Melia turns power back on at the end of the CiberTunnel

Worldwide coverage ignited by the Melia Hotel Chain surrounding the secret videotaping of two Cuban nationals being abruptly refused internet access deemed by the Melia employee as “only for foreigners” appears to have induced a “quiet” annulment of the said new government directive to all hotels. Bloggers on the island are reporting that the ban has been lifted – They hope permanently.

Extensive coverage was given to the issue by Rob Sequin of the who communicated directly with the hotel in a valiant effort to get the perpetrators to give back the rights all Cuban´s should have – “To search the worldwide web and use it without government restriction” –

The manager of the Hotel Cohiba, Ignacio Martín, appeared flustered with all the media attention and in his written responses concerning one of his staff showing Yoani Sanchez and Friend a government decree banning internet use in Hotels then proceeding to refuse the said access. While drifting around the point he stated “at this time there are no restrictions on Cubans using the internet connection at Melia Cohiba” This statement coming directly after two Cuban bloggers secretly filmed being denied the said access some days before.

In a posting concerning the issue on her Blog Yoani said:

I’m coming to believe that the influence of the Internet on our reality is bigger than I thought. After several days of not being able to connect to the Internet in hotels such as the Meliá Cohiba, the Panorama and the emblematic Hotel Nacional, the ban seems to have been lifted. Today I spoke with the same employees who two weeks ago showed me the resolution excluding Cubans from using such services at tourist facilities. They told me I can once again buy the blessed card that opens the door to the virtual world.


I may sound a bit boastful, but I think that if we had not raised a ruckus in recent days—denouncing such apartheid—we would have been deprived of the ability to connect. Yes, they cede when you push back, they have to amend the plan when we citizens raise our voices and the international media hears the echo. We understood this with Gorki’s case, and this correction confirms that our keeping quiet only allows them to snatch away more spaces from us. We need to make the most of the situation, now they are saying “Cubans can connect”, and take it as a public commitment. We must hold them to it and, if not, there will be Twitter, Facebook and text messages for protesting, when they try to shut us out again.


* On Monday, a dozen bloggers conducted an investigation into more than forty hotels. With the exception of the Occidental Miramar, they all said they were ignoring the regulation that prohibited Cubans from accessing the internet.


…Sometimes a little light shone in the right direction paves the way….

























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