Cuba criticizes Microsoft blocking Messenger
May 30, 2009
The article, entitled “Cuba ¿la red cercada? (Cuba, the besieged internet?), reports that according to a communiqué issued by the giant software company, MSN Messenger Services have been suspended to Cuba and other “enemy” countries of the US, including Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan in accordance with US legislation.
The article points out that Microsoft’s measures have caused widespread international controversy and that the move is not consistent with the company’s advertising campaign launched 10 years ago. The campaign boasted that MSN Messenger would foster exchange between people without regards to race, beliefs, political ideals or any other discriminatory factors.
Not even the corporation’s spokespersons have been able to give a convincing answer as to why the measure was taken now. “Is this a tenth anniversary present the company saved for itself, or is it another way to further tighten the siege against Cuba promoted by the most reactionary sectors of US politics and the economy,” the article asks.
And Microsoft is not the only company that denies the use of advanced technology in Cuba.
In an open violation of international law, since the 1960s the US has prevented all major world computer manufacturers like Intel, Hewlett Packard, IBM or Macintosh from directly selling their products to Cuba -not even for humanitarian purposes like healthcare.
As an example the article notes that in 2003 the US Trade Department refused to grant a license for USA/Cuba-Infomed to send 423 computers to be used in Cuban hospitals and policlinics on the grounds that “it would harm US foreign policy interests.”