Weekly Cuba News Roundup: December 2nd, 2022
El Bocadito: Although it doesn’t necessarily seem like breaking news, the idea that internet reach continues to expand in Cuba, thus bringing the existing black market online, is pretty cool.
In other news, there’s the U.S. government telling the FCC not to cooperate with an application for a new US-Cuba internet connection. That’s one thing but the other is the quick, terse response from Cuba slamming the decision not to allow the cable. The Washington Post put out a serious spy thriller of a story, from back in 2000. It involves the US, Cuba and Russia in a can’t-believe-this-shit-is-real plot of everyone telling on everyone. There’s a lot more below…
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Reuters: U.S. urges rejection of undersea cable connection to Cuba
A U.S. government committee on Thursday urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deny an application to connect Cuba to the United States through a new undersea cable landing station to handle internet, voice and data traffic. Read more at reuters.com.
Samuel Riera’s Art Brut Cuba opens channels for Outsider Artists to sell their art when they otherwise couldn’t earn a living from their work.
Reuters: Cuba slams U.S. rejection of undersea telecoms connection to island
Cuba´s Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio on Thursday accused long-time rival the United States of doublespeak after the Biden administration proposed to scrap a plan to install a new undersea telecommunications cable to Cuba. Read more at reuters.com.
Havana’s modern “international” architecture has Cuba’s urban planners worried.
LA Times: Cuba’s informal market finds new space as internet access grows
In the Telegram group chat, the messages roll in like waves. “I need liquid ibuprofen and acetaminophen, please,” wrote one user. “It’s urgent, it’s for my 10-month-old baby.” Others offer medicine brought from outside Cuba, adding, “Write to me in a direct message.” Emoji-speckled lists offer antibiotics, pregnancy tests, vitamins, rash creams and more. The group message, which includes 170,000 people, is just one of many that have flourished in recent years in Cuba alongside an exponential increase in internet usage on the communist-governed island. Read more at latimes.com.
Washington Post: FBI alerted notorious spy for Russia to another working for Cuba
In late 2000, the FBI was closing in on a suspected spy for Cuba working inside the Defense Intelligence Agency. Undercover operatives would soon begin trailing Ana Montes, the agency’s top military and political analyst on Cuba, by car and on foot. They filmed her making calls on pay phones, even though she carried a cellphone in her purse. They intercepted Montes’s mail and inspected the trash outside her apartment in Washington.
TechCrunch: FBI, CISA say Cuba ransomware gang extorted $60M from victims this year
The Cuba ransomware gang extorted more than $60 million in ransom payments from victims between December 2021 and August 2022, a joint advisory from CISA and the FBI has warned. Read more at techcrunch.com.
Reuters: Cuba says its allies have pledged help to end its economic crisis
China, Russia, Algeria and Turkey have pledged to restructure Cuba’s debt, provide new trade and investment financing, and help ease an energy crisis, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel told state-run media following a rare trip abroad last week. Read more at reuters.com.
Reuters: Cuba municipal elections see lowest turnout in 40 years
Cuba saw its lowest level of voter turnout in municipal elections since at least 1981, according to preliminary government figures on Monday. Read more at reuters.com.