News Follow the news on Cuba CubaAmericas CubaAmericas Organisation RSF and Fundamedios welcome US asylum ruling in favor of Cuban journalist Serafin Moran Santiago Reporters Without Borders took issue today with comments by Cuban communications minister Ramiro Valdes yesterday describing the Internet as a “tool for global extermination” and as a “wild colt” that needed to be tamed.Valdes also insisted that, if few Cubans were online, this was due to a US embargo that prevented Cuba from have decent Internet connections. In Reporters Without Borders’ view, it is in fact due to the Cuban government’s desire to control the flow of information throughout the country.“The US embargo prevents Cuba from connecting to the Internet by underwater cable and this obviously does not favour development of the Internet, but we published a report in October that shows that the authorities deliberately restrict online access,” the press freedom organisation said.“It would anyway have been astonishing if a country that has no independent radio or TV station or newspaper did allow unrestricted access to the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders continued. “We await the creation of a better Internet connection via Venezuela, as the minister announced, and we will then see if the government finally allows its citizens access to an uncensored Internet.”Valdes made these comments, which were reported by the Associated Press, at the opening of a conference on communications technologies in Havana. He also accused the United States of using the Internet to “undermine the communist government.”Going online in Cuba – Internet under surveillance (extract of the October 2006 report) :”With less than 2 per cent of the population online, Cuba is one of the world’s most backward countries as regards Internet usage. The worst off by far in Latin America and with a thirteenth of Costa Rica’s usage, it is down there with Uganda or Sri Lanka. This is quite surprising in a country that boasts one of the highest levels of education in the world. The authorities blame this disastrous situation on the US trade embargo, which supposedly prevents them from getting the equipment they need for Internet development. In particular, they say they are unable to use underwater fibre optic cable to connect to the Internet outside Cuba and are therefore reduced to using costly and less effective satellite links.This may indeed explain the slowness of the Cuban Internet and the endless lines outside Internet cafes. But in no way does it justify the system of control and surveillance that has been put in place by the authorities. In a country where the media are under the government’s thumb, preventing independent reports and information from circulating online has naturally become a priority.An investigation carried out by Reporters Without Borders revealed that the Cuban government uses several mechanisms to ensure that the Internet is not used in a “counter-revolutionary” fashion. Firstly, the government has more or less banned private Internet connections. To visit websites or check their e-mail, Cubans have to use public access points such as Internet cafes, universities and “Youth computing centers” where it is easier to monitor their activity. Then, the Cuban police has installed software on all computers in Internet cafes and big hotels that triggers an alert message when “subversive” key-words are noticed.The regime also ensures that there is no Internet access for its political opponents and independent journalists, for whom reaching news media abroad is an ordeal. The government also counts on self-censorship. In Cuba, you can get a 20-year prison sentence for writing a few “counter-revolutionary” articles for foreign websites, and a five-year one just for connecting with the Internet in an illegal manner. Few people dare to defy the state censorship and take such a risk.”Read the full report————————Create your blog with Reporters without borders: www.rsfblog.org May 6, 2020 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders took issue today with comments by Cuban communications minister Ramiro Valdes yesterday describing the Internet as a “tool for global extermination” and as a “wild colt” that needed to be tamed. Valdes also insisted that, if few Cubans were online, this was due to a US embargo that prevented Cuba from have decent Internet connections. In Reporters Without Borders’ view, it is in fact due to the Cuban government’s desire to control the flow of information throughout the country. New press freedom predators elected to UN Human Rights Council to go further Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts Cuba and its Decree Law 370: annihilating freedom of expression on the Internet February 13, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Minister blames US embargo for low number of Cubans online October 15, 2020 Find out more News October 12, 2018 Find out more News RSF_en
Last Friday April 29th, a giddy mass of about 2,000 jazz cats, funk junkies, grey-haired orchestra freaks, dreadlocked hippies and general music lovers packed into the Lawlor Events Center, the basketball stadium for the University of Nevada at Reno, to see jazz collective Snarky Puppy. The eclectic crowd spoke to the Pup’s allure for performing musical alchemy with a range of ingredients from jazz to samba to rock. Technical yet approachable, the group’s rich sonic concoction has risen in appeal over the last two years with ambitious albums like We Like It Here and Family Dinner Vol. 2, records that show the vast depth of talent the group possesses. Friday night marked the release of Snarky Puppy’s newest album Culcha Vulcha, and the band celebrated in kind by kicking off the festivities with the album’s opener “Tarova.” Heads bobbed in unison as the musicians locked in on the rhythm’s confident swagger. Percussive blasts from the horns peppered the rock-solid beat as it rumbled across the stadium.They immediately bounced into Culcha Vulcha’s next track “Semente.” The swirling flute and organ of the Brazilian melody flowed from the band’s instruments like nectar looking to quench our thirst of soulful music. Two songs in the band was on fire and it stayed hot all night as it burned down genre walls and gave to us a vision of music that has no borders. The groove never took a break during Snarky Puppy’s hour and a half tour de force of musicality. The band functions like the hippest orchestra on the planet, with each hook or coda by the collective branching out into intricate pieces by individuals. “What About Me” was a rush of cascading guitars over furious drumming that showcased a multitude of fiery solos, all eliciting enthusiastic responses from the crowd. The band practically passed the baton around between members on a massive “Grown Folks” that saw cragged guitar solos and rugged horn lines in an abrasively funky jam. The audience was very responsive to the ensemble’s energy despite being seated. They were quick to cheer the musicians after solos and ingesting sections, giving credit where credit was due. With an infectious wave of African rhythm “Tio Macaco” elicited a collective smile from the audience that the band grow wider and wider as it got deeper into the groove. It even moved some people to unapologetically get up and dance in the aisles. Snarky Puppy held everyone at the edge of their seats in wonder at the wall of fresh sound coming at them. The band left to thunderous applause, another night of amazing music in the bag. The group is just kicking off its tour in support of its new album so grab your tickets to be inspired by one of the most influential bands of this era.