Cuba thumbs nose at American embargo, will run fiber-optic cables to VenezuelaIt's unlikely that the average Cuban will be catching Ron Paul mania on YouTube, but there will be more cries of "Viva la revolucion!" being uploaded from official sources thanks to a fiber-optic line running across the Caribbean from Cuba to Venezuela, to be completed in 2010. And, naturally, Cuban telecommunications vice minister Boris Moreno is blaming the current lack of access on Fortress America:

[T]he government is unable to offer Cubans comprehensive Internet for their new Pcs because the American embargo prevents it from getting service directly from the United States nearby through underwater cables.

Currently, the island nation uses satellite connections with friendly countries like Canada, which means little upstream bandwidth and lots of latency. Of course, just last May, Moreno declared: "Cuba is not concerned with the individual connection of its citizens to the Internet." So not exactly a win for the proletariat, but it means easier Flickr uploads for turistas with hard currency like euros. The contract diplomatically calls for the backbone link to make landfall on Jamaica, Haiti and Trinidad as well. (Photo by David Shankbone)