Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cell phones May be Sent From US to Cuba

The relaxation of laws forbidding private citizens to own cell phones in Cuba is a little like the law that prohibits both rich and poor from sleeping under bridges… “women and minorities hit hardest”!

On the radio today, it was noted that although they may legally possess cell phones, the Cubans’ average monthly income of $12/ month would keep most Cubans from purchasing one, much less maintaining the monthly charges. Hence, the following story about Americans giving them to Cubans as gifts. (Cuban minimum wage is seven dollars a month.)

WASHINGTON — U.S. President George Bush announced Wednesday that Americans soon will be allowed to send cellphones to Cubans – a move that he hopes will push the communist regime to increase freedom of expression for Cuban citizens.

Addressing recent changes in Cuba, Mr. Bush said, “Cubans are now allowed to purchase mobile phones, DVD players and computers and they have been told that they will be able to purchase toasters and other basic appliances in 2010.”

“If the Cuban regime is serious about improving life for the Cuban people, it will take steps necessary to make these changes meaningful,” Mr. Bush said at the White House as he marked Cuba’s 106th anniversary of independence this week.

If the Cuban people can be trusted with mobile phones, “they should be trusted to speak freely in public,” he said.

Dan Fisk, National Security Council senior director for Western hemisphere affairs, emphasized that the new policy, which is to take effect in a few weeks, is not a loosening of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, but a change in U.S. regulations that will allow cellphones to be in gift parcels that Americans can send to Cubans.

However, we’ll take real progress where we can find it!

Cross posted at Say Anything

On a slightly different note, I think if Americans were willing to have all but $12 a month confiscated from them by the government, we could all have “free” health care, too!

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