Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Alo, alo ...

It’s now confirmed: when it comes to mobile phones, Cuba lags way, way behind the rest of the world.

A new United Nations study has found that less than two per cent of Cubans have access to mobile or cell phones – a ranking that places Fidel Castro's island on par with countries such as Nepal. And Eritrea.

This is because the Government-owned telephone company will only provide mobile phone accounts to foreigners, or to high-ranking Communist Party officials deemed to be "ideologically safe".

Ordinary Cubans, on the other hand, are strictly forbidden from accessing mobile phones, even if they are lucky enough to have the hard currency needed for such an account.

Of course, the Castro regime blames the policy on the “evil” US commercial embargo, a claim that is so demonstrably stupid it has been described in the past by respected independent commentators as absolute rubbish.

In fact, the real reason why the regime is afraid of mobile phones is highlighted in comments made by dissident Oswaldo Paya who says the problem is in Havana not in Washington.

"A cell phone represents independence, the ability to communicate privately even on the move," Mr Paya told the media. "And this totalitarian regime is designed to take away people's independence and freedom."


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