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Russia Tightens and Cuba Loosens Technology Freedoms

Russia and Cuba, two countries with a history of repression, are both adjusting government regulation of technology. Cuba is giving the green light to more personal freedoms, while Russian authorities are bringing expression to a screeching halt.

Yesterday, Cuban president Raul Castro lifted the ban on the sale of computers, DVDs, and video players. While Cuba's new leader is showing mild signs of loosening government control, Russia is moving to muzzle opposition.

Russian prosecutors have just filed criminal charges against a blogger who wrote that the police should be publicly incarcerated. The blogger's comments came after police raided a newspaper critical of the government. Unlike communist Cuba, Russia is at least nominally a democracy.

The internet has given government resisters a medium to voice outrage, when all other outlets are in the tight grip of dictators. Do you think loosening in Cuba will inevitably lead to more freedom? Can countries like Russia ever wipe out opposing voices from the virile internet, as it has from newspapers and television?


Join The Conversation
tatiana21 tatiana21 9 years
Sophia I would have to disagree, saying that everyone in Russia is shady and self-serving is a very overgeneralized statement. When I lived in Russia I never wanted to come home because I loved the people so much. They were willing to do anything to help me and they have the "biggest" family life- everything revolved around family and friends. Certainly not shady.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
One thing about being from a "formerly" communist country is that it makes people very self serving, to the point of being criminal. Basically they would cut your throat for your pocket change.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
I wouldn't go to Russia for anything is this world! Those people are shady as all get out. Last year they poisoned German tennis player , Tommy Haas, before the Davis Cup.
janneth janneth 9 years
I have visited Russia. Very different from here, things we take for granted. "Freedom" is such a cliche word, but in Russia you feel the lack of it.
tatiana21 tatiana21 9 years
There is nothing wrong with visiting Russia- it's breathtaking and the culture is completely different and unique. They have so much more culture and history than us.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
Russia scares me too... PeachyKeen - I'm with you - head to the beach. Screw the air conditioner! But when I'm in an office building and it's scorching outside, I need my AC!
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
PeachyKeen- I certainly never said it was impossible to live without A.C. I believe the word I used was "yucky," and I don't think any person who has ever sweat their way through a ninety-plus degree day in a humid climate would disagree with that. ;) Watch out on those do realize that by lumping all Americans together, you are yourself making a gross generalization, right?
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 9 years
OMG Liberty/Citizen Sugar!! Things in Cuba aren't perfect, or great even...but it's not EVIL!! It so easy for Americans to generalize.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 9 years
Yay Cuba! I hear they're also going to begin the legal sale of air conditioning units. I didn't know that A.C. was illegal there to begin with...can you imagine living on a tropical isle without it? Yuck. Best wishes to Cuba. Can't wait to visit. - Do you think the Tainos (native americans), the conquistadors or slaves, and second and third generations ever used AC? We can definitely live without it. I would spend summers in the Caribbean with my grandmother and w/out AC. We would just go to the beach. Now ppl use them as Americans do, it's not uncommon on the other islands to see them in use. But we should have followed Cuba's example because it's horrible for the environment. Only a typical American would think "Oh, I couldn't live without AC...." But I apoligize I don't mean that towards you.
Trixie6 Trixie6 9 years
Russia fascinates me, but I've changed my mind about wanting to visit. I just finished reading 'Death of a Dissident' about Alexander Litvinenko's death. Putin has so much blood on his hands.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
bethany, I have friends who have been to Cuba who said it is so beautiful and everyone is so wonderful there, but the poverty was so heartbreaking for them, that they did not want to visit again. :(
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
Yay Cuba! I hear they're also going to begin the legal sale of air conditioning units. I didn't know that A.C. was illegal there to begin with...can you imagine living on a tropical isle without it? Yuck. Best wishes to Cuba. Can't wait to visit. ;)
syako syako 9 years
what do you expect when a KGB man runs a country. :oy:
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Russia should scare you. I wonder how long Cuba will release its clench for?
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
Putin scares me. :SCARED: He's evil I tell you! :EVIL: :TRUE:
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Russia scares me...
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