HT Writers Need Laptops, You Can Help!

by Circles Robinson

Havana sunset photo by Caridad.
Havana sunset photo by Caridad.

HAVANA TIMES — One of the biggest limitations facing Havana Times contributing writers, apart from the lack of Internet service, is not having a computer.

This is the first time in the nearly five years since we began publishing that we are making an appeal to our readers that are going to travel to Cuba to help out.

Most of our writers do not have their own computer and of those that did, three have reached the end of their life in recent months.

Tourists are allowed to bring one laptop or mini-laptop plus accessories with them when they visit Cuba, they can then, if they wish, leave that computer with someone in Cuba as many do with family or friends.

If you would like to help the cause, let us know at [email protected] and we will put you in touch with the person needing the used computer.

What we can offer in return for the generosity is a pledge to continue doing our best to bring you our bilingual publication that presents open-minded writing from Cuba.

6 thoughts on “HT Writers Need Laptops, You Can Help!

  • Given the nearly 3 million tourists who currently visit Cuba each year, how is it that you believe an increase of tourism will somehow magically change Cuba? Tourism at this level has done little for the cause of democracy in Cuba. On the contrary, more tourists will mean more hard currency for the Castros and that will mean more repression and even less hope for democracy. Likewise, rather than try to change US policy in a national Congress representing more than 330 million Americans, why don’t you encourage other like-minded sycophants to lobby less than 50 members of the Cuban oligarchical elite to change policy in Cuba? Either way the end is you claim to seek is reached. If the goal of normalized relations is your only goal, it would be more logical to pursue that end through means more accessible.

  • That’s a short term solution. A long term solution is to lobby Congress to drop this ridiculous embargo so that both cultures can enjoy normalized relations. One organization that has been working toward this goal for years is IFCO/Pastors for Peace These guys have been working tirelessly for 20 years to provide humanitarian aid, including computers to the people of Cuba. The items they bring are distributed through local churches and the only trouble they have is at the US/Mexican border. That’s where we come in. Write your congresspeople and senators. It’s time to drop this childish policy and normalize relations. If we could do it with Vietnam, we should be able to do it with Cuba. You want to see things change in Cuba? One spring break with no travel or economic restrictions should do it.

  • Thanks a lot for your offer. Next year will be fine!

  • Count me in for bringing down another laptop…but it won’t be ’til next year. Since 2008, I’ve brought down three laptops(on as many trips), and $$$ for my friend to purchase a used desktop in Habana. As Circles says, no problem bringing one at a time; (if asked by the aduana, just tell ’em it is for your personal use.) The first one I brought, in 2008, is now (LOL) in Miami, its subsequent owner having emmigrated.
    Although laptops and desktops are available for sale in the hard currency stores, there mark-ups are outrageous, putting them out of reach for all but those receiving remittances from abroad. When will the government end its obsolecent obsession with control, and facilitate the rapid expansion of access to the internet? In the rest of Latin America, including nations with lefty governments, such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, etc., there are no barriers to internet access or the acquisition, through the marketplace, of inexpensive laptops and other electronics.

  • Visitors often take one laptop (two is not allowed) and sometimes leave them with family or friends.

  • I thought taking electronic equipment (laptops) to Cuba as gifts was NOT allowed. Has there been a recent revision of the regulation? Or, perhaps my previous information was incorrect. Is there a limit on how laptops many per year one person can take?

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