After thousands of people protested food shortages, power outages and coronavirus restrictions, the Cuban authorities shut down their internet connections, apparently to prevent protests.
“There is no Internet. No, anywhere. People are trying to use apps,” said Isabel, a Havana resident. The London-based NetBlocks Internet Observatory reported that Cuba’s restrictions on social media and messaging continued on Tuesday.
Communism-ruled Cuba was one of the last countries in the world to open up to the CCP. the Internet, Only allowed to be used on mobile phones a few years ago. Home broadband is still rare, although the state-owned telecommunications monopoly ETECSA claims that approximately 60% of the population has access to some kind of network.
The last time Cuba shut down the Internet was in November last year because hundreds of people protest Call for greater freedom in front of the Ministry of Culture.
Since then, ETECSA has cut off dissidents’ telephone and Internet connections intermittently but systematically.
Cuban President and Communist Party Secretary Miguel Diaz-Canel claimed in two television broadcasts that Anti-government protest On Sunday, the United States and Cuban exiles trying to overthrow the government fanned fire on social media abroad.
“In recent weeks, there has been an increase in social networks against the Cuban revolution,” Diaz-Canel said on Monday. “[It is] Try to create dissatisfaction by manipulating people’s emotions and feelings about the problem in social networks. “
The government does not know anything about the communication shutdown, which seems to be to make it difficult for protesters to organize and make it difficult for other countries to understand what is happening.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price called on the Cuban authorities to lift Internet restrictions, saying the government implemented these restrictions in response to protests.
“We call on Cuban leaders to show restraint and urge respect for the voice of the people by opening up all online and offline communication methods,” he said.
“Turning off technology and closing information channels will not help solve the legitimate needs and desires of the Cuban people.”
Cuba’s streets have been quiet since Sunday afternoon, but there have obviously been at least two small protests in remote areas of Havana. Although it is difficult to confirm, there have been reports of arrests.
Cubalex, a US-based human rights organization, said that since Sunday morning, it has worked with journalists and activists to “receive information and register 148 people arrested or missing, 12 of whom have been released.”
The organization said: “Among these 136 people, 46 were confirmed to have been arrested on July 11, and 9 were arrested on July 12. Most of them were arrested at home or away from them.
Cubalex said it was unable to confirm reports of the protesters’ deaths or serious injuries.