Connection with the World Severed - Off Grid until Sunday


Internet IS available in Cuba! Our Hotel GRAN HOTEL MANZANA KEMPINSKI LA HABANA has plenty of bandwidth and all of the usual websites and searches are unencumbered.   You can even have a steady RDP connection to your office computer in the United States.  Google Bing Yahoo and most other  search engines are available.  One thing I could not do was get my boarding bass for United.  This is more a problem of checking travel documents before flight rather than an online internet glitch.  I had to go to my computer in the office to do the “check in”.   

WhatsApp works well with Internet and is a good way to stay in touch and send photos.  Airdrop is another good way to share photos with people near you.  Be cautious though; texts are .50 cents per message in and out and telephone calls with AT&T and Verizon will cost you $3.00 per minute (too pricey).   Internet is the way to go in hotels.  I am sure you will start seeing internet in restaurants in the near future.  The best solution is to go in Airplane mode, turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and enjoy some of the disconnect time while in Cuba.

The city is becoming more beautiful and radiant daily and all of its restoration is in anticipation of the November 2019 Half Centennial Celebration.  Cuba will be 500 years old on November 16th.  Is that enough to persuade you to head there next year?  Are you ready to make plans for your incentive guests?


My office checked with me to see if I could I have a client call from Havana, Cuba this week.  That request prompted me to do some research as I didn’t think there would be a problem.  I did not consider there were places where general Internet (Skype and e-mail) would not be readily available. 

In this case Cuba is way behind the times, in fact so much so I may just be disconnected from the Internet for two business and two weekend days.  Officially Skype is banned.

 Cuba is considered to be one of the least connected countries in the world. Internet is limited and costly, as are telephone services. The use of public access Wi-Fi which we take for granted as free  to us in many restaurants and shops is virtually non-existent. I am anxious to learn for myself so I will tell you more when I arrive at my hotel.

So as they say, I will be off grid until Sunday night. 

More from an article I read on the Internet:

 There are serious ethical implications with Internet in Cuba. The following guide from an article I researched breaks down some of the most important points on Internet use in Cuba.


The Current State of the Internet in Cuba

In terms of telecommunications, Cuba is rated 125th out of 166 countries in the world. Until 2012, Cuba was connected to the Internet via old, Russian satellites—this made the connection slow and limited the amount of data that could be sent into and out of Cuba. However, in 2013 Cuba activated a fiber optic cable connected to Venezuela. This improved the speed of the Internet and the amount of data that can be exchanged.

Internet access is limited to state-owned telecommunication offices (known as Etecsa) and state-owned hotels. At present, there are 118 Etecsa offices in Cuba. Wi-Fi is offered in some places, but it’s definitely not ubiquitous. Incredibly, Cuban citizens have only been permitted to own personal computers since 2008. Aside from a few choice individuals (including government officials, academics, and doctors), most Cubans are not allowed to have Internet in their home.

If you want to save time and money, type out emails ahead of time and then copy them into email once you have Wi-Fi. This will allow you to use the Internet to visit other websites. You can access Facebook in Cuba; however, Skype and other voice services are prohibited. YouTube is also not accessible.