Cuba’s Government Has Blocked Access to Facebook and Telegram Amid Protests

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Cuba’s Government Has Blocked Access to Facebook and Telegram Amid Protests
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Photo: Joe Raedle / Staff (Getty Images)

Cuba’s government has restricted access to social media in the country amid raging protests over economic turmoil stemming from the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Beginning on Monday, NetBlocks, an organization that tracks and reports internet access, confirmed that messaging and social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Telegram had all been at least partially restricted on the island, with some access in Havana lacking access to mobile data entirely.

The sudden social media crackdown is likely a ploy by the government to disrupt communications as protests — already a rare occurrence for a country like Cuba, where dissident is closely monitored and controlled — continue to rage on the island. As NetBlocks director Alp Toker told Reuters, the specific pattern of observable restrictions “… indicate an ongoing crackdown on messaging platforms used to organize and share news of protests in real-time. At the same time, some connectivity is preserved to maintain a semblance of normality.”