Thursday, December 3, 2009

What is Treasury telling Google? (Updated)

A Juventud Rebelde article by Amaury del Valle complains today that in Google’s 2009 Zeitgeist survey, statistics for Cuba aren’t broken out.

But Cuba is not the only country for which separate data aren’t provided, and plenty of the countries not listed in the survey are not subject to U.S. economic sanctions.

So while del Valle’s point about Zeitgeist looks inaccurate, I wonder if he’s right about his broader charge that Google is “joining the U.S. blockade against Cuba” contrary to President Obama’s expressed desire to “facilitate Cubans’ access to new technologies.”

Del Valle says that Google’s Blogger function has been blocked to Cuban users “on various occasions.” (Blogger is the free, idiot-proof tool and hosting platform that I used to create this blog, and where many of the blogs you read reside.) The same has occurred, he says, with Google Earth, Google Toolbar, and the new web browser Google Chrome.

Recall that U.S. Treasury regulations have blocked Microsoft instant messaging software from Cuban users and that Treasury, in a letter to the Center for Democracy in the Americas, admitted as much and said it might fix the problem (Bloomberg story here).

In that Bloomberg story, a Google spokesman says that Treasury regulations affect Google products in the same way, which amounts to another dubious Victory for American Foreign Policy, and another indicator of how much of the Obama Cuba policy remains that of President Bush.

[Update: The Treasury letter referenced above is here.]


Anonymous said...

On Planet Phil Peters, the Cuban people's problem is not the regime's blockade of information, it is the United States'.

Arielle Schecter said...

Actually, according to Phil Peters and other informed people, the Cuban people have many problems (not just a single one) caused by the hostile political and economic climate created by the US' anachronistic embargo and perhaps exacerbated by the measures - however successful or not - taken by the Cuban government to defend the nation's self-sovereignty.

Anonymous said...

Huh? Cuban apparatchiks complain about Google, access to which the regime has made a *crime* for the Masses??!!

Phil, is it too late to quote complaints by Nazi bureaucrats about the denial of membership to Jews in pre-World War II American country clubs?

leftside said...

What are you talking about 12:39, ie. making access to Google a "crime?"

Anonymous said...

"What are you talking about 12:39, ie. making access to Google a "crime?"

Wake up and smell the Stalinism, Lefty.

As you know (and pretend not to know) accessing the World Wide Web is a *crime* in Cuba, except for "trusties" like you and foreign turistas, whose price per hour was just raised again. Havana does have one or two pathtetic internet cafes for the Masses, but they are expensive, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w, and you have to deposit your carnet while enjoying this "privilege," while the attenant patrols the aisle to make sure nothing "counterrevolutionary" is on the screen.

Anonymous said...

Was that article published on the printed version of Juventud Rebelde? The same version read by people with no rights to internet?
Come on! Fidel Castro hates the idea of free flow of information. Even if USA give the free internet service they wouldn't want it.

Anonymous said...

once again, mr leftside is exposed as a complete fraud who know NOTHING about how people live in cuba

Anonymous said...

point is that google should be allowed in terms of normal trading globally to do whatever they want without governnment interference.

funny how hypocritical the far right miami noise machine is. They watch glenn beck, worship limbaugh, but in terms of us policy to Cuba they LOVE government intervention, LOVE regulation, and LOVE BUERUACRATS (i mean aren't the bureaucrats that glenn beck and is minions hates, the ones who ENFORCE US EMBARGO)

the haters from Miami have no consistency in thinking. That's why, even though I am left leaning, I totally respect CATO and Ron Paul types, but DESPISE the PALIN types, which are the groups of MIAMI haters - who aren't in any way libertarians, but rather use government as tool to further their interests - all the while crying about GOV. Intervention.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:46PM, no. The point is how hypocritical Juventud Rebelde is, considering how very very few people in Cuba can access the Internet. And all that because of fidel castro fear to free flow of information.
That article is BS since you do see the info from Cuba in Google. But only if you try, instead of whining about how "terrible" the USA are to Cuba.
Having said that, I agree with you about gov intervention.

Anonymous said...

god the right wing gusanos are so predictable, and complete and utter liars. accessing the web is not illegal in cuba you morons, and that's just one more reason why the travel restrictions should be lifted -- so americans can see for themselves what's really happening, and give the boot up the ass to the 50 year old lies the gusanos have been telling us.

enough of your lies and manipulation

Anonymous said...

Fidel, why don't you sign your posts?

Anonymous said...

"accessing the web is not illegal in cuba you morons"

Exactly right. Anyone perusing the MANY blogs hosted on Cuban soil can confirm for themselves that a wide range of opinions are ALWAYS being expressed! For example, when the Party issues the suggestion to "Jump," there will be a wide range of opinions expressed as to "how high." CASE CLOSED, gusanos!

When are these pathetic fascists going to wake up to Cuba's magnificent reality?

"Jonestown is paradise."

leftside said...

As you know (and pretend not to know) accessing the World Wide Web is a *crime* in Cuba...

No it is not. You simply have to pay for the internet, like everywhere else in the world. In Cuba, the costs happen to be MUCH higher and the bandwidth a billion times slower - due to the US embargo that forces a clumsy, slow, expensive satellite connection. This does require that things like health and education get put ahead of downloading You Tube videos, but no, accessing the net is not a crime - any more than if someone in the US stole an AOL login and password.