Facebook Goes Down for More Than Two Hours and Cubans Think the Internet Has Crashed

On the Island, Facebook is the main means of communication, not only between acquaintances, but also with the outside world.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, March 5, 2024 — For Cubans, the inability to access Facebook on Tuesday was almost a complete internet disruption. Around 10 am, Facebook and Instagram, both owned by the American company Meta, suffered a worldwide outage.

The problem, which also affected Messenger, persisted for more than two hours. According to Andy Stone, Meta’s communication director who apologized, the situation was resolved “as quickly as possible” for all those affected.

The technology company has not revealed the cause of these incidents, which also affected Threads, another Meta application that is linked to Instagram and which can be used without signing up. However, WhatsApp, also from Meta, continued to work normally.

“There’s no internet,” someone said on the streets of Havana this Tuesday, after the collapse of the social networks. “They don’t realize that there’s no connection, that there’s no Facebook,”observes Yulia, on the streets of Centro Habana. “Cubans spend most of their time online all day long . That addiction is worse than this,” she says, pointing to her cigarette.

“Cubans spend most of their time  online all day long. That addiction is worse than [cigarettes]”

On the Island, Facebook is the main way of communication, not only between acquaintances but also with the outside world. While Facebook attracts 82.2% of connected users, other applications, such as YouTube, Twitter and Instagram,  only  have close to 12% of the traffic

In addition, ever since  internet began to be allowed on mobile phones in 2018, it became a powerful tool for dissidence.

On 11 July 2021, a demonstration in San Antonio de los Baños was broadcast live on Facebook. It spread across the entire Island an eventually became the most important protest in Cuba since 1959, coming to be known as ’11J’.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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