Patrice Riemens on Tue, 22 Dec 2009 12:36:51 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Cuba Jails US Worker Handing Out Laptops, Cellphones

Bwo BytesforAll_Readers list/ Fred Noronha

eldavojohn writes

"An American citizen working as a contractor for the United States
Agency for International Development has been arrested for giving away
laptops and cellphones in Cuba. The intent was to enable activists to
connect with each other and spread information of what's happening
inside Cuba. From the article: 'Cellphones and laptops are legal
in Cuba, though they are new and coveted commodities in a country
where the average worker's wage is $15 a month. The Cuban government
granted ordinary citizens the right to buy cellphones just last
year; they are used mostly for texting, because a 15-minute phone
conversation would eat up a day's wages.' A Representative on the
House Foreign Affairs Committee said the arrest was 'no surprise'
while a human rights watch group cited a report outlining the Cuban
Criminal Code offense of 'dangerousness,' which is most likely the one
for which this individual was detained. There is at present no way to
contact the individual nor official word on why he was detained." The
article quotes an actvist with Human Rights Watch who said that "any
solution to the contractor's case would probably be political" and
that "the Cuban government often provokes a negative reaction in the
United States just as [the two] countries begin to move toward more

See the conflicting views on the debate below this item:

Frederick Noronha

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