July 16, 2011
An interesting read from WBEZ91.5 on cell phones and Cuba.
Cuba did not allow its citizens to legally own cell phones until 2008. Prior to that, to have a cell phone meant you were either very high in or very important to the government, or you had an European or Canadian connection Ė a foreigner willing to get a phone and cell service in her name and let you use it. It was an exclusive club, and pulling a cell out in public elicited envy, awe, and not a little bit of fear.
After 2008, though, cell phones have become ubiquitous. The lowliest delivery boy has one attached to his belt.
But what is curious is the chasm between the cost of cellular service and the official Cuban monthly salary. How can a Cuban earning $15-$20 USD a month have cell service that ends up being twice that? The answer is that, at least officially, they canít.
The government assumes its citizens are getting their funds from abroad or through illegal means.Itís Cubaís version of Donít Ask Donít Tell: The government agrees not to question source of income so long as the citizen agrees to pay the exorbitant fee.
Read full article.
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