Well, well, well. What have we here? Someone trying to turn Cuba into a closed society…and it ain’t Fidel Castro!
Cuba on Tuesday accused Google of “outrageous censorship” after the US internet giant blocked access to a web traffic analysis tool to comply with US sanctions against Havana.
Google Analytics, a free tool allowing website operators to see when people visit and from where, stopped working in Cuba after a software update that brought it in line with US restrictions.
“As a US company, we comply with US export controls and trade sanctions that limit us from offering certain services in certain countries,” Google said in an emailed reply to an AFP inquiry.
“In order to abide by these laws, our terms of service have always prohibited the use of Google Analytics in sanctioned countries,” it said. “There’s now a technical block in place as well.”
The list of countries where Google products or services face sanctions included Cuba, Burma, Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea.
In other words, a corporation is kowtowing to state censorship…not by the Cuban state, which doesn’t censor any information (Cuban newspapers are concise, but accurate), but by the United States of So-Called Freedom-Loving America.
And of course, this being corporate news, it’s justified with the usual drivel:
US sanctions have been in place against Cuba since 1962.
Limited political debate in the Communist-ruled island nation is carried out on blogs and social networking websites, but opposition to the ruling party is banned and the media is under state control.
Actually, opposition isn’t banned (they’re merely unpopular, but nobody’s stopping them from believing what they will), and the debate isn’t limited; internet access in Cuba is, because the infrastructure is severely underfunded. (That would be the fault of those fifty-year-old sanctions by you-know-who.)
It’s interesting, however, that one prominent opposition voice hasn’t been silenced, as is commonly asserted; indeed, she has dedicated servers (conveniently located outside of Cuba!) and non-Google translation into numerous languages, and one wonders where she got the considerable money needed for that. Bet Google Analytics won’t be blocking her, though, since her incessant (uncensored! in Cuba!) whinings about how repressed she is conveniently serve the corporatist agenda.
In other words, all that hoary commie rhetoric about capitalist running dogs…is correct. Who’d of thunk it?