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Video Proof: Cuba Violates Its Citizens' Constitutional Protections

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Saturday, May 9, I went to the Melia Cohiba hotel to check if the Internet access limitations for Cubans continue. Several friends had told me that the measure had been rescinded... but I wanted to check for myself. So Reinaldo and I went and made this little video.

The "tourist" who appears to be reading the newspaper Granma is me.

To see the English Subtitles put your mouse over the square in the middle of the video.

Video Transcript

Reinaldo - Buenes tardes joven. Para comprar una hora de internet.
Good afternoon, Miss. I'd like to buy an hour of internet.

Mujer (Raquel) - Me permite tu pasaporte? Por favor.
May I see your passport please.

R - No, yo... carta de identidad es lo que yo tengo.
No, what I have is an identity card.

M - No, no le puedo vender una hora de Internet, porque la conexion aqui es solamente para extranjeros.
No, I can't sell you an hour of Internet, because the connection here is only for foreigners.

R - Discuple, es que yo no oigo bien.
Excuse me, I don't think I heard you clearly.

M - Que la conexion aqui es solamente para los extranjeros.
The connection here is only for foreigners.

R - Desde cuando es eso?
Since when is this?

M - Hace un mes.
Since one month.

R - Yo vine la semana pasada y me conecte.
I came last week and connected.

M - Y quien la vendia el ticket?
And who sold you the ticket?

R - No se el nombre. Como mismo no la he preguntado el nombre a usted, tampoco se lo pregunte a la...
I don't know the name. Just as I didn't ask your name, neither did I ask...

M - Mi nombre es Raquel.
My name is Raquel.

R - Si, pero usted no es la unica persona que trabaja aqui. Aqui hay una muchacha rubia...
Yes, but you aren't the only person who works here. There's a red-headed girl...

R - Hace ocho dias.
It was eight days ago.

M - Ya....
Now...

M - Hay una resolucion que dice que solamente es para extranjeros. Mire aqui...
There's a resolution that says it's only for foreigners. Look here...

R - Si.
Yes

R - Esta es la...
This is the...

M - Venga aca...y...a...ver.
Come here... and... see.

R - Pero esto es solamente en este hotel?
But is this only in this hotel?

R - Esto se esta haciendo en todos los hoteles?
Is this being done in all the hotels?

R - Si, porque yo me conecto frequentamente en el Nacional y en el Presidente.
Because I frequently connect in the National and the President.

M - Creo que en el Presidente, todavia no se ha establecido este sistema.
I think in the President they still haven't established this system.

R - Pero, eso es una cosa que viene... una resolucion. Usted me disculpa que le haga tantas preguntas.
But this is something that comes... a resolution. Forgive me for asking so many questions.

R - Es una resolucion para este hotel, para la agencia Melia, para...?
Is this a resolution of this hotel, of the Melia company, of...?

M - No, eso es una resolucion del MINTUR.
No, it's a resolution from MINTUR.

R - Del Ministerior de Turismo?
From the Tourism Ministry?

M - Si.
Yes.

R -- ... no sera del Ministerio de Comunicaciones?
It's not from the Communications Ministry?

M - Tengo entendido que tiene que ver con el MINTUR y con ETECSA.
I've been given to understand that it comes from MINTUR and ETESCA.

M - Porque de hecho, este nuevo tipo de conexion es de ETESCA.
Because of the fact that this new type of connection is from ETESCA.

R - Bueno y eso, como uno puedo discutir eso? Verlo con alguien?
OK, and this, how can one dispute this? See someone about it?

R - Vaya, no es con usted con quien lo voy a discutir, porque desde luego usted es una persona que esta cumpliendo con su trabajo.
Look, I don't have an argument with you, because after all you are a person who is just doing your job.

M - Si dirije alli, a la Conserjeria y alli usted refleja cualquier queja que usted quiera.
Yes, you can go to Reception and lodge any complaints you like.

R - Porque usted sabe que eso viola mis derechos constitucionales.
Because you know this violates my constitutional rights.

R - Porque esta escrito en la constitucion de nuestra Republica que esta prohibida la discriminacion por origen nacional.
Because it's written in the constitution of our Republic that discrimination based on national origin is prohibited.

R - Y entonces yo me siento discriminado porque tengo como origen nacional el de Cuba.
And I feel discriminated against because my national origin is Cuban.

R - Es como se dijeron aqui: "Esta Internet es para todo el mundo, menos para los mexicanos."
It's as if they said here: "This Internet is for the whole world except Mexicans."

R - Es lo mismo, no?
It's the same, no?

R - Me estan discriminando por mi origen nacional.
I'm being discriminated against for my national origin

R - No hay una sola ley o reglamento interno que puede ir por encima de los derechos constitucionales de los ciudadanos.
There's not a single law or internal regulation that can supersede the constitutional rights of citizens.

R - Diga yo, No?
Aren't I right?

M - Yo lo unico que tengo que... Bueno, pues cumplir con mi deber.
I'm just that one who has to... I'm just doing my duty.

R - Si claro, yo conozco eso.
Yes, of course, I know that.

R - Bueno Raquel, pues muchas gracias y esperamos a ver la proxima vez que venga aqui, ya seguro que derogado eso.
OK Raquel, and many thanks and I hope to see you the next time I come here, I'm sure this will be repealed.

M - A bueno... ojala... a ver.
OK... hopefully... we'll see...

Yoani's blog, Generation Y, can be read here in English Translation.