Cuba fears Internet subversion by U.S.

Feb. 7, 2011 at 2:10 PM
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HAVANA, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The Castro government in Cuba views the Internet as a major threat manipulated by Washington, an official says in a leaked video.

The video appears to be a secret recording of a lecture by an unidentified computer expert to a military or police audience last June, The Miami Herald reported Monday. It was posted last week on a video-sharing site by one "Black Coral," and Thursday on a blog based in Spain about Cuba.

The speaker declares, "The Internet is a field of battle." He charges the United States tried in 2008 to set 10 WiFi "hot spots" around Havana, using smuggled satellite telephones to link hundreds of computers to the Internet free of control by Cuba's Communist government.

Dissidents and bloggers were to receive satellite phones, laptops, video cameras and Internet-capable cellphones, their bills paid abroad, to establish the network, he said.

The George W. Bush administration did consider the WiFi idea but never carried it out, a former official with knowledge of Cuban democracy efforts told the Herald.

Yoani Sanchez, a dissident blogger singled out in the speech, said the lecturer "apparently does not understand" social media.

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