Feeds

Cuba lifts ban on computer sales

Toasters still an enemy of the working class until 2010

Application security programs and practises

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? ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.