Billboard with the Cuban Telephone Company Etecsa’s Logo is Removed in Miami

The billboard advertised phone recharges in Cuba, but this Thursday it was removed after pressure from opponents in Miami. (Collage)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Miami, 15 July 2022 — A billboard announcing telephone recharges with the logo of the Cuban state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa was removed from a Miami highway due to pressure from activists and exiles, local media reported this Friday.

The removal occurred this Thursday after a campaign on social networks in which the content of the billboard placed on one of the busiest highways in Miami and Hialeah, a city populated mostly by people of Cuban origin.

“It is incredible that this has happened in the cradle of the exile,” Esteban Rodríguez, an exile, told the Telemundo channel. Several users published photos of the billboard today on social networks without warning of the controversy, in which the actress Tahimí Alvariño, the advertising face of the Katapulk company, which sells telephone recharges to Cuba with the Etecsa logo, was seen.

“Cubans respect each other, they removed the advertising of the Castro regime,” wrote Ileana Leiva Reveron to accompany the billboard without advertising content. “Don’t be amazed at the poster, be amazed at your fellow citizens in that city who make this announcement possible,” wrote a Cuban resident in Israel on Twitter.

The owner of Katapulk, the Cuban-American businessman Hugo Cancio, responded to the controversy in a written statement sent to the Telemundo channel, in which he stressed that Etecsa is not sanctioned by the US Government: “This is an activity authorized by the regulations from OFAC (an office of the US Treasury),” he said.

“Etecsa is the Cuban telecommunications company where all Cubans inside and outside the island process their recharges and buy their data packages for internet use and other services,” he said. “The idea is not to cause attention or controversy. We decided to offer this much-needed service to our clients and being new, we wanted to give legitimacy to this management,” he added.

Activist Esteban Rodríguez declared before the Telemundo cameras that the fence was “an insult to the people, to exile and Cubans” and stressed that “with pressure” anything can be achieved.


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