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Cuba Blocks Access to Social Media Networks

Havana: A day after massive demonstrations throughout the island to protest the worst economic crisis in decades, the communist government restricted internet access and blocked social networking sites in an apparent attempt to stop the flow of information to, from and within the nation.

The protests, the largest on the island, 90 miles from Miami, have been “definitely driven by greater access to the internet and telephones in Cuba,” according to Sebastián Arcos, FIU’s associate director of the Institute for Research on Cuba. “One of the phrases that dissidents are using now in Cuba is ‘we are connected’.”

On Monday, Cuban authorities blocked access to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram, according to Alp Toker, director of Netblocks, a London-based nonprofit internet watchdog group. “This seems to be the response to the protest promoted on social networks,” he commented. Twitter did not appear to be blocked, although Toker noted that Cuba can prevent access to the platform if it so wishes.

Toker added that while recent access to the internet by Cuban authorities has increased activity on social media, censorship by the communist regime has also been on the rise. (Input: Agencies)

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