The United States Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a Fact Sheet to emphasize the U.S. government’s commitment to promoting the ability of the Cuban people to seek, receive, and impart information, by highlighting the most relevant exemptions and authorizations pertinent to supporting the Cuban people through the provision of certain internet and related telecommunications services.
It took a long time for the Cuban government to provide internet access to its population but with so many restrictions and censorship to what they had access to. Slowly, the government started letting people access sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites but with outrageous prices to connect to the Wi-Fi. People spent hours at the park trying to connect to the internet, surf the web, connect with their families and friends abroad.
The internet also gave them access to information and saw what other people around the world lived like. It provided them with an opportunity to share their opinions and views and tell the world what's really happening on the island. More recently, the protests on July 11, 2021, against the government and the abuse of power. The retaliation against the protesters and the brutality of the police. Cubans worldwide raised their voices too against the current president Miguel Diaz Canel who intentionally called out on the communist party to get on the streets to retaliate against its own people.
Cuban Americans were also on the streets all over the USA, asking President Biden to help the Cuban people. Today this update from the OFAC will help the people stay connected to the internet to keep expressing themselves and telling the world what's going on on the island.
This is just one small step to help the Cuban people. Still, the US Embassy in Cuba needs to be staffed and reopen getting people's visas because now, they have to travel to a third country to get an interview, and that doesn't guarantee that the person will get a visa to come to the United States.
Cuba has received donations in the last two weeks from Mexico, Venezuela, Russia, and other countries and as expected. A small box with a few items has been given to the people "free of charge. But the rest its been sold at the stores to the people in USD. How long will the Cuban government be able to keep that up? Who knows, but the truth is that the people are tired of suffering and are demanding change and freedom.
My goal with the tours to Cuba has always been to help the people, and we have achieved quite a lot in the last 4 years, but more has to be done to help them. As soon as you are ready and things stabilized with the COVID cases in Cuba, I'll be prepared to go and take as many of you as possible with donations to support the people. Until then, we just need to pray for them!
Should you like to learn more about the lastest updates regarding the Cuban Assets and how you can apply for licenses to provide internet access visit: Cuba Internet Access Fact Sheet
About Sheyla Paz
Sheyla was born and raised in Cuba. Moved to the United States 20 years ago after meeting her husband at her beloved island when she was performing with a band at the Riviera Hotel in Havana. She is a Journalist, Actress, Producer, and Photographer with a passion for travel. Sheyla launched the tour agency to Cuba out of her desire to share her culture, music, dance, and the architecture of her homeland with others. Her agency provides travel arrangements to all Latin countries and Caribbean islands. She has several award wining short films and was recognized as a leading media personality in the Latino community in Tennessee with the award “Beacon of Light” in 2019. Sheyla was one of the few Cuban-American journalists selected to travel to Cuba with President Barack Obama in 2016 as part of the White House Press Corp. Sheyla is an ASTA Verified travel advisor, Signature Travel Network Luxury Certified Travel advisor and several destination specialist in the Caribbean and Latin America. She is also certified in Luxury River and Ocean cruises.
Follow us on Social Media @YourTourGuidetoCuba & @SheylaAdventureTravel
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