Death in Full Swing

Kabir Vega Castellanos

HAVANA TIMES — It’s been two years now that I first signed up as another user on the SNET network, which emerged spontaneously due to the lack of internet access here in Cuba and I have praised it in more than one of my articles.

However, this time, I have nothing positive to say, rather I need to give my condolences.

Right at the beginning of December 2017, the huge project suffered its first blow and was split into two halves. The part made up by users from Diez de Octobre, Cerro and Central Havana, separated from Vedado, Playa and Eastern Havana. I couldn’t contact a lot of the people I had met on this virtual space ever again.

I even lost contact with all of my friends in my own neighborhood of Alamar due to this same split. I could only write to them sometimes when I used a DoTA server located in Playa, which was still being used as a bridge between the two networks.

However, to my surprise, that was just the beginning of the crumbling that wouldn’t stop until the very foundations came crashing down. In mid-February, the Playa municipality also broke away.

What’s the reason for all this chaos? We could list many: conflicts between administrators who have differences in opinion and want control and to take prominence. Accusations of stealing the project and thorny rumors about alleged misappropriation of funds. Word has also been going around that there were malicious hackers receiving privileges, which led to many users disapproving as this is supposed to be a secure network.

There were many users, like myself, who used to come home from school or work and long for the moment they could sit down in front of the computer. Maybe to play DoTA, World of Warcraft or to sign onto the Wifinet to see what was new, even just to share information.

Now, all of this enthusiasm has vanished. There are still hundreds of users online, but they aren’t network users.

Another spontaneous project that proved, in the beginning and in its development, what collective willpower can do, but it ended up being abandoned by its own foundations.

Maybe it’s a curse that everything that germinates freely ends up being wiped out by the lack of ethics that people have adopted as a way of survival. They don’t stop even when everyone loses out.