Please allow me to submit the following letter in response to Andres Oppenheimer’s May 24 article, “In Cuba, technology may beat censorship.”
Oppenheimer’s article “In Cuba, technology may beat censorship” focuses on the emergence, subsequent blocking, and eventual acceptance of 14ymedio, an online newspaper created by Yoani Sánchez and Reinaldo Escobar. Shortly after its launch, the Cuban government blocked 14ymedio. This, however, was short-lived; Cubans can now access the website on the island through the Internet and paquetes, or memory sticks. Oppenheimer stresses the use of the latter not only as a means of acquiring information, but also as a sign of Cuban society’s willingness to undermine Castro’s rule. Like Oppenheimer, I applaud Sánchez and Escobar’s attempts to bring honest and critical journalism to the island. However, Oppenheimer’s analysis lacks depth, as it focuses almost exclusively on the threat greater possible access to technology could pose to the Castro regime. I believe economic changes, not technological advances, more likely weaken Cuban revolutionary ideals. As Cuban markets open and competition increases, the populace will opt for an even greater dosage of individual rights, which more effectively undermines the socialist vitality of the Castro regime. Hasty weakening of the Castro regime may have detrimental effects for Cuban society, as it could jeopardize the island’s impressive progress in health and education. An economic opening, therefore, not only the expansion of the Internet and journalism, could end up leveling the biggest threat to the Castro regime and calls for more attention in Oppenheimer’s analysis.
Maggie Joyce, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
In response to Miami Herald article “In Cuba, technology may beat censorship.”
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