14 September 2007

Connectivity Issues

Gusano’s internet access is still not very “Comcastic”. After replacing my router AND my cable modem, now they tell me it’s my connection and that they’re going to have to send out a technician –sometime between 8 and 11 on Sunday. But, on the bright side, I have over 40 channels of digital muzac!

And why do I trouble you with my connectivity issues?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Ever since I came to the US, whenever I complained about anything, my parents would remind me of my family and Cuba and about how great I had it compared to them.

Quick comparison:

PC’s. Anybody can buy a PC- No questions asked-They’re available at libraries and schools. Gratis. In Cuba, forget about it.

Access: Not regulated and I can’t even list the many different types of providers. In Cuba, it’s Ramiro’s internet. You go where he wants you to go or else.

And now it’s getting even worse for Cubans to connect to the internet and circumvent the Castro-Communist propaganda they call news-and I don’t mean the New York Times.

Case in point:

Here’s a Chicago Tribune Article on this very subject –Some Excerpts:

Ordinary Cubans have trouble affording and securing authorization for computers and home dial-up service (high-speed access doesn't exist in Cuban homes).

One report estimated that only 220,000 of the country's roughly 11 million people are online. If Cubans have a computer at work, Web access is often scant -- limited to pages related to their job -- except for senior officials, government journalists and certain other professionals.

Since last year, Reporters Without Borders, a French non-profit group, has been raising concerns about Cuba."With less than 2 percent of the population online, Cuba is one of the world's most backward countries as regards Internet usage," the report said, ranking it as the worst in Latin America and on a level with Uganda or Sri Lanka.

So, as I whine about my connectivity issues while I post this on my laptop using a borrowed “aircard” , I am forced to reflect on all the advantages and freedoms that I have learned to take for granted and on how spoiled I am compared to ordinary Cubans held captive on the island.

A little adversity and sacrifice can be humbling, sobering and a great reminder of why you’re so anxious to get on-line in the first place.

I just wish I didn’t have to hear my mother’s voice in the back of my head saying:

¡Niño parece mentira que te quejes! ¡Con todo lo que tienes! ¡Ya quisieran tus primos tener la mitad de la mitad de lo que tu tienes! ¡ Los probres..con el trabajo que pasan…….

Then, the voice would quiver and she would be unable to finish the sentence as tears welled in her eyes.


Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

Supposedly Verizon is now going to hook me back up on Sunday as well.

Marta said...

I, too, (I'm embarrassed to admit) am a World Class Whiner-Baby. Let's start a club. I'll make the tshirts. =D

rsnlk said...

Hope they get around to fixing you up soon. Miss your wit and insight.

Charlie Bravo said...

Well, that's in human nature....