Will the Internet Destroy Cuba's Communist Dictatorship?

Historic protests enabled by social media and cellphone footage are threatening to finally end Castro's revolutionary regime.


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On Sunday, July 11, thousands of Cubans in dozens of cities around the island nation took to the streets to protest the country's communist dictatorship and persistent shortages in food, energy, and medicine, all of which have been made worse by the pandemic.

The demonstrations have been enabled by social media and the internet, which only came to Cuba in a big way in late 2018, when President Miguel Diaz-Canel allowed citizens access to the internet on their cellphones.

To better understand exactly how Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms are empowering the Cuban people and undermining state control, Reason spoke with Ted Henken, a sociologist at City University of New York's Baruch College and the co-editor of Cuba's Digital Revolution.

Interview by Nick Gillespie. Edited by Ian Keyser. Intro by Paul Detrick.

Photo: Brian Lawless/ZUMA Press/Newscom, ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI/REUTERS/Newscom, Axelle de Russe/Polaris/Newscom