U.S. Weighs Deploying Balloons To Provide Internet Access To Cubans During Crackdown

In the aftermath of the Cuban government’s response to protests throughout the country, the United States government is weighing what options it has for restoring communication services on the island nation. Internet service is currently suspended throughout Cuba, and some ham radio frequencies are even being jammed in Florida, preventing even rudimentary communications with the island. 

In an attempt to remedy the situation and reestablish communication networks in the one-party socialist republic, some officials in the United States government have proposed launching sophisticated high-altitude balloons made by Raven Aerostar over Cuba to provide wireless internet access from above. While the plan sounds good on paper, there are some doubts about how well it could work.

The protests in Cuba began earlier this month in response to widespread shortages of food and other vital resources like medical treatment. According to some observers, many protestors feel the Cuban government has been investing too heavily in tourism while overtaxing the general population and catering to foreign investment rather than shoring up the national economy. 

Images of protesters being beaten or detained by police painted a grisly picture of the Cuban government’s response to the protests, but definitive information about what is happening in Cuba can be difficult to come by due to the fact that communication with the island is so limited. The Cuban government has even been accused of sharing fake news immediately after reports of the protests began to spread.

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