In February 2011 government officials in Cuba announced that the country was finally going to be super-connected to the rest of the world thanks to an underwater fiber optic cable that was going to increase web capacity by 3,000-fold.
Now more than one year later Cuban officials rarely talk about the program and internet connects in Cuba are still some of the worse found anywhere in the connected world.
In some circles talk of a $70 million embezzlement scam can be heard, while others refuse to even speculate exactly what happened to the countries connectivity.
According to one Cuba expert in a chat with the Associated Press:
“They did some photo-op … and then that scandal came out, and then it just disappeared from human consciousness.”
That same expert also points to the rumors of several telecom executives being arrested last year, arrests that could be related to embezzlement.
In the meantime Diplomats in Havana are consistent in their stories of corner-cutting that allowed corrupt officials to steal millions of dollars from the project.
Opponents to Cuba’s government in the meantime believe the super fast fiber optic cable system was shot down by Cuban officials after they saw what happened with the internet-fueld Arab Spring incident. As a second expert proclaims:
“They’re afraid of it. They don’t want a ‘Cuban Spring.”
Of course there is always the possibility that the fiber optic cable has been working all along but is only available to government officials who often keep technology away from non-governmental entities.