Cuba Punishes Doctors for Using Revolico / Cubanet, Orlando Gonzalez
Posted on March 15, 2015
The government has cancelled your INFOMED email account due to its
having been used on a classified ad website.
Cubanet, Orlando González, Mayabeque, Cuba, 12 March 2015 — Since
February 23, the government has been cancelling some doctors’ and
dentists’ internet and email accounts on the nation’s INFOMED network,
which the state designates for health care professionals. The reason?
Emails were being used to post classified ads on the popular Revolico
website. Punitive actions like this are evidence of the government’s
intention not to allow free access to Internet, at least in the short term.
The classified ad website http://www.revolico.com is very well-known
among many Cubans on the island. It lists a wide range of products
available on the black market, including merchandise at prices much
cheaper than those found in state-owned retail stores. The government
has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to block access to the site.
Nevertheless, Cubans have managed to make a mockery of the limitations
by going through web services designed to evade censorship (VPN and web
proxies). An offline version of the webpage is also delivered to homes
through the popular underground entertainment service known as the
“national packet.” It contains all the classified ads from the previous
Fifty-nine-year-old retired dentist Tania Alonso stated, “INFOMED email
is the only way I have of communicating with my family overseas. Now
they have taken it away because a nephew of mine, who uses the computer
in my house, posted an ad for his cell phone on Revolico and listed my
email address. No one told me anything. Only after I asked why I had not
had email service for a week did they tell me that I was being
sanctioned and they had cancelled my account. I really don’t know if
what my nephew did is as serious as all that.”
Doctors in several cities claim they have made complaints in the
respective workplaces but have not received explanations for the sanctions.
“It’s unbelievable that visiting a classified ad page — a right in
almost every country in the world, including Venezuela — is virtually a
crime here,” says Jose Alberto, a gatroenterologist from the city of San
Antonio de los Baños. “For this ’indiscretion’ the authorities punish
doctors who have served on various international medical missions,
taking away their only means of accessing the INFOMED network. I think
this action is ridiculous and shows a total lack of respect for health
care professionals. We are practically slaves to the government. We work
for a salary which barely allows us to eat. In any other country of the
world we would be more recognized and appreciated than we are in our
own. I am a veteran of three international missions and they take away
my access just for using my email address as the contact in a classified
Another health professional who did not want to be identified said, “I
went a week without being able to access my email account and neither
the supervisors at my workplace nor the technical support person knew
why. Only after I called the INFOMED offices was I informed it had been
CubaNet contacted Carlos Javier Peña Díaz, a co-founder of Revolico and
based in Spain, who agreed to comment.
“It’s been seven years since our website was blocked in Cuba and we
still don’t understand why,” he notes. “Revolico’s only goal is to help
Cubans by providing them with an alternative marketplace based on the
classified ad model. They can use our website to easily advertise
products or contact sellers.”
Doctors and dentists who have lost their accounts add that they do not
agree with this action and will take their complaints as far as is
necessary. Their letters of appeal were sent to the management of
INFOMED ten days ago and those affected have not yet received a response.
Source: Cuba Punishes Doctors for Using Revolico / Cubanet, Orlando
Gonzalez | Translating Cuba –
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