We interrupt this program ...
Well, the official propaganda sheet of the regime, Granma, has just published a full page story detailing what it calls "Caso Antena", an investigation into the prohibited satellite dishes.
The end result?
An unknown number of Cubans have been arrested and fined up to USD 44,000 for building and then selling the illegal dishes.
This is a big fine in anyone’s language but especially so in Cuba where the monthly average wage is about USD 14.00.
And those caught are facing long prison sentences.
Now, why is the Castro regime so keen to stamp out illegal dishes? Is it because they are worried about copyright breaches, perhaps? Safety considerations? Because the dishes don't meet planning standards?
None of the above.
The regime is worried that the illegal dishes are used by Cubans to tune into programs from the US described by Granma in characteristic language, as “culturally inappropriate” and “subversive”.
It’s not the dishes that worries them. It’s the content.
For the record, Associated Press reports that there is indeed a government-approved satellite television service in Cuba.
Sadly for ordinary Cubans earning USD 14.00 a month, AP says the service is available “only to resident foreigners, tourists and a select group of officials” – and they still need a “special license” to receive programming from the US.