.

  • DenverJ||

    My least favorite part of riding the lightrail is the smell of patchouli

  • wareagle||

    well, she is a college professor.

  • Princess Trigger||

    A professor of sociology - that's like level 5 Retard-Mage.

  • Ska||

    I'm picturing a kid in a batting helmet yelling "magic missile" over and over again.

  • R C Dean||

    Euphemism, abstract, etc.

  • Stretchy||

    Dammit! I'm trying not to laugh out loud during this boring meeting.

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    I'm picturing a kid in a batting helmet yelling "magic missile" over and over again.

    Utterly fantastic. Unfortunately, that's a better visual than her actual pic.

  • bit15||

    Which takes us again to the basic motivation behind every progressive idea: the arrogance of thinking they know better.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Proponents of the sustainable feminist eco collective rarely actually want to live in one (unless they are running it).

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    companies like Google have complied with the US government in handing over their customers' personal information, it's better to just cut out the middle-man and have the government in total control of the internet: because "privacy."

    I actually know people who were completely unconcerned about the NSA listening to your phone calls but were apoplectic over the fact that Williams Sonoma knew you bought a waffle iron from them.

  • kinnath||

    It scares the shit out of me that people like this get to vote in elections that affect my life.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I know! Paying retail at Williams Sonoma is fucking retarded!

  • Swiss Servator||

    *throws Breville Smart Waffle Maker at Playa*

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    The wafflemaker may be smart, but the person buying it isn't.

    *hold hand out for high five*

    No one?

  • ||

    "high five"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I knew mentioning Williams Sonoma was essentially lighting the Playa signal.

  • ||

    It's the only place that has the 130L SodaStream carbonator!

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    That is a totally legitimate use of WS. The shipping on the refills is ridiculous (because it's a hazardous material or something like that), so it's better to get them in-store.

    I ran out of butcher's twine and had to zip up to WS to get some before dinner. $12. Same twine, $.99 plus free shipping on Amazon.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    I got a sweet deal on Le Creuset there, once.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Once.

  • Lee G||

    Le Creuset has outlet stores and pieces occasionally end up in stores like Marshalls.

    But if you like getting raped, WS is a good place to go.

  • Citizen X||

    I got a Le Creuset at Marshalls. I love that thing.

  • Lee G||

    Best thing ever for tomato sauces.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    Braising, too.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I'm visiting the outlet malls in Cabazon next week. They're the ones who are going to get raped.

    I'm going to see if I can get 2 years worth of clothes in less than 15 minutes. I HATE clothes shopping.

  • Catatafish & Woodchips||

    You can find some pieces at ridiculously low prices at Home Goods on occasion as well.

  • Michael Price||

    "But if you like getting raped, WS is a good place to go."
    I thought that was Steve Smith's van.

  • Eman||

    i love targeted advertising! closing windows with overly enthusiastic information about new synthesizers or something is sort of like a source of information I can actually use, whereas I really, really don't need to see another goddamn geico commercial ever again

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But without unrestricted internet access, Cubans can't be enlightened by Professor Fernandes' article.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Fernandes is trying to enlighten us. The Cuban people are already enlightened, what with all their authenticity.

  • Princess Trigger||

    They have free health care and a 500% literacy rate.

  • Doctor Whom||

    They have a lung-cancer vaccine. They also have ... um... a lung-cancer vaccine.

  • Citizen X||

    Is it called "dying of malnutrition before the cigars catch up with you"?

  • Lee G||

    There's a lot of lead in their vaccines from what I've heard.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Bullet cancer.

  • Jayburd||

    They have Packard taillight lenses.

  • wagnert in atlanta||

    And we don't even have Packards. Who's enlightened now?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Fernandes would all of us to be able to live in quaint towns, drive antique automobiles, and spend our days working on meaningful, hands-on, manual labor producing artisanal wooden kitchen implements, without suffering the indignities and worries of modernity. She only wants the best for us.


    She herself, of course, will continue to suffer with her high tech appliances, gigabit Internet, and 3D medical scans; she is such a martyr.

  • commodious spittoon||

    Maybe she has a point!

  • Shirley Knott||

    She does. It's that inflamed eruption between her shoulders where others have heads.

  • techgump||

    Yak, yak, yak! Too funny.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Oh, I'm sure the Cuban government made sure this article is available on the Cuban intranet.

  • commodious spittoon||

    She wrote this on a dare, right? Or maybe she lost a bet. But there's no way anyone outside of The Onion would have written

     Cubans have made use of the state-provided intranet as well as limited Internet access to create their own networks of consuming and sharing information both on and offline. Those networks could provide an alternative to the corporate-driven World Wide Web, given the right level of support.

    without being tongue-in-cheek. Hey, those Cubans get to reinvent the wheel with a deliberately inferior set of tools, and that's terrific because it's managed under the careful guiding hand of the ever-present Castro regime and its secret police. At least they're not getting advertised at, right?

  • LynchPin1477||

    She's not wrong. I could easily see a global black market emerge in pirated content, shuttled around the world on disks carried by drones, if providers of unrestricted web access were brutally beaten and thrown in prison. That's what she meant by "right level of support", right?

  • ||

    Something about the bitrate of a FedEx truck full of hard-drives driving across the country.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    The latency must be horrible.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I see what you did there.

  • robc||

    Provided the already known punchline?

  • dinkster||

    Well you won't need the drives when the FedEx guy shows up at the sorority and says, "I got a big package for you"

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    This is one of the few times I really do wonder why these people don't move to the socialist paradises they think so highly of.

  • Citizen X||

    Because she thinks that if she can bring the socialist paradise here, she'll get to be one of those favored administrators.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    The all expect to be nomenklatura, never the ones lined up and shot for their counterrevolutionary activities.

    Dopes.

  • Citizen X||

    -1 Robespierre

  • Swiss Servator||

    *airbrushes Comrade X out of picture with Party Chairman Warty*

  • Citizen X||

    Warty's neck is so wide you have to take a panoramic shot to fit anyone else in a picture with him anyway.

  • LynchPin1477||

    She sounds like a great example of someone who can specialize enough to be deemed an expert in their field and land a university teaching job, while at the same time being remarkably unintelligent.

  • Mokers||

    The venn diagram of those two populations have a remarkable overlap.

  • Spartacus||

    Intelligence has nothing to do with having a PhD. Except for mine, of course.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Admit it: your "thesis defense" involved actual punches.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Someone needs to explain to Fernandes the difference between corporate data mining and government surveillance.

    When's the last time Google arrested someone for shouting "pro-Yahoo slogans" or "Down with Gmail" before brutally arresting them?

  • ||

    Didn't Google slap down ther own Chrome team for SEO tampering? Its almost like having a trusted brand is valuable.

  • Hugh Akston||

    "Neutrality in reference to controversial political themes," sounds an awful lot like total deference to the government's point of view, and nothing at all like an "objective...truthful point of view."

    hahaha oh Anthony. Objectivity and neutrality are all about power and suppressing deviant viewpoints.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Neutrality is oppressive, because it doesn't give any extra advantage to the historically oppressed in the face of privileged, colonial narratives. Objectivity is a myth because everyone experiences life through a lens shaped by their own lived experience.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You don't have to deny "extra advantage" to certain points of view in order to be oppressive. Just assuming that the viewpoint of the people in power is the neutral one is enough.

    The second sentence is accurate though.

  • greasonable||

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Shooting down anything printed in "The Nation" is like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Why bother?

    There's no sport in it.

  • ||

    Because guns are awesome? Oh, you mean taking apart The Nation.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

  • Jerryskids||

    I used to read both The Nation and Mother Jones on a regular basis - it keeps you informed as to how these people think and what they believe. It's obvious they live in a pretty sterile little bubble.

  • SimonD||

    It's good preparation for when the fish come flying out of their barrels shrieking their weapons-grade stupid talking points.

    Or, prep work for picking up college girls in the local bar.

  • Bra Ket||

    Kind of a stretch to say this article has anything that may be described as a "basic thesis".

    Hatred of corporations is more like just a vague theme.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    This isn't anywhere close to as funny as the greatest thing The Nation has published about Cuba in recent memory.

    Anna Theofilopoulou details what she discovered about Cuba’s developments in healthcare, the economy and social practices. The separation between Cuba and the United States is narrower than you might imagine.

    "The Catholic Church, is one voice among many and stressed that propaganda that Cuba is a communist godless society, is completely unfounded. Through their education system, and the support that Cuba enjoys by just about every country, except the US, Cubans are among the most knowledgeable people about the rest of the world."

    Not only is it blatant Castro propaganda, it's also written by someone who appears to have learned English less than 2 months ago.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    "With the exception of some professions deemed essential for the country, young Cubans can and many of them have left. In fact, brain drain is a serious issue for Cuba as young people who never knew the previous system do not have the same commitment to the revolution as the previous generations and are not content with Cuba’s isolation by the US. He called the assumption that the average Cuban income is $20 per month absurd. Cuban émigrés are welcome to return, as long as they do not try to overturn the government."

    This gets funnier every time I read it.

  • Rhywun||

    "Let the strong wind of fish farming blow across the country!"

    That's in there, right?

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    not content with Cuba’s isolation by the US.

    What does this mean!?? Is this another idiot like Alice Bowie who thinks the US was blockading Cuba until last year?

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    "the support that Cuba enjoys by just about every country, except the US"
    "not content with Cuba’s isolation by the US."

    My head is spinning.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    The separation between Cuba and the United States is narrower than you might imagine.

    Yes, and it continues to narrow thanks to progressives and Democrats.

  • Michael Price||

    "The separation between Cuba and the United States is narrower than you might imagine."
    I imagine it's further than I'd be comfortable floating on a tire.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Radio Havana was asked: "Is it true that there is freedom of speech in Cuba the same as there is the USA?"

    Radio Havana answered: "In principle, yes. In the USA, you can stand in front of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, and yell, "Down with Obama!", and you will not be punished. In Cuba, you can stand in the Plaza de Armas in Havana and yell, "Down with Obama!", and you will not be punished."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Every country has a city they make fun of. In the U.S., they make fun of Cleveland. In Cuba, we make fun of Cleveland!

  • Free Society||

  • This Machine||

    Man, those old Radio Hungary jokes are the best.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Radio Yerevan

  • This Machine||

    Ah, right, Radio Yerevan. My mistake.

  • Homple||

    In East Germany it was Sender Jerewan

  • ||

    Reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy joke. 'You might be a redneck if your wife says she's game and you shoot her!'

  • esteve7||

    People like her are truly evil people. They are far more dangerous than Trump ever will be.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Trump potentially will have the power to deploy soldiers and weapons.

  • commodious spittoon||

    I disagree. These people alone will not attain much power. In order to get the power they need people like Trump to hand it to them.

  • esteve7||

    Yes, but Trump will just have 4 years of bad policies. With power, these people will bring you to the ovens

  • commodious spittoon||

    In a way, besides leaving the GOP in tatters and giving progressives the patina of legitimacy, Trump probably wouldn't be a terrible president. He'd be hemmed in by a total lack of institutional support, so his tenure would likely just be incessant brainless drivel with very few policy achievements.

    But it's moot because Trump is Hillary's greatest asset. Trump voters may as well pull the level for Clinton.

  • wFt||

    I consisder my future and definitely perceive the possibility of a re-education camp not so far down the line.

    They will have to catch me first, and then deal with those cold dead fingers.*

    *disclaimer: any references, albeit vague, to any actual notion of force is purely metaphorical and even then is most certainly not directed toward any representatives of the federal government. Honest Injun.

  • Free Society||

    Honest Injun.

    Hate speech. Preet will find you.

  • Lee G||

    She's also a full-blown Bolivarian, still believing in the dream of a fully socialist Venezuela. She blames their current economic problems (including shortages) on corporations and their lackeys in the government.

    In other words, she's voting for Bernie.

  • Lee G||

    And she subscribes to the labor theory of value.

    Everybody grab yer shovels, we got ditches to dig.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Ah, the labor theory of value. The economic equivalent of creation science.

  • Terc||

    (…) the Marxian definition of value is ridiculous. All the work one cares to add will not turn a mud pie into an apple tart; it remains a mud pie, value zero. By corollary, unskillful work can easily subtract value; an untalented cook can turn wholesome dough and fresh green apples, valuable already, into an inedible mess, value zero. Conversely, a great chef can fashion of those same materials a confection of greater value than a commonplace apple tart, with no more effort than an ordinary cook uses to prepare an ordinary sweet.

    Robert Heinlein

  • ||

    As long as she gets to be the one overseeing the diggers...

  • Sevo||

    Shovels?!
    Wrecker!!!
    Teaspoons, please.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    "Between October and December 2013, Moreno, along with the prosecutor Hernan Marín Pérez, sanctioned numerous companies involved in economic sabotage known as “guarimba” who were deliberately causing shortages through hoarding and speculation. Moreno and Marín always clearly followed legal guidelines in their prosecutions. But on July 18, they were arrested on trumped up charges of extortion and conspiracy, punishable under Articles 60 and 70 of the Anti-Corruption Act and Article 37 of the Law Against Organized Crime and Terrorism Financing. The charges are clearly retribution for their role played in attacking the destructive practices of regional businesses."

    Weird these companies never create shortages in capitalist societies.

  • Lee G||

    Capitalist privilege?

  • See Double You||

    "Speculation" seems like some amorphous buzzword leftists toss in when they object to anything a private company does.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    In other words, she's voting for Bernie.

    How does she know Bernie isn't a corporate lackey?

  • The Grinch||

    Hoo boy, she's cute as a button and stupider than a pail of wet cement.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah. Most of the pix seem to be of her smiling, which is wierd. These hard lefty types are usually scowling or sharing their RBF with the world.

  • Trouser-Pod (The blowhard)||

    she's cute as a button

    Oh, God....*BARF!!*

  • Tornado16nb||

    Socialists living in denial...color me shocked!

  • Jordan||

    Such authenticity, comrade!

  • sarcasmic||

    Look. The government is the people. So whatever it does is good and wonderful because it functions strictly for the greater good. Corporations however, they are nothing but rapacious capitalists who will do anything for a profit. And I mean anything. These despicable organizations create jobs for voluntary employees while providing goods and services for voluntary customers! Can you imagine the gall? Only the government knows best, and it does the people a favor by forcing its will upon them. But it's not really force because the government is the people. That's like the people forcing themselves. Which means it is good and wonderful. But providing jobs, good, and services to voluntary takers for a profit? That's pure evil!

  • Doctor Whom||

    I've known plenty of people who would nod their heads in agreement.

  • Mustang||

    I'm beginning to think that these people really would be happier in these shithole places they believe to be a paradise. Between climate change and socialism, I think they've convinced themselves that they'd be happier dying in a rat-infested sludge pit as long as they're all equally suffering and not contributing to climate change (based on whatever made-up metric they use). Is there such a thing as a society-wide Stockholm Syndrome?

    I wish they would actually just move there and leave the rest of us alone.

  • Tundra, well-chilled.||

    No, you don't get it. They want you and me to die in rat-infested sludge. They're good with their Apple products, Whole Foods and Priuses with the Bernie stickers.

  • Tornado16nb||

    This

  • Mustang||

    *sigh*

    Yeah I know.

    *keeps loading ammo*

  • Eman||

    mmmm, maybe, if they actually think it through that far, but I really don't think they do. my little sister is a big bernie fan, and having known her her whole life, Im pretty sure she doesnt want herself or anyone else to be starving under tyranny. I think a lot of people honestly believe that he could make it work this time (I doubt he could, but Ive been known to be wrong on occasion). the lowest common denominator is not necessarily malice.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    before they were brutally arrested by authorities.

    That picture doesn't look "brutal." It's just two cops holding the guy's arms. What's the big deal?

  • Jordan||

    As hundreds of Cubans flooded into the park, perhaps more than 60 raised their cellphones and recorded a rough, even vengeful series of arrests. One protester I witnessed appeared to be running away from the police response as muscular men in guayabera shirts chased him down, pinned him to the ground and then punched him repeatedly in front of hundreds of their fellow citizens as well as foreign tourists and this reporter.
  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    I'm still hot from the Lewandowsky thread and brought some snark from there, OK? That said...

    muscular men in guayabera shirts

    definitely doesn't sound like a great crime to me.

  • Citizen X||

    Sounds more like something Lindsey Graham fantasizes about.

  • Jordan||

    Ah, sorry. I avoided that thread like the plague.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    YOU ARE MISSING OUT

  • Bra Ket||

    now some of the Hawaiian shirts I've seen, on the other hand, are definitely serious crimes

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If the Nation has made a political or economic pronouncement that wasn't entirely idiotic anytime in the last six decades, it was undoubtedly a mistake and the ran a retraction in the next issue.

  • ||

    What's worse than living under a repressive regime that tightly controls your ability to engage the rest of the world, censors anything remotely critical of the government, and only doles out broadband internet access to privileged individuals?

    Why, Google Facebook, of course.

    FIFY

    Somewhat OT: I think I'm making this my new noise limit on my "Will increase freedom." B.S. detector. Bitcoin and Ethereum are B.S. on the claim until Cuba is no longer governed by a communist dictator. Until that time, they're just facilitating the marginally greater freedoms of an already largely free country that can't effectively liberate, and even cedes liberty to, an island of 11M oppressed people in their own backyard.

    Not that I think the US should invade and/or liberate Cuba but as much as when you talk about increasing liberty by some automagic technology you better be able to pass the litmus test in our hip pocket. Otherwise it's like claiming you can turn everyday household items into gold, fucking up my couch by turning it into a precious metal and then getting pedantic about the words 'everyday household materials' when I asks if you can turn my garbage at the curb into gold.

  • ||

    The US is full of closet commies touting the 'authenticity' of Cuba and apologizing for the Castros and secretly dreaming of the Utopia they imagine Cuba to be. They won't admit it openly but occasionally the mask slips.

    Sujatha Fernandes does not appear to be among them.

  • The Grinch||

    The only ones that prize authenticity are those who visit for a week and get to go home. The people who actually live there, barring high ranking Communist Party members, would prefer a McDonalds and air conditioning.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Ah, excellent, this is the article with the EcuRed bullshit. It's scary that she thinks she's reassuring critics by explaining it. The Cubans get the privilege of building their own wikipedia, but don't worry! It's monitored by the state, to ensure the (revolutionary) truth is not suppressed. Isn't that grand?

  • ||

    Well, if there's anything you don't want anywhere near your revolution, it's instability.

  • Jack Napier||

    Can't tell if people like her are mendacious pieces of shit or just utterly moronic.

    What's even more scary is there are people who believe this crap.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Does Cuba really need internet access when children are starving?

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Can you access EcuRed outside Cuba?

  • Lee G||

    Google says yes. Might want to run that one thru a VPN though.

    Ah, who am I kidding? Not running Reason thru a VPN is probably riskier.

  • Irish ♥s Lauren Southern||

    Yes, and their article on Fidel is awesome.

    "It has promoted global battle of the Third World against the current international economic order, particularly against the foreign debt, waste of resources as a result of military spending and neoliberal globalization, as well as efforts for unity and integration Latin America and the Caribbean.

    He has led the decisive action of the Cuban people to face the effects of the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States for over forty years and the consequences on the economic level of the collapse of the European socialist community, and has promoted the tenacious effort Cubans to overcome the serious difficulties resulting from these factors, resistance during the so-called Special Period and the resumption of economic growth and development."

    Totally objective.

  • Jordan||

    Author: american socialist

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Well, at that level of writing and thinking, I think I found a good way to reduce costs of CBC. The guy who wrote that could do Neil MacDonald's job at quarter of cost, and twice the output.

  • ||

    Justin Trudeau takes notes.

  • Brian||

    One would think that an economic system that's so susceptible to ruination by foreign interests would by a bug, not a feature.

    Instead, they're just waiting for the whole world to go communist.

    That's realism.

  • Terc||

    Can a braver soul than I go over there and read the comments and report back? Perhaps they're not too derp-tastic.

  • GILMORE™||

    The nation limits comments to paid subscribers.

    i think the way lefty publications tend to treat comments-sections is the best indication of their interest in 'free speech' or a diversity of perspectives.

  • Brian||

    Money is speech, I guess.

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    Corporashioooionnnnsss!!!?1!1!

  • ||

    "...reading this piece, one could surmise that Fernandes thinks keeping Cuba pure from the supposedly destructive corporate influences..."

    Easy to say from the comforts of the satanic USA, right? Funny how people who plop out such inanities never go live among the purists they so desperately want to protect.

    "Further, she waves off the suggestion that the Web is a "paradigm of democratic knowledge and freedom" but is instead "a sphere riven by inequality, corporate control, surveillance, and privacy concerns."

    Is she even from this planet or is she that blinded by retarded left-wing bull shit? People like Fernandes are just as equally culpable (hey, what the heck, evil) as the douchebags running Cuba at the moment. She keeps Cuba in abject poverty and despair - all from her place of privilege.

  • Tornado16nb||

    I wonder what she thinks of writing for "thenation"

  • Jayburd||

    And you thought idiots were supposed to be useful.

  • esteve7||

    “A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
    ― Milton Friedman

  • AlmightyJB||

    Truth

  • Tornado16nb||

    In other words the particular groups are control freaks. Perhaps they suffer from delusions of grandeur

  • Tornado16nb||

    In other words the particular groups are control freaks. Perhaps they suffer from delusions of grandeur

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    Perhaps they have an infestation of squirrelz! Lol

  • AlmightyJB||

    If only I had an internet derp filter.

  • ||

    404 not found

  • Knutsack||

    Right under the Cuba article was an article titled "Is Tinder Making Economic Inequality Worse?"

  • The Other Libertarian||

    I put both of those article up there with WIRED's article, "Crowdfunding For the Public Good, Is Evil".

  • GroundTruth||

    "It is generally agreed that...

    Weasel-words right out of the dystopian world portrayed in Atlas Shrugged!

  • Empress Trudy||

    Progressives unsurprisingly are always in favor of massively oppressive over control. They're simply arguing about who's control that should be.

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

    Progressives are SoCons who think they can do a better job than the current SoCons.

  • InterDimentionalSpacePyrate||

    I used to work with a 70 year old Cuban dishwasher, who used to be a bare knuckle boxer in his youth.
    I believe in his own words he would say.
    "This fucking puta, is no fucking good."

  • InterDimentionalSpacePyrate||

    He was the most badass little old man I have ever met.

    RIP Mario

  • BYODB||

    "That's the basic thesis of a recent article in The Nation, written by Sujatha Fernandes, a professor of sociology at Queens College and the City University of New York (CUNY)."


    Oh, so no one important really.

  • coma44||

    Lefties love POWER they lust for it, they get ragging boners when someone else has it and "uses" it.....right up until that power fucks them over.......then......then they cry.

  • JaimeRoberto||

    Sounds like she's burnishing her resume for a move from college professor to college administrator.

  • Lorenzo Zoil||

    Why the fuck are progressive propagandists allowed to simply gloss over the fact that the is in fact a privileged aristocracy in the people's paradise? The government quite literally exists to protect the power and privilege of a few. The very thing they accuse market economies of existing for.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Then The Nation won't object when its website is censored.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Progressive propagandizes for communist totalitarian.

    How is this news?

  • TBlakely||

    Scratch a lefty and find a fascist/commie tool who wants to control the prols..... for there own good of course. The fact that the prols don't openly embrace the statist utopia ruled by their leftists betters if proof that they can't be trusted.... with pretty much anything.

  • John in GA||

    Cuba - and every other Communist country for that matter - is a Leftist's dream come true: a country in which a small group of favored elites live fabulous lives while the rest of the country lives in perfectly egalitarian squalor.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/int.....56/#slide2

  • TBlakely||

    "a Leftist's dream come true: a country in which a small group of favored elites live fabulous lives while the rest of the country lives in perfectly egalitarian squalor."

    Pretty much. Leftists solution to income inequality is to make everyone poor and dependent on the government.... that is controlled by them of course. Who else could possibly do the job, making the hard decisions ensuring equality? And being burdened by such awesome responsibility it's only fair that they get some.... additional benefits.

    Elitist prigs, all of them.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    I recently had a friend return from Myanmar and while showing their photos, commented about how beautiful and countryside and people were. Then she bemoaned the fact that their simple life would one day disappear as development caught on and investors moved in.

    She would rather people live in abject poverty with unsafe water and no a/c than the place get developed because it's so much nicer to visit the poverty stricken.

    She has a good heart and means well but she represents a lot of people that romanticize a life that they never want for themselves.

  • Bob K||

    "But Cuba's public Wi-Fi remains out of most people's reach. An access card sold by the state phone company, ETECSA, costs about $2 for an hour of Internet use, while the average state salary in Cuba is about $20 a month."

    - From NPR.

    So yeah that is a great system! 10% of your monthly income is sucked up by 1 hour of the internet. But evil capitalist trade me unlimited access for $60 per month which for the average American is 1% of their monthly salary. Bernie for President!

  • SanDiegoClimber||

    Venerable progressive mag? Really??? More like a magazine dedicated to promoting the ideas of totalitarian, statist monsters...

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Cuban Internet Censorship is a Good Thing, According to The Nation

    What?
    A totalitarian regime like Castro's Cuba censoring the internet?
    A liberal rag like "The Nation" kissing Castro's ass?
    I'm shocked, I tell you.
    Shocked!

  • Michael Price||

    "but participation is open to all Cubans who are willing to abide by its rules of neutrality in reference to controversial political themes. "
    War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Bias is Neutrality.

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