Cuban Government Lifts Censorship Against Revolico / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata

Revolico’s user portal. (Silvia Corbelle / 14ymedio)
Revolico’s user portal. (Silvia Corbelle / 14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio,Zunilda Mata, Havana, 12 August 2016 — With the same discretion that eight years ago led the government to censor a popular Cuban version of Craigslist, it has now lifted its electronic blocking, without any announcement or public statements. The news of the unlocking the Revolico, a site filled with classified ads, has revolutionized the wifi connection sites.

Access to Revolico is also possible now from the computers in the Nauta internet rooms managed by the government-run Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA), according to what this newspaper was able to confirm.

In several Havana hotels that offer internet access to their guests from terminals in the lobby, one can go directly to Revolico’s home page, navigate its menu options and look at the classified ads without any hitches.

However, users of Infomed, managed by the Ministry of Public Health, complain that Revolico remains inaccessible from servers at that institution.

Despite the government’s long-standing censorship of Revolico, it became the leading classified site on the island. Its main attraction is the vast assortment of ads – 16 million accumulated from the start – for property, the buying and selling of technology, job offers, and every kind of home appliance, all scarce on the country’s store shelves, can be found on their pages.

The well-known “weekly packet” distributed in the informal market each week, for years has included a copy of Revolico intended for users without internet access, a solution that facilitates the posting of ads via email and has helped increase users to the current 300,000 unique visitors a month.

Hiram Centelles, cofounder of Revolico, is satisfied with the new situation of the site and already anticipates possible improvements. “In the near future we will launch a new version of the product and platform, and we are getting many more users in Cuba, now that the site is unblocked. Our goal is to continue providing the best classified ad service to Cubans, as we have done these past eight years,” he told 14ymedio.

Several digital sites that have been censored for years, such as 14ymedio, still remain inaccessible, unless the surfer uses an anonymous proxy anonymous or other tricks to circumvent censorship.