Ein kanadischer Blogger:
On Snail-Mail and Email in Cuba
Communication with my friends in Cuba has been proving to be quite the daunting task.
Example #1 -
I wrote an email to a friend there, which was immediately bounced back to me with the following error header:
In Antwort auf:
This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 9): 550 Mail from <firstname.lastname@example.org> to <email@example.com> prohibited from your location (UNKNOWN@UNKNOWN ip=126.96.36.199)
Now, it’s obvious that the message was rejected, and never made it to the recipients’ inbox. However, I later received a reply from the recipient who told me that she received my message - a few days late. I asked her to forward me the message, which she did… and the header was obviously manually truncated/modified from the original message. My SMTP skills are a little bit soft, but… it’s pretty obvious that the message was screened, bounced, and then queued for review somewhere.
There is actually a physical person between me and her scanning all of our email.
That is so not cool. The more I try to figure out how to extend the work I’ve been doing around Cuba, the more I run into really really discouraging shit like this.
Example #2 -
I’ve just received mail (regular, snail-mail) from some friends, and the letter was obviously opened, then put back in the envelope and taped shut again. No comment. Oh, and it was a “Hey, how’s it going?” kind of letter, nothing more.
I can’t help but wonder how much more progress Cuba would be making technologically, economically and socially if they invested as much effort into improving the system as they do in spying on their citizens. I understand the need to protect the revolution - it is worth protecting, IMHO - but the state’s fear of the Internet is due to its own misunderstanding of it. Information is indeed power, but the state should be more worried about its citizens feeling watched than about them emailing with friends.
Open up net access - not just email, but full, uncensored access - and the relations Cubans and Cuba build with the rest of the world will flourish. Most Cubans I’ve met already feel that the majority of their problems are directly related to the policies of the United States, and not only to the Cuban government. Let them talk about it, let them get the message out.
Like someone once said, “Our greatest natural resource is Cubans”. Give these Cubans a voice, and they will do the work for you in terms of educating the world about Cuba and correcting misconceptions and propaganda spread through the American media