Cuba: Is Joe Biden An Internet Liberator?

By Iroel Sánchez on August 23, 2021

US Internet Policy towards Cuba

On Friday, July 16, on the White House lawn and before boarding the helicopter to his Camp David residence, Joe Biden told CNN that “disinformation on the networks is killing us”. In particular, the President of the United States was referring to the publications on the digital network Facebook against the vaccinations against COVID-19 and accused that company of doing nothing to prevent them.

Facebook is the same company that operates WhatsApp, and on both networks has spread not a few false news items related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Cuba. But if the President, the Foreign Minister or any other Cuban leader were to say what Biden said, the media and influencing device that his government finances against the island would immediately undertake the lynching of the author of such a phrase in the name of “freedom of expression”.

No matter if it is the “expression” of the old traditional media, those created in the Bush era, those emerged in the Obama era or in the Trump era, the participation in the disinformation war against Cuba is unanimous for those who claim plurality. From the UPI agency saying that the Bayamo “port” and the Habana Libre Hotel had been taken over by the invaders from Playa Giron to the “King, you know I am a biologist” at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the one who pays for disinformation and is still 90 miles north of Cuba.

However, all the digital social networking companies (Twitter, Facebook and Google) have spared no means to block Russian media accounts such as RT and Sputnik, and in the case of Google, even to temporarily remove them from internet searches. It is also a fact that many accounts of Cuban media, officials and journalists on Twitter have been blocked from the US especially in moments of political relevance. The same fate has recently befallen the account of the University Student Federation, which groups hundreds of thousands of young Cubans.

The organic links of these companies with the US special services and State Department are well documented by the Snowden and Wikileaks revelations, and reached a particular splendor in the two Obama terms during which Biden was Vice President. The Obama-Biden administration is pointed out as the one that has most persecuted whistleblowers in the United States, even greater than that of Richard Nixon, considered until then the most obsessive in that regard.

It was the alliance with the big technology companies that led the executive headed by the aforementioned Democratic duo to viciously persecute, to the point of suicide, the brilliant and very young computer scientist Aaron Swartz for becoming a leader in the free dissemination of knowledge on the Internet. Swartz, harassed by the FBI, was subjected to a federal prosecution, in which the government made him face 35 years in prison and a million dollar fine. His crime? Downloading a database of scientific research results funded with public money with the intention of releasing it on the internet for access by all interested parties. Unlike Biden, who talks about freedom and pursues it, Aaron was consistent: in 2008 he had published a manifesto denouncing “the private theft of public culture”.

There was no clemency from those who now claim to be concerned about Cubans’ access to information, and who conveniently use media figures to talk about freedom. It didn’t matter that Swartz, as a teenager, had contributed substantially to elements that are now commonplace for sharing information on the Internet, such as rss and Creative Commons, which have contributed much more to humanity than those who pay for songs and Molotov cocktails as part of a plan to unleash something that will contribute as much to the American national interest as to a bloodbath 90 miles from the United States.

The only freedom of interest to a government whose ministers were appointed by a banking corporation, as recorded in emails between Citibank and Barack Obama’s transition team leaked by Wikileaks, is the freedom to make money, and Aaron Swartz was a threat to that.

As Vice President, the current President of the United States did not lift a finger so that Cuba could access the internet through the several undersea fiber optic cables that pass within a few miles of its shores and which have remained off-limits to Cuban companies. Cuba had to finance a 1,062 km long connection, at a cost of 70 million dollars, extending from Camurí, near the port of La Guaira, in Venezuela, to Siboney beach, in Santiago de Cuba. Nor did he unblock the many blocked scientific and technological information sites for Cuban computer developers.

Eric Schmidt, someone who knows both Aaron Swartz and Biden well, visited Cuba in 2015 as CEO of Google. When he was at the University of Computer Science, where several students and professors expressed their complaints about not being able to access sites of his mega-company dedicated to software development. Schmidt said he would provide them with access “from the left”, as they say in Cuban, and a professor present replied, “we do not want to jump the fence, we want to enter through the door like everyone else”, and the U.S. executive promised to discuss it with his government, precisely the same government of which Biden was a member. What has happened since then until today is that the situation, far from improving, has worsened, but Joe Biden has pledged to give “uncensored Internet to Cuba” and for free!

Most likely by one more business for technology companies like the ones that lined their pockets with American taxpayers’ money, saying that a television that has never been seen in Havana would be seen. Biden calls Cuba a “failed state”, but there is nothing more failed than the US government’s 60-years of “creative” attempts to change the regime on the island. But sorry, yes there is something more failed, it’s the way Miami terrorists and extortionists have duped US governments over the same period.

Source: Pupila Insomne translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English