Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
It is internationally known that the Cuban government has been restricting the rights of Cuban citizens for decades but I never gave much thought to how the internationally respected Sol Melia corporation works with the Cuban government as an enabler of this human rights violation. Yes, a human rights violation. Today, access to the Internet should be a basic human right.
Sol Melia shame?
Sol Melia should be ashamed for this discriminating practice of denying Internet access based on someone’s nationality.
SolMelia.com, the home page for the international hotel corporation does not even list Cuba as a country where Sol Melia hotels are located yet they own/operate about two dozen hotels in Cuba. However, they own, maintain and promote the country specific website SolMeliaCuba.com yet there is no SolMeliaMexico.com or SolMeliaBrazil.com or SolMeliaSpain.com where the corporation has a major presence in those countries as well.
Why doesn’t SolMelia.com include Cuba as a destination? Why do they have to have a SolMeliaCuba.com? Perhaps it’s because they have to kiss Fidel Castro’s ass in order to have ANY presence in Cuba? Yes, it said it. Sol Melia has to kiss Fidel Castro’s ass in order to do business in Cuba and that means they work with the Cuban government in order to discriminate against Cuban citizens and to violate the human rights of Cuban citizens. They do this so they can operate their hotels in Cuba.
Furthermore, there are no Sol Melia Cuba websites hosted on the SolMelia.com server while there are over 200 other Sol Melia websites hosted on the SolMelia.com server. It is very clear that Sol Melia corporation has made a very clear business decision to keep their Sol Melia Cuba hotels away from any of their other international Sol Melia websites. One would have to ask why this is the case.
Other websites for reporting this news
We thank Tracey Eaton and his Along the Malecon blog for posting his article about this unfortunate business practice of Sol Melia discriminating against Cuban citizens on Sunday.
Babalu Blog posted the video earlier today titled Cuba’s Internet Apartheid
The Cuban Triangle posts their article about Internet restrictions in Cuba
Yoani’s discrimination video
Yoani stated on Generation Y she recorded the video on Saturday May 9 while pretending to be a tourist reading the Granma newspaper.
(translation from Generation Y)
Reinaldo – Good afternoon, Miss. I’d like to buy an hour of internet.
Mujer (Raquel) – May I see your passport please.
R – No, what I have is an identity card.
M – No, I can’t sell you an hour of Internet, because the connection here is only for foreigners.
R – Excuse me, I don’t think I heard you clearly.
M – The connection here is only for foreigners.
R – Since when is this?
M – Since one month.
R – I came last week and connected.
M – And who sold you the ticket?
R – I don’t know the name. Just as I didn’t ask your name, neither did I ask…
M – My name is Raquel.
R – Yes, but you aren’t the only person who works here. There’s a red-headed girl…
R – It was eight days ago.
M – Now…
M – There’s a resolution that says it’s only for foreigners. Look here…
R – Yes
R – This is the…
M – Come here… and… see.
R – But is this only in this hotel?
R – Is this being done in all the hotels?
R – Because I frequently connect in the National and the President.
M – I think in the President they still haven’t established this system.
R – But this is something that comes… a resolution. Forgive me for asking so many questions.
R – Is this a resolution of this hotel, of the Melia company, of…?
M – No, it’s a resolution from MINTUR.
R – From the Tourism Ministry?
M – Yes.
R—It’s not from the Communications Ministry?
M – I’ve been given to understand that it comes from MINTUR and ETESCA.
M – Because of the fact that this new type of connection is from ETESCA.
R – OK, and this, how can one dispute this? See someone about it?
R – Look, I don’t have an argument with you, because after all you are a person who is just doing your job.
M – Yes, you can go to Reception and lodge any complaints you like.
R – Because you know this violates my constitutional rights.
R – Because it’s written in the constitution of our Republic that discrimination based on national origin is prohibited.
R – And I feel discriminated against because my national origin is Cuban.
R – It’s as if they said here: “This Internet is for the whole world except Mexicans.”
R – It’s the same, no?
R – I’m being discriminated against for my national origin
R – There’s not a single law or internal regulation that can supersede the constitutional rights of citizens.
R – Aren’t I right?
M – I’m just that one who has to… I’m just doing my duty.
R – Yes, of course, I know that.
R – 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 – OK… hopefully… we’ll see…
The Havana Journal proudly supports Yoani and Reinaldo in their efforts to express their freedom of speech and mission to enjoy basic human rights. Sol Melia should be ashamed of their practice to conspire with the Cuban government to restrict internet access to Cuban citizens. A link to this article has been sent to numerous people in management at Sol Melia and other people with authority around the world. We will post a response from Sol Melia if/when we receive one.