Online Service in Cuba
Computer communications are tightly controlled, and access for the average Cuban is severely restricted. Only since 2008 have Cuban citizens (other than doctors and a few other approved individuals) been permitted to own computers.
Cubans are permitted to send and receive emails, but government authorization is needed to access the Internet; everyone else is limited to the Intranet of local, government-sanctioned websites.
The Cuban government has stated that ordinary Cubans will be granted Internet access following completion of an optic cable from Venezuela (but don’t hold your breath).
Etecsa has a monopoly on Internet service, which it offers at most telepuntos (prepaid cards cost CUC6, one hour). You need to present your passport, which will be recorded, along with the number of your prepaid card (assume that all emails are read directly off the server by security personnel). Tourist hotels also have Internet service using Etecsa’s system (CUC6–10 per hour, depending on hotel). Some hotels have dataports and wireless Internet in guest rooms.
You can save money on Internet time by typing emails in advance then saving them to a disc; use the disc to copy and paste messages into an email.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition