My Future with Our State Telecommunications Co.

Nonardo Perea

Crazy Havana. Photo: Juan Suárez

HAVANA TIMES — I more or less already have an idea of what the future holds for me, if I don’t decide to emigrate like many Cubans do and remain on the island where I was born.

I know that I’m not a fortune-teller, but you don’t have to be a visionary to know what 2017 holds for me, and the following years, and not just for me, but for millions of Cubans, who chose not to leave the country to explore other horizons, some because they didn’t want to and others because they don’t have the means to.

I have analyzed my situation with regard to telecommunications in Cuba very closely. Soon, I will turn 44 and I have never had a fixed phone line at home. I had the chance to buy a cellphone two years ago, and this small, poor-quality gadget cost me 120 CUC (about 135 USD), plus 40 CUC for the phone line. Quite cheap, right?

Taking how poor my nutrition has been over the course of all these years into account, linked to a series of health problems, such as high blood pressure, widespread osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, I don’t believe that the human being sitting down here typing on a computer will survive more than another 30 years, which is more or less what the majority of us will have to wait in Cuba to have Internet access at home.

And if by some divine chance, God lets me live more than 30 years, first I will have to get a fixed phone line, but I know that in the distant 2047, I will be 74 years old, and I guess they’ll have me tied to a chair, under strict medical treatment, because before leaving this hell once and for all, I will have lost my use of reason and our government’s leaders and ETECSA (the telecommunications monopoly) will be the ones to blame for my madness.

ETECSA because every time they do something, they do so to destroy those of us who are already in ruin on this earth where we are all brothers and sisters and enjoy the same privileges, noone more than their neighbor, but equally.

The rates established for those who have had the chance to be hit by the ETECSA empire’s jackpot, having internet at home, are obscene. Those who can’t pay will have a month of free internet at least, which will serve as a hook for those citizens who still haven’t discovered, at this point in the 21st century, what a Google search bar is, or what Facebook or Instagram are used for, etc…

The poor people who get hooked, because now they’ll have to think about where they are going to get the money from, to buy 30 hours which isn’t a whole lot, because ETECSA is wise and knows that nobody will connect for just an hour a day, that’s obvious. These arbitrary rates have been created to suck money and not blood out of web surfers, and some customers who are being victimized will bleed out their relatives who live abroad at the same time, who have better financial means generally-speaking.

In short, like I said in the beginning, I already know what the future holds for us, in a country which is making progress, a country which puts all of its resources within its beloved people’s reach, who deserve the best, a country where apparently we aren’t seen as individual and independent people.

And for the record, we are the only revolutionary country in the world where we are all the same person.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

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