Barack Obama tweeted a special greeting to Cubans after touching down in Havana, becoming the first serving US president to set foot on the island for 88 years.
After landing he posted the tweet ¿Que bolá Cuba? which translates as ‘What’s up Cuba?’
The problem? A very small percentage of Cubans actually have access to the open Internet.
Home connections are practically nonexistent, and only government officials, academics, doctors, engineers, or regime-approved journalists have Internet access at work, Ellery Biddle, a researcher who has focused on Cuban Internet issues, reported, according to Mashable.
For everyone else, there are expensive government-run Internet cafes where an hour of connection can cost between $6 and $10, a prohibitive amount of money in a country where the average weekly salary is around $20.
Where connection is possible, the speed is so slow there’s very little they can do online but check email and sluggishly surf websites. “When they do access the Internet, they try to do really the bare minimum,” Cynthia Romero, the Latin America Senior Program Officer at Freedom House, told Mashable.
So perhaps Obama’s Tweet was not in the best taste, considering the dictatorship he’s visiting doesn’t even provide internet service to its people.
Obama’s three-day visit will include a meeting with Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro. Obama is also set to address the Cuban people.
Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter