AND it was Cubans in the diaspora, echoing voices within the country, who lobbied most vigorously for increased connectivity. 

In 2015, when the first wireless Wi-Fi hot spots were set up in squares and parks around Cuba, thousands streamed in to talk to their relatives abroad, giddy with excitement over this new way to connect.

THE image of that collective euphoria stands in stark contrast to web access earlier this century, when the first shops offering Internet services - though only to tourists and other foreigners - opened in Cuba.

In April 2007, from one such place near the neoclassical Capital in Havana, I wrote my first post for my blog, Generation Y.

Wearing sandals, feigning the dazed look of someone who just landed on the island, and covered with enough sunblock to convince the security guards that I was from Europe,  I babbled a few words, mixing bad Spanish and coarse German.

The ruse allowed me to buy my first card, sit down in front of a state-owned computer and log my first entry : A blogger was born!

Those early years also the rise of an army of government trolls who flooded the comments and sections of homegrown sites that were critical of the  Communist Party with revolutionary slogans.

Under pseudonyms they attacked dissenters with epithets and rumors and questioned the moral standing of those who disagreed with them.

They no longer needed the courts or bullets to assassinate reputations; a simple tweet punch would do the trick.

The revolutionary commander Ramiro Valdes stood out during this time for launching brutal ideological battles to fight new technology.

As minister of information and communication, Mr. Valdes defined in harsh words the relationship between Cuba's ''historic generation'' of older revolutionaries and-

And the new era brought about by mobile phones, USB memory sticks and computers built by Cubans using parts bought on the black market.

The Internet is a ''wild colt'' that ''can and must be controlled,'' Mr. Valde's once said. Digital spaces  were simply strongholds  that needed to be overrun, and this would remain the government's attitude for over a decade.

The honor and serving of the latest operational research on Cuba and Gigabytes, continues. The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Yoani Sanchez.


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