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What role did the internet play in fomenting Cuban protests? (Brookings)

Valerie Wirtschafter writes for Brookings: When unprecedented protests erupted last week in Cuba, some observers were quick to argue that improving access to the internet had made possible a protest movement in a country where freedom of speech and assembly are significantly restricted. As with the Arab Spring, these techno-optimists saw the power of the internet at work in a Cuban protest movement that coalesced around long-promised, long-delayed economic reforms and a fumbling response to spiking COVID-19 cases. President Biden even suggested that providing private internet to the Cuban people might be a strategy the U.S. government could pursue. But a closer look at the data reveals a more complicated picture that should make policymakers cautious in relying too much on internet access as a tool to counter sclerotic authoritarians.  

go to Brookings: What role did the internet play in fomenting Cuban protests? (brookings.edu)