After the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the transfer of power to younger brother Raul Castro, life in Cuba is getting better for some citizens. For many years, Cuban’s were denied the things we take for granted here in the U.S. because of presidential decree.
A few weeks ago, Raul Castro lifted a ban that forbade Cubans from legally owning cellular phones and DVD players. This week, BBC News reports that Raul Castro lifted a ban that prevented Cubans from legally owning personal computers.
Desktop computers are now available in Cuba and BBC News reports that a crowd formed at the Carlos III shopping center in Havana when the first PC shipments arrived. Despite the large crowds most were there only to look on as others bought.
The average price for a new desktop PC in Cuba is reported to be around $800 and the average monthly wage in Cuba is a mere $20. That would mean an average computer in Cuba would cost most citizens over three years of pay.
Most Cubans have access to supplementary income according to BBC News, typically from family who live abroad. Despite the availability of computers on the island nation, internet access is still limited to a few locations like workplaces, schools and universities.
The Cuban government is unable to connect to undersea fiber optic cables due to trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. The internet access available in the country is via limited bandwidth satellite connections.