Feeds

Cuba lifts ban on computer sales

Toasters still an enemy of the working class until 2010

Business security measures using SSL

Cuban president Raul Castro has lifted the country's ban on the sale of petit bourgeois merchandise like computers, DVDs, video players and other consumer electronics goods.

So ends years of technological prohibition placed under the regime of his brother Fidel Castro, which had classified the electronic devices and appliances as wasteful.

"Based on the improved availability of electricity the government at the highest level has approved the sale of some equipment which was prohibited," reads an alleged internal government memo obtained by Reuters.

The memo catalogs PCs, video players, 19-inch and 20-inch television sets, electric pressure cookers, rice cookers, microwaves, car alarms and other electronics merchandise as now freely available on the market, according to the news service.

For years, government-run electronics stores have controlled what products could be sold to Cuban citizens. The legal purchase of a personal computer was often only authorized — and within the financial means — of foreigners and diplomats.

Cuba has a reputedly thriving black market of electronics and access to an unrestricted internet for tech-craving citizens willing to take the risk.

However, since Fidel Castro provisionally handed his brother leadership in July 2006, some restrictions necessitating the underground have been relaxed. Last year, customs regulations were eased on some import desktop computers and car parts.

"The country's priority will be to meet the basic needs of the population, both material and spiritual," Raul Castro said when he took office.

Cuba's proles must wait until next year before they can buy air conditioners, however. The dark influence of toasters won't be seen until 2010 — allegedly due to limited power supplies.

Access to the internet remains government-controlled. Surely they could make an exception for El Reg? Power to the people, and all that? ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.