Cuba’s Only Email Service Has Been Mysteriously Shut Down
Written by JASON KOEBLER STAFF WRITER
November 19, 2015 // 03:51 PM EST
The Cuban government has shut down the island’s only official email
service provider and it’s not clear when it’ll come back.
The Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba S.A. (ETECSA) announced in an
official note Wednesday that it has had to “completely stop email
services” in the country.
As is often the case in Cuba, the communist government hasn’t given an
official reason for the shutdown. Service on the island has been spotty
for more than a week, according to Jose Luis Martinez, communications
director at the Miami-based Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, who is
in regular communication with people on the island. Earlier this week,
ETECSA said that the “infrastructure that supports the accounts has had
a technical failure that affects the sending and receiving of emails.”
“Unfortunately, a lot of things in Cuba are very obsolete and outdated
While there’s no law that stops Cubans from using Gmail or any other
email service provider, the shutdown of all official email accounts,
which are called Nauta accounts, will have huge ramifications for how
people communicate on the island.
There is very little wifi access in Cuba and no mobile internet service
for Cubans whatsoever, but standard cell phone service is pretty
widespread. The Cuban government allows its citizens to send and receive
text-based emails on mobile phones using standard cell signal and Nauta
accounts. As a result, Nauta emails are how a lot of business gets done
on the island, and it’s how a lot of people communicate with those
overseas while they’re on the go.
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