More of the Absurd: U.S. May Reject Underwater Cable with Cuba due to “National Security Risks”

By Alejandra Garcia on December 4, 2022, from Havana

Cuba is once again at the center of Washington’s hostilities. Last week, it was news that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) suggested rejecting the installation of an undersea telecommunications cable connecting the two countries, which would help facilitate internet access for Cubans. The justification: The White House fears that this deployment would endanger the national security of the North American country.

The recommendation was made to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The DOJ asked the FCC Telecom team to deny the ARCOS-1 underwater cable network to deploy the only direct commercial submarine wire connection between the island and its neighboring countries. According to the DOJ, Cuba’s relations with other “foreign adversaries,” such as China or Russia, pose a risk to the government if such a connection were to exist.

“The Cuban government is a counterintelligence threat to the U.S. because it is allied with others who do the same. Therefore, the risks to our infrastructure are simply too high,” Deputy Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen said in a statement.

However, while the discrediting campaigns against the island give free rein to the idea that the government wants to prevent Cubans from accessing the network, the reality is different. Cuba, blocked for more than 60 years, is making a great effort to connect all Cubans to the Internet.

That willpower has paid off, and the island is among the fastest growing countries in terms of access to the World Wide Web with 7.5 million Cubans now connected.  But attempts to restore the direct link between the two countries via submarine cable have been in vain, even though this would improve the direct interconnection of Internet service.

This is another area where the US talks out of both sides of its mouth; on one hand they criticize the Cuban government for allegedly denying internet access while on the other they deny the island the underwater cable, available to every other island in the Caribbean.

And speaking of internet access what about all those in this US who don’t have internet access to a broadband connection? A report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finds that 6% of the population does not have access to this service and even in areas where it is available approximately 100 million Americans do not subscribe; nearly a third of the population.

The US intention is to Control Internet Access in Cuba

“Is this the way in which the U.S. government wants to fulfill its commitment to promote the use of the Internet in Cuba? Is this the way in which it demonstrates its concern for the welfare of the Cuban people, whom it punishes mercilessly with an economic blockade?” Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossio denounced.

Washington’s usual double standard in its relations with the Island is once again exposed. This recommendation, according to Cuban experts, proves the nefarious cynicism of the White House, which still dares to say that the United States, nevertheless, “supports the existence of a secure, reliable, and open Internet network around the world, including Cuba.”

For Cuban researcher Raul Capote, “this new political move shows who are those who do everything possible, even to the point of absurdity, to isolate the island from submarine telecommunications networks.”

The ARCOS-1 network connects 15 countries on the continent, including the U.S., Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, and Mexico. But the economic and commercial blockade imposed by the U.S. on the island for more than six decades has prevented it from accessing any of the dozens of cables that pass through areas near its coasts. And that is just cruel and absurd.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – US